With tradeshows, conferences, and various other events in the lighting industry canceled, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Lighting Representative Agencies to pivot their sales and marketing strategies overnight.
If you are the Principal of a lighting agency and wondering “What should I do” and “How should I pivot?,” then an obvious choice may be to add webinars to your everyday strategy. For weeks now, you’ve seen many use webinars as a solution. Going forward, webinars will need to be more interesting and compelling so that lighting reps can get the most out of their efforts. The following tips may help to guide you to creating better content for your clients and prospects:
1. Choose your topic carefully
What is your webinar going to be about? This is an important question that should be discussed before anything else. Think about your buyer. Think about your buyer’s pain points. What are they struggling with right now? How can you offer solutions without selling?
Once you’ve answered the questions above, your mindset is on the right track.
2. Choose the Right Speakers and the Right Format
Not only should your speaker be knowledgeable on the topic, but they should be interactive and engaging with their audience. Resist the temptation to create a lengthy slide desk and choose a format that works with your topic. Is your webinar going to be hosted by a single presenter? Will it be an interview Q&A-style webinar with two speakers? A panel discussion with numerous guests and a moderator?
3. Create Your Offer
When promoting webinars (or anything for that matter) you will want the reader to immediately think “That’s what I was just thinking, that’s me!” Your offer should be compelling by speaking directly to the pain points of your customer or prospect. After the main headline has caught their attention, you will next want to outline the main points your webinar will cover. This will increase the odds that they will register. Lastly, it’s important to outline a clear result. “At the end of this webinar, you will be able to…” (fill in the blank).
4. Promote Your Webinar
To get the most bang out of your efforts, you will want to promote your webinar to your audience. First, be sure your audience is clearly defined. After that, promote anywhere and everywhere you find those groups. You will have multiple distribution channels to use. In marketing, multichannel marketing refers to the practice of interacting with customers using a combination of direct and indirect channels – websites, email, social media, direct mail, paid advertising, etc. All these methods can be utilized to reach your target.
5. The Technical Part
There are many resources to consider when setting up your webinar. Not only do you want to choose the platform you will use (i.e.; Zoom, Go To Webinar, Teams), but you will want to determine how you will handle RSVP’s, reminders, meeting credentials, and follow-up afterward.
Additionally, it is smart to do a dry run using your platform so you are comfortable using the chosen system. This is a great way to test your microphone quality and camera. Use a land line if possible. We also recommend enlisting a technical assistant or moderator who can handle any technical issues that may arise.
6. The Follow-Up
Once your webinar is over, your job is not done. Do not lose your momentum now! While you still have their attention, be sure to follow up with a thank you email and attach the webinar recording or slides. Recap the webinar takeaways.
But that’s not all…your next job is to move your clients or leads to the next phase of their buying journey. If you recall, our first step was to address the buyer’s pain point. Now that you have presented a solution, what is the next step? How can you stay engaged to move them along on the journey to purchase? In marketing we refer to this as the “call-to-action” and it is crucial to the follow up. Depending on the purpose of your webinar, you may want them to take action by requesting a demo or contacting you for more information such as specification sheets, brochures, or installation information.
Lastly, it may seem like a bumpy ride the first couple webinars…but over time you will feel comfortable. Once you’ve hosted a webinar, analyze and improve on the next one.
The benefits of hosting webinars are plentiful. Webinars will help to develop authority and trust in the minds of your customers and prospects, build and create business relationships, raise your brand awareness, assist in understanding your audience, as well as build your client list.
Now get out there!
P.S. Be sure and read my article “Marketing Guide for Lighting Reps Amid Coronavirus Scare.”
— Natalie Young, President, Performance Marketing [firstname.lastname@example.org]