How 3 Brands Use Webinars to Drive New Business

Mike Agron, webinar expert

Mike Agron

Do you use webinars to generate awareness and leads for your business?

Webinars are an effective form of content marketing because they allow you to make your buyers aware of your business value.

You can gain their attention and trust by sharing valuable information as opposed to giving a sales pitch. The time to sell is after the webinar when attendees express an interest.

Webinars are engaging. They’re like a radio show with pictures. They give you an opportunity to breathe life into a white paper or case study. They should have energy, like a theatrical production.

Of all of the many tactics marketers use, webinars are the third most effective method for attracting prospects, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Let’s take a look at how three brands successfully used webinars to drive new business.

1. The Friedman Group

The Friedman Group, a retail consulting and training company, used a webinar to help it close a million-dollar deal. It was pretty exciting because the prospect had never heard of them. The webinar sparked the conversation.

The Friedman Group needed to go beyond traditional channels. They were doing seminars, which required travel. They knew they had to do something different.

The good news was that the Friedman Group had 30 years’ worth of valuable content that they needed to repurpose. They were primed for success.

Their objectives were to:

  • Reinforce their founder’s thought leadership

  • Promote their brand to a broader base

  • Earn one-on-one conversations with decision makers

People only come to a webinar if it features a must-have topic. If the webinar invitation promises to address a pain point or provide a path to a better outcome, people will attend.

The Friedman Group decided to focus on their thought leadership. Their leader, Harry J. Friedman, is a passionate speaker who believes strongly in culture. So, they titled the webinar Culture Shock: How to Shake Up Your Company and Maybe Your Sales Will Follow.

A group of executives from a big-box retailer attended the webinar. As it turned out, the big-box retailer’s CEO was interested in shaking up the company.

The webinar really started to come to life when Harry told a story about how to improve retail sales. His story struck a nerve with the audience. As a result, the Friedman Group engaged the big-box retailer in a sales conversation and closed a million-dollar deal.

2. Intel and GE: Joint Venture

Intel and GE formed a joint venture that helps assisted care living communities take better care of their residents while improving business outcomes. They needed to use thought leadership to create a new category. They decided to use a webinar to engage their audience.

The objectives included:

  • Explain the technology beyond sound bites

  • Present brand elegantly without selling

  • Find out whether webinars would work for them

You can capture information about your prospects before, during and after the webinar. So, this company was able to determine that the audience profile matched its target.

The account managers received the hot list of all the top deals, divided into three buckets: sales-ready leads, leads that need nurturing and unqualified leads.

In addition to these new leads, this organization documented an increase in activity on its website. They have continued to do webinars and have seen even better attendance and engagement over time.

3. Knovel

Knovel is a web-based analytics company that uses webinars to promote thought leadership. One of their webinars generated 774 on-demand viewings within three months, most of which were fresh, new sales leads.

Knovel’s objectives included:

  • Show thought leadership

  • Achieve 500 registrants

  • Introduce audience to online reference tools

One of the most effective ways to attract an audience is to discuss a change in standards or compliance.

So, Knovel created a webinar that addressed a new OSHA law regarding the safety lifecycle. They had three respected authors talk about the safety lifecycle — and how failure to comply can affect your business. That made the webinar compelling for the target audience.

Online writers and influencers blogged and tweeted about the webinar because it covered such a timely, important topic. This created a viral effect that significantly boosted on-demand viewings after the webinar.

Key Lessons Learned

Follow these guidelines for successful webinars:

  • Make sure it’s a must-have topic, not a nice-to-have

  • Use subject matter experts to enhance value and credibility

  • Promote thought leadership, don’t be salesy

  • Use clear call-to-action

  • Capture information before, during and after webinar

  • Segment leads into different buckets based on interest

For more webinar tips, including key metrics you should monitor, view my presentation at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit in the video below.

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