Webinars: The why, who, what, when and where- part 1

Webinars have always been a great form of marketing and communication, however, never have they been used so much as they have this year. Go on to BrightTALK, GoToWebinar, or any other hosting platform and you’ll find numerous webinars based on the same subject matter, all from experts in their field.

So, if you want to run your own webinar, how do you cut through the noise and make yours the one to watch? In the first of this two-part blog series, I look at why you are doing a webinar, who you are targeting, and how to figure out what to talk about.

The why

The first factor to think about when planning your webinar is to consider why you want to do one in the first place. You need to answer the question – why do I want people to hear what I have to say and what do I want to get out of it?

If generating leads is top of your agenda, then running a webinar is a sensible move – according to InsideSales.com, 73% of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. But that doesn’t mean that you should run a webinar for the sake of it, or because everyone else is.

When deciding to host a webinar, perhaps ask yourself:

  • Is a webinar the most popular way of consuming content amongst your target audience?
  • Will this particular webinar fit in with your sales and marketing strategy for this quarter?
  • Is this a form of collateral your sales team can leverage to close deals?

The who

The second factor to be clear on is who you are targeting the webinar at. The best webinars will be very well targeted to cater for a specific group of people.

For example, a CISO will have different interests and experiences to a CEO or finance director.  So, if you try to develop a webinar that attracts all these people, it is unlikely to be successful.

Reaching out to an existing contact with something irrelevant to them isn’t going to look great, but this is where your sales team can lend a hand. Having conversations with your sales team about who is involved in your customer’s sales process and working out who the decision makers are in your customer’s buying journey, will help you decide who you need to target. Use your sales team because they are a valuable resource.

The what

When deciding on your webinar topic, it’s important to make yours stand out, to be different, and to answer the questions that other people may not be.

So how do you do that? Research what is being said on your industry in the media; what topic is making noise and what will position you as a thought leader?

There may be a topic that is quite general and attracts a diverse audience, or you may find your topic is more nuanced and therefore, attracts a smaller, more specific type of person. It is important to experiment and find out what topics work for you and the people you’re looking to target.

However, that’s just the first step as it’s not just the subject matter that will set you apart. Think about the people who are presenting. Are they people your audience wouldn’t usually have access to? Are they good at public speaking and presenting information in a concise and engaging way?  Do you have a good mix of people who will provide different opinions, yet still get your core message across?

And what about what else you are presenting? Are there visuals you can include such as a quick demo video? Can you make the webinar more interactive, perhaps by having polls throughout, or a Q&A section?

Subject matter is important, but the impact your webinar has will also depend on how you present it. 

Thinking about what you are presenting in your webinar, why you are doing it, and who you are targeting will help you on your way to making it a success. In my next blog, I will be looking at the ‘when and where’ of your webinar and why both of these elements are essential parts of your overall plan.

Webinars: The why, who, what, when and where-part 2

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