Webinar Marketing Predictions

Where is webinar marketing going this year? We recapped analysis by ON24 on the future of this popular lead generation tool.

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the past few years, webinars have evolved to become truly interactive and engaging multimedia experiences. So where is webinar marketing going in the year ahead? Webinar expert and self-proclaimed “Chief Webinerd”, Mark Bornstein of On24, a multimedia software tool, hosted a – you guessed it – webinar to discuss the future of this popular lead generation tool.

Here’s a recap of what Bornstein had to say to help you stay ahead of your competitors, and future-proof your webinar marketing strategies.

First Prediction: Webinars as the “New News”

Prospects and buyers are being inundated with marketing and are unsure of where to turn for credible information. They are actively looking for trusted sources. The way to become that trusted source is by creating informative content in an engaging, authentic, and human way.

Webinars are a great platform for delivering thought leadership, best practices, and helpful content that makes people better at their jobs, while also helping to establish you as their trusted advisor.

Need guidance on attracting participants and getting them interested in your message? C&EN has you covered with our article on how to plan a webinar that works. Click here to read.

Second Prediction: Hybridization of Outbound and Inbound Marketing

Inbound and outbound marketing used to be strictly defined marketing strategies, yet the lines have started to blur into a more holistic approach. Webinar marketing has become a cyclical process and this change is creating new ways to deliver content.

The cycle begins with your live webinar, a historically outbound event, but now that live event can become an on-demand or inbound asset. Give your webinars a long life by including channels of on-demand content with hubs and landing pages to help viewers find the content they need.

The cycle doesn’t stop there: that same webinar content can then be repurposed as a simu-live (a re-run as if it is a live broadcast), and turned into companion content, like a whitepaper or blog post.

Science is also an international affair: Here at C&EN Media Group, we work with our clients to broadcast webinars abroad to target audiences in different parts of the world.  For example, a client requested to promote the webinar topic, “Customized Solutions for the Manufacturing of Fine Chemicals and APIs” to a wider audience in Asian countries. C&EN repurposed the webinar and re-broadcasted the same content in a different time zone for audiences in Asia to attend. As a result, the simu-live brought in live attendees from notable countries including Japan, Singapore and India.

Still unsure where your content fits into this cycle? Catch-up on C&EN’s blog post and learn how to seamlessly integrate inbound marketing at any stage. Click here to read.

Third Prediction: The Emergence of “Webinar Channels”

The digital buyer is changing profoundly. We are living in a “bold new era of content distribution and technological efficiency,” coined the “Netflix Effect”. Taking a queue from B2C, entertainment platforms vying for our attention are most successful when they provide bingeable channels. This strategy has now spilled over into the professional realm and webinars need to adapt in order to succeed.

By catering to your audience’s preferences through curated playlists of relevant content, you’re able to build multiple gateways for unique audiences, while becoming the destination source of content.

You’ve finished creating an engaging and insightful webinar. Now what? Read our article to learn how to effectively promote your efforts. Click here to read.

Fourth Prediction: Customer Case Studies < Customer Conversations

According to On24, written case studies are seeing fewer downloads. As buyers want to hear from their peers, a more effective approach is letting your customer literally tell your story for you.

Turn written case studies into engaging webinars and build channels of how your customers use your products or services. (Your written case study doesn’t have to be obsolete, – you can still include it as a download.) Allow your prospects to binge on your customer stories by enabling the audience to question customers, integrating videos of deployment or including a conversational format between you and the customer. On-demand case study gateways allow your prospects to establish your company as engaging and trustworthy.

Providing a real-life example is one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate the promise of what your company can deliver. Learn how to craft a compelling case study here.

Fifth Prediction: Turning Big Rocks into Small Pebbles

You want to get as much out of your content as possible, and a great way to add thought leadership is to create smaller content pieces from what Bornstein calls your “Big Rock” asset.

When you use the Big Rock approach, you are basically taking a major piece of content and using that as your ongoing vertical-specific content source for a period of time. Traditional webinars used to market an entire database, now one webinar can cover a range of topics, and even target unique segments.  But you’d need a focused approach to start so you can develop both Big Rock content and repurposed “pebbles”.

From a mix of short and long form webinars, you can develop various ways to share the Big Rock, with case studies, feature explainers and more “pebbles”. Don’t reinvent the wheel with every piece of content your company creates. The strategy allows you to make your webinars more targeted, personalized and directive with these smaller components.

Final Thoughts

The marketing world is fast-paced and ever-changing. More than ever before, buyers choose to self-educate and access information by searching for answers through billions of online resources. To reach buyers in this new paradigm, the modern marketer must have a lead generation strategy to address this challenge and connect with today’s scientific buyers. Get in touch with us at cenmediagroup@acs.org, or download our Lead Generation Playbook to learn more about our products and solutions.

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