By now we all know how incredibly important webinars are for your marketing strategy, but there’s a big difference between an ordinary webinar and a fantastic, impactful one! At Xtalks, we truly live and breathe webinars, and with us doing over 400 webinars a year for the life science, medical device, healthcare and food industries, we know that it all starts with discovering your perfect webinar audience! So without further ado, let’s dive into how to best discover and understand your webinar’s target audience.
Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience and aligning your webinar to a specific stage of the sales cycle go hand in hand. Ask yourself the following questions about your perfect audience:
- What job titles are you targeting as decision makers? What job titles are you targeting that will help in the decision making process?
- What topics or areas of interest would appeal to them? Job titles are just one way of attempting to target an ideal audience.
- What specific information or insights would they find valuable and how does this relate to your product or service?
Research Your Target Audience
It’s incredibly important to do your research to understand your target audience even further. Here are a few ways you can gather information about your target audience:
- Pre-webinar Registration Questions: Create questions in the webinar registration form to gauge your audience. You can also gather a wide variety of data by utilizing pre-webinar registration questions and feedback forms.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Data Analysis: Analyze your CRM data so that you can gain insights into your customers’ buying behaviors, demographics and preferences.
- Market research/Industry reports: Conduct complete market research campaigns to understand the market landscape, customer needs and buying behaviors. This will help you tailor your messaging and content to your target audience.
- Surveys: Conduct surveys on your website to gather feedback from your customers and prospects.
- Lead Generation Forms: Use lead generation forms on your website to capture information about your visitors, including their job titles, industry and interests.
- Webinar Comments: The webinar chat report is a wealth of information from your audience. Be sure analyze each and every comment or question.
- Networking Events: Attending industry-specific events or conferences can offer the opportunity to interact directly with potential clients and gain an understanding of their needs and challenges.
- Social Media listening: Use social media analytics tools to track engagement with your social media posts, your competitors and other relevant keywords. Understand your audience’s interests and preferences.
- Website Analytics: Analyze your website traffic using analytics programs such as Google Analytics to gain insights into your visitors’ demographics and behavior.
- Online Communities: Join online communities and forums related to your industry to gather insights and feedback from your target audience.
- Webinar Polling Questions: Utilize poll questions in your webinars to understand your audience’s thoughts. It will help you gauge their opinions, preferences, trends and more.
- Competitor Analysis: Analyzing competitors can provide a wealth of information about your target audience. This could include studying their marketing strategies, customer reviews, and product offerings.
- Client Interviews: In-depth interviews with existing clients can provide deep insights into their experiences, motivations, and satisfaction levels.
- Webinar Q&A Sessions: Audiences submit questions regularly as part of a Q&A session. This can be quite useful in determining your customer’s biggest pain points.
- Industry Articles: Reading industry-specific publications can provide insight into current trends and issues affecting your target audience.
- LinkedIn Research: With its professional focus, LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for researching individuals, companies, and trends in your target industry.
- Subscription to Data Services: There are various commercial services that collect and analyze data on different industries. Subscribing to these services can provide access to extensive and detailed information about your target audience.
You also have the opportunity to create a ‘buyer persona’ that is specifically tailored to your target audience. Think of it as a strategy to decode their needs, motivations and challenges.
If you’re unsure how to develop a buyer persona, take a deep dive into it here.
Align Webinar Content to Stages of the Sales Cycle
Once you’ve identified and researched your potential audience, it’s time to maximize the impact of your webinars by mapping your webinar content to the different stages of the sales cycle. You’ll want to coordinate content production at various stages in the sales cycle to identify and nurture leads while building confidence in your brand.
At Xtalks, we categorize the sales cycle into the following four simple stages:
- Awareness: In the awareness stage, you’re educating potential customers about your brand and how it relates to the problems and hurdles that they currently have or will be facing.
- Research & Exploration: During this stage, potential customers may have acknowledged their need for a solution to their problem, but they haven’t yet determined how to tackle it quite yet.
- Comparison: At this stage, potential customers are narrowing down their options and are aware of competitors. Here you want to offer them something that your competitors don’t (educating rather than selling).
- Purchase: During this stage of the sales cycle, it is important for your webinar content to complement your sales team’s efforts. This is your opportunity to discuss complex issues and competitive advantages.
In every phase, a potential customer seeks knowledge about varying facets of a particular subject or problem. Recognizing who you’re tailoring your webinar content for and aligning your goals appropriately will allow you to better understand not only what content you’re presenting — but why you’re presenting it. Whether it’s for prospects at specific stages of the sales cycle or prospects throughout multiple stages, you can simplify the decision-making process about what kind of webinar content to showcase. Ultimately, your goal is to create webinars that address their questions in the best way possible.
Create Content for Your Target Webinar Audience
Once you have a deep understanding of your target audience, you can start crafting content that speaks directly to their needs and interests at each stage of the sales cycle. For example, in the awareness stage, you can create webinars that introduce potential customers to your company’s research findings. These webinars provide a general overview of the topic and may include speakers from academia, industry or regulatory agencies. Deeply consider how the content you present is focused on your customer’s needs, rather than the features of your product or service. Our in-depth blog post on developing a customer-centric marketing strategy for your webinars could help considerably here.
Promote Your Webinar Series to Your Target Audience
One webinar won’t suffice if you’re hoping to a construct a proper content marketing strategy. You’ll need to develop an ongoing series of content pieces (webinars and other assets) to engage all levels of the sales cycle. Once your first presentation is ready, it’s time to promote it to your target audience. Targeting beyond your own database is a best practice, so consider utilizing a third party hosting and marketing platform where you’ll get assistance from webinar marketing professionals to promote your webinar. It takes a lot of effort to create and run a webinar, so you want to make sure you’re doing justice to your content and optimizing all your efforts!
Analyze Your Webinar’s Performance
After your webinar is over, it’s time to see how you did. Review the feedback you received from your audience. This will give you an idea of what worked and what didn’t, so you can improve your next presentation.
In conclusion, finding and understanding your webinar’s target audience is essential if you want to create a successful presentation. So, go ahead and do your research, create amazing content, organize it and promote your webinar. Your target audience is waiting for you!
Not sure where to start? Connect with an Xtalks representative to have a more detailed discussion of webinar content choices, webinar optimizations, and expanding marketing reach with Xtalks sponsorship opportunities.