webinars are a great tool for any stage of the buyer's journey, but if you're trying to use webinars to blast cold leads with boastful information about your product or company, you're probably not going to get the level of attention and engagement you're after.

B2B webinars don't have to be a lengthy sales presentation in disguise, and they don't have to be boring or single-use content. To achieve a better return on investment, there's plenty of low-hanging fruit to consider when you're planning and putting together your webinar.

Avoid visual missteps

You need visuals that will entertain your audience, keep and hold their attention, and prevent early dropping off. That can and should (where applicable and appropriate) mean gifs, videos, graphs, charts, and infographics.

But, take care to avoid some of these common missteps, all of which will severely limit the replay potential of your webinar:

  • If you're going to include a product demo, recording the walkthrough in advance can help ensure it goes off without a hitch.
  • If you play a video (demo recording or otherwise), make sure it either doesn't need sound or it will successfully play with sound audible to all attendees, not just the presenter.
  • Don't steal images. If you're getting your visuals from something like a Google image search, then stop now and look to a reputable site to legally acquire stock images.
  • Clean it up and be consistent. Seeing sloppy pasting, inconsistent fonts, or pixelated images stretched too far hurts your credibility by making you look like an amateur. Instead of having the webinar host create the presentation, have him/her/them write the script and note any relevant visuals to include. From there, designers can create the presentation.

Having a clean, professional presentation that's within branding guidelines will provide the most value to your company and will have a significantly longer lifespan than a one-off, hand-made presentation filled with A/V flops.

See your webinar as part of something bigger

Webinars can take a lot of time to put together and execute. It's best to create additional, supporting pieces of content either simultaneously or just after the webinar—while the topic is fresh on your mind.

For not much extra time or energy, you can use your messaging, visuals, research, etc. to create more content:

  • Executive briefs
  • Whitepapers
  • Shorter videos
  • Infographics
  • FAQs
  • Blogs
  • social media posts

That supporting content may be promoted along with your webinar on social media, email, etc. to attract new prospects into your sales funnel as well as to continue funneling your webinar registrants along the buyer's journey.

With an arsenal of relevant content, you're able to deliver multiple touches to your audience with unique pieces that have consistent messaging. And that can help build thought-leadership credibility and trust in you.

Make your webinar replays last longer

On-demand viewing services like Netflix and Amazon have changed the way people look to consume video; so, when planning your content calendar, don't ignore the webinar replay.

In fact, on average fewer than 40% of registrants actually attend a webinar live; many people register with the intent to receive the replay information so they can then watch the webinar on-demand later. Accordingly, you must make the webinar replay available to all registrants, whether or not they actually attended. Emailing registrants a link to the replay after the webinar is the most efficient way to do so.

To help improve replay views, include a deadline to view the webinar recording. Adding a sense of urgency by setting a date after which the webinar will no longer be available on-demand will prevent registrants from waiting around too long before watching. It will also help keep your webinar replay repository from being too overloaded with old or outdated content.

Depending on your industry, you should consider revisiting your webinar replays after enough time has passed. A webinar that was recorded one year earlier could be seen as ancient in a fast-paced industry, such as information technology. If your content is approaching the end of its credible life span, rerecording the webinar with any necessary subject and branding updates can generate a new piece of content for not much extra effort.

Set goals and measure success

You'll determine whether your webinar succeeded by assessing whether you achieved your goals for the webinar. But you need to have set goals in the first place. To do so, consider your target audience and the message you're telling during this webinar:

  • What do you want your viewers to do next?
  • What is their call to action?
  • How will you measure whether they took action or not?

If, for example, your goal is to grow your list of opt-in prospects with a webinar that contains educational content, then success to you might look like a lengthy list of registrants with at least 50% of them new contacts to your database.

If your goal instead is to drive a small group of middle-of-the-funnel prospects toward requesting a one-on-one software demo, then success to you might be 25% of attendees' registering for a demo after the webinar.

If you didn't achieve the goals that you set for yourself, look through your content as well as your processes to plan, promote, and execute the webinar:

  • What could be improved for the next time?
  • Was your presentation too salesy, too dull, or too technical?
  • Did you market to too general of an audience?
  • Were you spending enough time and energy promoting the webinar and getting the invitation in front of the right people?

Tweaking those things as you go will help you perfect your processes and get more from each webinar.

* * *

Though B2B webinars can be a lot of work, their ability to attract and speak to a specific audience with specific messaging is still a valuable asset for B2B companies and well worth exploring. Just don't forget to consider the low-hanging fruit to get the most out of your efforts.

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Better ROI on B2B Webinars: Low-Hanging Fruit You Shouldn't Overlook

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image of Laura Lentchitsky

Laura Lentchitsky is the content marketing director at Ridge Marketing in New Jersey. She creates marketing strategies and content for B2B and B2C companies across verticals, including financial services, IT, healthcare, beauty, and retail.

LinkedIn: Laura Lentchitsky

Twitter: @lentchitsky