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April 3, 2019 | By

How to Make Webinars the Star of Your Account Based Marketing

Before we get into account-based marketing (ABM) webinars, let’s start off with a quick definition of account-based marketing. Here’s one I like from Engagio:

Account Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts. 

Sounds pretty great, right? Account-based marketing is helping B2B companies improve customer lifetime value, increase win rates, and drive higher marketing ROI.

But ABM isn’t as simple as launching a campaign or purchasing technology (darn!). It comes with challenges like scaling personalized content and aligning marketing and sales.

In this post, I’m going to talk about how webinars help solve these challenges, and I’ll give you actionable tips for putting webinars front and center of your account-based marketing.

Identify the right accounts.

Identifying your target account list is the first step in any ABM program. When creating your ideal customer profile, look for attributes of accounts that are likely to become high-value customers. Look through marketing, sales and third-party data for things like:

  • Company size
  • Potential of repeat purchases
  • Industry
  • Revenue
  • Location
  • Current tech stack

Once you’ve decided on a list of organizations based on these factors, it’s time to research those companies and identify the key decision makers.

Armed with this knowledge, you can position your brand more persuasively to your target accounts and figure out what kind of webinars you will produce.

Get sales involved.

Successful account-based marketing depends on sales and marketing alignment, but marketers cite it as a top ABM challenge.

ABM biggest challenges

The good news is that webinars are one of the easiest ways to turn sales and marketing into best friends. Involve your sales team with your webinars from the get-go. Get their input and make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to:

  • Audience
  • Goals
  • Topics
  • Webinar follow-up plan

Then invite sales reps to join the actual webinar. This is the best way to familiarize them with the webinar topic, which helps them thoughtfully follow-up with attendees. It also provides them with visibility into webinar performance, and all the audience participation will help get them excited and motivated.

Because you’re already aligned on a webinar follow-up plan, your reps will be ready to reach out to attendees after the webinar, but more on that later.

Set up a personalized webinar landing page.

The personalized landing page is the gateway to your webinar. This is where you’ll send the decision maker(s) from your target accounts.

To drive people to your webinar you might use targeted social ads or send direct messages via LinkedIn or Twitter. Email is another important ABM channel as is partner or influencer marketing, which works especially well with webinars and happens to be our favorite tactic for our own webinars.

Your webinar landing or registration page should show visitors a unique value proposition and compelling reason to register. This works best when your webinar target audience has similar attributes and pain points that you can use to craft a landing page with relevant copy and imagery.

If you want to go a step further, use real-time personalization tools to customize landing pages with details about your visitors – like their name and industry – that you’ve captured from their previous engagement.

Deliver a personal webinar experience.

One of the biggest challenges of account-based marketing is engaging decision makers with super relevant content in super personalized experiences. According to TOPO’s 2019 Account Based Marketing Benchmark Report, 37% of marketers say delivering customized content or experiences is a big ABM challenge.

Webinars are a great way to solve that challenge. Here are a few ways to approach ABM webinars:

  1. Host an account-based webinar for top tier accounts. Focus your webinar content around that particular account’s needs, challenges, and how you solve those challenges. This kind of webinar also gives you an opportunity to address the questions and concerns of all stakeholders in real time.
  2. A more scalable approach is to host targeted webinars for specific audience segments. This way you can deliver relevant content to a group of similar accounts in terms of industry, company size, challenges, etc.
  3.  Another great option is to pre-record ABM webinars and create custom introductions, conclusions or other sections within the webinar that make it feel unique and personal for a specific account or audience segment. In fact, with GoToWebinar’s recorded events, you can pre-record webinars and still include interactive features like polls and Q&A.

Interact and determine interest and intent.

Interacting with attendees makes the webinar experience feel personal and exclusive. Here are a few ways to make your webinar feel more like a real two-way conversation:

  • Get on webcam! Have presenters share their webcam to help make a personal connection.
  • Use polls to find out about your audience. Go a step further and adjust your webinar on the fly based on poll responses.
  • Encourage questions throughout the presentation and leave time at the end for Q&A.
  • Ask registrants to submit questions or topics for discussion at the time of registration. This way you can tailor your content to your audience in advance.

It’s also important to identify hot leads in your webinar that you can pass off to sales. This is one of the best things about webinars – you can actually ask attendees directly where they are in the buyer’s journey. At the end of the webinar poll attendees or send a post-webinar survey and ask if they want to learn more about your product, if they are open to a sales conversation and anything else you want to know about them. Remember, you’ll get more responses if you do this during the webinar versus in a post-webinar survey.

You can also use other clues to determine where people are in their journey. Webinar attendance and attendance length, attentiveness, questions, poll responses, previous engagement behavior, and the number of attendees from a single account can all help you determine sales readiness.

Follow up after the webinar.

With your successful webinar in the bag, you can breathe a sigh of relief, but not for too long. Your webinar will have produced various leads, hot and cold, so you and your sales team will need to follow up with them.

Both hot and cold leads should receive the recorded webinar link and slides within 24 hours of the webinar. Cold or early stage leads can go into your ABM nurturing, but hot leads deserve personal sales outreach.

Give sales reps have a list of attendees from their target account as well as their webinar poll and survey responses along with any questions they had during the webinar. With these insights, they can craft highly targeted outreach.

Webinars take center stage

ABM webinars let you deliver personalized experiences for key accounts or audience segments, they’re interactive, they drive quality engagement, they help you gauge intent, and they’re a great vehicle to drive sales and marketing alignment. What more could a marketer ask for? Ready to make webinars the star of your account-based marketing?

 

Insider's Guide to Webainrs


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