As early as the 1990s, Microsoft and other tech companies were offering primitive web conferencing and webinar software options – but this soon ballooned into an industry in its own right.
Webinars and virtual meetings used to be a quick and easy way of connecting with geographically dispersed teams, delivering integrated internal communications, and providing training no matter the location. But their use in sales and marketing now means they are a powerful tool for business growth, and can be a key driver of lead nurture traction as well as sales enablement.
Webinars are still not used by that many companies and the technology is much more sophisticated than it used to be, with the tech fails of the past no longer a standard. Webinars have become a key player in the marketing technology mix and, alongside other productivity tools and applications, they can be crucial in achieving sales targets and growth.
Welcoming the modern webinar
The martech stack built by any business should incorporate a webinar solution as they bring many benefits to any campaign, and offer both time and cost savings too. Internally, they provide for a time efficient process with no need to travel to meetings, no need to hire rooms, and easy, flexible access for all attendees. Webinars run live but they can also be watched at a later date for those who signed up, ensuring that work isn’t interrupted.
Marketing software spending is increasing at rates no one could have predicted
As well as hosting them for later or repeat viewing, powerful analytics on attendees’ in-webinar behaviour can make a significant difference for targeted follow-ups as you aim to nudge attendees into progressing along their lead nurture journeys. Although, as ClickMeeting say in a recent eBook about increasing sales with webinars; beware of how the customer journey begins: “Hopefully after hearing your message, they will be ready to enter your sales cycle and become a lead. But before hearing your message, all your qualiï¬cation questions can measure is THEIR attractiveness to YOU. It can’t yet go the other way… YOUR attractiveness to THEM.”
From a content perspective, webinars are an effective and powerful way of getting a point across. Valuable insights are offered by your chosen keynote speaker or speakers, and they are a highly efficient way of focusing in on a topic or area, allowing for targeted, actionable insights for the benefit of all viewers.
The role of the webinar in your martech stack
Marketing software spending is increasing at rates no one could have predicted, predicted to reach $32bn by 2018 and this is evidence of how many companies are recognising martech and its essential role in business growth. Webinars are a crucial martech channel and they feed naturally into other channels and elements of your stack, making it easy to connect campaigns and further enhance the value of both your webinars and the other technologies they’re partnered with.
Webinars combine particularly well with other marketing activities including email and content marketing as they come together and can reference each other and be combined.
Choosing your tech for marketing success
Understanding that you need to invest in technology to get the most from your business and achieve the sales you need is one thing, but when it comes to building your martech stack, including creating and promoting your webinars, you need the right tech solutions.
For e-mail marketing, companies like AWeber have been tried and tested, and also incorporate analytic features to ensure you can go forward in the right direction after a campaign has ended. Analytics tools like Google Analytics and Docalytics allow for in-depth insight of your campaigns and content to ensure they are delivering the results you need, and pinpoint problem areas.
For webinar creation and editing, ClickMeeting is a specialist tool that has been honed to help you run custom webinars for whatever purpose you need. As you carefully piece together your stack you’ll find many opportunities to integrate and combine tools to ensure a cohesive and successful campaign, with the sales results you were hoping for.
Webinars could be your key sales driver
A sophisticated approach to your webinars will allow you to make more of your leads and convert them into sales. Many people make the mistake of believing registrants to their webinar are in fact sales leads but this is not the case: they are a marketing contact whom you can hope to shape and direct towards sales.
People who truly understand how B2B sales work know that webinar registrants represent a targeted audience of engaged people ready to be nurtured
People who truly understand how B2B sales really work know that webinar registrants represent a targeted audience of engaged people who are ready to be nurtured. Indeed, many are potentially high-converting leads, but it is the webinar itself that will determine whether they remain interested.
Registration is vital to using your webinars are a sales tool as you can research and personalise your content to your potential leads and the more you personalise in the modern marketing world, the better the results you achieve. Sales webinars are an effective method of pinpointing those most likely to become customers and tailor your content towards them.
Webinars are about much more than simply showing off and promoting products, they play a vital role in the marketing operations process and can be a crucial driver of sales. When used properly webinars inform, engage and deliver actionable insights, gently directing your registrants to becoming leads and then customers.