Webinars, also referred to as online seminars, have become a familiar phenomenon to most marketing professionals. But which topics are webinars most suited to? And during which phase of a customer journey? In this blog, I delve deeper into this question, on the basis of a practical case. Based on 4 different phases within the customer journey, you will find out how webinars can help you to transform leads into clients, or even fans.
The customer journey
As we know, the main bulk of the customer journey takes place online nowadays. The fact that you “sell yourself” well online, is therefore of high importance.The potential client goes through four steps in the entire customer process. Not everyone assigns these steps the same names, but I like to use the following:
- After sales
The beauty of webinars, is that they are proven to be extremely suited to any of the aforementioned phases! They can even accelerate the entire customer journey considerably.
Webinars and the customer journey
A target group has different needs in each of the 4 phases. You need to respond to that with the content of your webinars. Translating those needs into the design of an actual webinar is often experienced as difficult. That is why I will try to help you on your way with the following:
Phase 1: Position yourself as a knowledgable party within your area of expertise.
Imagine, you offer financial services. The product you want to bring to the attention is investment. In the ‘awareness’ phase, it is important that your target group becomes aware that investment is the solution to their problem. Think for example of building up a retirement fund, in a different way from the increasingly unreliable existing pensions. This will be a topic many people can identify with.
During your webinar, you show the advantages of investment. You explain a little more about the current problems and how in this case, investment offers a solution. That way, you put yourself on the map as the party that knows what they’re doing. Besides, the thought leadership you claim with this, will create trust in your organisation. And this is, of course, the basis for any good customer relationship.
If all is well, your webinar should provide participants with a ‘wow!’ moment: ‘This might just be the solution to my problem!’ thinks your prospective customer, ‘I definitely want to know more about this!’. Luckily, that wish is often transformed into action. After a webinar, the chances of more people looking up information about investment and/or your organisation, according to Marketingprofs is huge. Roughly 85% of webinar participants takes one action, and 60% even takes two or more actions!
Phase 2: Convince the target group
During the customer journey’s consideration phase, you convince your leads of the value of your solution. What exactly does investment get you? In the webinar, you discuss the advantages of outsourcing investment and why your organisation is the one to do that with. Also, you explain which ROI one can explain as a consequence. During this phase, try to use client cases and references to strengthen your argument and make your solution more tangible. Also, make sure you leave space for questions from leads.
So, you need to use this phase to convince your leads. However, this is often also the time during which they enter into conversation with colleagues in order to make a decision. In order to convince them, too, it helps to provide your leads with bitesized arguments. For example, after your webinar, send leads a convincing infographic, clearly outlining the advantages of your solution.
Phases 3 and 4: Keeping and expanding your client base
After a lot of work, the leads have eventually become clients. The keeping and expanding of a client base is generally less effort than recruiting new ones. In order to keep clients, it’s important that you give them attention, offer value, and, where necessary, support them.
You can use webinars to inform clients of relevant themes surrounding, for example, investment. Also, you may use webinars to train clients in the use of your solution. As a provider of financial services, you could, for example, explain the yield overview within your app via a software demonstration. This way, clients will learn to make optimal use of your services, resulting in fewer questions for your service desk. This leads to a higher customer satisfaction rate, lower costs and more use of your products (thus a higher profit). If you continue to create value for your customers, they will become fans, the most valuable customers you can get!
Webinars are mainly intended to inform and convince. You want to help your target group. It’s important to stick with that. Sadly, I still occassionally come across someone who can’t help but squeeze in a sales pitch here and there. This scares your prospects off, don’t do it!