One of the most common questions we get asked is “Why should we do webinars?” The premise behind the question is that they’re already doing other activities and they do not necessarily have time, or resources, to add more to their sales and marketing mix. It’s a fair question.
If you’ve attended any webinars, you’ll know, and appreciate, that many companies do webinars really, really bad. Let’s be honest – have you ever left a webinar minutes into it because you were falling asleep, or it just wasn’t giving you any value-add? We understand. These types of experiences can leave you not wanting to produce something if you can’t do it well. Doing something well takes time, and that’s often the one thing we’re all in short supply of.
How about we let the facts speak for themselves when it comes to why you should be doing webinars?
In a recent study conducted by MarketingProfs, the following facts were uncovered, based on the 46% of companies that were actively doing webinars:
Why does your company conduct webinars?
69% Generate Leads
69% Increase brand awareness
57% Build loyalty
40% Drive website visits
37% Build in-house database
28% Drive offline business
Do you find webinars effective for:
50% Generating cost effective leads
47% Generating quality leads
38% Producing large volumes of inquiries
So there you have it – point #2 above gives you the answer to the question raised in our headline. If you have time, continue reading this blog because we’re going to take it to the next level.
What’s really interesting about this research is that it doesn’t even address how webinars can be repurposed for numerous additional pieces of content. This is critical! Understand that a webinar is typically a live event. Once its broadcast, everything said on that broadcast is now part of the public domain. That means you can use this content to quickly and easily produce additional content without seeking any additional approvals. Let me repeat this – you can use this content without seeking any additional permissions. Examples of this additional content would include:
What other piece of content can you produce that can be as easily, and affordably, repurposed? The answer is – nothing.
Why do you want to create additional content? Because now you can use this content in your lead nurturing programs, in your social media outreach, in your sales objection handling, and in your website Call To Action banners. All of this content, and utilization, starts with a simple webinar.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective. Let’s be really pragmatic about this. You’re busy. You don’t have time to call all of your target prospects, let alone your existing clients. You’re busy delivering on client commitments. Yet, despite all of this, you understand you need to be regularly communicating with your target audience if you want to keep feeding the sales pipeline. Even more frustrating is the fact that you often spend cycles with email, social media, or on the phone explaining the same concepts over and over again to your clients and prospects. You’re not working efficiently or effectively. When we talk to our clients, they readily admit this truth. They also acknowledge they’re frustrated.
With a webinar, you can reach your entire audience – customers and prospects and partners – for an investment of approximately one hour of your time. Best of all, the content is archived and then becomes available on-demand, suddenly freeing you up from explaining concepts over and over again in the future. Now you simply send them a link to the content and then follow up to see if they have any questions.
Webinars are not a cost. They are an investment that generates substantial ROI. You can measure it in increased sales and marketing productivity, or increased lead flow, or increase sales volume, or increased revenue.
It’s time to letter your on-air personality out. See you on the airwaves.
As I mentioned previously in my Monday and Tuesday posts, the phone is still a very viable tool for B2B marketing. Last post we discussed using the phone to promote your marketing initiatives, including lead generation. As a result of that effort, more (and more targeted) people are visiting your trade show booths, attending your webinars, and signing up for your regular email correspondences. You’re getting more leads! Yes!
But...what do you do with them?
Traditionally, when leads are collected, nurtured and ultimately achieve a high enough score (See video about Lead Scoring for more context), they are sent to sales reps to follow-up. Common sense used to be that more is better; you need to keep your sales people busy, right? But do sales people want to be busy chasing down leads?
Nope and nope.
Sales people don't want to be busy; at least not busy making cold calls (because that's what following up with an unqualified lead really amounts to). What they want is to be successful. Too many unqualified leads limits their ability to be successful. This is where telemarketing can really help. You see, telemarketing resources are much less costly than a sales executive, and, as I mentioned earlier, they are much more efficient at making calls. Using a telemarketing agency, or even staffing up with one or two in-house telemarketers, in order to pre-qualify every seminar attendee can really help separate the wheat from the proverbial chaff, ultimately boosting your lead quality and acceptance while managing your overall corporate budgets.
As a result, the Sales team are really happy. They are still getting leads, but only the good leads. They don't spend as much time chasing people down on the phone, so they are actually closing more deals because they are using their time more wisely. Even better, your telemarketing resources continue to nurture the warm leads, supported by other lead nurturing programs, until they are ready to become hot and handed off to Sales. Successful marketing is ultimately about implementing tactics and campaigns to work your prospects through the funnel. Each stage of the funnel requires different tactics and different styles of engagement. Once you understand that, your sales conversion rates will increase dramatically while you’ll suffer much less from the peaks and valleys of the typical sales pipeline. Understanding all of this doesn’t exactly mean you’re saving lives, or anything remarkable like that, however you have just saved your company money! And that’s worth writing about.
Tune in tomorrow to learn about the right, and the wrong, way to telemarket.
Last post I discussed the fact that the telephone, or telemarketing, can still be useful to modern B2B marketers. At the end of the post I suggested 3 different uses for the phone that marketers should consider making use of... so let’s see what’s behind door number one. Ah, yes...using the phone as a vehicle to support and promote marketing initiatives.
This is a pure marketing function and involves integration with the rest of your marketing department’s activities. For example - if you are planning a series of webinars or seminars, ostensibly for lead generation purposes, you might consider using the phone to promote these events and drive attendance. Alternatively, a post-event telephone survey, seeking feedback on the recent event, would not only provide valuable direction for future events but would also provide you an opportunity to qualify the prospect and determine if they may be a candidate for your products or services. Or, perhaps, you are attending a trade show and you want to drive traffic to your booth. It might be a good idea to contact people you know will be attending the show, or who you think will be attending, and invite them to stop by your booth. Since most marketing tactics require budget to implement and execute, you want to ensure these programs have the highest possibility of generating a return on your investment.
This seems like a no-brainer, no? You have a list of people that you think might be interested in your event, you call them up and invite them to attend, come see your presentation or visit your booth. Surprisingly, I find that most people rely on word of mouth (WOM), Twitter, Facebook and email communication to promote their online events. Often it’s just the company website. While I would never suggest dismissing these tactics to promote your marketing events, I know they don’t go far enough.
There are 4 main benefits of using the phone to promote your marketing initiative:
- This is a proactive approach. You are not waiting for people to RSVP, find your site, read or re-tweet your tweets. You are directly approaching people, letting them know why they should be interested in your event and, in many cases you can help prospects to register for events by having your telemarketing agent actually fill out the registration form for them.
- You are deciding the audience that you want to market to. This is true for email as well, but this gives you the opportunity to specifically select the list of people who you want to invite to your event.
- The phone gives to the greatest degree of flexibility in terms of how you approach and customize your message. This is not true with an email or word of mouth. If you send a corporate VP an email invite to your event, they might not open it...might not even notice it if they are particularly busy and you have no control over who sees a re-tweet of your tweet. However; if you call someone and they are busy, you always have the opportunity to engage their gate keeper in conversation, 0-out to the operator, etc...giving you the opportunity to find out if this is something the gatekeeper thinks they might be interested in, when/how to approach them best, whether they have a direct report who might be easier to reach, etc...
- You are cleaning your lists at the same time. Each time you make contact you have the opportunity to update your contact information so that future campaigns have a lower email bounce-rate and a higher sales rep productivity rate.
The phone (or more specifically one-to-one human interaction which is best facilitated by the phone) is a very powerful tool for promoting marketing initiatives. Too many people rely on the sending of digital communications to convey an idea, or an invite, or an opportunity without ever reinforcing that communication with verbal, live dialog, thereby making it easy for the recipient to ignore or forget you. If you’re going to spend the time and money to send an email, or post a tweet, the assumption is that you need to earn a return on that investment. Not phoning the contact seems like a recipe for failure; even more remarkable is that we’ve seen so many marketing campaigns go from good to great simply by adding this one additional element. And I haven’t even dealt with the idea of proactively soliciting opt-ins!
Tomorrow we talk about how pre-qualification might just save a life. Check back for it.