Virtual Events

How To Get More Out Of Your B2B Webinar Programs

Get more leads by accommodating your audience's desire to consume content before and after your webinar.

I’m a demand gen marketer at heart and I really feel for demand gen marketers today. As if your job wasn’t hard enough, the global pandemic just made things a whole lot harder.

Not only do you have zero in-person events you might have traditionally leaned on to drive demand, but you’re competing for attention in an environment that is rapidly becoming more noisy and competitive than ever before. You’re competing for our audience’s inboxes, social feeds, time, attention, and ultimately share of mind against other marketers who are in the same position. Which is why I think it’s more important than ever to treat your audience’s attention span as gift and make the most of every moment of attention they give you. Let me show you what I mean.

Take your B2B webinar programs and online events, for example. Last year, GoToWebinar reported an average attendance rate of 44% across their customer base, and many of the marketers I’ve talked to recently to are getting even lower attendance if their webinars are higher up the funnel.

This means while the majority of those who registered didn’t attend, they did give you enough attention to have a look at the webinar details (title, description, branding, speakers), and complete the registration form. While this is an obvious form of intent, it’s not generally strong enough to bring them any closer to being qualified. In fact most scoring models I’ve seen only give a score bump when someone attends a webinar or online event, not when they register.

This represents a huge missed opportunity for marketers! You’ve captured your buyers attention but haven’t taken the opportunity to do anything meaningful with it.

When I’ve run webinar programs in the past, I always made sure to provide related content in parallel with my registration page. You can see here how a standard marketing automation registration page has been placed inside a PathFactory Content Track, producing a sidebar of related content. This way, once they’re registered, visitors can binge on other content related to the webinar topic.

I’ve even done something clever to encourage this behavior on my thank you pages: “Since you’re here… see how you can begin to supercharge your content investment today!” with an arrow directing the registrant to check out other content.

Looking back at one of the most popular webinars I ran in my previous role as Director of Demand Gen, I had 517 people register, but only 191 attended live or on-demand. Conventionally, that would have left a whopping 326 leads no closer to becoming an MQL.

As it turned out, I was able to get 36% of registrants to view at least one piece of content after registering, including 78 people who didn’t end up seeing the webinar live or on-demand, but did view other content when they registered. And of those people who didn’t attend but viewed more content, 36 ended up MQLing at the moment of registration due to binge content consumption. That’s 36 MQLs that I had no hope of getting otherwise!

Over the course of my demand generation career and all the webinars I ran, that was thousands of MQLs I was able to scoop up due to a smarter approach to registration.

And of course, after the event had taken place I always directed my audience to view the recording on-demand in a PathFactory Content Track, where they could binge ahead to other content, and even request a demo with our sales team if they liked what they saw.

If viewing the webinar on-demand wasn’t enough to drive a lead to MQL, then there was always another chance to get them there by accommodating their desire for more content and accelerating them through their content journey. Not only is this a better user experience, but it helps demand generation marketers crush their targets (something I was often able to do thanks to PathFactory).

This kind of efficiency is what separates average demand generation teams from the best and gives you the most juice for your squeeze.

The reality for demand gen marketers is they need to walk their audience through as much content as quickly as possible to drive them to qualification. In a noisy, busy, COVID-19 world we can’t afford to not seize the moment and get the most out of the attention our audience gives us. Attention is precious and we need to treat it that way if we want to succeed.

Written By
Chris Vandermarel
Chris Vandermarel is the Director of Product Marketing at PathFactory. In his role, Chris is often called upon to “go deep” in the marketing tech stack to help solve the tough real-world challenges that sales and marketing professionals face every day. If you’re the kind of marketer who obsesses over A/B tests, loves digging into the data to prove hypotheses, and believes that no idea is too “out there” to try (at least once), Chris is your new BFF.

Join the conversation

  • July 8, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    As selfies go, Chris, that’s a pretty good one. Nice overview of the ways to generate “stickiness” from the initial interest expressed by a webinar registrant. Live phone calls seem to be the secret method to cut through the noise (reaching business buyers by phone may seem less likely these days but I have not seen any definitive research done on this).