Leveraging Webinar Marketing in Your Ag Business
Are you looking for a captive audience to market your Ag business? Covid changed the world and how we operate. Zoom, Facetime, and Teams allowed the world to stay in touch with loved ones and co-workers alike and normalized the use of video tools to communicate. Webinar marketing has become a widely adopted method of business communication and a stealthy way to hold an audience’s attention for 60 minutes or more.
To put that level of attention in perspective, the average person spends 3-5 minutes reading a blog post and about 16 minutes per day reading in general. With most content marketing materials comprised of the written word, and therefore given limited attention, consider the impact of holding your prospects’ attention for an entire hour!
Webinars and online seminars were once the domain of corporate communications, but post-pandemic has become the norm. Webinars offer the perfect interactive event that allows businesses to provide captivating information and education about their brand. The unique nature of online events is that they encourage interaction with each other and the host, which establishes a personal connection without pushing a hard-sell agenda, as with many sales meetings.
Webinars are an excellent way of reaching your target audience and generating leads. The secret sauce of a good webinar is that the end user receives high-quality information without feeling like they are being “sold.” In contrast, the host receives essential feedback from users about what matters to them about the product or service they sell. In addition, question and answer sessions, a staple within this format, create a strong engagement and a sense of community.
A solid 50 to 60% of webinar registrations result in attendance, with the other 40-50% of non-attending members trained to anticipate a webinar replay email or blog post so they can watch the replay at their leisure. With that type of engagement, it’s not a leap to figure out why so many businesses are making webinars a regular feature in their Ag marketing and sales programs.
Here are the basics to running an effective and measurable webinar marketing campaign to build your Ag brand authority.
Pick a Compelling Topic & Leverage Your Teams Strength
Creating a compelling webinar topic and brand messaging for your webinar is essential to attract as broad an audience as possible. Your audience will likely comprise existing clients and new leads. Start by identifying your brand expertise and unique selling proposition. Those will be your springboard for building your webinar agenda and promotional materials.
What is your area of expertise? What do you do better than anyone else in the market?
- Hedge Funds?
- Farm Marketing?
- Grain Elevators?
- Dairy Insurance?
How does your brand help solve urgent pain points? What problems does your Ag business solve for your clients? The more specific you are, the higher the likelihood of generating robust registration.
Be sure to include your sales and marketing teams when generating webinar content. They “have their ear to the ground” daily in your brand and can bring fresh insight and ideas. They will also have keen insights into what is essential to your audience. Also, reference your blog for content ideas. Audit your blog metrics and determine which articles have the highest engagement and conversion. Also, don’t be afraid to get specific. Sometimes more targeted focus can produce the best results.
Start the webinar planning process at least 30-40 days before you plan to host your event. This will allow time to hone and rehearse your presentation.
Select Your Venue
Choosing the right platform to host your webinar is essential for the webinar and the post-webinar marketing you’ll want to create. With a robust CRM like HubSpot, you can integrate Zoom via API and create automated workflows and email campaigns to handle the entire webinar marketing cycle from start to finish.
There are many excellent webinar tools, like GoToWebinar, Demio, and Webinar Jam. Some include push-button posting on social networks like Facebook or YouTube, while others will integrate with your email package or CRM. You’ll want to select a platform that includes a baseline of features such as Video recording, registration and webinar analytics reporting, multiple hosting, and audience moderation tools. For ease of use, Zoom is our go-to webinar tool for ease, integration, and reporting.
The Anatomy of a Webinar Presentation
The tried-and-true format for webinar presentations typically includes the following:
- An Introduction
- A PowerPoint Presentation with branded slides and graphics
- A Q&A session or open forum discussion
You’ll want to keep text to a minimum and graphics and images clean. Pitch books are an excellent reference point. You’re not writing a textbook; you’re simply keeping the presentation and discussion moving.
If a PowerPoint or Canva presentation feels too constricting or formal for your brand, try a looser approach with an unscripted, open forum style using several experts. Always have several topics and questions to guide the discussion and prevent the dreaded on-air “crickets.”
Webinars are about creating value for your audience. It’s not a sales pitch. Instead, it represents an opportunity for you to position yourself and your brand as an expert in the Agricultural field. Building trust is an essential component in the conversion process, so don’t hard sell.
Instead, demonstrate the ways that your brand has been successful in helping clients overcome obstacles or achieve growth. Then have specific products in mind that you can recommend to attendees, that would be the next logical step. A great way to boost registration and attendance is to select another company to co-brand your webinar. You’ll double your reach and brand recognition.
Create a Marketing Strategy and Timeline
You’ll want to begin your webinar planning at least 30 to 40 days before you plan to host your webinar. This is because you’ll want to hone your presentation and then build your marketing and promotional copy directly from your webinar. Then, give yourself a full three weeks to promote your event.
Here are some best webinar practices:
- Create a drip email and social media campaign to promote your webinar. One email and one social media post per week will be adequate.
- Create a landing page on your website to drive traffic to a registration webform. Use the Headline, Intro, Bullet Point, and Call to Action format on your landing page.
- Be sure to send one email per week, but only to those who still need to register. To your registration list, send out one week, one day, and 1 hour before webinar reminders to keep your webinar top of mind.
- Create a webinar replay blog and email to send to your webinar attendees and your entire marketing email list, thanking them for their participation and including a link to view the replay. Be sure to include calls to action on webinar replays to encourage conversion.
- Use a CRM like HubSpot to create automated workflows that automatically send out your campaign email and reminders.
Track Your Metrics
Post-webinar, you will want to review your metrics. How many people registered versus attended? In the following weeks, track how many people watched the webinar replay—track open rates for your promotional emails. You can test new headlines and email copy to “beat your control” and drive higher KPIs in your next webinar. Of course, the most important metric will be the number of new leads and conversions from your Webinar assets.
Webinars are an excellent lead generation tool, but also a great way to offer value and connect with your target audience. If the prospect of creating your webinar content and promotional campaign feels overwhelming, check out this resource to help you stay organized as you develop your next webinar event.
Reach out today to schedule a call with one of our marketing specialists and discover what’s possible.
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