We often talk about how success companies host webinars regularly and share tips and tricks to help you grow your business and hold great webinars. But sometimes, we are the ones that learn from our customers who have found great success with their webinar programs.

Over the last 18 months, Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director, at MobileCause, a VC-backed mobile software firm for non-profit fundraising, has committed to investing in a webinar program for their mobile and online fundraising solutions to spur a new generation of donors. But it hasn’t always been easy.

“We’ve made every mistake in the book,” Koenig confessed. On top of making several mistakes early on, MobileCause also found that their leads were much more likely to download an infographic or an eBook than sign up for a webinar. On the surface, MobileCause’s webinars were not successful.

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It’s imperative when putting together a webinar program, that you know exactly what your goals are. Are you looking to increase your number of leads, shorten your sales cycle, reduce churn, or become thought leaders in your industry. Depending on your audience and the type of webinars you produce, your goals and KPIs should be specific.

MobileCause decided on a two-fold goal. They wanted to shorten their sales cycle and become thought leaders in the non-profit fundraising space. After committing to a webinar program despite their doubts due to disproportionately fewer leads than with other content initiatives they found that 50% of their customers who signed up in a month had attended a webinar first.

Selling, Without Selling

Webinars are a fantastic way to spread your industry knowledge and become an authority in your space. But few potential customers what to attend a Webinar where they are going to be sold a product. They attend because they want to learn and get better at their craft or find solutions to problems they have encountered.

In their webinars, MobileCause has been sharing expert in demand fundraising advice to nonprofits by being on the forefront of trends. “Answer the questions people are asking,” Koenig stated about how to pick a webinar topic. You can find what is being asked by looking through your website’s Keyword data, see what’s trendy on social media or even what other webinars in your space are talking about.

In MobileCause’s research, they found that Millennials are less likely to respond to traditional fundraising efforts, instead they are more likely to respond to SMS, Social Media or mobile friendly registration forms. They also were quick to see the opportunity that Facebook Live could present in the fundraising space, as it’s an easy way to host a worldwide event at zero cost. Teaching their audience about these methods, while showing examples that used their product helps create a more informed lead that felt they genuinely benefited from the webinar, whether or not they sign up for MobileCause.

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 12.32.09 PMIn one month, Koenig recalled receiving 6000 leads. Only 1000 of those leads were from Webinars, but 50% of those that became customers had attended a webinar. Their sales team reported having shorter conversations as the value of the product was clear to those that attended the webinars. This proved that MobileCause had met both of their goals, shortening their sales cycle and becoming thought leaders. Webinars are now a permanent part of their marketing stack.

Your Own Webinars May Not Be Enough

Putting together your own webinar program is a fantastic way to grow your business. On the AnyMeeting blog we have talked about about the importance and steps to securing guest speakers or improving audience engagement. However, there is one aspect of webinars that we haven’t touched on: Becoming a guest speaker yourself.

Jeremy Koenig shared that it can sometimes be very difficult to secure a guest speaker. This is no reason not to hold a Webinar. Though having expert speakers is an added benefit, you can also round up your internal team or be your own speaker. In the end, it’s the content that matters.

For MobileCause, and also for our team at AnyMeeting, one piece of the guest speaker strategy is seeking our customers with a success story. Koenig tells us that his team will reach out to several customers and maybe a few will agree to participate.

What often goes unspoken is the impact the guest speaking spot has for the speaker’s business. Koenig recalled one speaker who was relatively unknown, but after joining their Webinar with over 1000 attendees had begun to see growth in their own business.

Partnering with other businesses with a pre-existing webinar program could be a great way to launch your own webinar strategy to gain exposure and grow your business. It can also help validate any internal doubt you may have about launching a webinar program of your own.

 

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