Engineers have always found value in webinars as a way to learn and engage with suppliers. The value of webinars has only increased since the start of the pandemic, but even as in-person events begin to return, webinars have maintained their position of strength.
Webinars are one of the top ways engineers maintain and advance their professional skills, and 83 percent of engineers state that webinars are valuable when researching information to make a product or services purchase decision (GlobalSpec State of the Union: Webinars in the Industrial Space).
Of course, all suppliers and manufacturers know that webinars are valuable to their audience. Most are hosting webinars for their target audience. Therefore, you have intense competition to get your audience’s attention and deliver value to engineers. The key to rising above is having compelling content.
1. Show Don’t Sell
There’s an old adage for writers that says “Show don’t tell.” Apply this saying to webinars for engineers and it becomes “Show don’t sell.” Engineers hate being sold to and they can sniff out a sales pitch like a hunting dog sniffs out prey.
Sure, engineers know you’re not hosting webinars just to pass the time and that your ultimate goal is to gain customers, but don’t insult your audience by selling hard. A reasonable guideline might be 80 percent educational content, 20 percent your promotional message.
What do you need to do instead of selling? Offer relevant, educational information that engineers value. Show them how to do something, how another company achieves success, a new approach to solving a pressing problem, or what’s new or cutting edge in your industry.
According to webinar hosting company BrightTALK, winning content types for webinars include best practices, case studies, and industry trends and predictions. What best practice can you educate your audience on? What solution case study in your library is compelling? What does your company uniquely know or offer in your industry that engineers will find valuable? These are areas to focus your webinars on.
2. Give Engineers What They Want
You may not realize you have easy access to a trove of webinar content ideas that are exactly what engineers are asking for.
Technical questions that come into your customer support team or pop up on discussion forums can be excellent sources for webinar content. Your sales team fields all kinds of questions from prospects that can be shaped into educational webinar content. Posts and comments on your social media channels reveal what engineers are thinking about and can help spark fresh webinar ideas.
In addition, some of your popular marketing content can be repurposed into a webinar, such as a how-to guide, best practices article, or an industry trends white paper. Your best case study might fit nicely into a problem-solution webinar that will resonate with other engineers.
3. Vary Your Content Type
In the early days, webinars consisted of static slides and talk. These days, technology advances and near-universal broadband availability enables a great variety in webinar content.
Live Q&A with your audience adds interactivity. Chat boxes allow your audience to interact with each other and the webinar hosts. Live polls let you find out valuable information from your audience about their needs, preferences, and tendencies. Including video clips grabs attention and adds visual interest.
These different content types increase the production value of your webinar and can help keep your audience engaged. While it’s true that live interactions aren’t possible for webinars you archive for on-demand viewing after the event, content like poll results, video clips, and the audio transcript of questions and answers can still be included.
Would you like to know more about the state of webinars and discover other best practices for webinar hosting and production? Download our new report: GlobalSpec State of the Union: Webinars in the Industrial Space