Are you debating whether to allocate a part of your marketing budget to webinars? Are you uncertain about the ROI and benefits webinars can generate for your business? Do you think webinars are a “nice to have” strategy? If you answered “Yes” to at least one of these questions, this article will put your doubts to rest.
Marketing budgets can be limited, so prioritizing is a must. Should marketers invest in content marketing? Social media? Paid ads? Brand community? The possibilities are nearly inexhaustible, while the budget remains restricted. It’s no wonder webinars are sometimes neglected or seen as a one-time event. Moreover, numerous myths surrounding webinars have stopped marketers from running them. So, let’s kick off this article by tackling some of these false assumptions.
Common Marketing Webinar Myths
→ Myth #1. People are too busy to attend webinars
According to a Benchmark Report by Demio, industries such as finance, entertainment, and healthcare “saw sky-high webinar attendance rates of 90% or more.”
The report highlights, “The finance industry had the highest webinar attendance rate at an average of 98%, with webinars averaging 83 minutes.” Moreover, our study revealed an average live attendance rate of 52%.
→ Myth #2. Marketing webinars are dead
The same benchmark report shows everyone’s running webinars. SaaS companies lead the pack, hosting 20% of all webinars held on Demio. They are followed by industries such as IT and services, museums and institutions, insurance, education management, financial services, and more.
→ Myth #3. Webinars aren’t THAT interactive
Based on 500,000 webinars hosted on Demio, our analysis revealed webinars excel at engaging an audience:
- Over 800,000 handouts were downloaded during webinars hosted on Demio in 2021
- Half of attendees answered poll questions
- Live and automated webinars drove more than 500,000 CTA clicks
When designed correctly, webinars easily encourage engagement and interactivity, nurturing two-way communication between a company and its audience.
→ Myth #4. Attendees pay little attention during webinars
In 2021, we experimented with incorporating engagement marketing practices into webinars. We used a focus rate tracker to identify how many attendees had the webinar open as their main tab and how many multitasked on several others during the event. As a result, we discovered a 77% focus rate, meaning most attendees pay attention to webinars.
Webinar marketing is a “must-have” strategy that’ll only benefit your business growth. But, if you’re still skeptical, we’ve put together a list of webinars’ advantages that are sure to change your mind.
Webinars Are Versatile & Cost-Effective
Webinars produce outstanding results without requiring an abundance of resources. Running webinars can achieve multiple goals beyond marketing, benefiting your overall revenue team, including your sales and customer departments.
Your team has a wide variety of marketing webinars to choose from. These include educational webinars, thought leadership sessions, report summary talks, live workshops, and more.
By hosting webinars, your marketing team can generate results such as:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Fostering trust in your brand
- Attracting high-quality leads
- Transforming MQLs into SQLs
- Acquiring free trial users
Your sales department can run webinars such as demos, product AMAs, and case studies. All of them can significantly benefit your sales reps by helping them achieve goals like:
- Connecting and engaging with prospects
- Showcasing the product without being too salesy
- Automating and scaling the impact of demos
- Responding to objections prospects may have
- Transforming free trial users into paying customers
- Increasing MRR/ARR
- Boosting profit margins
- Increasing customer lifetime value
- Lowering customer acquisition costs
- Reducing cycle times (from lead to closed-won)
→ Customer Success
Your CS team also has its choice of webinar types, including recurring onboarding sessions, use cases, new feature presentations, and best practices webinars. Webinars will help CS reps realize accomplishments such as:
- Scaling the onboarding process
- Answering any doubts customers may have
- Introducing new features and products
- Ensuring customers achieve success
- Reducing the churn rate
- Driving platform adoption
- Increasing the time users spend on the platform
- Upselling & cross-selling
- Creating referenceable customers
Compared to other marketing strategies, webinars enable you to accompany and engage with your audience throughout their journey, from discovering your product to purchasing and experiencing excellent results with it.
The best part? To run recurring webinars, you only need:
- A PC/iMac or notebook/MacBook
- A microphone, if you want to bring on additional professionals (although this isn’t necessary as headphones may be enough)
- A robust webinar platform to construct your webinar from start to finish, including registration forms, email notifications, branding, and engagement. Demio, for example, offers a Starter plan that gives access to many webinar features for as little as $59 per month.
Marketing webinars are a great way to ensure a high ROI. When you compare the resources you need and the returns they can yield, it’s clear webinars are a low-risk, high-reward marketing approach.
Webinars Are Scalable
Webinars are scalable by design, allowing you to focus your efforts on creating one webinar that you can benefit from again and again. You can scale webinars in several ways, and we’ve summarized just a few.
→ Offer marketing webinars on demand
If you want to craft evergreen content, you can easily offer webinars on demand. Build a library of webinars and have people fill out a form to access them. This way, you’ll continue to attract and qualify leads long after the live webinar ends.
→ Automate your webinars
Webinar platforms such as Demio allow you to run events on autopilot with a pre-recorded presentation and simulated elements. You can create polls, handouts, and featured actions with preset times to automate engagement and increase audience interaction.
Moreover, automated webinars built with Demio allow the host to join the room at any point and interact with the audience as if it were a live webinar. For example, you can pre-record educational content for a webinar and then join your attendees live during the Q&A session.
According to our benchmark report, 51% of the webinars hosted on Demio were automated. Also, the professional and coaching industry automated almost 90% of their sessions. One of the best ways to scale webinars is to record them once and then present them repeatedly by tweaking or adding new elements.
→ Scale your demo
Demos are the go-to approach for showcasing your product, engaging with prospects, answering their doubts, and eventually transforming them into customers. However, jumping from demo to demo isn’t always efficient, especially when connecting with prospects who are unwilling to invest a lot of their time in your product.
Instead, your sales reps could automate the demo and focus on investing and connecting with big accounts or high-end prospects. This could look like scheduling a daily or weekly demo webinar and redirecting their non-enterprise prospects to sign up for the session. It’s a great way to gather all your prospects in one place, present the platform, measure everyone’s engagement rate, and answer any objections people have.
→ Provide ongoing customer onboarding
User engagement is crucial to ensure people experience success on your product. Ideally, you should accompany your customers throughout their entire learning process. Low client engagement indicates a lack of understanding and satisfaction in people, who’ll likely leave for an easier alternative.
However, like demo webinars, CS reps often invest too many resources to provide individualized onboarding. Instead, they could run daily or weekly webinars to provide customer engagement, explaining the steps users need to achieve great results with your platform.
Webinars Are Customer-Driven
People don’t care about transactional engagement anymore; they want transformational experiences. Rather than consume branded content passively, people want to interact and engage with brands that listen to, understand, and meet their needs.
Fortunately, webinars focus on two-way communication with audiences. They’re one of the few marketing tools allowing companies to connect and build authentic relationships with their leads, prospects, and customers. During webinars, company representatives can:
- Foster conversations with their audiences
- Answer questions and clarify doubts people may have
- Create interactive dynamics that allow participation
- Build engaging experiences
In other words, compared to other company-centric marketing campaigns, webinars revolve around your audience’s needs, fostering co-creation, active listening, and two-way communication. Subsequently, these elements significantly strengthen and nurture long-term relationships with leads, prospects, and customers.
Webinars Are Engaging
Nowadays, webinars are conversational by design, serving to round out your engagement strategy. Multiple engagement dynamics and features enable companies to build authentic relationships with their audiences. Engagement features result in effective audience participation, strengthening your webinar attendees' emotional connection to your brand. Demio, for example, offers an entire suite of engagement tools, including:
- Interactive polls with stats: Ask the audience questions at any time, then share the stats with attendees.
- Featured actions: Nudge attendees to take a specific action, such as signing up for a free trial. Link your audience to an offer, sign-up page, or any URL during the webinar.
- Handouts and gifts: You can invite your attendees to download handouts, gifts, and bonuses directly from the webinar room.
- Q&As: Enjoy dedicated features to manage your Q&A sessions and answer questions live.
- Private and public chat: Engage in real-time interactions with your audience.
- Mentions and gestures: Give your audience more ways to interact through emoji gestures and the ability to @ mention other attendees.
- Attendees to the stage: Allow attendees to come front and center before the audience. Give them a microphone or welcome permissions and let them participate in the conversation.
With that being said, the conversation can continue even after the session finishes. You can keep engaging your audience by sending them gifts or inviting them to future webinars. This will produce fully bought-in leads, prospects, and/or customers down the road.
Webinars Are Measurable
You can analyze and measure every aspect of your webinar campaign. As a result, you’ll be able to improve your webinars continuously and increase their impact on your overall business goals. The webinar platform Demio even offers an event analytics suite that allows you to:
- Track registrations as you promote your webinar: Use source tracking to pinpoint where your registrants come from and visualize your efforts on a registration graph.
- Understand how people watched your webinar: See how attendees engaged with your content and identify the moments when they lost focus or started to drop off.
- View and export engagement results: Receive a breakdown of every poll, handout, and feature action you launched during the session to assess your attendee engagement rate.
- Export chat messages: Filter for questions and download chat messages for analysis. These insights will help make your upcoming webinars more valuable and relevant to your audience.
Apart from boosting your strategy, these webinar ROI metrics will help you prove their efficiency and justify why webinars should be included in your company’s marketing budget.
Bonus: Webinars as Media Products
Webinars can help you differentiate your brand from the masses by transforming into a full-fledged media product. Increasingly, SaaS companies are moving from earned to owned media, investing resources into creating bingeable media products such as seasonal podcasts, docs-series, TV shows, and more.
Compared to regular content, media products have a well-defined concept and a recognizable format—with a twist. Think about the YouTube show Hot Ones by First We Feast: During the show, the host and producer, Sean Evans, interviews celebrities while eating progressively spicier chicken wings. Apart from entertaining interviews, viewers also enjoy hilarious and fun situations. This format makes the Hot Ones show easily recognizable and unique.
Webinars provide a great opportunity to experiment with media content. Webinar Battles by Banzai, for instance, is an example of a webinar brand that can stand as a media product.
Instead of running regular webinars, Banzai’s marketing team decided to flip the script by inviting two experts with opposing opinions on a specific topic to debate. At present, Banzai has launched two Battle webinars:
- Should companies engage the services of an agency as their first marketing hiring? (Yes / No)
- Should you gate content or not? (Yes / No)
These webinars are exciting to watch as they’re based on a well-defined structure that enables debate-style conversation between two experts. Each battle includes:
- Opening viewpoints
- A couple of rounds of arguments and counterarguments
- Closing statements
Quick note: Most of the debate sessions have a timer. Once the time ends, a bell goes off, signaling the expert should wrap up their argument.
At the end of each session, the attendees are invited to vote and decide whose arguments won the battle.
Transforming webinars into media products will help you:
- Create bingeable content people want to watch
- Encourage people to connect and engage with your brand more often
- Generate high-quality leads interested in specific industry topics
- Engage people through active participation (e.g., voting)
It’s easier to run media-like webinars than to create a TV show. Producing webinars as part of a media brand will help you position your company as recognizable, unique, and different.
Data shows more and more companies run webinars and achieve exceptional results in attendee engagement. Webinars are also versatile, offering strategies that work for your entire revenue team, including your marketing, sales, and customer success departments.
Stop thinking about them as “nice to have” marketing campaigns you can run once in a while; webinars are a must-have strategy to grow your business.
These powerful digital events are cost-efficient, scalable, customer-driven, engaging, and measurable. Moreover, you can transform webinars into full-fledged media products to differentiate your brand from the rest of your competition. At this point, including webinars in your marketing budget should be a no-brainer.