developing a webinar strategy

As a content marketing strategy, webinars can be highly effective – positioning your organization as a thought leader or the go-to resource of valuable information.

According to a recent B2B content marketing survey, nine out of ten B2B marketers are using content marketing, and of the ten content marketing tactics rated for effectiveness, webinars rated as #3. But, marketers say that their number one content marketing challenge is producing engaging content.

So when it comes to planning webinars, where do you find content? Here are some ideas that may be helpful.

If your organization is already publishing a newsletter, white papers, or articles, you can repurpose that content into webinars, assuming that it provides something of value. Try to find out what’s the most popular content among your customers (the most clicked-thru articles, the most downloaded white paper, etc).

2. What keeps your customers up at night?

What are their top issues in their jobs that they are worried about? Talk to the people on staff who communicate daily with customers. Talk to your best customers. Read the industry association’s publications. When you find out what your customers’ biggest headaches are, plan your webinars to deliver solutions.

3. Are there new federal regulations or deadlines on the horizon that your customers must be prepared for?

Remember the two great motivators: fear and greed. You can play up the fear motivator with this one. Get experts from your staff or from industry, and a government official to present strategies to prepare, and you’ll hit a home run on your webinar.

Once you decide on the webinar topic and get your speakers, make sure the webinar focuses on on delivering solid benefits. Don’t focus on how your products or services are going to solve your attendees’ top challenges. Attendees can smell a commercial a mile away.

Give your attendees real benefit – real value – they can walk away, and you’ll build or reinforce your organization’s reputation as a reliable, authoritative resource. Here are a few tips on when planning the content for your webinars:

1. Do case studies

Think about pairing a subject matter expert from your staff with a client/customer. The case study should give attendees steps or strategies that they can put into place in their organizations. Also, any lessons learned to help them prevent mistakes. Attendees eat these up.

2. Enumerate – with benefits

Give them the eight steps to implement blah blah blah that will save them $10 million, or the five common mistakes to avoid to ensure success. This gives attendees something to wrap their arms around.

3. Give ‘em templates, checklists, forms

Along with the PPT presentation, email your attendees any templates, checklists, or forms that will make their jobs easier or help them to do something better.

4. Keep it narrowly focused

Attendees prefer in-depth information on one narrowly focused topic over skimming the surface on a large topic. This one is tough for presenters sometimes, especially if they are speaking on a broad topic. If the topic is too broad, the presenter ends up rushing through too much information, and attendees walk away frustrated. So ask your presenters to pick the most important focused topic and stick to it.

[Image: Okko Pyykko]