Lead generation is one of the most important pillars of building a business. For any kind of business, reaching your prospective audience is the first brick or stone you must lay to build the foundations of your marketing and sales strategy. And so we embark upon building awareness, reaching eyeballs, getting clicks, and establishing thought leadership. We eagerly try to shout about our business when word of mouth just doesn’t cut it. This holds true for B2C and B2B business alike.
But while B2C environments can rely upon proof of experience, complimented by exceptional customer experience and service, B2B business face another hurdle — how do we convince the people listening to us, the ones who we’re positive will benefit from our offering, to reflect the same faith by putting their money where our mouth is? This is where the next challenge props up — nurturing your leads and prospects.
But do we really need to nurture leads? If our value proposition just isn’t resonating by itself with the audience, shouldn’t that mean that they’re probably not the audience segment we should be going after? Well, maybe. It could also mean that they haven’t seen the benefits as clearly as you have yet. Or it could mean the inertia to change is preventing them to move to your solution from something they already use.
In the B2B world, less than 1% of leads actually end up buying. (Forrester) That’s a losing battle to fight, which usually increases the marketing and customer acquisition costs to unmanageable levels.
Assuming you have identified the audience segments who can get the most out of your offering, lead nurturing can help you:
That will change the ROI of customer development significantly, eventually lowering your revenue share lost to acquiring customers.
Having established the importance of nurturing your prospects, how should you best should go about it? Regardless of the route you pick, the basics largely remain the same:
You must also remember that in the B2B world, decision makers are usually already beyond the halfway stage of their purchase journey before they contact sales, and in companies larger than 100 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in finalising a buying decision. (Worldwide Business Research). These factors can work in or against your favour, but better to factor them in before it’s too late.
The same research also suggests that over 90% of B2B buyers feel ‘online content has a moderate to major effect on [their] purchasing decisions’. And what’s more, over half (53%) of marketers say webinar is the top-of-the-funnel format that generates the most high-quality leads. (HubSpot)
That’s not a surprise. Webinars help you showcase your thought leadership and expertise with the express attention of your prospects, no matter where they are in the world. It also means that they’re there to gain something out of the experience too — perhaps they are checking your offering out, or learning about the field, or looking for new insights, or simply there to network.
Webinars help you showcase your thought leadership and expertise with the express attention of your prospects, no matter where they are in the world.
As long as you’re available to listen to, or even better, help them with, their needs, they’ll be inclined to listen to what you have to say. If done right, it’s a ‘smarketing’ goldmine.
Let’s dive into how you can make the most of webinars (and most other online events for that matter) to lead your prospects through the buyer journey. Every stage of bringing a webinar to life is as important as the others. And your objectives could span to include all of them: delivering great content in as interactive a format as you’d like to, getting as many people as possible to view and participate, and making the most of the event for your business KPIs.
This is the moment to craft your best narrative for the chosen topic at hand. Speak to customers and prospects alike to understand their needs, and bring the solution to life, perhaps with a sprinkling of your own offering.
Think about the logistics of the event — all the administrative elements from attendee registrations to speaker schedules, to organisation during the event. And of course, the content itself must be as high quality as possible.
This is the time to get as many people interested in your event as possible. Did you know the average B2B buyer goes through an average of 13 content pieces before deciding on a vendor? And it’s not just your content, a mix of first and third-party content work best to help seal the deal. (MarTech)
Think about posting on your blogs and socials to begin with, maybe make a native event on multiple channels, promote it using your own and your partners’ channels if possible, think about online ads. Find out where your audience thrives, and get the word out to them.
If this event is part of a series, think about how the various ‘episodes’ would tie together. On Tevent, you can create a Space to host all your events in a single place, and send broadcasts (in app and via email) to all your attendees. If you have a loyal community, this Space could double as a permanent hub for members to interact with each other.
Oh, and don’t forget to make arrangements to have your event recorded!
Once you have enough ‘bums on seats’, it's time to woo them during the live webinar. Focus on delivering value and engaging your audience as much as possible.
On Tevent, you can do so using chats, polls, reactions, and Q&As. We've shared everything about it here. You can even teleport your audience to where you want them to be.
If the occasion seems right, invite someone on to the stage to share the spotlight with them.
Encourage 1-to-1 networking, to have and bring people together with teleportation.
Keep your eyes out for individuals or subgroups who really seem to be getting the most out of the event. They will be your most promising prospects.
And again, make sure you record your event as it happens to give access to the ones who couldn't make it.
It's always a relief to have hosted a webinar or event successfully. You've recorded your event, now it's time to have it available on-demand.
This is important as it turns out more than half the attendees actually attend the webinar on demand rather than live at the event itself. (Business Wire). See more insights on having webinars available on demand here — we’ve also spoken about the ease of doing that on Tevent.
Now, once that's done, the next stage of review, iteration, and conversion begins.
First, for a holistic view of the event itself. Utilise event analytics to gain as much insight into it's success — how many attendees could make it, how many are watching on demand, were attendees attentive, did you time the polls and questions correctly, are there improvements you can make to your content?
Next, try to dig deep into individual engagement. Have you received any follow-up emails or chats? Could you identify some prospects who should be reached out to? Are they ready for a sales call, or do you think they should receive some more valuable content? And so on. You’ll find extensive event analytics on Tevent to help you with this stage.
Lastly, remember that numbers do matter. But so does your ‘feel’ of how the event went, which attendees were engaged, how did the content resonate with them, and so on and so forth. There's an excellent article about it on Forbes.
And that's it. Once you've held your first event, the process becomes iterative, and you can feed all your learnings to make the next one better. And again, and again. Keep on top of your KPIs, and measure the success of your lead nurturing process against the goals that matter to you.
The importance of nurturing your leads and engaging with them cannot be over-emphasised. For B2B businesses particularly, lead nurturing can improve your lead conversion rate, reduce customer acquisition costs, and eventually get more insights from your customers to improve your offering.
Webinars remain one of the most, if not the most, preferred channels for lead nurturing as it offers you a chance to deliver value to your customers, personally, before they even pay for your offering. It starts a relationship based on trust, and a two-way conversation that can benefit not only your customers, but you, and your business as well.
It’s about time we outgrew the teething pains of current virtual and remote solutions. Let’s start making remote fun, collaborative and workable for all.