Why B2B Marketers Should Focus on Unlocking Insights from Webinars
It’s a fact of life. Even when we are brim-full of inclination, few of us have the available time to do everything that we could or should be doing in the course of a working day.So put yourself in the position of a key influencer who has been invited to join a live webinar scheduled for a Thursday afternoon. The event is of interest because it focuses on a hot and emerging topic that is of strategic importance to their organisation – and the list of speakers is impressive. So when the invite arrives by email, the Operations Director is more than keen to attend the webinar, learn and participate.
Except when Thursday afternoon rolls around, something more pressing comes up. Somewhere in the organisation alarm bells are ringing, a problem has arisen that needs to be dealt with immediately. The webinar gets missed. And in the days and weeks that follow, there simply isn’t a good time for the well intentioned Ops Director to catch up with the on-demand version.
And here’s the problem. When Stephen from marketing or Katherine from the events team signs up to attend an event in a physical space, the chances are that he or she will attend – if only because the rail tickets and possibly a hotel room have already been booked. But sadly, it’s easier to pass on a webinar. Too easy perhaps – according to statistics published by GoTo Webinar, the average attendance rate among those who have registered is just 37%.
To say the least, this is hugely frustrating to the team behind the not inconsiderable time, effort and expense of organising a webinar.
The Long View
The big advantage of the webinar is that it provides an opportunity to genuinely engage with the target audience by offering something that is of real value.
That value might lie in the contribution of renowned experts discussing the potential, for example, of blockchain technology to transform the supply chain or explaining the latest developments in digital marketing. Or it might take an in-depth look at programmatic advertising or how big data is being used to provide better and more personalised customer service in the retail sector.
“Applied expertise is particularly valued in the mid-stages of the buyer journey – and this helps to explain why webinars are still such an effective tactic in building consideration amongst B2B buyers. (Demand Gen Survey, 2018)
In providing business intelligence and insights, the webinar organiser is positioned as a thought leader and (potentially) trusted partner. And as a marketing tool, the event is all the more effective because the ‘selling’ is implicit rather than explicit. The value lies in the quality of the information, the relationships generated around it and the interactivity. It may earn you the right to be on the buying teams radar – essential in how today’s B2B buying decisions are made.
And in return for a deep dive into quality content, there is evidence that the target B2B consumers are prepared – at least in theory – to give generously of their time. For instance, GoToWebinar’s research finds that the most popular webinars are also the longest. A sixty minute event attracts more than twice the number of registrants than its half hour counterpart and a two hour session four times as many. From an engagement point of view, long not only equals more popular, it also provides a better opportunity to build a relationship. As such webinars have become a tried and trusted way to build awareness, generate leads and bring new customers on board.
Increasing the Reach
So naturally enough, you want your webinars to reach as many people in your target audience as possible.
Which brings us back to our time-poor Ops Director. He or she is likely to be part of a larger group involved in the buying decision – comprising champions, influencers and decision makers. This group, not a sole individual, are the people you need to reach and provide information that is helpful to solving their issues. And this group may extend in numbers to significant thousands across particular sectors or regions. One common denominator is that they, like the Ops Director who missed the webinar, are busy people and attracting their attention remains an ongoing challenge for B2B marketers.
Whilst this group would benefit from the gems contained within your webinar, equally, your organisation stands to benefit by positioning itself on their radar screens.
Unlock the Insights
So if the webinar is such an important content asset in educating your target audience, yet the very format of the content is an obstacle to its fulfilling its consumption potential – how do you tackle this problem and ensure a wider audience get to benefit from your thought leadership?
What we have found at InsightBrief, through tried and tested processes, is that by distilling the key insights from a webinar into digestible chunks of information, in a style and design that is easy-to-read and share, the results when accurately measured, can be very impressive.
“Distillation is the act of curating information into a more simplistic format where only the most important or relevant ideas are shared.
Here’s how to go about it. Consider creating a short-format briefing document containing between 20-30 key insights from the webinar. Make each insight less than fifty words (based on our empirical evidence), and write each insight to pack a punch and deliver valuable information to time-poor readers. The insight should be able to ‘stand on its own’ and provide immediate value.
Next, design a series of social assets based on individual insights, using visually appealing images, infographics or short videos, and brand each one with your company logo. Combine these social assets with a clear messaging strategy using relevant hashtags and this will give you the fuel to power a focused social media campaign.
Mix the above with an impressive social reach from your own and your social influencers’ networks and/or social advocacy programme and you’ll have the ingredients for a social campaign that will amplify key insights from your webinar to a much wider, relevant audience, generating further engagement, brand awareness and top-of funnel leads.
Quality content deserves to be shared with as many of its target audience as possible. It should not be restricted to those whose diaries allowed them to attend the webinar event or watch the on-demand version.
Test, Measure, Refine & Repeat
So recapping, the first part of this article covers why B2B marketers should consider ‘sweating their webinar assets’. This is then followed by an outline of a roadmap for how to do this to ensure that the webinar’s valuable nuggets of information are ‘unlocked’ and receive the airplay they deserve.
If you have the resources to make this work in-house, then may I suggest that you have no excuses. Experiment and give it a go! Test, measure, refine & repeat. But make sure you have the social analytics in place to measure the KPIs that you’ve set for the campaign. In a future post I’ll be addressing the common KPI’s clients should be looking to measure.
If you don’t have resources in-house, consider working with 3rd party experts like InsightBrief who specialise in this service – they will help ease the burden of creating, publishing, amplifying and generating a better return from your information rich webinar. After all, your target audience, who are inevitably busy professionals, may just not have had the time to engage with the original content.