There is a lot to know about webinars, but only a few things will be of interest to your CEO before they commit to the technology. CEO time is valuable, their focus is commercial, their view of things is strategic, and they expect to get succinct answers to their questions. So, whether it’s to get sign off, part of a marketing budget review or a Quarterly Business Review, or just a general marketing update, you will want to have the answers that matter most to your CEO.
Do webinars drive revenue?
Marketing webinars are key contributors to lead generation, with webinar leads being regularly more qualified than leads generated by other marketing assets. Sales reps love webinar leads for that reason, and because prospects have a better content and interaction recall due to the engaging and interactive nature of webinars. While webinars themselves are very self-sufficient (they are self-hosted and provide registration forms with granular analytics), their integration with your wider marketing stack (marketing automation, CRM etc) will allow webinars to better contribute to sales pipeline and ultimately revenue.
There are other webinar use-cases, such as internal communications, training & education, and corporate communications that don’t set out to contribute to revenue. However, that does not mean there is no ROI for these applications. Often, the use of webinars will mean increased efficiency and cost-saving elsewhere compared to the traditional way of doing things.
Are webinars scalable?
Success should always be scalable. Your CEO will want reassurance that your webinar programme can be scaled when it shows either increased revenue or cost-saving elsewhere. For webinars, scalability can mean two things: 1. more webinars, or 2. more leads for the same amount of webinars.
Both are possible, but the focus to achieve each is different. Being able to attract more leads to the same amount of webinars depends on your reach, the topic’s appeal and sales cycle stage, and the budget available to promote the webinar beyond just owned or earned channels.
As a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, webinar programmes are easily scalable from a technical perspective. There is no reason why a webinar programme can’t scale from 10 webinars per year to 100 webinars per year – or indeed from 25 attendees to 1000 attendees. Doing so will naturally create a wider appeal and reach, which can also result in more overall registrants. Depending on your promotional or targeting strategy, you may find that the average number of registrants reduces as your topics become more specific and appeal to niche audiences.
Scaling webinar programmes by extending them across different departments or geographies is also a good way of extending the overall implementation of this technology.
Are webinars future-proof?
In 2008, the search term “webinar” permanently overtook “whitepaper” as the more popular Google search term (Source: Google Trends). In addition, webinars are the only long-form marketing asset conceived with the internet in mind. This means, no other gated marketing asset type provides more touchpoints, insight and engagement than webinars.
Webinar vendors ensure that their platforms allow integration with marketing automation and CRM systems for even better versatility and longevity.
As a result, webinars are very future proof and investment in this technology is safe. The rise in the number of webinars being run globally, as well as the growth of the sector itself, provides further reassurance and proof of a mature marketplace.
How many people does it take to manage a webinar programme?
The best webinar platforms make it very easy to setup and run webinars. One part-time, non-technical person can easily manage a monthly webinar programme. A marketer with experience of running webinars can easily manage ten webinars per month or more. This assumes, however, that there are no bottlenecks elsewhere. Remember that each webinar requires a presentation topic and slide deck, at least one speaker, a moderator, ideally 3 – 4 promotional emails, social promotion, lead management and follow-up, archiving and and on-demand strategy etc.
Sourcing and managing these apsects can also be done by the same webinar programme manager, but bear in mind that by scaling a webinar programme, you also need to scale all contributing factors. Sustainably sourcing ten instead of one presentation per month requires planning, a degree of automation, and access to resources and speakers. Endorsement from the CEO certainly heps in this instance.
Do webinars require additional investment in other systems?
Unlike some other marketing assets, such as whitepapers, webinars are usually self-sufficient and can run without being dependent on other systems. Webinars are self-hosted and provide their own registration forms, analytics etc. However, by integrating webinars with other systems, such as marketing automation (MA), CRM and sales insight tools, you can significantly extend their effectiveness, customisation, and contribution to revenue generation. If you already have MA and CRM tools, your investment for the integration is minimal to zero.
How many departments can benefit from webinars?
The most common application for webinars is marketing and lead generation, but other applications include internal communications (including CEO updates!), training & education, corporate and shareholder communications, product communications and launches. It makes sense to master the technology before rolling it out to other departmemnts, but if your CEO is looking for cost-efficiency, there is certainly no reason not to use webinar technology to communicate to audiences other than your prospects and customers.
How long are we committed?
It is commonplace for SaaS solutions to come with a 12-month commitment – webinar platforms are no different. However, if you want to “try before you buy”, or prefer not to have to do the work yourself, you can also opt for one-off “Full Service” solutions where the webinar setup and execution is done by the webinar vendor, without having to enter into a commitment.
However, you will be able to get a lower cost per webinar, if you either opt for an easy to manage self-service solution or indeed for a larger number of webinars as part of a platform subscription. Also, bear in mind that your audience will grow over time, as it gets used to your new way of communicating and sharing content. As a result of your audience growing, your cost per lead will drop.
If you need more information on any of these points, please get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help answer your (CEOs) questions in more detail.
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