Forty-three percent of Gartner-surveyed technology buyers indicated that they are most likely to respond to a marketing call to action that drives to a webinar in a provider marketing campaign during the buying cycle. But technology and service providers often struggle to promote these webinars and reach buyers to generate demand. When determining how you’ll reach your target audience, you’ll first want to consider whether to self-host or partner with a third party, such as a trade or industry publication or an association relevant to your buyers that may extend your reach to host the webinar.
To self host or to partner with a third party?
Considerations should include:
- Credibility and market awareness. Are prospects and buyers aware of your brand and products? If not, partnering with a third party, a trade or technology publication, or website that your target audience views as credible and turns to for information on a regular basis will be most impactful to generate demand.
- Database reach. Will your existing database meet your webinar objectives, and will leveraging it adhere to compliance and data protection regulations? If your goals are to accelerate deals in the pipeline, leveraging your own database is appropriate. If, however, you intend to drive new leads, you’ll want to extend your reach.
- Content availability. Do you have content developed that your target audience will find valuable? Developing webinar decks, talk tracks or questions in the case of an interview-style webinar can be time-consuming. Partnering with a third party to host the webinar and bringing in a thought leader can be beneficial, if the webinar is meant to reach new prospects.
- Technology to host. Do you have webinar technology in place to host the event? This, of course, should not be the sole decision point. However, contracting with a webinar technology provider requires a staff member to learn the product and manage the webinar. Partnering with a third party eliminates this requirement as the third party hosts the online event.
To maximize your ability to generate demand, once you’ve made a decision to self-host or partner, it’s critical to:
- segment the audience ensuring the content addresses buyers’ needs and creates urgency
- identify a credible speaker that is able to engage the audience
- determine your promotional and follow up strategy BEFORE moving forward with launch of your program.
Gartner clients looking to build or expand your webinar program can read our recently published research that expands on improving your call to action response rate and driving demand with webinars.