How to Use Web Seminars to Generate B2B Leads

b2b webinar
Webinars (or Webcasts if you prefer) are a great way to generate leads and customers. They are also a great way to increase awareness, move prospects to the next stage of the selling cycle, and build the database. They have a relatively low cost per prospect and give you a wide geographic reach from the comfort of your Web browser and telephone. I have been using these types of events for over ten years and as a result, I have generated tens of thousands of leads and millions of dollars of sales.  Several of our Fusion Marketing Partners clients use web events to generate leads.

Web event marketing makes sense if:

  • You have a dispersed audience
  • You lack critical mass in local markets
  • Your target audience is technology savvy
  • Your product is priced in the mid- to upper-rang
  • You want to create a series of events
  • Executives are your primary audience or are crucial to the purchase decision
  • You have access to a good prospect list
  • You have a compelling reason for people to attend
  • You have a way to sustain the relationship after the event

Web events may not be right for you if you sell a low-cost or commodity product that you cannot differentiate from your competition, or if you have a very small budget.

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People attend Web events for a variety of reasons. Some want to gain competitive intelligence and others just want general information about your product category. You will have to pay for the latter group even though they are not truly prospects. However, others will attend to get information about your product or service or to confirm a decision to either purchase from you or a competitor. To reach your goals with these people you will need to present content that is relevant, timely, and unique. The topic is even more important than your choice of speakers, and if you are offering material your prospects can’t get elsewhere, so much the better.  When you write the invitation, visualize your prospect sitting at her desk and deciding: Is what I am going to learn in this event worth the investment of a half-hour or an hour of my valuable time?

Here are some valuable pointers for conducting successful Web events:

  1. To attract a crowd, you must have a compelling topic and a qualified speaker.
  2. Make sure you send a confirmation email immediately upon registration.
  3. Follow up via email and phone one or two days before the live event.
  4. Make the event as interactive as possible. Allow questions at the end.
  5. Have a few pre-written questions to get the Q&A session off to a good start.
  6. If you only have a few people on the line, do not let the other attendees know this. Make them feel that they are part of a large group learning about a hot topic.
  7. Contact attendees within forty-eight hours of the end of event. Have a real offer, instead of just asking: How did you like the event and what can we do for you?
  8. Call and email the no-shows.  Send them a link to the presentation.  You can often get as many good leads from the no-shows as you do the attendee pool.
  9. Be willing to make mistakes. I have made many over the years. You will get better at conducting successful events over time.
  10. Never be afraid to copy a good idea.

These guidelines and pointers should help you decide if a webinar is the right marketing vehicle for you, and if so, give you the basics for turning your expertise into a successful event. Go forth and engage!

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Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As both a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.
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One comment

  • Nate Warren June 30, 2011   Reply →

    This a great quick primer. Not only do you offer a useful high-level digest of why companies should (or shouldn’t) conduct webinars, your no-doubt hard-won 10 pointers should be required reading for anybody about to charge off into the weeds of execution. Nicely done.

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