Webinars in times of social distancing – and beyond

Autor: Mareike Schindler

26 Mar 2020

How do you currently present your new products and services to your audience? Without B2B trade fairs, this task is more difficult than usual. Customer visits and workshops are also a thing of the past – social distancing is the order of the day.

But it is not only the lack of personal contact that causes companies problems. Due to the numerous trade fair cancellations, important opportunities to generate leads and bring specialist content to their own audience are missing. One thing is clear: lead generation must become digital! Especially for the presentation of complex problems and the own offer there is a popular solution – webinars.

 

Engaging the crowd online with webinars

Behind a webinar (also webcast) lies the principle of an online seminar: An expert presents a specialist topic or problem. Afterwards or during the seminar, participants can ask questions. For them, the focus is on comprehensive knowledge acquisition. The fact that webinars last an average of 57 minutes (1) creates a depth of knowledge that is otherwise difficult to achieve.

Accordingly, the communication of new knowledge must not be sacrificed for the sake of a selling idea. Webinars are so valuable for lead generation because the willingness to disclose one’s own contact data for new knowledge is high. In return, specialized presentation topics indicate a corresponding customer need – webinar leads more often have a concrete need than marketing leads.

Please remember: A successful webinar also means some advance planning. Not only do you have to prepare the topic, speaker and presentation. You also have to inform the audience about the webcast and generate registrations.

 

Webcast instead of trade fair is worthwhile

Despite the high effort involved, webcasts offer you a number of practical advantages when your trade fairs are no longer an option:

  • No personal contact needed, because the whole event takes place online. If you like, you can switch on the speaker via webcam.
  • You get the undivided attention of your audience – because unlike trade fairs there are no competitors present.
  • Chic on top and comfortable below: With the right equipment, you can easily record a webinar from home. Whether you choose to wear jogging pants with a business suit is up to you.
  • After the session is before the session: If you record the presentation, you have an on-demand video that you can use later for lead generation. This is often the more profitable lead source!
  • Save costs: If you are sitting at home at your PC, you do not need to travel or stay at a conference.
  • Participants become leads directly. If you connect the registration form directly to your own CRM, your sales department can contact them immediately.
  • Further qualify participants already in the webinar. You can integrate additional digital material with further information directly into your presentation.
  • Detailed evaluation: You will get a direct insight into all KPIs of the webinar. How many registrations and participants were there? When are possible exit points?
  • Instead of several conversations in a row, you conduct a presentation with a question and answer session – this saves time and allows you to reach many people with your message simultaneously.
  • Integrate surveys into your webinar. This way you will also receive free market research directly in your audience.

Pay attention to trip points

Of course webinars are not a magic cure for social distancing. You can solve many challenges with webcasts – especially the need for leads – but unfortunately not all of them. If you are aware of this, you don’t go with false expectations.

Above all, please note that not every decision-maker will fill the originally planned time at a trade fair with online events. Especially if they would otherwise only conduct general discussions. Even walk-in customers who only want to get “a quick glance” are not the target group of your webinar. (There are other measures that can be taken in this regard.) Participation in a webinar requires a higher, specific commitment – which is definitely to your advantage.

As B2B events are currently being cancelled, postponed or digitally hosted in series, be sure to check for other relevant webinar announcements. You should avoid an overlap or too high an offer within a week if possible. Also allow sufficient time for preparation and campaigning.

If you are aware of all the advantages and disadvantages, you can plan a successful webinar as a trade fair replacement in no time at all!

Do you need help with that? We at the B2B Media Group are happy to support you with your live or on-demand webcast. You can find further information here:

(1) GoToWebinar (2019). Das große Buch der Webinar-Statistiken: Ihre erste Anlaufstelle für Benchmarks und Best Practices zum Thema Webinare

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