In this digital era, there’s no shortage of online channels and tactics for industrial marketers to connect with their target audience of technical professionals. But one tactic that’s been effectively used almost from the dawn of digital marketing is webinars—and webinars are still going strong. Here are five compelling reasons why webinars should be an important part of your marketing mix.

1. Statistics Support the Appeal of Webinars
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of B2B marketers are using webinars/webcasts for marketing in 2015 and survey respondents report that webinars are the second most effective B2B marketing tactic. In addition, the research and advisory firm Outsell in its “Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2015: B2B Advertising” reported that webinars have increased by 10.4% in the overall B2B marketing mix in the last year and that marketers are increasing their investments in webinars by 19%.

The increased investments in webinars align with the behavior of technical professionals who find value in attending webinars and other online events. Such events are convenient to attend for engineers who prefer to be in their office and at their desks and who may not have the budget or time to attend in-person events. According to the IHS Engineering360 “Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector” research report, seven out of ten technical professionals attended at least one webinar or online event in the past year. Thirty-two percent said they went to four or more.

2. Webinars Can Help Achieve Many Objectives
You can achieve many objectives with webinars. For example: showcase new products and emerging technologies; provide education and training; share product demonstrations on manufacturing processes; strengthen your thought leadership positioning; promote successful case studies; and more.

In addition, webinars can be more robust, interactive, and compelling than ever before, thanks to advances in technology and near ubiquitous broadband networks. You can collect valuable data from attendees by asking poll questions during the webinar, then display and discuss the poll results in real-time. You can also have an interactive question and answer period at the end of your presentation—or at any time during the event. You can embed video in the webinar. All of these capabilities help you to capture and hold the attention of your audience.

Webinar platforms and partners also offer easy registration capabilities, email reminders, post-webinar follow-ups, and other features to help increase registration, attendance, and audience satisfaction.

3. Webinars Offer Exceptional Engagement Opportunities
Technical professionals who take time out of their busy work schedules to attend your webinar are motivated. They have a special interest in the topic you are presenting. They have questions they want answered. Webinars allow you to control the message, yet still interact with your audience in ways that are helpful to them.

Plus, attendees can be anywhere—there are no geographical boundaries or limitations with webinars, helping you extend your market reach. And you have contact information of attendees from when they registered. This gives you an excellent opportunity to engage a motivated audience and to follow up with them afterwards to build a mutually beneficial business relationship.

4. Webinars Keep on Giving
The real-time, interactive nature of webinars offers a number of benefits, yet webinars continue to provide benefits after the live event is past. You can post archived webinars on your website to be viewed by those who missed the event or may not have known about it. Again, you can collect contact information. You can also post webinars on YouTube or other video-sharing sites. Or repurpose webinar content into articles, white papers, blog posts, or other content formats.

5. You Can Partner with Experts for Custom Webinars
No one denies that webinars require a lot of work to be successful —from choosing a topic, to creating the presentation and script, to promoting your event, to registering and reminding your audience, to having capabilities to host the webinar, to following up with opportunities post-event.

Many industrial marketers are now working with partners such as IHS Engineering360 Media Solutions on webinar programs. You can maintain a strong brand presence while getting help with content creation, promotion, reaching a broader audience beyond your own list, attendee registration and tracking, platform capabilities, reporting, archiving, and more. The result will be a polished, professional, and relevant webinar, while also giving you more time to focus on integrating webinars into your overall marketing strategy and efforts. For more information on custom webinar services from IHS Engineering360 Media Solutions, click here.

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