B2B marketers often consider webinars to be one of their go-to formats for content that moves the needle. Webinars have tremendous reach to provide useful content to a large target audience.
According to the latest research from Content Marketing Institute, 57% of B2B marketers have hosted webinars in the past year. To put that into perspective, it’s a format that’s used significantly more than buzz formats like longform blog posts, research reports or podcasts.
And it makes sense. Well-crafted webinars are cost-effective and can:
- Generate qualified leads
- Engage with prospects in a way no other marketing channel can
- Nudge prospects into making a buying decision
- Provide staying power
But, for anyone who has planned and hosted a webinar, you know they can be time-consuming to create, take a lot of bandwidth to promote, and require endless follow-up to keep them top of mind. In a word, creating, presenting and following up on webinars can be tedious.
If you’re going to put that much effort into one marketing asset, you might as well make sure that it will serve you well for longer than one hour.
Enter the Flywheel
According to HubSpot’s Global Partner Program Manager Iliyana Stareva, the traditional sales funnel is dead. “Long live the flywheel,” she wrote in one recent blog post. HubSpot Co-Founder Brian Halligan spoke on the topic at length at INBOUND 2018 in Boston. He calls the funnel model, which he helped to popularize, “Ye Olde Funnel,” to indicate how outdated the methodology is to current marketing practices.
The flywheel is a new, some would say more accurate, vision of the buying process that shows growth spinning outward from the center, speeding up as the different pieces of the circle help propel one another forward.
To meet the needs of marketers who understand today’s buyer’s journey and the benefits of automated, on-demand nurture content, ClickMeeting, a leading webinar platform, has built several new functionalities and restructured their pricing plans around empowering people to work with what they’re calling the “webinar flywheel.”
The process of setting up your webinar flywheel follows four general stages.
Read on to learn more about these exciting new developments for building momentum with your brand’s growth using ClickMeeting.
Phase 1: Lay the groundwork with an optimized account setup
Let’s assume your webinar is ready. You’ve done all the necessary upfront research about your target audience and have a schedule, slides, presenter and promotional assets in place.
Now it’s time to dive into the mechanics of ClickMeeting’s tools to make the most of its features—and your time.
For starters, you have much to gain by easily integrating a number of useful platforms, such as CRMs, tag managers, retargeting pixels and analytics tools, into your webinar account.
At the very least, I recommend setting up your Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics, because these will work in the background to track data about visitors to all of your ClickMeeting pages, including your:
- Profile page
- Registration form
- Thank-you page
- Waiting room page
The more data you get, the better you are able to target your audience with remarketing ads on Facebook, Google search and the Google Display Network. These tools also also tracks your visitors’ actions on ClickMeeting pages to let you run more effective remarketing campaigns, based on exactly where they stopped engaging with your webinar content.
Here’s how it works. Go to your ClickMeeting account panel. Click on your account name in the upper right. That will open up the menu shown in Fig. 1. Click on Account Settings and then click on the Integrations tab. Scroll all the way down, select Facebook Pixel, enter your Facebook Pixel ID and click Connect.
As you can see from Fig. 2, integrating with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager is also relatively easy. Simply follow the same steps but click on the analytics or CRM platform you want to integrate with your webinar. You can choose from HubSpot, Salesforce, Infusionsoft and Pipedrive, plus a few of the most popular email automation platforms. Once integrated, you will be able to push data relating to your webinar registrants, and their in-webinar engagement, directly to your CRM account.
Once in place, you will ultimately have access to more than a dozen apps and plugins to help you promote your webinars and track metrics (Fig. 3).
Phase 2: Setting Up Live Event-Specific Automations
Automation is probably the most important function in the webinar flywheel. With ClickMeeting, there are many ways to automate your event, starting with the default settings page.
From the Account Settings page, click on the Advanced Settings tab. Your page will look similar to Fig. 4. Here you can set up several global automation settings for your account, such as the thank-you page redirect. Paste the URL to your thank-you page or to any other web page you want your attendee to go to.
This is important for two reasons. One, it allows you to track registrant conversions by simply viewing instances of visits to the thank-you page. And two, it allows you to encourage registrants to dive deeper into key content assets on your website, or to share their excitement about the upcoming webinar with their social media followers.
You can also set up ClickMeeting to send automated thank-you emails to attendees, you can publish your event to a your ClickMeeting profile, send out default reminders, and even set up a default “waiting room” for attendees. Just check the appropriate box and add the necessary information, and you’re good to go.
Next up, the real control comes at the event Schedule level.
From your account panel, click on Schedule and then select Schedule Event from the drop-down menu. When you click on the Automation tab, your page should look like Fig. 5.
This is where the real fun begins.
There are many automation options you can explore. For the sake of this review, we’re going to focus on automating follow-up communications with attendees and non-attendees alike.
While you have the Automation tab open, click the drop-down arrow for Follow-up rules (Fig. 6).
Similar to the global default page, you can direct attendees to a landing page or customize an automatic thank-you email. If you click on Add a Feedback Button, the message will include a rating option and room for comments from attendees. There is, after all, no better way to get feedback than to ask for it directly.
You also have the option to send a thank-you email to people who registered for your webinar, but did not attend. As you can see, you have many options for automating your webinar. Be sure to check out this page and take it for a spin.
Phase 3: Qualifying Leads with Replays and Follow-Ups
This is where you begin to use webinars to nurture your leads and distinguish the warm leads from the cold ones. And the best way to get to that point is with more content.
By now you, ideally, have created and recorded a few webinars. Each one focuses on a different topic that adds value to your prospective customers. Now you can create new webinar events for each, setting the Access type to “Open to all” and Room type to “On-Demand” on the Details tab (Fig. 7).
From here, you can use the experience editor to add clips from your ClickMeeting library of recordings, plus other elements call-to-action banner overlays. There’s also the option to use variants of On-Demand, such as Automated events, where sections of the webinar will be replays and others – like the Q&A session at the end, for example – will be live and interactive.
Once you repeat this process for each of your most engaging, relatively evergreen webinars, you’ve got replay versions of them available to anyone. Now you can start promoting your on-demand webinars, you will begin to get data about your attendees and non-attendees. You will begin to get an idea of which content they like the most.
An important way to qualify your leads is by following up with them. If you go back to the Automation tab under Schedule an event, you have a couple of more options:
- Automatic follow-up email to those who registered for your webinar but did not attend
- Automatic invitations for your next events
Under the second option, you can customize invitations for those who did attend your first event and those who didn’t (Fig. 8).
And with your retargeting pixels in place, you can keep track of how your prospects are responding to each and every offer. The ones who show the most interest are ready for the next phase.
Phase 4: Providing Rich Libraries of Webinar Content
You now have the basic mechanics of how to integrate and automate your webinars and to nurture your leads by monitoring and following up. The final phase of this review will focus on setting up free self-service courses consisting of themed series of webinar recordings.
The first step is to make sure you have enough content prepared. By this stage, you should have at least five webinars in your niche wrapped and ready to go. Now you can set up a custom landing page on your website that speaks to the topic theme which ties together your webinars as a series. You can then deliver webinar replays packaged as courses, either for binge watching as a stack of replay embeds on a gated web page, or as weekly lesson drips, distributed via email.
Another compelling option is to use ClickMeeting’s native integration with Moodle, a leading learning management system (LMS) that’s made for delivering optimized self-service course experiences (Fig. 9).
Using the integration and automation tools discussed earlier in this article, set up your timeline and be sure to add a strong call to action. With your tracking tools, CRM integrations and automated follow-up workflows in place, you will be able to monitor your attendees and continue to nurture leads to the point of sales-readiness.
As you build your audience and your library of content, you will generate more interest and grow your business. Order has been restored, and content is once again king.
ClickMeeting’s webinar flywheel approach is a powerful example of how business growth comes from sharing quality content, automating processes as much as possible, engaging with prospects until they become customers, and leveraging your processes to build momentum that feeds itself on autopilot.
While it takes a lot of work and preparation, the results can be well worth the time and effort.
For more information, download the free e-book [gated content] from ClickMeeting. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to make the most of the webinar flywheel and grow your business in the process.