How to use webinars to generate leads – step by step!
Webinars are powerful tools for generating leads, and with this instructional guide you’ll find them easy to make, too.
To start your off quickly we’ll outline the steps here in short, but if you want more detail and some pro tips for each point, keep scrolling!
How to generate leads with webinars:
- Choose an interesting topic and an engaging presenter.
- Create a sign-up page (like a gated landing page), integrated with your CRM (if you have one).
- Promote your sign-up page to attract attendees, storing their sign-up details in a database.
- Present the webinar.
- Pass the leads to your sales team and follow up where appropriate.
1. Choose a topic and presenter
Webinars must present a high level of value to justify the commitment required of your audience to attend. Therefore, you must be strategic when choosing your topic. Here are questions to ask before brainstorming ideas:
- What FAQ are your sales team asked?
- What are your most popular blog posts and could they be expanded on?
- What’s a hot topic in your industry?
Your presenter(s) must be highly knowledgeable in the chosen topic so they can present smoothly and answer questions. They should have a clear speaking voice and feel confident holding a presentation.
This could also be an opportunity to find an influencer to collaborate with. Consider interviewing someone, or hosting a panel of experts.
2. Create a sign-up page
Treat the sign-up page for your webinar as you would a conversion landing page for any piece of gated content:
- Don’t ask for too many user details, lest signing up get thrown in the too-hard basket. A name, job title and email is typically enough.
- Include a headline and short intro to the webinar that accurately describe the topic and entice a user to sign up.
- Ensure the page loads quickly, looks on-brand and appealing, and works on any device.
3. Integrate your webinar with your CRM platform
This step can make generating leads with a webinar a little easier. Integrating your landing page with a CRM platform like Hubspot or Marketo will allow you to easily collect names and follow them up at a later date.
You can build a database without a CRM platform, but it means you’d need to make it yourself. Using an existing platform automates this process.
Capturing registrant details in your CRM platform makes follow-up easier.
4. Pick your webinar host
You could theoretically host your webinar on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or a live-streaming platform such as Twitch, but consider instead a platform designed specifically to host webinars.
A dedicated webinar host will typically come with features designed for this purpose, such as customer sign-up forms, custom emails, promotional tools and so on. Here are some of the top hosts on the market right now for you to investigate:
5. Create your webinar
Now it’s time to make the slides. If audience members are to sit through an entire hour’s worth of your voice, this presentation MUST be engaging. So let’s look at good tips for keeping someone’s attention:
- Use more images than text: If making a slideshow, focus more on adding relevant pictures rather than text. You want the audience to focus on you, not the slides (which are just an accompaniment).
- Keep it to one point per slide: Don’t pack your slides with more than one point’s worth of information or they may be distracting. That said, too many short slides can also be distracting (every time you transition to a new slide, you lose your audience for a few seconds). Practice on your colleagues before presenting and get feedback on where you lost them, so you can find that sweet spot between too few and too many.
- Try no slides at all: Sometimes a good discussion is far more engaging than any slideshow. Could your topic be presented by a discussion panel or interview? This will be more natural to listen to.
- Get the audience involved: Involving your audience is the surest way to keep them engaged. Many webinar platforms allow for direct audience engagement via interactive tools and chat rooms, but if this isn’t possible, create a hashtag for your discussion and ask users to contribute questions or points via Twitter.
6. Promote promote promote!
Get the word out in as many ways as you can to encourage the maximum possible attendance.
- Send a notification to your email database. Follow it up a few days later to remind people again.
- Push your webinar on social media. Create an image that advertises the event and makes clear the date and time, then post across your social channels.
- Pay for advertising to reach new customers. Find relevant search terms on Google and take out a Google Ad campaign. This will help find new users who are asking questions that your webinar can answer.
- Supplement Google Ads with social media advertising. While you can’t target search terms this way, you can pick relevant topics, interests and demographics.
What comes next?
If you’ve followed our steps above, you’ve got a webinar set up ready to generate leads! Now all you need to do is present it.
But what happens afterwards – is that it? No!
An effective lead-generating webinar has two elements of follow-up:
Proper follow-up can turn a good webinar into a great one.
Making use of these new leads
Pass all of your new information to the sales team so they can sift through and follow up. They will need to know:
- What your webinar was about, who it was targeted to, what documents attendees saw and where their information is stored.
- Who registered to your webinar and attended – these are excellent candidates.
- Who registered but didn’t attend. These people are also worth following up with, but communicating with them requires a different approach.
This is also a chance for you to analyse your promotional strategy to see how effective it was at recruiting attendees, and to watch back the webinar to see what can be improved for next time. Consider sending a feedback survey to attendees to gather their input as well.
Repurposing the content
If your webinar software recorded the video, send it to registrants (both those who attended and those who didn’t). Your attendees may want to jog their memory at a later date, while your no-shows may have wanted to watch but couldn’t make it.
- Bonus alternative: If you didn’t record the video, or for other reasons you don’t want to publish it, make a Slideshare that summarises the talk so you can send that through instead.
Next, repurpose the content in other ways. This will help you get more mileage from your presentation, and could power up some of your other content marketing efforts. For ideas on repurposing content, check out our blog post “Can you repurpose webinar content?”.