When you think about ways to deliver your expertise to potential customers, speaking engagements certainly come to mind as an effective technique. But speaking can be time consuming and costly.

Enter the webinar. It’s like a speaking engagement, only over an internet connection. Webinars are powerful tools in your content marketing arsenal because you can schedule them, record them, archive them, and send them to prospects after the fact. You can even use them to hone your message.

You have a lot to offer your potential customers. Why not entice them with some free education that benefits you both?

When people sign up for webinars, it generates qualified leads for your business. Read on to learn how to attract more B2B leads online with free webinars.

Webinars are great additions to your B2B marketing strategy

Could you use webinars to generate warm, qualified leads this year?

Talk to a B2B content marketing expert

Proven Benefits of Webinars

Webinars aren't just a great way to connect with clients and potential clients; they're a proven method of increasing leads.

According to a survey taken by the Content Marketing Institute, 61 percent of B2B companies use webinars as a content marketing tactic.

That same survey revealed that in 2015, webinars were rated as the most effective lead generation tool for B2B marketing, second only to in-person events. And there's a reason they work.

Four Advantages of Webinars

Offering free webinars engages your audience in a manner not met by other methods. At no cost, webinars can:

  1. Attract an audience with strong intent to buy
  2. Create a bridge between companies without geographical boundaries
  3. Promote partnerships between businesses
  4. Provide more information and a chance to ask questions in a non-threatening environment.

Free webinars allow your company to share a topic you know well with companies that have a vested interest in what you have to say.

Presenting the information in this dynamic format with chances to engage your audience in real time is a win-win for all parties. The webinar format creates an opportunity to forge new relationships and foster those you’ve already created.

Tips for Increasing Webinar Leads

Create compelling content.

If you’re looking to earn new contacts, webinar content is very important. Share expertise and perspective, not product demonstrations. Don’t sell, educate.

Share information your attendees can't get anywhere else. Make it unique.

When preparing the webinar, make the content evergreen so you can use it again as a part of your lead generation campaign year-round.

Promote, promote, promote.

Don't just use a registration page on your website and email list to promote the free webinar. Leverage partnerships and existing relationships to get the word out.

Social media is a great place to start. Post on multiple social media channels, and post at least every 3 days for a month leading up to the webinar. Don’t get discouraged -- most of your registrations will come the days before the event.

If your target audience uses Twitter regularly, start a custom hashtag (which you can track and turn into more leads) and use social media to its fullest potential to attract clients and generate excitement.

Consider creating a sense of urgency by limiting the number of "seats" available for each session.

Follow-up with attendees.

You’ve put a lot of work into preparing and giving your webinar, and you need a follow-up communication plan after the webinar.

Now is the time to use an email campaign. Show your appreciation for each attendee by following up with a thank-you email. Offer a special link to download the presentation or watch the recording.

Further the relationship with a call to action, and invite them to ask questions that weren’t covered during the webinar.

Finally, consider calling each new prospect within 3-4 days of the webinar and ask if the content was helpful. You may learn about a potential business opportunity from the phone call.

As a tactic to generate more leads to start 2016, we worked on an informational webinar with a client. We started promotion weeks in advance of the webinar, and 143 participants signed up to participate. 24 of those contacts were brand new to the company.

Free webinars can be your ticket to increased B2B lead generation. Attract more qualified leads through compelling webinar content and turn those leads into profitable relationships.