5 ways webinars enhance your marketing and sales funnel

Effective, convenient and, affordable, webinars are a great way to generate demand, drive user engagement and nurture leads

Webinars are an effective, convenient, and affordable way to capture prospects and progress them through the marketing and sales funnel.

According to a study by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, over 50% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers use webinars as part of their content marketing strategy, mostly describing it as “effective.”

The effectiveness of webinars spans the entire sales and marketing funnel — top, middle, and bottom of funnel.

From generating awareness, to identifying sales-ready leads, to onboarding new customers, webinars can help you push prospects through each stage of the buying process more quickly and with higher closing rates.

In this post, we take a look at the specific roles of webinars in converting marketing leads to sales leads. Let’s get to it:

1. Demand generation

When small-medium businesses think about generating demand, what springs to mind first are conventional tactics like paid search, social media, and events.

But as it is with most marketers, you find yourself dealing with the same old problem of spending too much money for a small number of leads.

But with webinars you can quickly and easily generate a plenitude of leads without having to break the bank. In fact, InsideSales.com reveals that 70% of B2B sales and marketing leaders say a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads.

2. User engagement

Unlike most marketing tactics like ebooks, webinars can combine multiple engagement methods — visual, audio, text, etc. — to deliver your message. This provides an immersive, multimedia experience, where your message isn’t limited to a headline and a blurb.

You have an abundance of thirty to 60 minutes to develop a rapport with your audience, answer questions, explain difficult concepts, get feedback, and visually walk them through use cases.

This holistic experience engrosses and engages prospects from the onset. Yet, most webinars don’t require the huge design and production costs that assets like infographics, videos, and ebooks do.

The real cost of a webinar comes down to your time and the money you spend on promoting the event, plus a small fee for the webinar platform.

3. Lead nurturing

While you can also nurture leads using tactics like drip campaigns, webinars take it up a notch.

First, there’s the engagement advantage; then there’s the real-time interaction benefit, which humanises your brand and personalises viewers’ experiences.

So with webinars, you get to:

  • Feed your prospects with valuable information about your products and services while positioning your small business as a thought leader.
  • Listen to the concerns of prospects and provide them with answers.
  • Develop relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel.

With that sort of nurturing, your conversion rates can only go north.

4. Buying cycle acceleration

One of the causes of loss of leads is prolonged buying cycle. Buyers want to move quickly through the sales process, but fully equipped with the right information about your product.

With traditional methods, buyers may fall off the buying cycle before they get to the conversion stage. But with webinars, you can move prospects from the top to the bottom of the funnel at a much quicker pace.

For one, you can take advantage of tools like polling, chat, and surveys to quickly learn more about your audience and gather data that will help you qualify and pinpoint sales-ready leads.

For two, you can choose a webinar platform that integrates with relevant third-party marketing-sales tools. For example, a webinar platform like ClickMeeting can integrate with your marketing automation platform to save you time and leverage behavioral data to drive lead scoring, segmentation, and follow-up.

5. User support

The role of webinars does not end after you’ve closed the deal. You can continue to use webinars to train new users and explain advanced features, thereby providing a worthwhile customer experience.

This helps in building customer loyalty, increasing retention rate, and you learn how to continually improve your products with users’ feedback.

What’s next?

If designed with the buying cycle in mind, webinars can be an extremely effective method for moving prospects from awareness to purchase in the marketing-sales funnel.

To be most effective, your webinar must be tailored to the specific objectives of each stage of the buying cycle.

If you have yet to integrate webinars into your marketing and sales funnel, there’s no better time to do it than now.