B2B webinars in 2017 - Converting interest into action

Are webinars useful in the B2B area? Would webinars convert more of your leads into buyers? What would you put into a webinar?

Webinars work. Hubspot loves them, so you should too. And Hubspot loves webinars so much the company dedicates a sound-proof room in their offices just to webinar production.

How effective are webinars?

ClickMeeting recently released an infographic showing the number of webinars they hosted in 2016 went up by one-third over 2015. The number of webinars every day now stands at over 1500. If companies are investing in webinars to such an extent, they must be getting business from them.

B2B Webinars in 2017 - Converting Interest into Action

The 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report from Demand Wave clearly shows how important webinars are for B2B companies, and that that importance is increasing year on year.

Would you convert more leads?

Lead conversion depends on how motivated your leads are. And on how well they think your product will solve their problem.

In 1966, Matilda’s father might have been able to trick people into buying his cars, but this is 2017. Trickery no longer works – The threat of social media outing has put an end to that.

In 2017, pushy salespeople are out of jobs. Sales have become purchases as the buying process has changed from sales-driven to buyer-driven. Today’s buyers have done their research, read the reviews and know multiple companies willing to sell them the product they need. Your webinar can be an effective way to show buyers why your business is the best to buy from.

Many of your webinar attendees will be there as part of their product research. You will get the sale if people like and trust you, but you will need to provide the answers to their questions without alienating anyone.

Clickmeeting’s infographic tells us over half of webinar attendees engage through chat, polls or Q&A. Compare that to your average tweet, Facebook post or blog article, and you will see why marketers love webinars.

What would you put in a webinar?

Your webinar is your pitch opportunity, and you need to plan it as carefully as your elevator pitch.

You tailor your pitch to suit different audiences and locations. Your webinar pitch needs to be adapted in a similar way. It must address one problem. Focus your marketing of the webinar on people with that problem.

If you sell flooring, you might have one webinar aimed at families with young children who leave the floor sticky and difficult to clean. Your solution might be laminate flooring sheets.

Different audiences have different problems. Parents of young boys might want a bathroom floor that is easy to clean. You know laminates wouldn’t stand up to the wet situation, and your webinar, in this case, would focus on the benefits of ceramic tiles or vinyl.

Who would you aim your webinar pitch at?

Customer profiles are just as important in B2B marketing as in B2C. Use LinkedIn and other social channels to research the people who will make the buying decisions before you put your webinar together.

You only need one buyer to be in profit, so focus your webinar on the needs of just one potential customer.

Keeping webinar attendees motivated

Just like a good pitch, your webinar needs use the first few seconds to address the ‘What’s in it for me?’ (WiiFM) idea.

Attendees know you are paying for the webinar facility, so they expect a pitch. The secret to converting interest into action is in the way you motivate your attendees.

Start by addressing the problem. Problems get people listening if they can relate. Break up your webinar presentation, just as you would if you were talking face-to-face. Ask questions, use images and humor to keep your listeners on the ball.

Only present your solution after you have amplified the problem in your audience’s minds. Focus the solution on your audience’s needs by spelling out exactly how it will solve their problem.

Answer any common questions you know people will have such as those relating to costs, longevity and safety, and then finish with testimonials and a believable 100% guarantee.

How will you use webinars in 2017?

Warm leads will respond well to a webinar invitation if the relevance to their problem is obvious. Webinar production costs are low.

B2B webinars in 2017 - Converting interest into action image

The Demand Wave report also shows the importance of webinars in driving income.

All the data shows webinars work. The Clickmeeting infographic shows the best day for sending invitations and webinars are Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. People have short memories, so send out your invitations on the Tuesday for your Thursday webinar two days later.

Do you plan to join the ranks of B2B companies that use webinars in their lead nurturing process? What customer problems could you address using this format?