How To Rock Your Sponsored Webinar

Did you know that B2B marketers rank webinars as one of the most effective content marketing strategies?

By sponsoring a MarketingProfs webinar, you’re creating an opportunity to let your expertise shine as you build an audience, increase your authority, and get your name in front of key decision makers.

We make the process simple by taking care of the promotion, setup, hosting, registration, and moderation for you. That leaves you with the job of selecting a webinar idea that will knock the socks off of your registrants.

When it comes to planning, promoting, and generating leads from your webinar, you’ll get the greatest results by planning ahead.

Provide Valuable Content

Your first step in planning your webinar is coming up with a topic, a title, and supporting content. Keep in mind that many potential participants are savvy marketing professionals who attend webinars and conference presentations regularly. If you want to get (and keep!) their attention, you need actionable content that provides real value. Waste their time with recycled, superficial fluff and your authority fades quickly. After all, your webinar may not cost a dime to watch, but attendees do pay with their time. Make their time count and you’ll reap the rewards later.

What topic—what content—do you choose? Have you written a whitepaper or ebook that got awesome results, or produced a blog post that became a social media sensation? These are two possibilities that could be expanded into an in-depth webinar. And if you need our help, just ask! We’re happy to give feedback or help streamline your idea based on what’s worked (and what’s fallen flat) with our members in the past.

Here are a few ways make your webinar attractive:

  • DO make sure the topic appeals to a wide audience.
  • DO propose a title that gets people excited, not one that puts them to sleep (we can help!).
  • DO put the most important information up front. This ensures that everyone gets the most value from your webinar—whether they can stay for the entire event or not.

A few things to work on in advance:

And some tips for the presentation itself:

  • DON’T talk about your products or services unless you want to lose credibility with your audience. One hint of a sales pitch and you’ll have them running for the hills.
  • DO keep your topic tightly focused so that you can cover it in depth.
  • DO provide plenty of real-world examples to bring ideas to life.
  • DON’T simply regurgitate your presentation on the slides. Your slideshow should provide key points and complementary information—not a script.
  • DO consider using polling questions to break up the presentation
  • DO keep a steady pace - not too fast and not too slow. (DON'T spend too long on any one slide).

Promote it Well

We’ll handle the bulk of the promotion for your webinar, but that doesn’t mean you’re totally off the hook. If you have a blog, write a teaser piece that introduces readers to the topic and encourages them to participate. Or, plug the event on social media channels, send a message to your mailing list, or invite colleagues and friends to join. This will ensure you not only generate leads, but nurture your existing contacts with awesome content.

To do our part, we’ll need an abstract, title, and speaker bio(s) from you 6 weeks prior to your event. These materials will go to our webinar marketers for review and editing, adding the MarketingProfs voice, and selecting accompanying creative that resonates with our audience (humor and personality go far!). Make sure to provide us with plenty of information, as this is all we have to go on in promoting your event. More is always better, so go ahead and give us all you got.

Turn Those Leads Into Customers

After the webinar, we’ll send you the customized data you've requested on your registrants, options like their names, companies, email addresses, industries, revenues, and company sizes. This is the real reward from your webinar, particularly if you pull off an event that generates lots of interest and excitement.

Within the first 24 hours after the webinar, make sure you reach out to all registrants—whether or not they attended. Failure to attend isn’t typically a sign of disinterest, after all, but rather a sign that they had an unavoidable schedule conflict or simply forgot. A good rule of thumb is to send a brief “thank you” email, along with a PDF of the slides and a link to access an encore of your webinar presentation, to attendees. We do host all on-demand recordings on our own website, but we suggest that you also host the recording on your own site if you want to continue to track views. Send a “sorry we missed you” email along with the same documents and link to the no shows.

Now that you’ve reached out to your leads, you need to tell them what to do next—or risk losing them forever. Should they join your mailing list? Register for a free trial of your service? Register for another upcoming webinar? By giving them an explicit call to action, you’ll have a better shot at growing those relationships from webinar participants to loyal customers.

Kristen

Mistress of Webinars

Get Killer Event Sponsorship ROI

As a MarketingProfs event sponsor, your brand will take center stage in front of hundreds of influential and forward-thinking marketing professionals, many of whom have decision-making power and are actively seeking ways to enhance their current marketing efforts.

That makes event sponsorships your perfect opportunity to build brand recognition, demo new products, build (or strengthen) relationships, and receive the highest quality leads.

But that doesn’t mean all you need to do is show up to the party. To reap the greatest rewards from these in-person events, you need to come prepared and ready to stand out in the crowd. Here are some great tips to make it happen.

Set the Stage

If you want to have the booth that has everyone talking, then you better be ready to bring your “A” game. The first step in this process? Making sure to staff your booth with your most charming, knowledgeable people. These folks should be equipped to engage attendees, answer questions, and cultivate interest in your brand without requiring marketing advice from our event staff (really, it’s happened!).

Secondly, you’ll want to create some pre-event buzz by reaching out to attendees before the event. If your sponsorship includes access to a pre-show list of registered attendees (or a pre-event email drop), send each a quick, introductory message to drive traffic to your booth (an exclusive giveaway or discount offer can work wonders here). Including fun, quirky items in our highly sought-after attendee swag bag or at your booth is highly encouraged, and we're happy to offer suggestions and/or vendors.

Here are a few more tips to consider as you prep for the big day:

  • DO get personal with your attendees and use their names in all communications. Generic greetings such as “Dear Attendee” just don’t cut it anymore.
  • DO provide access to a free trial if you think it makes sense to do so. You’ll enjoy deeper and more relevant discussions at the show when attendees are already familiar with your brand.
  • DO think about your lead scoring system in advance and discuss this with your event staffers.

It’s Showtime!

With the big day upon you, it’s important to arrive early enough so that your booth is all set up and ready to go before the attendee flood gates open. Your goal here should be to make your booth as inviting and attractive as possible. As you design your space, think of creating comfortable spaces that will draw visitors to you. Giving away fun, innovative swag never hurt, either.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that even the most attractive booth won’t sell itself. Your number one priority should be interacting with attendees, so stay off your computer, put your phone away, and stand out in front of your booth or table (no sitting!). Be proactive and focus on having a handful of productive conversations. It’s all about quality, not quantity—there are no prizes awarded for collecting the greatest number of names.

It’s also important to attend the sessions, mingle on the event floor, and attend social events as time permits. Acquiring new customers doesn’t mean pitching your goods everywhere and to everyone, so be sure to have real conversations and make real connections with people. They’ll pay off. Make sure you have at least one other staffer on deck so that you can cover ground without abandoning your booth.

The following DOs and DON’Ts will help ensure your success at the show:

  • DO engage attendees with small talk to get the conversation moving: Where are they from? How are they enjoying the sessions? Once they seem comfortable, then the conversation can turn to business.
  • DO remember that attendees are not walking badges. Build relationships first, then scan.
  • DO be respectful of the floor plan. There are a lot of variables we consider when determining booth placement, and we aim to provide the best results for everyone—including attendees. Please don’t ask us to change it.
  • DON’T leave before the show comes to an end. There’s nothing worse than booths in various stages of disassembly before the last session leaves (except maybe attendees who leave their booth space a mess). Please clean up after yourselves.
  • DO make sure you keep walkways and common areas clean and clear. This will be enforced by the fire marshal for everyone’s safety.

The Encore

Once the show is over and everyone heads back home, it’s time to follow up with those great leads you collected. It’s important to give folks time to process the event and get settled back into their regular routines, so allow a few days of breathing room before picking up the phone (or shooting out that automated email). When it’s time, tailor your follow-up so that it directly relates to the conversation you had at the show (notes may be helpful here). If you didn’t have a long conversation, a more generic follow-up is fine, too.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re sponsoring our flagship B2B Marketing Forum or one of our local happy hours, the key is to relax and enjoy yourself. We want everyone to have fun, so whether it’s games, performances, or even magic, bringing a level of playfulness to your booth is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged! You’re vying for the attention of savvy marketing professionals, after all, so step up and rise to their level. Not only will you maximize your ROI by attracting more attention to your booth, but you’ll add to the overall enjoyment of the event. It’s a win-win.

Your B2B Marketing Forum Hostess-With-The-Mostest,

Courtney

Make the Most of Your Web Ads

Advertising on the MarketingProfs website gives you the unique opportunity to put your brand in front of half a million unique monthly visitors, consisting largely of active marketing professionals on the lookout for new ways to up the ante on their marketing strategies. Now is your moment in the spotlight, so make the most of it. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you prepare your web ad campaign to ensure you get the best possible return on investment.

Grab Their Attention

Whether you’re running a Topic Targeted or Run-Of-Site ad campaign (see here for what examples of each look like), your goal should be the same: create eye-catching ads that attract interest and compel visitors to act. You have only a small window of time to capture readers’ attention, so daring to be different can pay off big.

If you have the resources, video or animation can be great eye-catchers. Just one note of caution when using these creative types: keep the call to action up front so viewers don’t have to wait for it. Otherwise, you risk losing their attention and potential for conversion.

Equally as important as eye-catchings ads is appealing to your customers’ needs. Instead of gushing about how fabulous you are, discuss your value by focusing on these three questions:

  1. Why do my customers need this?
  2. How can I help their business?
  3. What’s in it for them?

To create clear, actionable copy, keep the following tips in mind:

  • DO get to the point. Even at a quick glance, your message should be clear.
  • DO make sure all text is easy to read by avoiding fancy or small fonts.
  • DO keep your ad copy relevant to your selected topic (especially for Topic Targeted ads). It probably goes without saying, but if your topic is email marketing, your ad probably shouldn’t be about video or social media.
  • DO stick to one topic or off er per ad. Have more products and services you want to promote? We’re happy to discuss additional ad campaigns with you.

Seal the Deal with Your Landing Page

 If your ads have done their job of converting eyeballs to clicks, you’re now one step closer to generating a lead and prospective customer. Will your landing page hold up its end of the bargain?

Your landing page is your opportunity to nurture interest sparked by your ad so that it grows into genuine enthusiasm for your product or service. Use powerful verbs to engage readers and drive actionable results, enticing them to “go,” “buy,” “sign up,” “download,” or “shop now.” If you want maximum conversion (and who doesn’t), your landing page should simply focus on the offer at hand, not provide an in-depth overview of your benefits or product lineup.

Also, don’t even think about making your homepage or shopping cart your landing page; having a dedicated landing page that relates precisely to the offer presented in your ad is an absolute must.

To make the most of your campaigns, follow these landing page tips:

  • DO keep it legible by using large fonts and keeping text to a minimum.
  • DO maintain branding elements from your website and ads for consistency.
  • DON’T go overboard with images. The more images you have, the longer your load time and the greater your chances of losing prospective leads.
  • DO think mobile first by employing a responsive design and ensuring that your landing page renders well for all visitors, regardless of device.
  • DON’T use Flash, which isn’t supported by all mobile devices.

Final Thoughts

As you create your ads, remember the goal: to attract attention and give them just enough information to make them want to click and learn more. By keeping your message simple and focused, combining that with a strong visual presence, and pointing prospects to a well-thought-out landing page, you’ll be in a great position to get the most value from your ad campaign.

Jason

Salesforce Ninja (and Web Ads guy)