With most conferences, events, and face to face meetings going virtual in 2020, webinars are a dime a dozen – and for a good reason! Not only are webinars highly engaging when it comes to presenting educational material, but they can also generate some high-quality leads from a sales perspective. 73% of marketers and sales leaders said a webinar is the best way to generate high quality leads. While the rise in remote working and COVID-19 have fast-tracked the need for flexible learning alternatives, just hosting a webinar isn’t enough to set your company apart from the rest. There’s actually a large amount of behind-the-scenes work that should go into planning a webinar in order to see solid engagement.
Here at GAAP Dynamics, we’ve hosted our fair share of stellar webinars (pre- and post-COVID-19). If you’re looking for some pointers on how to improve the content or the facilitation of your webinar, check out one of our previous blogs on some lessons we’ve learned. In this post, we’re going to give you some tactics to add to your webinar toolbelt that will take your strategy from good to great!
1. Choose a relevant topic within your industry.
If you have the freedom to choose the topic of your webinar, it’s important to be strategic with the topic chosen. Look for specific problems or trends within your industry that your company could provide guidance on! You should use the chosen topic as an opportunity to inform your audience about the topic, demonstrate your credibility and expertise in that topic, and then promote your product or service that relates to that topic.
Our team brainstormed relevant topics within the accounting industry and developed a 2020 Quarterly Webinar Series that was spread throughout the year:
Really take the time to come up with a winning webinar topic.
2. Promote your webinar BEFORE the webinar.
If your audience doesn’t know about the webinar, they won’t sign up for the webinar. Push webinar signups online through social media posts, emails, giveaways, and even blog posts! The higher the number of registrants, the more people that are likely to show up for the webinar and see what your company has to offer. We recently partnered with Parker + Lynch to facilitate a free webinar, and spread the word via our social media channels:
3. Create a comprehensive registration page.
This is key to having a highly successful webinar. Without a registration page, people won’t sign up for your webinar. You also need to take this page a step further and include fields that help to generate leads. Include fields that can add to your client database (name, company, email, phone number, industry, etc.). However, you should be aware that making too many fields mandatory can drive away registrants. A shorter form usually means more people are willing to fill it out, so you'll generate more leads.
For our upcoming webinar in partnership with Parker + Lynch, we created a visually appealing landing page that captured some of this key information:
We’ve had over 1,000 registrants fill out this form so far! Just think of the sale opportunities!
4. Send reminder emails.
Who doesn’t need a gentle reminder every once in a while? Reminder emails are also key to ensure attendees remember to attend the webinar. While they may register, it is still not guaranteed they will show up for the webinar. To ensure your registrants don’t forget to attend, in general we recommend sending at least two reminder emails. The first should be sent one day prior to the webinar and the second should be sent about an hour before the webinar. If you feel it is necessary, you could also send a reminder email one week out. This timeframe is up to you.
The average open rate of a standard email is only about 18%. But a webinar email can see as high as a 72% open rate. Webinar reminder emails can really make a difference in your attendance rate.
Here is an example of a reminder email we’ve automated to be sent to all registrants within GoToWebinar:
5. Identify hot and cold leads using your platform’s added features.
It’s not guaranteed that every webinar attendee will look into purchasing your product or service. Use your webinar platform’s interactivity and reporting features to identify which leads are worth chasing and which are not. Take advantage of the following features:
- Polls – Use multiple polls during the webinar to grab the attendees’ attention but also to ask specific questions to segment your audience by product needs, interest level, job titles, and more.
- Attendee interest rating – If you’re using GoToWebinar (like we do), reference the Attendee Report to determine the attendees’ Interest Rating, which is a statistic that gauges attendee interest during the webinar. This statistic takes into account factors like percentage of answered polls, percentage of time spent watching the webinar, attendance length, etc. This will give you the information you need to pinpoint who to reach out to post-webinar.
Here is a report we were able to pull from one of our recent webinars:
As you can see, some attendees had a higher interest rating than others. Those with a higher interest rating would be great leads to follow up with.
A study by GoToWebinar on content engagement revealed that individuals are willing to spend more time with a webinar than any other type of content. These attendees have the potential to be some of your most engaged leads, so be sure to try out some our top 5 tactics and see where your webinar conversions could go!
About GAAP Dynamics
We’re a DIFFERENT type of accounting training firm. We don’t think of training as a “tick the box” exercise, but rather an opportunity to empower your people to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Whether it’s U.S. GAAP training, IFRS training, or audit training, we’ve helped thousands of professionals since 2001. Our clients include some of the largest accounting firms and companies in the world. As lifelong learners, we believe training is important. As CPAs, we believe great training is vital to doing your job well and maintaining the public trust. We want to help you understand complex accounting matters and we believe you deserve the best training in the world, regardless of whether you work for a large, multinational company or a small, regional accounting firm. We passionately create high-quality training that we would want to take. This means it is accurate, relevant, engaging, visually appealing, and fun. That’s our brand promise. Want to learn more about how GAAP Dynamics can help you? Let’s talk!
This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.
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