A new study and report released today finds that successful marketers are using webinars for thought leadership and 50% of marketers report plans to incorporate more webinars into their content marketing mix.
When the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) came out with the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research report, it reported that webinars were ranked as the 3rd most effective content marketing tactic (tied with videos) and 62% of marketers were using webinars (up from 59% in 2013). This prompted me to start asking all kinds of questions. Why the gap? Shouldn’t more marketers be utilizing webinars if they are so effective? Why did webinar-using marketers score webinars as highly effectiveness?
So I reached out to CMI to commission a study to help answer some of my questions. The study was designed to 1) dig into why webinars are not used more often if they are so effective, and 2) how exactly marketers are successfully using webinars. The study’s resulting report ‘Webinars: They’re Not Just for Leads Anymore’ is enlightening and should give content marketers guidance on where to fit webinars into the marketing mix as well as strategies for taking advantage of this very effective tactic.
In the report, CMI cited both Sirius Decisions and Forrester Research regarding online customer engagement:
‘According to Sirius Decisions, business buyers now go through 67% of their buying process by consuming content online. Forrester Research finds that buyers may be anywhere from “two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they ever reach out to the vendor.” Clearly the importance of content that engages, enriches, and creates value for these buyers before they become leads has never been more apparent.’
As you will find in the report, webinars are an important online channel marketers use to effectively engage and support customers throughout their buying journey at multiple stages.
Here is a quick summary of the takeaways from the study and report:
- Successful marketers are finding new uses for webinars near the top of the marketing funnel in areas of thought leadership, contact acquisition and customer relationship building
- Marketers having success with webinars are using them throughout the entire customer engagement cycle in varying ways
- Success with webinars is largely dependent on a thoughtful and documented webinar program strategy
- An expanded vision and implementation of webinars is proving to provide a greater ROI and cost-effectiveness for marketers
- Marketers who have broadened their use of webinars have less trouble attracting an audience – rather their bigger challenge is generating enough content or securing quality speakers.
The full report is quite insightful. Enjoy the read!