Leading a webinar

Planning an Effective B2B Webinar

Scott Dieckgraefe Insight

Webinars are all the rage – they came into popularity during Covid lockdowns when tradeshows were cancelled, and they’ve remained popular due to their ability to provide deep content to well-targeted groups of customers or prospects. Dependent on your audience, the technology used with webinars doesn’t have to be much more complex than a Zoom meeting, although having some advanced “bells and whistles” can help set your presentation – and company – apart from others.

Effective B2B webinars can generate leads, engage your audience, establish thought leadership, and help lead prospects through their sales cycle. If your audience needs continuing education credits, webinars can be used for this purpose (content will need to be pre-approved and often a quiz for participants is required to ensure their active webinar involvement).

If you already have a great prospect list, a presentation with in-demand content, and a platform for online meetings, you’re ready to take the next step to run your own webinar.

Here’s a guide to help ensure your success:

Pre-Webinar Planning

  • Define Your Communication Objectives/Plan Content to the Objectives

Do you want to generate leads, provide training, or introduce a new product/service? Outline what you want to accomplish, and write/edit the presentation single-mindedly for this purpose. Having a compelling title is critical for audience registrations. Break down complex information into digestible chunks, and where possible, include examples, and success stories. If content Is king, AI-generated language programs represent the kingdom’s labor force. Use AI to help build your content – we guarantee that it’ll provide you with additional insights to consider.

  • Define Your Target Audience

Understand their interests and pain points to help create relevant content. Gather and segment email lists of people to invite.

  • Ensure Your Webinar Platform Meets Your Presentation Needs

Consider factors like the number of attendees, length of presentation, interactive needs (polls/quizzes), recording capabilities, and ease of use.

  • Schedule a Convenient Time

Pay attention to time zones and daylight savings times. We recently had a meeting time change unexpectedly in electronic calendars. It was set by a coworker in Australia, where they don’t use daylight savings. When domestic clocks changed for daylight savings, this meeting time automatically shifted an hour from when we had it planned. Lesson learned: pay particular attention if your audience crosses multiple time zones, or consider running the same webinar at multiple times.

Promotion Strategy

  • Use A Multi-Channel Approach

Promote your webinar through multiple channels. Send email invitations and reminders to your contact list and leverage social media to reach a broader audience. Depending on the size of your email list, your desired volume of attendees, and budget, consider partnering with industry publications, influencers, or others to expand your promotional outreach. Here again, AI can help tailor personalized messages for different platforms.

  • Create A Landing Page

Create a dedicated landing page with a clear value proposition and a seamless registration process (feeding prospect information into your CRM – while being mindful of privacy and compliance issues). Use this page to highlight the benefits of attending the webinar and include testimonials or speaker bios to build credibility. Make it easy to post the webinar on various calendar programs.

  • Early Bird Registration

Encourage early registrations by offering incentives such as early bird discounts, additional resources, exclusive access to presenters, or exclusive content.

  • Reminder…And Repeat

Develop an automated email campaign to remind registrants about the webinar. Send out reminders a day before, and an hour before the webinar.

Execution and Follow-Up

  • Table Readings and Rehearsals

Conduct several run-throughs prior to the webinar to ensure the presenter’s comfort with the content, and your technology provider’s comfort with the webinar platform and tools.

  • Engage Your Audience

Few things kill a presentation quicker than a presenter reading content from the screen. During the webinar, engage your audience with polls, Q&A sessions, and interactive discussions to maintain interest. Remind your audience of your next webinar topic/date. Develop several “plant” questions in case the audience doesn’t ask questions.

  • Record and Repurpose

Record your webinar and make it available as on-demand content. Repurpose the content into blog posts, infographics, or a podcast series to maximize your investment. Chunk the content out into short videos for your YouTube channel.

  • Immediate Follow-Up

Send a thank you email to attendees with a link to the webinar recording and additional resources. Reach out to registered no-shows with an invitation to watch the webinar.

  • Measure What Matters

Loop back to your initial objectives and measure your success. Analyze attendance rates, engagement levels, and request feedback to learn what worked and what could be improved for future webinars.

Successful webinars require careful planning, strategic promotion, and seamless execution. But they’re also not brain surgery – pulling off a successful webinar is within grasp for most B2B companies. Simply follow these steps and you can create webinars that reach your audience, deliver meaningful and engaging content that supports your key business objectives.

Studio/D is a full-service marketing communications firm working with mid-market industrial and manufacturing clients, together with companies that support the manufacturing ecosystem. We’re a team of “makers” who simplify complex communication challenges with messaging that engages and drives results. Learn more about us at StudioD.agency, or call our president, Scott Dieckgraefe at 314-200-2630.