Webinars have long been a staple of an effective demand generation engine. They allow live communication with your ideal customer persona at scale—as well as the opportunity to engage directly with your prospects and existing customers.
In fact, 73% of marketers and sales leaders find webinars to be one of the most reliable ways of generating quality leads. (Reuters Events, 2020)
However, last year has seen the webinar landscape turned on its head. Marketers have pivoted away from in-person events and, as a result, have poured their dollars into digital channels. Not only is it hard to capture an audience, but Zoom gloom, mounting distractions, and up-leveled audience expectations also mean it is even harder to keep attendees engaged.
The good news is that with the right approach, you can elevate your webinar productions to new highs by driving more engagement, leads, and revenue than ever before. Cvent calls this new standard of production, Webinars Reimagined.
Webinars have followed the same format for many years. Here are a few telltale signs of the status quo to compare against your current webinars:
- Average webinar presentation times range from 30 to 60 minutes
- Overwhelming majority of webinar attendees join from desktop computers
- Often feature pre-recorded content
- Usually one or two hosts talking over slides
- Speakers have their video cameras off
- May feature a singular attendee poll to drive engagement
Before the digital deluge, the status quo was sufficient. Today, these status quo experiences will erode engagement.
This status quo experience isn’t limited to your attendees. On the presentation side, you likely have suffered through antiquated user experiences, with limited capabilities beyond running simple presentations or polling. Reporting was limited to how many people attended and how long they stayed.
It’s time the entire experience was given an upgrade.
Capitalize on quality content and new formats
With webinars and digital events, your content IS your event. Be sure to curate and customize quality content that truly speaks to your audience. You may want to consider a series approach for your webinars by focusing on one core webinar theme and then offering multiple webinars on related sub-topics. By doing so, you will extend the attention and time spent with your brand through more bingeable moments, with the added plus of spending less time promoting your webinars.
The power of personalization
Webinars often are static experiences that deliver one experience for all attendees. Break free from that model, and personalize the webinar experience to each attendee’s role, interests, needs, and learning objectives. One way to do this is by using an online attendee-registration and-management system, like Cvent and Cvent’s Attendee Hub. With these tools, you can send personalized promotions to specific audience segments with customized messages and dynamic registrations that will deliver content recommendations that resonate only with them and flexible with webinar timing and duration—it’s ok to break away from the traditional 30-minute time bound!
From dull to dramatic: Up-leveling production
To cater to the 8-second human attention span, reimagine your role as that of executive producer, versus simply delivering a presentation. By up-leveling your webinar production game and keeping a quick pace, you will bring the content to life, hold attendees’ interest, and elevate the overall experience of the webinar. New production tools allow you to control how your content is presented in a much more visual, compelling way. This can include more cross-cutting, switching of layouts, and speaker dynamics.
Enhancing attendee interactivity
Encouraging attendee interactivity will improve the attendees’ overall webinar experience and will get them and keep them engaged. Enhancing attendee interactivity will create a more comprehensive webinar experience and make attendees feel like they are part of the session and a bigger community, as opposed to being simply external observers. Consider using a webinar platform that allows attendees to type in live Q&A and to up-vote questions to prioritize speaker responses. Offering live polls throughout the webinar will also engage attendees, with the added bonus of collecting additional attendee data.
The big picture
With new standards raising the bar for webinar programs, marketers can expect to capture the attention of your attendee, and for a longer time. This will in turn draw out deeper insights based on this engagement.
With a better plan for webinar engagement and deepening of the insights, investing heavily to reimagine your webinars will help you build a clearer picture of interest, accelerate more intelligent follow up, and ultimately prove a bigger business impact.