3 Reasons You Need B2B Webinars in Your Marketing Mix
Did you know that webinars were first created in the late 1980s during the early stages of the web? Now there’s a stat that’s made me feel old this Monday morning! It was in 1996 that Microsoft launched ‘NetMeeting’, the platform that made the very first public web conference possible. Fast-forward almost two decades, and we’ve seen the rise (and fall) of numerous webinar platforms that’ve pushed remote group communication status to not just a tool, but a default.
From board meetings to personal appointments to B2B events, many of us are now adept at joining a webinar hosted on Zoom or Microsoft Teams – even if we’re met with an eye-roll as we sit helplessly stuck on mute! Despite the novelty of attending a business pitch face-to-face or an event in-person, B2B webinar popularity has remained strong for both attendees and hosts. Take the fact that 89% of SME marketers reckon webinars outperform other channels in creating qualified marketing leads, or that 78% believe they help to lower the cost-per-lead!
Intrigued to learn how? Look below for my top 3 reasons webinars need to be added to your marketing mix.
Reach your audience where they are
Work from home.
Work from the office.
Work from the local coffee shop.
Work from the beach in the Costa del Sol…
…the list of places we can work from in 2023 is as long as it’s ever been! Hybrid work’s ‘no longer just an employee perk but an employee expectation’ according to Ranjit Atwal, one of Gartner’s Senior Director Analysts. And by the end of this year, the number of global knowledge workers in hybrid work (people in the office at least one day a week) is predicted to reach 39%.
Whether you’re hosting a panel discussion on the latest MedTech developments or showcasing your manufacturing capabilities to potential investors, B2B webinars get rid of the hassle of leaving home, or the office, to find something out.
They’re a convenient way for your desired audience to get information, and a convenient way for you to share and pass it on. In a world that’s become more time-savvy than ever, you’re not risking breaking a business relationship before it’s began by asking too much of your audience at this stage of the sales cycle. If anything, you’re forming strong foundation.
Thanks to platforms being adapted for us on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers, it’s unlikely that your audience wouldn’t be able to attend your webinar – as long as their internet connection isn’t wayward, at least! And even if it is, webinars can be recorded and played back on-demand, so everyone’s a winner.
Open up the doors to a bigger B2B audience
That leads us on nicely to connectivity. Webinars open a new world of audience possibilities – quite literally! Their remote nature means you can connect with business professionals all over the world – time differences accounted for – and reach an audience wider than the one that’d be able to attend your product demonstration or thought-leading talk in-person.
A B2B webinar’s a great way to boost perception of your brand at the click of a button. Just like attending an event isn’t solely to exhibit, but introduce and enhance brand awareness, webinars act the same. Whether you’re discuss about a current affair relating to the industry you serve or bringing together a panel to provide insight on a particular trend, the virtual nature of the webinar is already encouraging people to attend – the topic that you’ve decided to focus your webinar on is the cherry on top!
Hosting your panel discussion remotely affords you both a global pick of contributors and attendees, without the hassle of hours spent in airport lounges, on accommodation logistics, and not to mention justifying cost. That’s for both the business hosting and the people turning up to watch!
B2B webinars have also come a long way in imitating an in-person event:
- Screens can be shared to run a presentation that’d otherwise be projected behind you on a stage.
- Hands can be ‘raised’ to ask questions in the webinar chat, like lifting your hand to signify there’s something you’d like clarifying face-to-face.
- Backgrounds can be adjusted for a variety of reasons, from humour to brand representation to inclusivity – we’ve ran a fair few Teams meetings that’ve featured our B2B team sat around a ‘virtual’ conference table!
What’s more, webinars can be both more inclusive and accessible, meaning your pool of prospects has just gotten a little deeper. People that are less confident to present in front of a crowd might feel more confident to speak to their laptop screen on a webinar where they can’t necessarily see the audience. And some in the audience might feel more empowered to ask questions via an anonymous chat function when they’re not daunted by other people in the room – or what they think.
Stay savvy with your marketing resources
Webinars are multi-faceted – they can act as extensions of both your marketing and sales teams and can support work that’s fit-for-purpose. The 30-minute demonstration of your tech that traditionally took place in-person, 70 miles across the country, now actually takes 30 minutes. And who’s to say that still has to be to a single prospective client – it could be to two, fifty, or a couple-hundred (as long as they can fill out the online registration form).
There’s also the host of pre- and post-webinar collateral that you can share at the click of a button to get the most out of the virtual event. Think:
- Pre-webinar social media posts that tease and reveal your stellar panel
- In-webinar polls to get real-time thoughts and stats from your audience – and keep them engaged
- Post-webinar blog content to round-up what was discussed and provide a few further thinking points
Safe to say B2B webinars aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! With the market expected to reach $4.44 billion by 2025, is it time your business explored the power of remote? Speak with us to strategise how you can best use webinars in your B2B marketing mix!