After three consecutive columns discussing the white-hot topics of digital marketing best practices, content marketing, and mobile, I want to turn your attention to a less sexy, but no less important marketing tactic. It's one of my favorites, and in a way, it's the unsung hero of B2B digital content marketing: the webinar.
In short, I love webinars. Why?
They're affordable. Webinars cost nothing if you use your company's existing platform, and anywhere from $12,000 to $18,000 if you partner with a media outlet that will promote the event, gather attendees, and host it on your behalf. Catering alone could cost that much at most events.
They are fully scalable. How nice to have a tactic with no variable cost for additional attendees! (Imagine what would happen if you hosted a breakfast event for media planners and 90, instead of 50, showed up...)
They can help position your brand as a thought leader. And a partner to potential clients, rather than as a vendor.
They build your funnel and grow your social footprint. As each webinar attendee is a new lead and (eventually) a potential client.
And they have legs. Webinars - if properly recorded, posted, and shared - can yield months of residual ROI as downloadable PDFs, ebooks, sliced up and released as podcasts, written out and published as blog posts, quoted out as tweets, printed and mailed directly to clients, or distributed at industry events or client meetings.
The best webinars have 40 minutes of content, five to 10 minutes of Q&A, and 10 to 15 minutes as buffer.
So now that we know the value of a good webinar, here are 10 best practices for making yours a success:
Answer any outstanding questions or comments that were submitted but left unaddressed on the call with a personal email. Finally, write to the folks who registered but didn't attend, too. Don't just add them to your database. Instead, send them the link to the recording and to the presentation, offer to answer any questions they might have, and ask if they'd like to be added to your mailing list so they'll know about future webinars. Savvy marketers foster relationships wherever possible.
What are your webinar best practices? Have you found success with the tips above? Horror stories with pitfalls I've missed? Let me know in the comments section below or @kristinkovner and I'll address them in a future column.
Webinar image on home page via Shutterstock.
This column was originally published on March 19, 2013.
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Kristin Kovner is a digital marketing, technology, and media industry veteran. Her firm, K-SQUARED STRATEGIES, helps high-growth media and tech companies develop and execute best-in-class marketing strategies. Prior to opening her own consultancy, Kristin served as the Vice President of Marketing Strategy at AOL, where she managed the AOL and AOL Advertising brands and set and executed the go-to-market strategy for AOL's owned and operated websites, including AOL.com, Moviefone, MapQuest, Engadget, and The Huffington Post.
Prior to joining AOL, Kristin served as the Head of Industry Marketing for YouTube and held various roles on Google's marketing team. Kristin has also worked as a journalist for Newsweek and SmartMoney, The Wall Street Journal's magazine, and as an economic consultant at Bates White LLC.
Kristin graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Yale College and currently lives in New York City.
December 12, 2013
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