A case study
Over the years, specific industries may experience sudden economical, political, or environmental changes, affecting many businesses. Smart companies will want to capitalise on this by reaching out to those impacted, educating them on these changes and how they can benefit, even during uncertain times. Webinars, in particular, are highly effective and often under-used tools to help companies reach large numbers of individuals with their message.
In these cases, timing and speed is crucial. You need to carry out the webinar as quickly as possible to ensure a high number of qualified prospects will attend. Successful webinars, however, aren’t just about running some ads to attract random attendees. Rather, they should be part of a greater overarching strategy to attract and nurture highly qualified prospects with the ultimate aim of generating revenue by converting webinar attendees into paying customers.
The following case study demonstrates exactly how we managed to achieve the fast turnaround of a successful webinar for one of our clients with outstanding success. We’ve since gone on to replicate this for a host of other businesses in a variety of industries.
Table of Contents
COVID-19 has severely affected live events, one of the major marketing mediums that previously generated high-quality and highly qualified leads for Munro’s Accountants and Business Advisors, based in Perth, Western Australia. Running successful live events full of engaged individuals looking for accounting and business insights and assistance was no longer feasible due to social distancing restrictions. Munro’s could either decide to be inactive and wait for regulations to change in a few months, or they could pivot fast to develop a new offering.
In a move imperative to their business, they decided on the second option. The experienced team of digital marketing and business strategy consultants at Living Online proposed webinars to continue to engage with individuals, building leads as well as brand momentum during an unprecedented moment in history.
With a time-sensitive topic – the Australian’s Government’s JobKeeper initiative – we were able to reduce the webinar lead in time to just 6 days – and only 3 business days.
The result? Working together in partnership with us, Munro’s was able to facilitate a highly successful webinar with an online room filled with potential leads who were highly engaged and now aware of their company, identifying Munro’s as a trusted authority in this field.
The webinar generated over 140 registrations with 104 attendees, This 70% attendance rate is far higher than what is usually anticipated for most live events (just 44% according to ON24). Attendees asked 94 questions throughout the webinar demonstrating a high level of engagement. Expenses were also kept at a minimum due to the targeted marketing strategy and low cost per acquisition (CPA) achieved.
The problem began with the disruption caused by the pandemic. Previously, Munro’s had successfully run live events to generate highly qualified leads that they then converted to customers. With this model no longer available because of social distancing and lockdown restrictions, they needed to pivot and adapt. Hosting virtual events was the obvious solution.
With only a 6-day window, there were a number of pressing questions:
- How do we attract a high number of qualified prospects in only a few days?
- How can we best circumnavigate the limited time we have to test advertising messages for optimal performance?
- Which platforms are appropriate for a campaign of this calibre, and would deliver a feasible CPA?
- What webinar and registration platforms that prioritise user experience should we choose?
- How do we run the webinar to ensure it provides value, has a high engagement, showcases Munro’s expertise, and would be able to convert a percentage of attendees into clients?
There are three major stages to a webinar. The event itself, the lead up to it, and the period after it, are all critical in ensuring a comprehensive, successful strategy. Here, we’ve broken down our webinar services and solution into the three key stages, explaining our strategy for each in detail.
Stage 1: Pre-Webinar Planning and Marketing
The most important part of the Pre-Webinar Planning and Marketing stage is determining the exact purpose of the webinar. It needs to solve a problem for attendees and if it doesn’t, it has to provide a level of value that more than justifies their time commitment.
In the case of this topic, this was easy. The JobKeeper initiative was crucial to the survival of many Australian businesses and, at the same time, was the source of much confusion. The objective here was to help those who needed it most, which led to a “Question & Answer” format.
Planning The Webinar
Choosing the registration platform
While this can be custom-built within your own website, Eventbrite was our top choice given the short time frame. It includes a host of available integrations and customisable features.
We had used Eventbrite before, and it had always provided a clear and concise means to collating attendee information. Its smooth registration process builds trust from the start. As part of the Eventbrite registration for the webinar, we encouraged people to ask questions that would then be addressed in the webinar. This was ingenious – by getting registrants actively involved and invested so early in the process, it likely led to the high attendance rate as they had an extra incentive for attending the webinar – getting their specific question answered.
Listing events on Eventbrite also means you’re provided with additional exposure to users on the platform who are looking for events of a similar theme to what you’re offering.
Selecting the webinar software
In this instance, we chose Zoom because of its popularity and accessibility in the wake of the working-from-home culture. Attendees were likely familiar with the software and if they weren’t, they would at least know it was a widely trusted platform despite some privacy concerns at the time.
Zoom also allowed for simple integrations with Eventbrite. Using app-connector Zapier, we could automatically add registrations to corresponding webinar attendee lists within Zoom, simplifying the registration management process.
Furthermore, Zoom’s email automation system enabled Munro’s to send out scheduled email reminders 1 week, 1 day, and 1 hour before the webinar. These could be customised within the platform and were essential for those who have already registered to ensure they remembered to attend.
Confirming the structure of your webinar
After we settled on the technical elements essential to run the webinar, the structure and content had to be finalised.
In the case of Munro’s, the webinar was planned to run for an hour. The first 30 minutes would be dedicated to specific solution-based content and the second to a Q & A session, designed to provide a reason for attendees to remain engaged.
Tip: When deciding on the depth of your content, the structure you want to adopt, and the run time, keep in mind it can be hard to keep someone engaged for several hours in the comfort of their own home with a vast array of distractions. Delivering comprehensive content in a direct and fast way is always a recipe for success.
Marketing The Webinar
Email marketing is an essential tool for leveraging your existing database to attract attendees. Most businesses have hundreds, potentially thousands, of people in their email database, which can be effective in generating fast and free attendees for your webinar.
Much of Munro’s email database included existing clients, past clients, or people with a keen eye on their service offering. It provided an effective means to talk to people who were already engaged.
Pre-webinar, an email was sent to notify people that the team was hosting a webinar on the JobKeeper initiative, clearly explaining what knowledge would be shared and encouraging them to register. This quickly generated 40 registrations and ensured the campaign was off to a strong start.
Before crafting the ads, we undertook research to isolate the potential target market. What did the average West Australian business owner look like?
From the data we collected, we were able to identify and segment 3 target markets. Along with behavioural and interest data, at a high level these were broken down into:
- Men aged 30 – 60, located in Perth,
- Women aged 30 – 60, located in Perth,
- Gen Y business owners, men and women aged 25 – 34, located in Perth.
Facebook advertising campaigns and ad sets were built and optimised for event registration conversions, with strategic advertising that uniquely spoke to each of these segmented target markets, testing a variety of messaging styles.
Lastly, Facebook remarketing was used to retarget users who had visited the Eventbrite page but hadn’t converted, with stronger, more persuasive messaging used to encourage them to complete their registration.
LinkedIn was used as an additional outlet to generate interest in the event and build more brand awareness. LinkedIn offers unique targeting options and we were able to isolate individuals who owned or operated small to medium-sized businesses and speak to them directly.
By using these various mediums and targeting the right audiences with compelling and relevant messaging to convey the urgency of the situation, Munro’s was able to generate over 140 registrations within just a few days, for a very competitive CPA.
Stage 2: A Successful Webinar
The high attendance rate was maintained throughout the presentation with minimal drop off. Attendees were highly engaged and firing off questions throughout to which the team at Munro’s did an expert job at answering them on the spot.
The Q & A time slot on the back end of the webinar also gave an opportunity to answer questions provided during the registration process.
Due to the high volume of questions and Munro’s willingness to answer them all individually, the webinar went overtime. However the attendance rate didn’t diminish, which shows that a high quality of content and value was delivered. It was best-case scenario.
Stage 3: Post-Webinar Nurturing
During the webinar, an email was delivered to all registered attendees encouraging them to book a time to chat with one of the two presenters from the webinar.
Post-webinar, all attendees were offered a discounted rate to schedule a phone, video, or in-person consultation with the team to answer their questions. A link was provided in the email, making it simple to schedule a time. This was an important aspect of the process for Munro’s – the ability to convert attendees to clients and generate business revenue.
Speaking to someone directly might be time-consuming but if people are willing to hear you, it can be the most effective means of attracting new clients. In this case, attendees spent over an hour already getting to know key personnel from the Munro’s team through the webinar. Direct outreach in this instance is more successful than cold-calling prospects right off the bat.
Drew Pflaum, a Director at Munro’s, called people who attended the webinar. He introduced himself and was able to refer to questions asked by attendees prior to and during the webinar. This process was successful in building brand awareness and goodwill and was a successful part of generating new referrals.
The campaign exceeded expectations and proved a highly successful mechanism to mimic the live events during a period when going live wasn’t possible.
- Registrations: 140+
- Attendees: 100+
- Attendance Rate: 70%
- Engagement: 94 questions asked
When working with short windows of time, “good” is often better than perfect. This doesn’t mean delivering a mediocre job or producing something of lesser quality. It means delivering something that produces a solid outcome. Instead of taking days to come up with the perfect strategy and test different marketing messaging, potentially missing the tight deadline, our aim was to move as quickly as possible to inform key audiences about the webinar. By taking this approach, we were able to get considerably higher numbers of registrations and attendances, benefitting Munro’s greatly who supplemented this strategy with their immensely valuable and educational webinar.
The outcomes that our partnership with Munro’s produced include:
- building a bigger audience and contact list – over 140 registrants who entered the email database for future marketing and nurturing correspondence, with nearly all of these (the attendees) being highly qualified potential prospects
- increased brand awareness of Munro’s as a business and their unique service offering
- gaining a competitive advantage by being one of the only local companies in the space to offer such a valuable, educational webinar
- establishing credibility – being able to position Munro’s as a thought leader within their industry by demonstrating the company’s ability for adaptability during unprecedented times.
If you’re interested in making actionable, fast changes in your business we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our talented team today. Webinars were the best solution in this case, and they may work for your business too. If not, there’s a host of other solutions entrenched in digital marketing that can help your business reach new heights quickly, even during uncertain times. See what we can do for you, contact us now.