In this digital transformation race sprung about by COVID-19, companies like IMAPAC have rapidly increased the use of digital tools to stay afloat during the pandemic. Revamping from having a portfolio that consisted of only physical conferences, you can definitely imagine the significant changes that we had to make to business operations to align our model to the new normal. In efforts to boost lead generation, one way in which we did so was through webcasts!
I can already imagine your faces as they cringe at the thought of investing a virtual platform to enable your lead generation requirements. I assure you, change is more often than not an uncomfortable experience but the rewards reaped are worth it – at least, from my and my company’s perspective. So while you deliberate the possibility of engaging real-time interaction digitally, I’m here to share 5 ways I used webcasts to boost lead generation from my experience in building IMAPAC’s webcast series from the ground up.
To begin with, what are webcasts and how are they relevant to a conference company?
Webcasts or webinars refer to real-time or pre-recorded videos hosted on online video and audio conferencing platforms. These videos aim at sharing knowledge and increasing awareness on a specific discussion topic, product or service and it allows for interaction between people from across the globe virtually.
Being foremost a market intelligence and conference company for the life sciences industry, it is only natural that we bring biopharmaceutical professionals the latest intelligence in the industry. One thing that we pride ourselves on is the intimate and carefully curated networking opportunities. In addition, our clients appreciate the thought-provoking conversations that we host through panel discussions and roundtables.
As such, we sought to recreate this environment as we launched our first webcast series – Corona360 In-Conversation. If you’d like to check out the series, click here!
Spanning 2 months, we hosted a total of 6 webcasts that were live panel discussions and Q&A sessions on issues surrounding R&D, clinical trials, manufacturing and logistics of a COVID-19 vaccine. We had the pleasure of hosting panelists and sponsors from International Vaccine Institute, Serum Institute of India, Baylor College of Medicine, CanSino Biologics, BIA Separations, 7P Solutions, West Pharmaceutical Services and more. Having wrapped up the last episode a couple of weeks ago, I’ve had some time to reflect on whether investing in a webcast series helped my company keep up with its business goals and revenue generation requirements.
Here are the 5 ways the Corona360 In-Conversation webcasts helped us boost lead generation
1. Bringing the conversation online and retaining our loyal client base
As mentioned, the main objective of our webcasts was to ensure that the conversations that initially were taking place face-to-face in physical conferences were brought online effectively. We chose a panel discussion format for our webcasts to encourage debate and open expression of thought on pertinent issues the industry is facing. In addition, we ensured our platform had a Q&A module that gave viewers as much of a stake in the conversation as the panelists.
A large part of lead generation is making sure your existing client base is kept happy with your services, which will in turn translate into word-of-mouth marketing for your company.
2. Global reach
No longer is budget a constraint, as in the case of physical conferences, where you’d have to spend a couple of thousand dollars at the very least to get you to your destination. Webcasts and virtual conference platforms open up more doors in terms of the geographies of your prospective clients.
Individuals situated in different parts of the world are enabled to work together in real-time to communicate and share ideas without having to be physically present. Through the webcast series, we expanded our reach and captured audiences from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, USA, Nepal, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, Denmark, France, Germany, Vietnam and many more!
3. Accessible anytime, anywhere and at your convenience
Webcasts have the advantage of being available anytime, from anywhere and at a time that is convenient to you and your prospective clients. While the discussions were hosted live, we made sure to make the videos available on-demand so that individuals can tune in to the content during lunch breaks, post-work, on their daily commute etc.
Because of that convenience, we saw our content being consumed more often and by a varied demographic. It also increased our lead time as enquiries continued to flood in for weeks after the live session.
4. Product awareness and brand credibility
I’m going to deviate a little from our Corona360 In-Conversation webcast experience and share with you a guest webcast we did with BioSpectrum Asia to share the launch of our Global Coronavirus Vaccines Pipeline report (a part of IMAPAC’s market research arm).
In this instance, webcasts were useful in educating clients on our product offering. We used the opportunity to deliver a presentation, which increased awareness and understanding of the report and how clients can benefit from it.
Along with the immediate feedback feature of webcasts, participants are more likely to ask questions that they otherwise would not have in a face-to-face conversation. The session with BioSpectrum Asia had enabled an interactive discussion post-presentation to pique interests and clarify concerns of the webcasts’ participants pertaining to the report.
5. Non-intrusive promotions using supplementary tools
It is important to ensure that the webcast’s content is not about pushing your product. It could result in high levels of unsubscribing and videos being abandoned midway. Have your webcast’s content seek to share knowledge with the viewer, address challenges they may face and suggest viable solutions. With supplementary tools such as marketing pop-ups strategically placed in a non-intrusive positions, you may draw the participants’ attention to ongoing promotions in a more subtle manner. It provides potential leads that include potential customers and increases conversion rates.
All in all, webcasts are definitely a useful add-on to your marketing and sales strategy portfolio – they have been for us! They have enabled our content to reach a global audience at any time and for weeks on end. Doing so has allowed us to expand our audience reach while maintaining our current client base. Finally, it has ensured that consumers understand and appreciate who IMAPAC is and what we do – your one-stop-shop for the biopharmaceutical industry’s market intelligence and networking opportunities.
So, that wraps up my take on 5 ways you can use webcasts to boost lead generation. What’s your take?
Kashmiira is IMAPAC’s Marketing Manager – Branding & Content Strategy, responsible for driving demand generation, content marketing and brand development strategies. She is also actively involved in the company’s digital transformation efforts with the launch of its webcast and virtual conferences, digital ads and market reports.
Prior to her role in marketing, she was instrumental to the project management and production of IMAPAC’s life science conferences. Follow her on LinkedIn.