2018 saw the continued growth of webinars and webcasting as an important factor in the B2B marketing mix. 2019 promises to be an even bigger year. From an increased focus on personalization to emphasis on data and experience, there will be a wide range of trends to keep an eye on.
Here are the top 6 trends that will take the webinar world by storm in 2019.
1. Webinars Driving ABM
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a burning topic in B2B circles.
Marketers used to broadcast a message and hope the most relevant audience will find it. Now, account-based marketers look for their most valuable audiences. Then, they tailor the message to those few key accounts or even individuals. ABM is about shifting your focus from the quantity of leads to targeted accounts that are the best possible fit for your product or service.
The opportunity rises for Thought Leaders to provide valuable information for targeted audiences. This will be ever more critical as the clutter of inbound messaging reaches its peak.
2. The Data – Driven Approach
2019 will see the use of data increase its prominence as the engine that drives much of your marketing.
This will be true for your webinar programs as much as any other part of your digital B2B strategy. Analyzing data will be a significant factor in the success of many webinars. Building a connected customer database is critical to see a holistic view of your customers.
Marketers can now have a complete customer view. The data will provide an understanding of custom strategies for different user accounts. This can be achieved by integrating technologies in the marketing technology stack such as,
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Marketing automation services
- ABM platforms
Webinars play a key role in this.
Leverage a data-rich webinar platform integrated with your technology stack. You will gain access to critical insights to drive leads like:
- Webinar watch time.
- What company or industry your leads work in.
- How engaged your webinar attendees are (are they participating in your webinar at all).
- Are managers or C-level executives watching your webinar?
- Who is the decision maker?
Once you compile this information, you can start to curate tailored content. This will further engage leads by providing them the exact information they desire.
3. Artificial Intelligence – Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA)
AI is becoming an important tool in all forms of marketing, advertising and sales technology.
AI enabled tools such as Virtual Customer Assistants (VCAs) are advancing. Now capable of handling customer requests on websites, mobile apps and social networks sites. Huge improvements in natural-language processing, machine learning and intent-matching capabilities of VCAs will make them a key component in identifying what content is most useful at each stage of a buyer’s journey.
According to Gartner research, organizations report a reduction of up to 70% in call, chat and email inquiries after implementing a VCA. Some of the biggest factors of a good VCA is its ability to enrich the customer experience. To help the customer throughout the interaction and process transactions for the customer.
It is more than an information provider.
So, what does this all mean? AI tools are on the way to creating smarter marketing. Providing better customer support and enhancing the sales experience throughout a buyers journey. As user experience is important to webinars, implementing AI will keep you ahead of the game. It can help smooth the progression through the sales funnel.
4. Voice Search
Voice search is still in its early stage. But, there is a strong belief that its convenience will overshadow manual search in the next few years.
Leverage the role of voice search in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Webinar marketers must expand their visibility on search engines by moving beyond keyword placement. Create conversational content formatted to be understood by machines.
5. Refocusing Your Strategy on Experience
You’re never going to know the level of interest from your audience by having them watch slides for over 45 minutes. Include interactive features to enhance your webinar. Segment types of webinars based on the stage of the customer buying cycle. Driving surveys at the end of webinars is an effective method for engagement. Obtaining feedback from attendees facilitates constant improvements to the content and presentation.
A key feature of a webinar is its interactive elements. The ability to give, receive and discuss information in real-time. Allowing feedback enhances the user experience for consumers as well as the presenters. By making your webinars more engaging, you can see who is engaged.
6. The Power of Personalization
The truth is, it’s impossible to personalize content for every customer. But, it is fundamental to personalize it as much as you can.
Produce purposeful content for specific accounts by building buyer personas. This is the first step on the journey to personalized content. Relevant content, a packed CRM, and a good marketing automation system are the required tools to begin personalization. To unlock the potential of personalization, it is fundamental that you have an enough relevant data on your leads.
Technology can help personalize content, but if you don’t have the right data, then the technology won’t cut it alone.
7. The Blunt Truth for Cannabis Marketers
The legalization of recreational marijuana is attracting lots of interest around the world.
The industry is still in its adolescence and there is a large thirst for knowledge. We expect Cannabis marketers to recognize the huge potential of webinars. There is an opportunity to provide Thought Leadership to doctors and health professionals about this burning topic.
Whether it’s educating health professionals about specific characteristics of a particular strain or training employees on correct protocols, there is an opportunity to provide important information in the same ways so many pharmaceutical companies have been doing for years.
Producers and supporting businesses can leverage webinar platforms to provide important insights on the cannabis market, whether it is in relation to health, production, or distribution.
Trends are meant to come and go. But make sure you know the top 7 webinar trends of 2019.
- Webinars driving ABM.
- The data-driven approach.
- Artificial intelligence.
- Voice search.
- Refocusing your strategy on experience.
- The power of personalization.
- The blunt truth for Cannabis marketers.
Have questions on how to embed these trends in your webinar strategy? You can reach out to our team anytime.