4 Reasons Why Webinars Fail and How to Make Them Work for Your Business
BY: VIKAS AGRAWAL ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Hardly a day goes by without bumping into at least one webinar invitation, commonly via email or on a company’s landing page. For many potential customers, these moments often represent the first contact with the business, making webinars an important content marketing strategy and engagement tactic for businesses.
And as businesses become more awake to the benefits of webinars, marketing departments continue flooding the digital world with webinars, pushing their numbers to record levels. In 2017, for instance, a report by ClickMeeting found that the number of webinars had shot up by 7 attendees from the previous year, with 16 percent more attendees in that year.
The report, summarized in the infographic below, also found that 76 percent of B2B prospects attended a webinar before making a purchasing decision.
But as the number of businesses hosting webinars continues to rise, attendees’ attention spans and patience tend to wane as they become savvier. They expect super-engaging presentations, easy signup procedures, even easier follow-up processes, and more.
Put another way, terrible webinars can actually be worse than not creating one at all, which is why businesses should be careful when using them for engagement and lead generation.
Here are some of the mistakes businesses make with webinars and how you can make a good webinar work for you.
1. Poor or Inadequate Promotion
When they said “if you build it they will come,” they definitely weren’t referring to webinars. Webinars, like other facets of your content marketing strategy, must be promoted thoroughly to guarantee success. When left to chance, you leave the webinar open to failure, which almost always happens irrespective of the quality of the webinar.
To ensure your webinars are effective, flood your marketing channels with information about your webinar. Promote it on your social media pages, your website, on emails, blogs, and every other channel available to you.
Also remember to keep promoting even after the webinar is over. Repurpose content into infographics, blog posts, eBooks, and other pieces of content and include the links back to the webinar to help maximize engagement and lead generation.
2. Choosing the Wrong Topic
Going with the wrong discussion topic is another major reason why webinars don’t achieve the desired effects. Boring topics or themes that don’t really resonate with your target audience can spell disaster for your webinar, even when you get everything else right.
Pick topics and themes that have been tried and tested via other interactive channels. For instance, if you notice one of your blog posts, newsletters, or eBooks has received more attention than usual, that’s a great indication that people love that topic.
You can also check out what your competitors are doing or look at trending topics on social media or Google Trends or inspiration on your next webinar.
3. Presenting the Webinar as a Sales Pitch
Because webinars offer a one-on-one communication channel with prospects, businesses often get tempted to use webinars as platforms for sales promotion and lead generation, which is a big mistake.
No one really attends a webinar for a sales pitch, but rather for ideas and solutions to their problems. If you turn the webinar into a sales pitch, you risk alienating your audience and passing up an opportunity to build your brand as a knowledgeable and trustworthy player in your industry.
4. Wrong Timing
If you schedule a webinar on a Friday afternoon, there’s a good chance that more than half your audience will be thinking more about their weekend to-dos than your presentation.
Like every other marketing strategy, there’s always a good time and a bad time for a webinar. Generally speaking, mid-week webinars pull in the most attendees, with weekends attracting the least number of participants.
One report found that webinars held on Wednesdays and Thursdays pulled in 27 and 28 percent of attendees, with Saturdays and Sundays pulling in a mere 3 percent of attendees. The same study also reported great success with webinars held from 11am, while avoiding commute times and lunch hours.
A webinar can be the best or worst thing to happen for your business. By getting everything right from the start, you increase the chances of delivering valuable content to an engaged audience, which ultimately gets you leads and helps grow your brand.
Get it wrong, however, and you you’ll probably spend a huge chunk of your productive time trying to patch leaks instead of growing your business.
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