Hands On

Don’t Press Pause on Webinars: Here’s How They’ll Help Your Business Attract Leads

Is the Webinar dead? It probably will be for companies that won't understand how to meet their audience where they are

Victoria Vix Reitano
November 04 2017

Converting new leads can be challenging, but in today’s overcrowded and oversaturated digital marketplace, attracting them can be even more challenging. A few years ago, it seemed everyone was trying their hand at Webinars to attract and convert leads, and while that’s still the case for many tech tool brands and experts, the conversation has shifted.

Facebook Live changed this path, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Webinar is dead. It means there’s a new tool in the toolbox and how you adapt is what sets you apart from the other marketers on your competitors’ teams.

One way to do that is to think like a scrappy start-up no matter what your budget looks like. From thought leadership campaigns for high-ranking members of the organization to daily organic content marketing strategies and plans, scrappy start-up ideas help foster agility and adapt in an ever-changing environment.

While working at ABC, my job was to create a way for us to engage our viewers – that is, the people actually watching at home – and allow them to participate in a daily trivia challenge.

The easiest way to do this was to create an online entry form and allow them a hand at the game. The best part about doing this? It also collected valuable leads on a daily basis. Sure, some of the leads were duplicates, but when the volume is so high, what difference does it make?

If you want to eliminate duplicate leads, you can, but if you are doing a daily contest, having the duplicates shows you how engaged certain followers are – this allows you to segment your audience and provide them with tailored Webinar-like events for their engagement level AND for their level of influence. That’s where Facebook and YouTube live trump the webinar – they allow you to communicate with different groups of your fans on a regular basis, keeping the two-way conversation going at all times.

This is something that all brands – and individual influencers – can employ in order to generate leads rapidly and begin to create a conversation around a product, service or area of thought leadership.

Here’s a step by step guide to doing just that:

Challenge, Accepted

Attracting leads for a challenge-based campaign often relies on the “coolness” factor of the prize and how involved the challenge steps are (but we’ll cover that in a moment). If the prize is not something your audience wants, why are you giving it away? If you’re not sure what they want, poll them! If you’re starting from scratch, evaluate what other like-minded individuals and brands have offered and offer something similar. You could also present your audiences with a chance to join your most popular program for free or 1:1 time with yourself or your team. The best way to manage this is a digital scavenger hunt – share content on all platforms leading up to the Live Video event and then get your users to share photos, videos or links with their audiences. This not only increases the engagement around your brand, it allows you to get a sense of how interested the audience is in your produce, service and offerings.

Keep it Simple…

You know how that saying goes – keep the challenge itself simple and visual. If you’re running a challenge on Instagram to increase engagement around a hashtag, don’t ask your challengers to submit a link. If you’re asking them to submit a photo on Facebook, make sure your page permissions allow this. Think about what your ultimate goal is beyond attracting new leads for your email list and focus on making the process for the audience to participate as simple as possible.

Follow Up, Live

This is where the hybrid approach comes in. The Webinar isn’t dead, it just needs to grow-up. Instead of doing a webinar at the front-end of the challenge or sending (boring) email after (boring) email reminding users to “mark their calendars,” follow up the challenge with a live video announcing the winner and unveiling a surprise. You, as the engineer of this challenge, should know what that surprise is BEFORE you launch the challenge and it should be a juicy one. Announcing it live on Facebook—unless you’re a powerful content creator on YouTube—accomplishes two things – 1) it increases your engagement and 2) it allows your (new + reactivated) audience to see that you are an active, powerful presence who deserves a follow beyond the time of the challenge. It also helps you attract their friends and create a new list for paid social media content strategy.

In the live video, you want to make sure that you’re speaking the audience you’re communicating with directly – if you’re on YouTube, say YouTubers, if you’re on Facebook, say it. This allows the audience to realize that this is a LIVE video, recorded specifically for this purpose.

If you want to host a series of experts but don’t want to use YouTube Live, you can use Belive.tv for Facebook and schedule the event as well. If you do decide to host a digital scavenger hunt as part of the plan, schedule the event in advance so your audience can promote that too!

So there you have it. The Webinar isn’t dead, it just needs to grow up and one way for it (and us) to mature is to treat our strategies like a scrappy start-up. Scrappy start-ups fear nothing and have no entrenched philosophies — be a scrappy start-up and leads will flock to you like followers on the original Facebook.


Victoria Vix Reitano

Victoria “Vix” Reitano is a digital strategy, PR, and marketing expert, managing content and audience development for brands, entrepreneurs and influencers. Her strategies, content and digital assets help brands, entrepreneurs and influencers bring in and convert leads to grow their business using free and paid tools online and in traditional media. She is the CEO, Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist of CreatiVix Media, whose clients include This Old House, Christine Hassler, Link AKC, the Education Commission and Susan Verde. She is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Thrive Global and MuckRack.com. Her byline has also been featured in Buzzfeed, USA Today, ThisOldHouse.com, Levo League, AOL’s Patch.com, and Iris.xyz. She has also appeared on NBC’s TODAY and CBS’s Good Day Washington.

Be the first to comment on this post:

More Hands On

Your E-Book May Be A Snore Fest

Lauren Dowdle | 02.12.2018

The Minute You Walked in The Joint

Matt McAllister | 02.19.2018

What Can You Say? Plenty

Matt Duczeminski | 02.05.2018