2020 was a doozy, am I right? All of our lives were upended on a personal and professional level last year. And If I hear the word pivot again, I’m going to pull out what little hair I have left!
As marketers, we must find a way forward in 2021 that looks very different from our plans at the start of 2020. Changing strategies is scary, especially for those of us who depended heavily on trade shows to drive our business sales in years past.
The question is, if there are no trade shows for the foreseeable future, how can we successfully drive qualified leads to our sales teams?
Digital Marketing or Bust
Which is better in 2021, digital marketing or trade shows? Your answer may have changed since last January. You can thank 2020 for making it an easy choice.
Who knows when or if trade shows will be back up and running. So, digital marketing it must be.
But the digital world is crowded. How can you stand out in a noisy world?
Have no fear – the webinar is here!
Webinars are an excellent tool for turning browsers into buyers. A lot of webinars focus on educating prospects rather than pitching products. Educational webinars help customers solve the problems that plague them. The ones that keep them up at night.
Webinars that are designed to nurture your audience are excellent for long-term campaigns. These campaigns drive sales down the road. They take a lot of time and energy to create and require someone on your team to present them effectively. Educational webinars also take a good deal of patience for the leads to turn into sales.
But what if I only have a small marketing team and a limited budget, you ask? Don’t sweat it! There’s a little known webinar hack that will make launching your first webinar easy breezy. And I’m about to give you the secret sauce.
Customer Testimonial Webinars Drive Brand Awareness
If you need to drive immediate sales, you MUST talk about your product and hype-up its awesomeness. Your prospects need to hear about how to use your product, see it in action, and be swept off their feet with the unique features and benefits of your product if they are going to buy.
There’s just one glaring problem. People DON’T like to be SOLD a bill of goods by a sneaky salesman or marketer. I know that’s not you, but your prospects may not. We’ve all been tricked by a talented salesperson who spoke sweet nothings in our ears, only to leave us with a real lemon of a product.
So, your prospects must learn about your product and how awesome it is, but they don’t want to hear it from you. So what can you do?
Let your customers brag about your products. It’s more authentic and less smarmy.
Launch Your First Customer Testimonial Webinar with 5 Easy Steps
Get started with your first customer testimonial webinar.
Step 1: Find the right customer for your webinar
This person needs to be a raving fan of your company. Look for a customer that loves what you do. The ideal customer is someone who had their life changed by using your product. This doesn’t have to be from the product itself, it may be from your customer service, support, or the knowledge of your engineering team.
If you don’t have a customer in mind, talk with your sales and service teams. They can help you find someone.
For the best results, look for a customer that’s high-energy and well-spoken. If their company makes a really interesting end product, that won’t hurt either.
Step 2: Plan the webinar content
Work with your customer to create a to-the-point testimonial or case study. Don’t make them do all the work, they are doing you a favor by talking up your brand. Make it easy by providing a presentation template they can use and by talking through the presentation with them.
Here is a sample template for the webinar presentation:
Start the presentation by introducing your customer and explain why they are someone your audience should take seriously. Then your customer can follow this formula for the presentation:
- We were experiencing x problem we couldn’t solve
- We learned about (your company) and reached out to them
- They helped us understand our problem and showed us how to solve it
- Their products are unique because…
- After implementing the solution, we no longer have the problem
- We recommend that anyone experiencing this problem use (your company)
After the customer finishes their presentation, you give a straightforward one-line call to action.
Keep the presentations short and sweet. If your customer is willing, leave time at the end for Q&A.
Step 3: Choose a webinar platform
Finally, you need to choose a webinar platform.. I’ve attended a lot of webinars on Zoom and WebinarJam, and even hosted a few using GoToWebinar. There are many platforms to choose from, all with pros can cons. One important feature to look for is integrations with your CRM.
Don’t get bogged down in the webinar platform research process. The most important feature of all is the webinar content itself. It’s better to use a subpar webinar platform to get started than to get lost in a sea of choices that keep you from launching your first webinar.
Step 4: Practice!
Practice the presentation ahead of time to optimize the presentation flow and ensure you stay within the time allotted for the webinar. Make sure everyone knows when they will be sharing and what the ques are to transition between speakers.
It’s always a good idea to do a practice run with all participants within the webinar software. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the controls, audio, and screen share functionality. Doing a practice run will give you a good idea of whether you should have one deck that everyone works from or whether to have each presenter share their own deck.
Step 5: Go Live!
Take a deep breath. Calm your nerves. You’ve got this. 3…2…1… It’s go time! You’re well prepared. Everything is in order. Relax and have fun. The more at ease you are during the presentation, the better you will connect with your audience.
It’s always a good idea to record the presentation. This enables you to send a recording to the people that attended the webinar. It also serves as a resource to share on your website or send to prospects.
Go get ’em, tiger!
Now you’re ready to launch your first webinar. It’s a learning curve, but by following these 5 simple steps and the customer testimonial webinar hack, you’ll start getting more qualified leads in 2021.