Generating leads for Sales to qualify, follow up with, and eventually sell to is what drives the revenue—and success—of a business. No wonder lead generation is always top of mind for B2B marketers.

Although there are a lot of lead generation tactics, marketers need to consider industry trends and the ideal target audience for their product or service.

The world is visibly changing, right in front of us, with the transition to all things digital. "Digital marketing" has already become simply "marketing." As a result, certain marketing activities are now more widely used. One of those is webinars.

Webinars are among the most effective—and popular—content types that B2B marketers produce.

Although a lot goes into successfully executing a webinar, the effort is worthwhile: Webinars can be used as a core driver of lead generation. And who doesn't love an increase in inbound leads?

This article covers how webinars and webinar marketing can lead to increased B2B lead generation.

The Building Blocks of a Webinar

Know the audience

The audience is one of the most important parts of a webinar because that is whom the webinar serves.

Before planning the webinar, consider your audience—which will drive every other aspect of a webinar: the topic, the type of webinar, and the pre- and post-marketing efforts.

To know the target audience for the webinar is to know your ideal buyers. Take a closer look at the characteristics of your buyer personas. Are there certain pain points that seem to be unsolved? Is there a certain industry most buyers are in?

Whatever decision you make as to whom to target, each group has a unique set of characteristics that should guide the creation of the webinar.

Choose the type of webinar

After defining the audience, it is crucial to choose the type of webinar. Here are three types to consider:

  1. Informational webinar. This is the most common type of webinar; it shares information and educates an audience. You can speak to your audience's pain points, talk about general best-practices, or even discuss new trends.
  2. Use-case webinar. This type of webinar tends to be directed at audiences different from those of informational webinars. Use cases are perfect for people who are a bit further on in the buyer's journey—those who are considering a product or solution to purchase. Presenting a use case gives those who are weighing their options more insight into how your offering works and how a real client has achieved success. This type of webinar can generate high-quality leads.
  3. Demo webinar. This type of webinar is for audiences that are primed for a purchase decision. Walking through a product and its features or discussing services in-depth gives the audience members an exact understanding of the value they will gain if they use your product.

Choose the topic and create the content

Now that the audience is defined and the type of webinar has been selected, it is time for the fun part: choosing the topic and creating the content.

The webinar type will drive the topic. If you are presenting a use case or a demo, there is no need to worry much about a topic. But if the webinar type is informational, the topic comes into play.

Have no fear, though. Choosing a topic is less complicated than you might think. Consider the pain points of your buyer personas. It could be a good idea to select one pain point you come across most often and discuss how a certain strategy or approaches to help solve it. You could also consider sharing current industry trends that tie into your company offering.

Choose your topic wisely. If it's not enticing, your attendees will likely not convert.

Creating content is next. Content should be relatively short and to the point. It might be a slide deck with visuals and engaging elements; it could also be a live recording of the speaker walking through the deck. There are various ways to present a webinar, but keep in mind that engaging the audience should be top of mind.

In short, understand what audiences are looking for, and create content that will speak to their needs. Doing that will help you to continue to generate leads time and time again.

Webinar Marketing: Before and After

Now that the webinar is planned and you're creating the content, your marketing efforts should also be kicked off—with pre- and post-event marketing tactics that will result in effective B2B lead generation.

Pre-Webinar Marketing

You can market your webinar in numerous ways before it takes place, but email marketing and social media tend to be best when you're looking to generate leads and registrations.

  • Social media. B2B prospects are present on various social media platforms that are excellent resources for when you're marketing your upcoming webinar. Consider the audience of your webinar and consider which audiences frequent each platform. If, for example, the webinar is for the decision-maker audiences of your buyer personas, then posting on LinkedIn might be the best option because many of them likely use LinkedIn. Using social media ads is also an option if your budget and time allow.
  • Email marketing. Email can be one of the best B2B marketing vehicles for promoting a webinar—whether emailing to your current database or to a targeted list from a marketing partner. Create email copy that includes a call to action (CTA) to register for the webinar, and stick to a single CTA to keep your audience focused on that best course of action—registering.

Post-Webinar Follow-Up

Post-webinar follow-up should be taken seriously. That's because some people sign up with no intention of attending the live webinar, some have a scheduling conflict and cannot attend, others simply just want the additional resource materials you might be providing, and so on...

Making your webinar available on-demand after it airs is therefore not negotiable. It helps you reach even more contacts that could end up becoming your next sale.

Using email marketing and including a CTA to view or download the on-demand webinar is ideal. Offering downloadable content, extra resources, and even personalized demos are also perfect touches to consider. They are all proven lead generation tactics.

Aside from follow-up, post-webinar is also a perfect opportunity for the marketing team to get ahead by creating additional content opportunities you can then use for other lead generation efforts. Marketing can easily turn the information from the webinar into blog posts, infographics, an e-book, or a whitepaper.  

More Resources on Using Webinars for Lead Gen

Eight Ways to Qualify Leads via Webinar Content and Registrant Behavior

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

Making Webinars Work—Up, Down, and Beyond the Sales Funnel [Infographic]

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image of Christa Tuttle

Christa Tuttle commands the helm at Launch Marketing, strategically driving Launch's direction as a virtual marketing team for B2B tech companies.

LinkedIn: Christa Tuttle