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5 ways webinars can enhance your inbound marketing plan

Generating leads and connecting with customers through online seminars.

When done correctly, webinars can play an important role in your company’s inbound marketing strategy — and can dramatically increase your lead generation efforts.

But how exactly do webinars contribute to these efforts? To find out, here are five benefits of incorporating webinars into your next quarterly marketing plan.

1. Webinars are low-cost

Unlike conferences or in-person events, webinars can be hosted from anywhere, with no geographic barriers as to who can participate.

With this in mind, the only real expense associated with hosting a webinar is the time spent developing the webinar itself, rather than spending money on a physical venue and other associated costs.

You can also attract top talent from across the globe to participate or co-host the event — without the added expense of airfare and accommodation.

2. Webinars capture warm leads right away

Once your webinar is announced, it’s time to start collecting your first batch of inbound data: email capture. Some organizations may choose to host public webinars, but asking attendees to register in order to participate is an essential step in the inbound lead generation process. The reason is simple — it helps identify those who are truly interested in attending.

Webinars are considered mid-funnel content, or content that generates leads that already show a high level of interest in your company’s offerings. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have provided their contact information in order to register.

Not only does this tactic identify your warm leads, but it lets you connect with them in a friendly, helpful and informative way. It also subtly reinforces the high return on investment that a participant can expect if they decide to do business with you.

Additionally, webinars are a powerful lead generation tool because they allow you to ask pointed questions that help your business better understand the needs of your customers. Just as important, it gives you insight as to how you can solve their problems. Even a simple question like, “What is your biggest challenge?” can reveal important information for your sales team — but also for your inbound marketing team, as they’ll be able to create copy that speaks to those specific pain points.

3. Webinars allow you to engage directly with leads

Most webinars aren’t just a one-way street, where you talk and your participants simply listen. In fact, many webinars include a chat function and emoji support, as well as a question and polling features that allow for real-time connection and personal engagement.

The best part of this process is that it feels organic, so your participants will be comfortable engaging and sharing their feedback. This also provides an opportunity for direct interaction with potential customers and clients, without sounding like a sales pitch.

By utilizing these tools during your webinar, you can glean additional information from your prospects just by encouraging them to engage with you. Hosting a quick poll mid-webinar to make sure everyone’s on the same page or asking intriguing questions will generate additional insight into their needs.

4. Webinars are info-packed resources

Gated content such as eBooks, white papers and infographics often elaborate on one particular topic — and certain audiences will crave that deeper dive. However, the webinar format allows for a little more flexibility of format on the fly.

Since delivering information verbally takes less time, webinars can allow you to get deeper into multiple topics and sub-discussions. It also lessens the risk of alienating listeners with too much technical jargon, which can often occur in text-based mediums.

With interactive webinars, participants can let you know if they’re looking for more information or have a question at the moment. This immediate connection reinforces your position as an expert because it allows you to provide in-depth answers to specific queries.

Delivering information through a webinar may also be a welcome change for busy professionals who simply don’t have time to read an 80-page resource. Asking them to spend 30 to 60 minutes with you feels like a more reasonable commitment because they can add it to their calendar and be ready to stay engaged.

5. Webinars facilitate follow-ups

One of the most critical aspects of running a webinar is to follow up once it’s over. Use your email service provider to segment your list of registrants and create a short series of nurture emails as part of a drip campaign. This way, you’ll be able to stay in touch with participants after the webinar has ended.

Additionally, if a participant has a specific question that stood out during the webinar, it could be a perfect opportunity for your sales team to get in touch with them. They could then implement an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy to follow up directly and nurture the lead with personalized information.

Webinars can be a significant investment of time and resources — but done the right way, the benefits far outweigh the time spent developing them.

 

Up Next: How to get your small business noticed using the latest tech trends.

Alyson Shane

Alyson is a Winnipeg writer, content marketer and social media manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric & Communications from the University of Winnipeg and runs her own business providing businesses and individuals with their copywriting, content marketing strategy and social media needs. She lives and breathes digital culture and has been nicknamed the "Queen of the Internet" by her Twitter followers. When not online she can be found gardening, riding her bike or sipping fancy coffee.

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