How to Reach Your Target Webinar Audiences
Practical steps for defining, targeting, and capturing the right target audiences for your webinar events.
Audience is everything when it comes to the success of your webinar strategy. As marketers, we often focus on audience size as the top measure of success. But webinar audience engagement is what ultimately matters most—and translates into higher conversion rates and sales later on.
Audience engagement requires targeting, and that’s what we’ll cover in this guide. First, we’ll help you reframe your thinking to align with your buyers’ motivations, then define best-fit audiences for your brand, and finally capture webinar audiences that deliver the ROI you need.
Jobs to Be Done: Tapping Into Buyer Motivations
We all want to believe that buyers are attracted to our brand because of our quality products and services. The reality, however, is that purchase motivation is much more self-centered. B2B buyers have a job to do—a problem they need to solve for their organizations.
They aren’t looking, then, for a particular product or brand, they’re just looking for the provider with the most effective solution.
The jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework, created by business innovators in the 1990s, can help you shift your marketing lens from solution-focused to problem-focused. Rather than emphasizing the features of your brand and offerings, JTBD thinking enables you to tap into the problems and needs of your audience so they feel understood.
Here’s a hypothetical example of jobs-to-be-done thinking from Harvard Business School’s Clay Christensen:
So what does this all have to do with webinar audiences?
Informational webinars are often one of the first steps buyers take in their journey to find new solutions. That means when they’re looking for events and/or deciding whether they’ll attend a particular one, they’re thinking about the problem that their company is experiencing.
When you tap directly into that thought process, you’re more likely to grab buyer attention and convert them to event attendees.
Defining Your Target Webinar Audience: 3 Key Steps
Start with Customer Data
Gather buyer data from all of the sources you use in your marketing and sales strategy, including places like your CRM system, email subscriber lists, and web tracking software.
Streamline your data into a singular source and format so you can view, mine, and analyze it as a whole vs. several separate datasets. You don’t need a fancy analytics system to do this — Excel spreadsheets work just fine for building a large list and categorizing data points.
Once you have your list created, spend time doing some audience analysis. Break down your audience by attributes like industry, company size, purchase behavior traits, individual position title, budget, level of engagement, type of engagement, or any other point that’s valuable.
Build Your ICPs and Buyer Personas
Build ideal customer profiles (ICP) that describe the organizational attributes of your target audience. Then, move on to individual purchase decision makers. Remember your focus should be on the motivation behind a purchase and traits that impact it.
Segment Your Target Audiences
After your ICPs and buyer personas are complete, think about how you want to segment your audience. This is different for every company. At ActualTech Media, we segment largely by industry because our topical webinars have industry-specific relevance. To make our audience segments clear, we create one-page summaries with data-driven overviews.
Targeting Your Webinar Audience
Create a Buyer-Focused Webinar Schedule
Effective targeting starts by building your webinar strategy around your audience. Consider first and foremost what your audience cares about. Ask questions like:
- What topics help inform buyer purchase decisions?
- Who within our organization or industry will they want to hear from?
- How can I help my audience solve problems or accomplish goals?
Choose topics, speakers, and formats based on what works best for your unique audiences. Use data from past events and other sources of buyer/customer data to align your strategy with their priorities.
Find Them Where They Already Are
Discover which channels your audience prefers and meet them where they already are. Just as you aligned your webinar strategy with audience needs and interests, it’s important to plan your webinar promotion to align with their current behavior.
Some examples: If your audience is active on LinkedIn, promote your events there. If in-person events are important to your audience, plan to attend them as part of your strategy.
Personalize Your Outreach and Follow-Up
Nearly three-quarters (68%) of buyers say they chose their current vendors over others because they showed a strong understanding of their industry- and company-specific needs. To connect with your audience and establish the kind of trust required for them to make a purchase, every part of your webinar strategy needs to be personalized.
Fortunately, there are tools available today to help brands automate and execute personalization at scale. Most CRMs integrate with these tools (think email marketing software or data analytics tools) to make the process seamless.
Engage Them At Your Event
Targeting your audience can happen even during your live events. Use interactive tactics like survey questions, in-event discussions, and Q&A to get your webinar attendees more engaged and gain insights that can help you connect with them better.
In-event engagement both improves your targeting capabilities during post-webinar follow up and allows you to create better events that attract the right attendees in the future.
Align Your Strategy with Your Sales Team
Your sales team is essential to the continuation of a great buyer experience after your webinar events—and marketing and sales alignment is required to make it happen. As you build your strategy for webinar audience targeting, keep your sales teams aligned so they can build their own complementary strategies later on in the sales process.
Remember: Your webinar targeting strategy is what gets people to the event, but your sales team is the key to actually converting them to closed deals.
Ask For Audience Feedback
You can collect deeper insights on your audience by following up using post-event surveys. Surveys can include both objective rating scale questions as well as open-ended questions that complement quantitative data with qualitative insights.
When webinar audience feedback is collected systematically over time, you can use it to identify trends and refine your targeting strategy to meet their preferences, interests, and needs.
ActualTech Media Can Connect You with Motivated Leads
ActualTech Media connects B2B tech marketers directly to capable, motivated webinar audiences in hot-topic industry events. Our events will generate 200 to 1,200+ high-fit leads for your business.
Ready to explore how we can help you grow your business? Get in touch with us today to learn more and get started.