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10 Secrets to the Best Lead Gen Webinars

According to GoToWebinar, the average webinar attendee viewing time is 61 minutes.

But when’s the last time you excitedly told someone about a lead gen webinar you attended?

Exactly.

Not for a while.

And, with everyone working remotely, even more events are moving online into webinar format.

In fact, searches for “webinar” have skyrocketed.

Google trends report for webinar term

That makes now the perfect time to revisit this classic – and I’d argue outdated – format and give it an update.

Plus, according to InsideSales.com, 73% of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. So investing in your webinars is time well-spent.

As a result, today, we’ll talk about a handful of things you can do to take your webinars from tired to wired.

How to host the best lead gen webinars:

1. Improve your confirmation page.

When people register for your webinar they are actively on your site, focused, and engaged. The next page they see has an opportunity to encourage them further down the funnel. If you provide real-value for the second time, in their active session, they’re going to be more likely to buy down the line. Say thank you and confirm their attendance. Provide an easy way to ask questions on the page such as a form or chatbot. And, if possible, customize the page for customers and non-customers with dynamic content. Include additional free topically related content, for example:

  • Your best performing (by traffic and conversion) blog posts in that category.
  • An opportunity for them to provide input on the webinar (such as what date and time is best for them, or what questions they have).
  • Three pro tips or points you plan to make during the webinar that they can already learn and apply today.

2. Survey registrants ahead of time.

Create the best content for your webinar possible by examining what content is already working well for you and proactively asking your attendees.

Find your top trafficked and converting blog posts and ebooks. Examine your competitors’ top blog posts via your SEO tool. And scan your FAQ pages and customer support tickets for questions that get asked a lot.

Then, once the webinar is announced, survey your audience to let them express which topical angles they’re most interested in related to your webinar, and get more of their specific questions ahead of time. Just send a very short survey with two questions (one multiple choice for topic narrowing and an open-fielded question for comments and questions) via email.

3. Keep it 15 minutes short. Or two hours long.

Everyone else is hosting 60 minute webinars.

Highlight on your landing page that you’re hosting a flash webinar that’s jam packed with just 15-20 minutes of awesome content. And only 10 select questions asked by attendees.

Or go the other way, especially if you’re doing an interview-type format with multiple guests. Just provide a start time and explain you’re going to entertain people for as long as you need to. Take questions from attendees throughout.

4. Use the big three webinar promotion channels.

There are really only three marketing channels that matter for webinars and it’s typically in this order: send emails, put a banner on your homepage and/or login page, and equip real humans such as your sales or customer support team to send emails. Those channels will drive 80% of your registrants, so you might even consider skipping the rest based on level of effort to get them live.

5. Send text message marketing reminders.

Email a reminder on the day of the event with a simple way registrants can forward the invite to anyone else they think should join. Using text such as the below remind the initial receiver that they can share, and makes it easy for the next person to sign up:

Example of forwarding an email for a webinar for better marketing

Email reminders are great, but we’re all in a bit of state right now so the day can become a blur. That’s why it’s critical to also text attendees a gentle reminder with the link to your webinar 10 minutes before you go live.

6. Feature a surprise special guest.

Just like a concert where Justin Bieber makes a surprise appearance drives a ton of hype, a special guest can amp up your webinar’s impact. Now we can’t all secure the Biebs for our webinars, and we might not even be able to get an industry influencer, but we could certainly get a grandparent, a parent, a pet, or a child – all of which will humanize you and probably lead to some form of humor or another.

During shelter-in-place you could even give your audience a quick tour of your favorite collection such as the family photos on your wall or your shoe collection, if you don’t have any other guest alternatives. This personalized touch will give watchers something to talk about and make it more memorable.

7. Use no visuals or bomb-ass visuals, nothing in-between.

Webinar decks have to be some of the most painfully hideous content in the world. Get an artist to design your slides. No really. Like a pay an actual artist to create something really unique, almost poster-like. Or pay an artist to whiteboard the ideas during it and show that.

Or better yet, scrap the extra visuals entirely. Let viewers focus on your beautiful mug. And maybe hang one relevant decoration on the wall behind you, like the name of your series. Or create a branded object you always have accompanying you on your webinar like “a magic wand” or an apron or sunglasses or…you name it!

8. Test the audio.

If no one can hear you or if there’s a lot of feedback, no one is going to stick around no matter how much they want to. I get it, we all think checklists are made for other people, but seriously you are not immune to audio disaster. Please, please, please test the audio ahead of time. You can do that by asking a friend to tune into a dry run 15 minutes before your kick off.

9. Provide a takeaway sheet.

When it comes to being evergreen, ebooks outperform webinars. Because the majority of the time no one wants to watch 30 minutes of content by themselves. They’d much prefer something they can skim through. So make a simple downloadable one-pager summarizing the webinar’s key takeaways, and make it available to people whether they attend or not. Send it as a webinar follow up email.

10. Use Instagram Live.

Now this won’t be right for every company, but at least consider it- especially if your audience skews between 10-35 years old. Instagram Live is push notification enabled, meaning that any follower with the feature turned on will be alerted each time you start a live stream, which can really help increase your attendance rate.

Your followers can also replay your Instagram live for up to 24 hours after the original stream. But after that, it’s gone- forever! So there is a real opportunity to miss out on something, making it easier to drive urgency in your marketing. You can also let viewers comment or bring them into the video itself so you can easily have entertaining live two-way interaction. Megan Rapinoe and Steph Curry have been making great use of the platform if you need inspiration.

Welp, there you go. Now you’re ready to create the best lead generation webinars in the (online) world!

Up next, find out why your relationship marketing analogy is just wrong. Or see how to drive more leads with these quick SEO tips.

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By Megan Mitzel

I'm the wearer of overalls behind the marketing advice website Marketing Overalls. I'm also a senior marketing director with more than ten years of experience leading acquisition and lifecycle marketing at successful startups. Before that, I got a business degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before that, I owned a seashell shop. And that's the tea on me.