Are webinars still relevant?
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Are webinars still relevant?

30th January 2020
By Tom Ladle

Where are we going with this one? Surely, we wouldn’t put down webinars, it’s one of the products we offer. That’s right we wouldn’t. Instead we’re going to be a beaming advocate for the product and use this as an opportunity to counter some of the articles we’ve been seeing online with titles such as ‘Do webinars still work?’. The answer is yes, they do. Here’s why.

Sizzling stats

An argument without evidence isn’t a very good one, so feast your eyes on some stats, demonstrating just how effective online events can be:

  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of B2B marketers are using the platform for lead nurturing and reactivating existing leads.[1]
  • Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers and sales leaders say that online events are the best way to generate high-quality leads.[2]
  • 79% of B2B marketers include virtual events in their digital marketing content strategy.[3]

We could offer even more stats, but we don’t want you getting too excited. If the platform is still regarded highly by marketing experts, then why is the platforms effectiveness being called into question? The answer could lie in failing to leverage online events properly, either through dull content or using the platform for the wrong reasons.

Creating engaging content

It’s not webinars that are outdated, it’s the content we associate with them. The issue is the middle-of-the-road online event often consists of unnecessarily lengthy slide decks that don’t exactly excite viewers. The platform encourages using a variety of content. You can upload slides, present curated videos, add polls, surveys and Q&As. If used properly webinars can be a fantastic tool for interacting and gaining valuable insights from your audience.

Our attention spans are decreasing, so the pressure to create stimulating content is increasing. The question is, what content works best? According to a recent report it’s content that features a compelling narrative combined with stimulating visuals and dialogue.[4] An online event is a great opportunity to showcase this form of content. Rather than viewing webinars as outdated, consider how you can evolve your content so that is resonates most with modern audiences.

Cool it with the promotion

Online events provide a cost-effective solution to reach widespread audiences and gain valuable insights into what they want to hear from you as a company. A common mistake made on the platform is to hold events that come across as overtly promotional (hey look at this wicked new product we want you to buy). Save this sort of promotion for your advertising and use online events as a channel to educate your audience, showing them insights exclusive to your company as experts in your field. You’re much more likely to convert leads if you provide your customers with value beyond the products you offer. Using the platform to simply promote is an easy way to deter potential customers.

Again, ensure you make the most of the features and interact with your audience, an involved audience is an engaged audience. If you show your customers that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say then hey ho, they’re much more likely to build a connection with your brand! Using the platform to keep your audience fresh and up to date with your company is a brilliant way to keep the platform relevant.

Promote, promote, promote…the event

One of the main concerns surrounding online events is what if we create all this fabulous content and no one shows up? A way to make sure that you get people tuning in to your event is to go big when promoting it beforehand. If you start promoting your event a couple of days before then you’re simply not giving enough notice. You need to plan your strategy weeks in advance and use all your channels as a way of highlighting the importance of your event. Whatever approach you decide to take make sure you lead with the benefits that your audience will receive by attending!

So, hopefully this helps answer the question, are webinars still relevant? Like all tech platforms it’s how you utilise that platform that determines whether you’re successful or not. As a finishing touch here are just some examples of relevant online events.

[1] https://www.marketingcharts.com/customer-centric/lead-generation-and-management-109427

[2] https://connect-innovation.com/howwebinarswillchangein2020connectinnovation/

[3] https://www.wpromote.com/b2b-digital-marketing-report-2019

[4] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/321266