When you think about webinars as a demand generation channel, you might focus your energy on getting as many people to register for your event as possible.
But what about the people who actually attend?
At SnapApp, our sales team is over the moon after we host a webinar. The leads they talk to after the event-the ones who attended and participated in the webinar-are always much more excited and willing to talk than the average prospect.
That’s why for most marketers, the goal when running a webinar isn’t just how many people register-it’s how many you can convince to actually take the time out of their day to attend.
That typically takes a pretty powerful value proposition for attendance in the first place. That means offering something the prospect can only get from attending the webinar in person (not just viewing the recording afterward).
Interactive content gives you the incentives you need to convince your buyers to dial in at the appointed time and soak up all your brilliant content.
Read on to find out how with these three hacks:
1. Challenge Them to Test Their Knowledge
People love trivia. More importantly, we love to find out the answers and know how we scored (and how we stacked up against our peers). Were we right about the only silent film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards (Wings, 1928)?
Channel this innate desire to boost attendance at your next webinar. In your promotion or reminder emails, serve up a quiz tailored to your industry-then promise the answers during the webinar itself. Your registrants will have to log in live to find out if they know their stuff.
Take it one step further and include a prize drawing for those with the correct answer, only available for attendees.
(Psst… keep reading for an example of a company that tried this-and it worked!)
2. Survey Their Needs
Have you ever attended a webinar thinking it would answer all the questions you had, only to be sorely disappointed at the event itself?
You definitely don’t want this to happen to your attendees. You worked hard to get them there-you want to make sure they’ll be motivated to attend again.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to know for sure that the webinar content you’re crafting is what your attendees want to hear?
No surprise there-try a survey.
Running a pre-webinar survey is one of the best ways to ensure your content hits the mark. Find out which topics your audience is craving before the webinar begins, then tailor the content accordingly.
If it turns out your audience is completely uninterested in a topic you were planning to cover, you can spend less time there and more on the section that piqued their interest. Your attendees will stick around longer and be more likely to come back again for your next event.
By being responsive to your audience’s needs, you’ll ensure you’re delivering a product they will enjoy and value-building your credibility as their go-to for the information they need.
3. Promise Dynamic Interaction
There’s nothing worse than a webinar where nothing seems to happen. You have a couple of speakers going through a pile of slides, maybe a Q&A session at the end… but your audience is just sitting there soaking it all in (or tuning it out).
In education, research suggests active or experiential learning may help students grasp challenging concepts better than passive or lecture-based methods. The same is true of your webinar audience: engage them actively in the subject matter and they’ll be better-equipped to apply what they’ve learned.
Take a break or two (or three!) during your webinar to bring the audience into the learning process. Host a poll, ask for questions, or elicit suggestions and recommendations from the audience. Breaking up the “lecture” in this way will re-engage passive listeners and turn them into active participants.
Even better, promise your registrants this kind of interaction in advance. In the promotion email, reminder notes, and your social messages express what a special opportunity this webinar will be for your audience to personalize their learning experience. Make the benefits of showing up for the live event obvious so your registrants can’t wait to log in.
Interactivity in Practice: Castlight Health
Castlight Health, a healthcare company based in San Francisco, serves as a compelling use case for this approach.
After visitors registered for the webinar; “Drive Employee Engagement With Predictive Analytics,” Castlight sent an email containing a link to a pre-webinar survey that challenged registrants to test their knowledge. “How do you stack up?”
At just two questions long, the survey didn’t require a big time commitment from registrants-and offered the tantalizing promise that they would share the results during the live webinar.
The outreach worked-Castlight exceeded its attendee goal with 52% attendance. They also incorporated the results of the survey into the webinar, tailoring the content of the event based on the preferences of their registrants.
Activate Webinar Engagement
If you’re struggling with low turnout for your online events, you’re not alone. All our buyers are busy people with packed schedules, and setting aside thirty minutes or an hour for a webinar can be a challenge. By promising greater value-and then delivering on that promise-you’ll entice more of your registrants to tune in and turn up (rather than waiting for the recording).
Go on-test one of the interactive strategies above and see the effect it has on your audience. Soon, you’ll be turning attendees away as you engage participants in a packed digital session.
Does your marketing automation performance need a boost? Download the 10 Ways Interactive Content Boosts Marketing Automation eBook. You’ll be creating more interesting content to feed your email programs, collecting data beyond the lead form, and attracting more visitors at a higher conversion point in no time!