Whew! That’s all I can say after revisiting my notes from creating DMD’s recent webinar series and reflecting on all that went into it to reach the goal of one new client.
Bottom line, was it worth it? Yes.
Am I going to do it again? You betcha.
Did I learn some things to improve on? Absolutely.
Hopefully my detailed recount of my experience can help demystify the whole thing for your small business and help you knock your next webinar out of the park! So here we go.
The Number One Thing You Need to Do Before You Start
Set. a. specific. goal. Like, really specific. My goal was one new client. And not just any client: the right client. I was looking for the decision maker at a specialized and innovative company who was looking to grow their business with inbound marketing and Hubspot. The primary persona was a small business owner and secondary was a sales professional.
Knowing this, I knew that it generally takes about 40 (legit) leads to get one new client. It’s generally just a matter of how quickly I can attract and convert those 40 to meet my new partner. This is industry standard to inbound marketing but I know generally reflects DMD’s numbers as well. Don’t overthink this part, and when in doubt, aim a little higher than you think you should.
Everyone knows the acronym SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound). The challenging part is actually doing it and writing it down. Do it.
What Is Your Campaign About?
So you have your goal and target persona. Check that off. Next to nail down is your campaign. Here are a few questions to answer to nail this down:
- What’s the solution (aka product or service) you’re pitching? For mine, it was inbound marketing and selling: smarketing.
- What’s the problem it solves? It helps businesses get new leads and close them into sales in an organized, measurable way.
- What stage(s) of the funnel does it address? DMD’s was a three part webinar series that focused on the awareness stage of the funnel. I wanted to locate the target personas who maybe weren’t aware of a different and better way to market and sell from what they’re currently doing.
- When will you do your webinar? Make sure it’s a time of year, week, and day, that your persona is likely to be available. I did mine at 1pm on three Tuesdays in a row. In hindsight and after getting feedback from some people, the lunch hour would have been better. Another thing to consider here is length of time. The smarketing series was 30 minutes each, with 10 minutes for questions at the end. Shorter webinars are a recent trend but honestly, for all the work that goes into promoting these just to get people there, my opinion so far is more is more. Make it worth your time and theirs by not cutting it too short, as long as you’re still providing useful information.
- Nail down campaign theme. You’re going to want an overarching theme to your webinar or series that resonates and connects with your target personas. For DMD’s smarketing series that was planned for the spring, I decided to go with a beach theme as I know that’s what many of these busy, motivated professionals like to do in their down time, especially during their kids’ spring break. Furthermore, the visuals provided a sort of calming, “look how simple this is,” back drop that appealed to them…a contrast from the usual widget, techy, and marketing jargon talk that sounds complicated, dry, and turns them off. With that, you definitely want to make sure your lingo resonates with your personas throughout so they know what the heck you’re saying and are searching for those terms in Google (or Bing…). This is super important and not to be overlooked.
Create Alllll the Content
Holy guacamole. Webinars, or any event for that matter, take a LOT of content and promotion. The amount of promotion needed varies by industry of course but overall, again, more is more, and it will take a lot.
With DMD’s goal of one new customer and 40 leads needed to get there, I knew I needed at least 1,000 visits based on industry standards that reflect DMD’s conversion rates as well. That’s roughly 4% visit to lead and 2% for lead to customer. (The most recent industry averages are now 2% and 6%, respectively.) I wanted to hit my goal by end of March so that meant I had two months to prep and one month to run the campaign.
With that, here’s my quick cheat sheet that lays out my overall process that you or another team member can follow:
- Research other similar types of events for great ideas to implement into every piece, from the top down.
- Nail down the schedule for everything to hold everyone accountable.
- Create the guts of the webinar slides in PowerPoint.
- Get some second opinions, preferably from someone who fits your persona if possible, to make sure it’s useful and relevant before you continue down this path.
- Do keyword research for the blogs and nail down topics.
- Write the blogs, emails, and social media copy.
- Get everything edited by an editor.
- Have a designer do their thang!
- Plug everything in (landing pages, GoToWebinar, marketing and webinar emails, social media posts). If you’re using Hubspot, I recommend using GoToWebinar because the integration only takes a few simple clicks and works like a rock star.
- Review it all AGAIN (all plugged in) to make sure there’s nothing awkward and everything looks pretty (visually, as well as across devices). Another set of eyes is helpful too.
- Create and launch online ads on platforms where your persona might be hanging out.
- Send an email to some close buddies and influencers that might be connected to your target personas online and ask them (politely!) if they wouldn’t mind sharing a pre-written post on social media for you about your awesome webinar coming up.
- Schedule everything.
- Do the webinars with clear calls to actions at the end to move people into the SALES funnel. Something I would have done differently here is use Slideshare to present the PDF presentation to create a smoother flow through the deck. Also, be sure to record it and send it out after (and tell people ahead of time that you’re going to do that in the marketing collateral).
- Do your sales thang in a modern, problem solving but organized and efficient way. Don’t just talk people’s heads off! Have a process but listen and improvise.
- Track everything in your fancy Hubspot CRM or other CRM.
- Close deals and then celebrate when you reach your goals that create win, win situations all around!
I will also add that Evernote was really great for putting all of my planning notes with my team on so there was one easy place to refer to everything while we were in messy brainstorming mode. And then, when everything was nailed down, I used Podio, which we use for all of our content related project management needs.
And two final things I think I’ll do a little differently in the next go around is number one, I would not have one per week, three weeks in a row. It doesn’t seem like a lot at the time but with everything else going on day to day, it was a little too much. I would recommend, based on your goals and timeline, spacing it out by no more than one every two weeks. Number two, compared to the in-person event I did a few months before, I would say that was a little bit more enjoyable for my personality, so I’ll probably err on the side of live events *where possible* since they take about the same amount of prep work. Just remember that if you’re debating the same thing, while in person can be more fun, can the prospects you're targeting make it to you? It’s a heck of a lot easier to hop on a webinar than hop on a plane, get a rental car, and book a hotel to come to your event, especially if this is the first this person has heard of you and just wants to learn more about how you might be able to help them.
So….Whew! Like I said.
One question I’m sure you’re wondering at this point if you’ve stuck with me here is after all of this, did I meet my goal? And I have a resounding YES to give you in response to that. And DMD’s new client is just the best and fits in great with all of our other specialized and innovative businesses that I love working with. They are exactly what I was going for and I am so beyond excited.
Hey, I guess this whole inbound thing works, right? ;)
Posted by Jackie Connors
Jackie Connors is the Founder & CEO of Digital Marketing Direction, a top-tiered HubSpot Solutions Partner agency based in Texas. She provides inbound training, consulting, and content marketing services to mid-market companies.