Webinars are one of those marketing tactics that can keep on giving. You host the live event, and afterward you can offer a packaged version of the webinar for on-demand viewing.
Data gleaned from GlobalSpec’s webinars are consistent with industry standards, which report that 84 percent of B2B audiences opt for replays over live webinars. That’s a huge percentage. The reasons are primarily two-fold:
- Only a small percentage of your potential audience will be available on the exact date and time of your live webinar.
- Engineers and technical professionals—much like other professionals—prefer to consume content on their own terms.
On-demand webinars offer several advantages to the marketer:
- Any technical difficulties that sometimes happen during live presentations are eliminated during on-demand viewing.
- Most of your webinar costs have already been sunk into the live event. The costs to provide on-demand viewing are much lower.
- The webinar can add value to your marketing portfolio for months to come.
However, you should also be aware of several caveats regarding on-demand webinars:
- Interaction in an on-demand webinar is limited. You can’t have real-time Q&A, live polls, or other interactive features.
- Promotion efforts rarely match the level of the live event, so some of your target audience may not know about the availability of the on-demand version.
With careful planning and targeted outreach, you can incorporate on-demand webinars into a successful, integrated marketing program that helps you attract a motivated audience and generate more demand for your products and services.
Create a “webinar hub.”
Make sure your on-demand webinars are easy to find by creating a webinar hub where you post your content. Whether you have a few webinars or dozens, make the webinar hub an important part of your website by adding it to navigation schemas and site indexes, and using house ads to promote it.
Be sure to curate the content on your hub. Classify the webinars under appropriate headings. Delete out-of-date webinars. Rearrange as needed for emphasis.
Build a registration form.
Click on any on-demand webinar link on GlobalSpec and you’ll be taken to a page with a thorough description of the content and key takeaways, along with a registration form.
The whole purpose of the on-demand webinar is to begin a conversation with a potential prospect, so you’ll need to ask them for some information by setting up a registration form. Name, email address, and company are likely enough to get the conversation going. You can fill in more information later as your relationship deepens.
Make content changes.
You’ll want to tweak your webinar for the on-demand version. First, remove the date, which often appears on the first slide. This way, the webinar will never feel dated to your audience.
You’ll also likely need to strip out live polls, but you can keep the results of polls from the live event. As for Q&A, while it isn’t feasible to have a live session, you can provide a prompt for your audience to submit questions you can answer asynchronously via email. It’s a great way to open the lines of communication and learn more about what your audience is thinking.
Promote the on-demand version.
As soon as you’ve posted the on-demand webinar, you should begin promoting it. Here are some ideas:
- Contact everyone who signed up for the live event but didn’t attend. This might be up to half of your registrants. The registered-but-didn’t-attend group is your most qualified (other than live attendees) because they’ve already expressed interest. Invite them to view the on-demand webinar and remind them of what they missed.
- Promote the on-demand webinar using house email lists, social media, e-newsletter advertisements, banner ads on your website or on an ad network—use any channel that you used for the live event.
- Mix things up and promote the webinar from different angles: highlight the speaker, or the technology, or the problem being solved. This gives your content a fresh feel.
- Divide the webinar into shorter snippets that are easier for your audience to consume. Instead of requiring 45-minutes of their time, for example, you’re asking for seven minutes. This technique can work well as long as you plan from the beginning to build a webinar that can be chunked into logical standalone sections.