The common challenge for a lot of companies is a belief that all they need to do is spend money on a tool or solution, get everyone to use it, and... boom problem solved.
But as we see over and over again, the real challenge in creating and maximizing opportunities with webinars and virtual events comes in creating interaction, capturing enough of it to segment the audience, and finally….perfecting the follow-up.
Let’s look at some of the things you can do now to get started building the right process, the right workflow, the right system for your team so they are creating real, tangible results with webinars and virtual events.
Last month we outlined the first two steps of the framework for success, and I’m going to dive into steps 3, 4, and 5.
- Start Small
- Target your Audience (RFM)
- Create Real Interaction
- Develop Prospect Segmentation
- Perfect the Follow-Up
After reviewing over 120 million leads passed through our system, and helping thousands of businesses create consistent processes, we know that top-performing, successful companies thrive on consistency. And companies that struggle to create consistency have a hard time quantifying event ROI. They say their sales team isn’t working all the leads effectively, leads aren’t getting followed up on, or they are not getting great (or any) responses from their webinars.
We have found that we can get Sales teams everything they want to be happy with their leads (ultimately sales wants great leads and they want to close deals!) and, on the flip side, we give marketing the data and insights they need to be extremely successful in filling the pipeline full of prospects and great MQL’s. Sales and Marketing teams love consistency.
That is a no brainer right?1. Create Real Interaction
You spend a ton of time and energy creating webinars, training your team, and ultimately running the whole show. So make the most of your investments here! I know this seems like a no-brainer but you don’t want this to happen.
You need to start by having relevant, and meaningful interactions with your audience throughout the virtual event. First, this helps you to know who you are really talking to (which is important for lead segmentation later on)...and second, if you do this well, you keep the crowd engaged over the course of your presentations, discussions, etc. Which is obviously a good thing! 😊
This one is simple to get started. You need structured interaction points for your webinar and events. Some that are more formal, and some that are a little silly and fun to get people shook loose from their normal day to day doldrums. Again, this has to be relevant.
Remember - We have analyzed over 120 million captures through our system and some interesting trends emerged. On the national show level, over half of the captures are in the research stage or earlier. Meaning they could be swag grabbers, casual chats, or contact info only. Not only are they not yet qualified, but we have no idea if they will ever be qualified. If you are not including the right amount of interaction, again both polling and questions for chat...not only will your engagement be lackluster, but you won’t come away with a solid picture of where all these people are in the buying process. Hey, that seems pretty important to me!
Ok - so that’s number 3 - Create Real Interaction. To sum it up remember to:
- Make it relevant
- Make it fun and engaging, and
- Keep it interactive with structured polls and chat options
We are not all the same person!
We know that by taking the time to develop segment-specific messaging and getting it into an automated process, you create the consistency your team needs so you can follow-up with a relevant, personalized message clearly communicating the call to action or next step that means something to that segment. You can send not just a personalized email, but one with some additional points of relevance. Don’t you want to treat the CMO differently than you would the office admin? I think so!
Ok, so Let’s imagine a beautiful trade show booth. Imagine your prospect’s coming through the booth...and remember what we talked about last month, they are all at different places in the buyer's journey, right? So these people are flowing through the booth and having different experiences based on where they are in the buyer's journey. And we know that segmentation creates success.
As you pivot to virtual events and webinars this should absolutely be a part of your strategy! You need to get some definitions in place for your various segments. You need to track and document their engagement, and then follow up with relevant content... These are the nuggets of segmentation Value for both Sales and Marketing.
Do you know how many different types of people your company interacts with during virtual events and webinars? This is where it matters most! At the very least, you need an email type for each unique segment, and if you want to be smarter than the average bear, you gotta get some deeper layers of personalization and product interest in there! Make sure you are tracking interactions so you know what this looks like.
Ok, so let’s run through a quick summary - Segment Your Audience - (These are evergreen marketing principles that will work in every lead channel, by the way.)
- Develop segment-specific messaging
- Track and document their engagement, and
- Follow up with relevant content
So if you have created real interaction, captured those pieces of data, AND segmented your audience, you are ready to hit the follow-up.
But… before we get to that, here’s another thing to think about: Low hanging fruit - Are you capturing what stage your lead is at in the buyer’s journey?
Are you able to point to Prospect Sam’s interest? These points of interest in the follow-up content are the most important pieces of information you need to be grabbing!
Here are two simple statistics:
- 94% of marketers say their company fails to convert event leads & conversations into opportunities.
- Furthermore, 80% Of sales opportunities are closed/won between the 5th and 12th interactions.
So I ask again, Where is your prospect in their journey?
This one may seem very obvious but in talking with a lot of clients about their virtual events this one seems to get passed over quite a bit. You need to have a clearly defined, logical next-step for each of your segments. This way your messaging has a strong purpose and call to action that is relevant to each prospect.
The five-star lead who is ready to buy should have a different “next-step” than the person over there saying “tell me more”.
It is so important that you have these segments defined.
Let’s recap here - Follow-Up from a virtual event or webinar:
- Needs to be timely
- Needs to have some relevance to it
- Needs to meet your prospect where they are!
Make sure you are capturing data and details during your webinars that allow you to follow up with the best sales-ready prospects with timely, highly relevant, stage specific-content. I promise if you do this, your sales team will love webinar leads you send their way!
Ok, that was a lot of information to chew on, so I’ll leave you with this:
We’re excited to announce that we recently launched VEEP, an innovative virtual event platform designed to get you the results and credit you deserve from all of your webinar efforts.
If you’d like to learn more about applying the principles we’ve been talking about, engaging your virtual audience, driving engagement and converting more leads than ever, CLICK HERE to join us for a quick tour of VEEP. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!