Welcome to the most expensive hour in life science marketing – the hosted webinar. On an hourly basis, more expensive than even your large events.
Sure, some of the attendees will easily be converted to customers. That alone may justify the expense. Yet about half of the registrants won’t attend and may never hear your message. As for the remainder, if you don’t have a plan to follow up, you will have wasted thousands of dollars adding names to your lists that can’t be moved through your funnel and turned into customers.
And the next time you purchase a hosted webinar from the same vendor, you are likely buying many names you already own.
Yikes. Did I just pour salt in your Cheerios?
Don’t despair. This one is easily fixed. There are a few things you can do to optimize a hosted webinar without a lot of effort or expense.
Boosting attendance, extending the reach of your content and ensuring registrants have a path to follow after the event will pull in more leads for your money.
Here are 11 ways you can maximize the return on your life science webinar investments.
1. Reminder emails 1 week, 1 day, 1 hour before
Your hosting vendor is probably doing this. But the emails will draw more attendees if you include relevant content in the pre-webinar emails to whet the appetite of your audience. Teasing with valuable content will reassure registrants that they won’t want to miss the live event.
2. Post the recorded version on your site
This one is probably obvious. If your webinar was hosted on a vendor site for a limited time, make sure it lives for as long as it is relevant on your site, where visitors have the opportunity to find and engage with other related content.
3. Automate follow up emails (attendees and no-shows)
Send customized follow up emails to attendees and no shows. For attendees, show them how to have their questions answered or include content for the next stage of the buyer’s journey. For no-shows, send a link to the recording. Then don’t forget to check back to see who has viewed the recording and follow up with them as you did with attendees.
4. Make a transcript
This is a must do. At the cost of a dollar per minute of audio, written transcripts are a massive content bargain. Check out speechpad.com
The $60 to transcribe a one hour webinar won’t make a dent in the $12,000 you spent for hosting and adds a huge amount of value. If you do nothing else, do this.
Because it’s searchable content, posting the transcript along with the webinar makes it easier to find . Some people will prefer the transcript to viewing the webinar for many reasons. They can read faster. They can choose the time. They can pause to understand.
The transcript is also a source for creating more content through repurposing. You may be able to take sections and turn them into blog posts with minimal editing or expansion. Of course, each of those blog posts should provide a link to the full recording. Use the blog posts as a hook to drive prospects to in depth content (the webinar).
5. Turn Q and A into blog posts and FAQs
This is worth noting on its own. The question and answer part of your webinar is ripe for creating one or more blog posts as well as feeding an FAQ on related pages.
6. Upload the deck to Slideshare
The best SlideShare content is self-contained. It doesn’t need audio or accompanying text to understand. Most presentation decks aren’t immediately suitable. But if you can boil yours down to a few key ideas and images, the SlideShare is another way to make a snackable teaser to get people to register for the full recording.
7. Share images and quotes on social media
Don’t just share a link to the webinar and call it done.
Look at your transcript and pull out some key quotes and images from the deck. These nuggets are much more attractive than a simple webinar title and add variety to your posts.
You never know which ones will push the right buttons. Post these on social media with a link to the recorded webinar.
LinkedIn offers the highest visitor to lead conversion rate of any social network, so make sure you take full advantage.
Links to the webinar should be shared in LinkedIn from at least your company page and the speaker’s profile. Subject matter experts, your sales team and any other customer facing employees can do the same. The speaker and the sales team should also consider posting the webinar in the media section of their LinkedIn profiles.
Don’t forget about relevant LinkedIn groups. Most group owners will want you to post a webinar in the promotions tab rather than in discussions.
8. Upload the recording to your YouTube channel
YouTube is the world’s 2nd most popular search engine, another opportunity for prospects to discover your content. Although you can’t ask for registrations on YouTube, there are a couple workarounds to generate leads from your webinar.
First, you could post the first 15 minutes of the webinar, followed by a link to the full webinar on your site. Be fully transparent that you are offering a preview. If there is enough value in the first 15 minutes (and why wouldn’t there be?), prospects will be happy to register to see the remainder.
Alternatively, post the whole video and embed calls to action to download another piece of gated content.
9. Make a content offer
Every asset you create presents an opportunity to present another content offer. Think about what stage of the buyer’s journey your webinar belongs in and offer content that pushes prospects to the next stage. For example, near the end of an awareness stage webinar, the speaker could mention an offer (with a short url) to download a checklist for comparing alternative solutions.
10. Strip the audio content to an mp3.
For some people, the daily commute is the most convenient time to consume your content. Extracting the audio portion of your recording to an mp3 file lets users download and listen to your presentation on a smartphone while driving or doing repetitive tasks in the lab. Immediate access to the visuals isn’t necessary to capture someone’s interest. They can always go back and look at the deck later.
11. Post to life science portals
Syndicating your content to other sites where scientists are looking for information will increase the chance of it being found. Consider sites like Biocompare and BitesizeBio to reach an extended audience over a long period of time.
The audience on BitesizeBio is looking primarily for educational content on methods and applications. It’s a good choice for early stage webinars. Users on Biocompare are typically looking specifically for product information, so it’s more suited for later stage content.
OK. That’s a long list. With limited time, where should you start?
Keep it simple at first. Promote the webinar on social media before and after to maximize traffic. Definitely get a transcript made as it will be a gold mine for expanded content and requires no real effort other than uploading a file.
While most of the other tips are about repurposing, I strongly recommend you think about how the webinar integrates with other content in your reminder emails and follow up offers. That’s just a good practice that will improve the results all of your life science content marketing.