In today’s socially distanced world, webinars are an essential platform for connecting with clients. But they can also be a powerful strategic prospecting tool. Knowledge Labs® Director Lindsay Troxell outlines key steps for planning, promoting and hosting high-quality virtual events.
Webinars have been a fairly ubiquitous form of client communication for a long time now. And in today’s socially distanced world, they are a truly essential touchpoint and a valuable opportunity to reach clients and prospects. However, many financial professionals approach webinars as one-off events: They tend to do minimal planning and promotion, and once the webinar is over, it is essentially forgotten.
If a one-off event is all you intend your webinar to be, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you want to use webinars as part of a targeted prospecting campaign, you may want to put a little more time and attention into your planning, promotion and – most importantly – post-event follow-up activities. If you approach your event as an ongoing campaign as opposed to an isolated event, you may discover that webinars can be a powerful, strategic prospecting tool.
Planning: More than Just Logistics
Careful planning prior to your event is obviously key, but don’t limit your planning to simply thinking about content and logistics. I would argue that setting expectations and establishing realistic goals for the event are even more important steps in the planning stage. For example, ask yourself if you would be content with having just five or 10 clients in attendance or if you expect to have at least 50 attendees. In terms of prospecting for new business, consider whether asset level is important or if you are looking to cast a fairly wide net to reach as many prospects as possible.
Promotion: Think Targeted and Multifaceted
Establishing these expected outcomes will help inform the next phase of planning: Pre-event promotion. Sending an email or two a couple of weeks before the event probably won’t yield very impressive results. Again, approach your webinar promotion as a targeted, multifaceted campaign. Consider using multiple platforms, including social media posts, special promotions on your website, direct mail pieces – and yes, emails, but make sure your emails are well designed and have clear call-to-actions. As you create content for all the materials you intend to use to promote your event, focus on what you think will resonate with your particular audience and capture their attention.
Follow-up: Keep the Connection Going
The outreach you conduct following the event is just as important as the promotion leading up to it, so be sure to place equal focus on your tactics during this stage. You made a connection with clients and prospects during your event, now think about how you can hold their interest and keep that connection going in the days and weeks following your webinar. For example, for your top prospects, you may want to consider creating more substantial materials – such as a whitepaper that ties back to the topic presented in the webinar – that you can share as part of the follow-up campaign. If you recorded the webinar, you may choose to edit the recording so you can use specific segments as part of other marketing efforts.
Looking for more guidance? Download Master the Art of the Webinar, a helpful checklist that outlines key steps for pre-event preparation, ongoing promotion, day-of logistics and a strategic drip campaign to maintain interest after your event.
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