Generate Leads with Webcasts

February 6, 2009

Providing on-demand webcasts to prospective customers is a rapidly growing demand generation strategy. Instead of having to call a salesperson at a potential vendor, your prospects can complete the research component of their buying process on their convenience. Evaluate your webcast requirements to determine if this tactic should be added to your marketing mix.

What is a Webcast?

The word webcast is derived from “web” and “broadcast”. Its use has varied since the early-mid 1990s as the nature of the medium came into public use. Webcasting is sending audio and/or video live over the Internet. In essence, webcasting can be thought of as broadcasting over the Internet.

What is the Business Case?

There are numerous reasons to start your webcasting program. From your customer/prospect’s perspective, webcasts can be viewed at their convenience, and allow for evaluation without having the start a ‘sales cycle’ with a representative. Additionally, if you make your webcast transcripts searchable, your prospects can save time by zeroing in on the specific content they are interested in viewing.

From your organization’s perspective, webcasts: provide new leads (if you require visitors to sign-up for viewing); reduce costs related to tradeshows or events; allow for customized communications based on audience; and work for you 24/7.

Webcasting Vendors:

  • IVT
  • Accela Communications
  • Streamlogics
  • The FeedRoom
  • Vodium

Action Plan:

    1. Discuss with Senior Management – communicate the business case for webcasting to your executives to obtain their buy-in and secure budget approval for this type of project. Be sure to get a clear indication of costs from vendors, before you present this idea.

  1. Determine Target Audiences – review your current and potential audiences and analyze what information they would need to make a decision regarding your type of product/service, i.e. competitive advantage or industry solutions.
  2. Select a Platform - ensure the system you choose has the following functionality built-in: searchable transcripts, registration (leads), surveys & polling, interactive discussion or chat, high quality streaming audio/video, and synchronized slide navigation.
  3. Prepare a Script – once you have a platform in place, work on writing a script that is conversational, informative, and provides a clear description of the problem your solution can solve. It is not imperative that your speakers follows the script verbatim, but ensure that key statements are made.
  4. Make your Webcast Searchable - potential customers do not want to hear a canned sales pitch, give them a table of contents or agenda, and make your webcast transcripts searchable to save your prospects time.
  5. Edit Rigorously – take the time to capture multiple takes, and edit your webcast to optimize its effect. You may wish to get some outside help from a video-production or media agency, if you don’t have this type of experience.
  6. Select your Speaker - although your key executives may be the experts when it comes to your organization, do not make the mistake of assuming that they are your best public speaker. Send a company-wide email out to identify any speakers that who have Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie training.
  7. Communicate Effectively – stay focused on the topic and avoid pitching your product/service. Open and close with interesting value propositions, and ensure your speaker varies their tone and pace.

Bottom-Line:

Very often, prospective customers are interested in learning more about a product/service, but hesitate to contact an organization for fear of getting wrapped up in a sales cycle with a persistent salesperson. Use a pull approach to capture more new leads, and have your customers prepared to ask buying questions.

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