Webinars can be used as a primary tool to educate your prospects through each stage of the buying cycle, from lead to sales.
I’ve written several articles talking about the shifts occurring in the B2B landscape and how marketers need to take a hard look at how they’re managing the sales funnel. The new reality for business marketers is that 70% of the content that buyers read and study is found by themselves.
Content is as ubiquitous as it’s ever been due to:
- Online resources make it easy for buyers to self-educate
- Scope of content available is much larger
- Due to the proliferation of connected devices, buyers have increased access to information
- Content delivery tools are constantly getting better
- Sharing by buyers on social platforms
So how do you as a marketer of building products leverage content to drive sales?
In business marketing, webinars are providing rich and engaging experiences for prospects who are looking to self-educate. No longer does a sales person take a buyer through a demo or case study. Sales engagement used to occur at the top of the funnel, but now it’s occurring at the end or bottom of the sales cycle. And when buyers are engaged, it’s at an advanced level.
A webinar can take on a number of different ‘flavors’:
- Thought leadership
- Training, demonstrations
An example of your sales funnel could look like this:
Best practices whitepaper > Thought leadership webinar > Short case study video > Demonstration webinar > Trial offer > Daily training webinar series > Purchase
Content and the type of webinar need to be placed appropriately in your marketing mix based on your buyer’s typical behavior at each stage of the buying cycle. We need to think of ourselves as participants in the sales process and take control of the buyer’s journey through it by:
- Finding prospects as they search for us
- Identify where prospects are in the decision-making process
- Accelerate prospects through the buying cycle
- Convert awareness of need into requirement of a solution
- Drive opportunities toward sales engagement
Webcasting is a perfect tool for the job of directing your buyer through the journey. Advantages of using webinars include:
- Can be customized for each stage of the buying cycle
- Enables quick content creation and delivery
- Bundles multiple content types
- Has unlimited reach
- Enables direct interaction with prospects through social sharing, Q and A, etc.
- Provides detailed insights into a prospect’s interest
- Cost effective for quick turnaround