Webinars can be a great tactic to help inform a B2B audience about a product or service, if you keep the focus on education and avoid the hard sell.
“Despite the best counsel given, many companies still make webinars way too sale-focused,” says Star VanderHaar, vice president, Arketi Group. “They forget that the key point is all about education. Someone is giving up their time to be on the line with you and they’ll shut you off the minute they hear a sales pitch.”
VanderHaar and John Hansen, senior manager, mid-market marketing leader, Iron Mountain, presented “Lead Nurturing: Turning ‘Who are You? Into ‘Let’s Do Business’” at LeadsCon’s B2B Connect to Convert.
Document management firm Recall (now part of Iron Mountain) had good brand awareness with enterprise customers, but saw untapped opportunity with small and medium businesses. It needed to position itself as a thought leader, educating SMBs on ways to protect their physical and digital data.
“There was no real leader in the market from a provider prospective,” VanderHaar notes. “Webinars were one of the best ways to educate the market and help build relationships with customers and prospects.”
In the session VanderHaar and Hansen looked at the overall strategy behind Recall and Iron Mountain’s approach to webinars as education for target market segments, including ideas on how to encourage participation both before and during the event, and ways to maximize follow-up opportunities.
B2B marketers also need to get creative with interactivity to engage audiences, she says. Recall did a four question pre-webinar poll on document management for one webinar, revealing the results during the event. It resulted in 500 responses, and helped drive attendance.
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