B2B Webinar Essentials: A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on: | Updated on: | Trisha Miles

Learn How to Host, Promote and Execute Your Virtual Events 

A counterintuitive fact: webinars are underutilized in B2B marketing. 

Your LinkedIn feed is likely full of webinars covering every subject, but the data suggests businesses could be producing even more webinars – and using them to generate and nurture more leads. 

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s most recent research1, 51% of B2B marketers say webinars produce the best results - yet just 56% of businesses use the format. This is the same number that run in-person events, despite webinars being far cheaper and presenting fewer logistical challenges. 

The reason? Many B2B marketers are still not confident they can pull off a successful event – and the fear of failure holds them back.  

That’s why we produced this guide. It offers everything you need to plan, promote and host a webinar that generates, nurtures and converts leads. 

Expect to learn the:  

  • Five key ingredients to choose an irresistible webinar topic for your target audience
  • Most cost-effective ways to promote your event
  • Best follow-up strategies to turn more attendees into high-value sales opportunities 


How to Plan Your B2B Webinar 

Running a B2B webinar presents multiple logistical hurdles, from budget constraints to technical challenges. The right webinar plan not only ensures you avoid such problems – it helps you maximize the attendance, commercial effectiveness and ROI of your event. 

How to Budget for a B2B Webinar 

33% of B2B buyers plan to increase their webinar budget in 2024. But how much does it actually cost to run a successful webinar? And what proportion of that budget should be allocated to each activity required to market and produce your event?  

The bulk of your webinar spend will go on the hosting platform: this usually starts around $80/month and increases from there, depending on your needs. However, there are a few other costs to consider: 

  • LinkedIn promotion: Boosting your LinkedIn Event is a great way to promote a webinar, as LinkedIn offers cheaper rates to incentivize businesses to use the tool. As a result, we encourage our partners to budget at least $500.
  • Display ads: Display remarketing ads and display ads to cold audiences are likely to reach a wider audience, but it is also more expensive. We advise clients to invest at least $1,000 as a starting point.
  • Promotional content: From producing ad design and copy to setting up landing pages that maximize sign-ups, you might require external support to produce materials. This can cost anywhere from $40/hr to $400/hr, depending on whether you use an agency, freelancers or in-house resources. 

Any webinar expense you incur is likely to increase from the recommended minimum depending on how much external support is need. But if you work with the right B2B webinar agency, you can benefit from efficiencies developed through repeated collaboration – ultimately bringing costs down and boosting your ROI. 

How to Choose the Best Webinar Topic 

B2B buyers are busy and prefer to research vendors via third-party sources rather than engaging directly with a potential supplier. Your webinar therefore has to offer something truly unmissable for most buyers to give up even a half-hour of their time – and much of that comes down to the choosing the right topic. 

A successful B2B webinar topic should feature five key ingredients: 

1. Timeliness 

Is the topic relevant to your audience right now? Buyers need to feel they will gain immediate benefit from attending. Research LinkedIn and trade publications to learn the subjects your audience is most likely to be thinking about and feel they can’t miss out on learning about right now.  

2. Differentiation 

Does your topic stand out against your competitors’ content? Webinars present an opportunity to differentiate your brand as a thought leader in the industry providing unique insights and benefits, but this won’t happen if you are saying the same things as six other brands. 

3. Insight  

What new information or ideas will the audience leave with? A webinar topic should at least suggest the practical benefit they will receive by attending. Think of it as a transaction: the buyer gives you 30 minutes of their day and in exchange they get - what? 

4. Authority 

Can your business talk with authority on the subject? Webinars are considered a high-level form of content – and only experts should be running them. Whether you can discuss proprietary data or simply point out how long your speakers have worked in the field, signalling credibility is key to making your topic appealing. 

5. Relevance 

Is the topic related to your actual commercial offering? B2B buyers consider webinars to be among the best ways to research a purchase, and should therefore fit seamlessly into your sales pipeline. The ideal topic will be in the sweet spot between general thought leadership and a direct sales pitch.


3 Ways to Maximize the Impact of Your B2B Webinar 

Once you have a budget and a topic, you are ready to start promoting your webinar. But there are a few small alterations you can make at this stage which we’ve found can dramatically increase the impact of your event:  

1. Consider co-hosting  

Many B2B businesses run webinars in partnership with a company or individual that operates in a related field but is not an active competitor. This not only halves the cost of your webinar – it doubles the potential audience when you are able to market the event to the partner’s audience. You also benefit from increased credibility by including experts from another business and may even gain a new strategic partner.  

However, please note: It is very important to have a clear agreement in place about how you manage data and leads generated through the event.  

2. Leverage existing materials  

48% of B2B content managers cite “not enough content repurposing” as a key challenge – and webinars are a perfect opportunity to solve that problem. Utilize existing resources like whitepapers, eBooks or presentations that your organization has created as the basis of your talk to generate more value from the content and reduce the legwork involved in planning the event.  

3. Choose the right time  

Your webinar needs to fit easily into buyers’ workflows – which puts clear constraints on when it can run. Most businesses opt for either mid-morning or early afternoon, but it’s important to note that your audience may reside in multiple time zones. Simply moving your webinar a few hours forward or back could therefore double the number of buyers who are willing and able to attend. 

Pro tip: If your business operates on Eastern Time, but you have customers across the United States, 4 pm ET is generally an effective time to run a webinar. This allows prospects on Pacific Time to join in the morning and those on Central and Eastern Time to end their day with the event. 

Before the Event: How to Promote a Webinar 

B2B businesses might invest four figures in their webinar – so it’s important to ensure as many people attend as possible. That’s why we recommend spending at least 4-6 weeks promoting the event across multiple platforms with a clear marketing strategy in place. 

4 Ways to Increase Webinar Promotion Sign-ups 

How you promote your webinar will depend on your audience and topic. But there are four factors that universally encourage action: 

1. Exclusivity 

Present your webinar as the only place to gain a special insight or piece of information. Credibility is crucial here: the speakers’ reputation and credentials should be front and center. Try to find a true claim that signals exclusivity: Are they going to present previously unseen data? Are they able to present an exclusive method to carry out a certain process? 

2. Scarcity  

Many businesses create urgency around their event by offering limited spaces and letting the audience know as they fill up. However, most businesses don’t want to turn away potential leads, so you leverage scarcity in another way: by offering early sign-ups a special benefit, such as the opportunity to pre-register their questions for the Q&A section – and guarantee the speakers have time to respond. 

3. Loss aversion  

Researchers find that avoiding loss is roughly 2x more motivating than gaining something. The takeaway? Your promotional content should present concrete benefits, but do so through the frame of loss: 

Gain Loss
"Attend the event on..." "Don't miss the event on..."

4. Competitive advantage  

Buyers are constantly looking for ways to outperform their competitors – and your webinar needs to activate that desire. Frame the benefit of the event as an active competitive advantage: your attendees will leave knowing how to do this, while other companies are stuck doing that. 

How to Market a Webinar: 4 Essential Channels 

The majority of B2B brands will use multiple channels to promote their webinars – and the key is to use each in the right way. We recommend prioritizing these four channels to promote your webinars: 

1. Email existing contacts 

B2B buyers say webinars are most valuable during the middle of their buying process. As a result, your webinar is most likely to appeal to existing contacts who want more information – or simply want to further assess the value your business offers.  

Develop a marketing email sequence to encourage existing contacts to sign up – and always remember to: 

  • Target the right audience: Segment your audience (we recommend HubSpot for this) to ensure you only email contacts that will actually benefit from the webinar. This will enable you to make the copy more direct and use language that will resonate with the buyer and their stage in the buying process.
  • Emphasize design: Research cited in Writing for Busy Readers finds that most business readers delete roughly half of the emails they receive without even reading them. But design elements can signal value and improve the likelihood a recipient will take the time to read your message. Make sure each email looks professional and foregrounds key information like the webinar title and date in a clearly distinguishable manner. 

2. Cold email relevant prospects 

Webinars are a perfect way to generate new prospects. You are offering high-value content in a format many buyers actively prefer – which makes it the perfect opportunity to reach out to cold prospects who may or may not have considered your product/service before.  

Once you’ve built a list of cold prospects that you believe would benefit from the webinar, send a cold email sequence that: 

  • Entices opens: Focus on subject lines and opening statements that directly call out the audience’s pain points. Most buyers don’t want another cold email. So, you have, at most, a second or two to capture their attention and make it clear that you understand their challenges.
  • Introduces the sender: You cannot expect a prospect to go from being unaware of your company to attending the event. These cold emails should begin with a simple introduction to orientate the recipient – and make it clear why you are reaching out.
  • Explain your offer: Cold emails are transactional: the recipient has no reason to care about your business, so you need to give them a clear, rational reason to attend your webinar. Focus on credibility signals, hard data and exclusivity.
  • Avoids spam: There are several keywords which mark your emails as spam (and therefore reduce their deliverability.) These include salesy terms like ‘free’, ‘act now’ and ‘guaranteed’. Ensure your emails avoid this language and read like natural speech.
  • Prompts action: Cold emails should come from an individual and therefore should not have a CTA button like typical marketing emails. You therefore need to embed the CTA directly in the copy – and make sure it is clear exactly how the recipient can sign up for your webinar.

3. Pop-ups on your website 

Every person that visits your website is a potential lead – and webinars are a great way to capture their information. Produce a simple graphic with the webinar title, date, speakers’ images and job titles, and a sign-up CTA to use as a pop-up or display graphic throughout your website. But keep a few things in mind: 

  • Avoid spam: Create the right logic to ensure your pop-up is triggered at the right times without disrupting visitors who are not interested – or have already signed up to attend.
  • Keep it simple: It can be tempting to include lots of information on the pop-up, but this will drown out your central message and make it overwhelming to a visitor who wasn’t expecting it.

4. Leverage LinkedIn 

80% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn, making it the most powerful promotional platform for B2B businesses. There are multiple tools to promote your webinar: 

  • Event pages: A tool that allows users to sign up for your webinar directly on LinkedIn. Include a clear description of the event and include relevant hashtags to make your event easy to find for the right audience.
  • LinkedIn ads: A form of display advertising that lets you promote your event within your audience's content feed. This is a great opportunity to capture attention with design and reach a wider audience.
  • Personal outreach: Have relevant individuals within your organization send messages directly to prospects either within their existing network or using InMail (LinkedIn’s paid premium membership program). Make sure you tailor each message to the specific recipient and include some personalised information – even if it’s just their name. 

4 Elements B2B Webinar Landing Pages Need 

A landing page is the heart of your promotion campaign. Whether they arrive via LinkedIn ads or cold emails, almost every prospect will sign up via your landing page – and it should therefore be the first piece of content you produce. 

Every webinar landing page should contain: 

1. Clear event information 

What time does the event take place? Who will be hosting? What will attendees learn? A visitor should be able to answer these questions within seconds by looking at your landing page – otherwise, they will become confused and bounce.  

2. Urgency 

What is the important problem this event will help solve? Why does that problem matter now? Whether it’s a countdown to the event or a headline that inspires action, your landing page should encourage every visitor to sign up immediately.  

3. Curiosity gap 

What will be revealed during the webinar? What are you leaving out? Visitors need to have their appetites whetted – but still have a reason to tune in on the day. 

4. Credibility 

Who’s speaking at the event? Why should your audience care? Include as many credibility triggers as possible to make visitors feel your event is trustworthy and prestigious. 

Post-Signup: Three Steps to Maximize Attendance  

Too many B2B marketers take webinar sign-ups for granted. A buyer might sign up weeks in advance and completely forget about the event – which is why your promotion campaign should continue until the day of the event regardless of when a prospect signs up.  

We have found three methods particularly effective to maximize sign-ups and minimize non-attendance:  

1. Send reminder emails 

Send registrants a small nudge a few days before the event to ensure they don’t forget about the event. This is a great opportunity to trigger loss aversion: emphasize the fact that spaces are limited and reiterate the benefits of attendance. 

2. Announce across socials  

Your audience will almost definitely be using social media in their daily routines during the runup to your webinar – which makes it a perfect place to gently remind them about the event. Publish posts from both the company account and the speakers’ personal accounts to maximize reach. 

3. Make attending easy  

Even a small bit of friction can make a buyer lose interest in the event – so make sure it is easy for every registrant to attend. When someone secures their space, share a calendar link that places an event reminder directly into their work calendar. 

4. Include Q&As 

Every webinar should include a Q&A section to invite the audience into the discussion and address specific challenges or concerns. It’s also important to signal that there will be a Q&A ahead of time: this allows the audience to think about what they want to ask, as well as encouraging them to stay for the entire event.  


During the Event: A Guide to Webinar Hosting 

Imagine spending several weeks (and thousands of dollars) promoting your webinar – only to have a technical glitch or logistical hiccup render the whole thing moot. A poorly-hosted webinar isn’t just a waste of your time and resources; it actively harms your brand.  

6 Best Practices for Hosting a Webinar 

While choosing a reliable hosting platform like Zoom Webinar is important, there are several other factors that contribute to your webinar’s success: 

1. Start with a tech check 

Avoid technical glitches by assessing the hosting platform at least 2 weeks before your event. Book a 15 minute ‘tech check’ and ask speakers to attend from the room they will be in during the webinar. You can then test each person’s sound levels, video quality, lighting and screensharing. This gives you the opportunity to catch issue ahead of time and ensure the quality of your event is optimal. 

2. Plan a dry run 

Schedule a dry run at least one week before the webinar where speakers can get used to the webinar platform and rehearse the event. This gives everyone a chance to go over their presentations and practice using the various aspects of the hosting platform – including the polling, chat and Q&A functionalities.  

3. Brand your virtual room 

Attendees may spend several minutes in the virtual waiting room – and that is time they could be developing familiarity with your business. Make sure your logo and basic information are visible in the virtual room: this will both support your business and make the event appear more professional. 

4. Remove distractions 

Most webinar speakers attend via their office or home, both of which routinely feature background noise and visual distraction. This not only makes it difficult to concentrate – it makes the event appear amateurish. Create a custom background or use a blurred background feature for speakers to remove intrusive elements and ensure attendees can focus on the value your speakers offer. 

5. Designate a moderator 

A chat feature can make your audience feel they are part of a discussion – but only if there is someone there to read it. Designate an individual to moderate the chat (this could be an extra helper or one of your speakers) and periodically mediate the discussion with the speakers based on specific comments. 

6. Record the event 

While webinars work best when they are live, it would be a big waste of effort to allow the event to simply disappear. We recommend using Zoom Webinar to record your live event. This means attendees can rewatch the webinar later, and non-attendees can catch up on demand. 

3 Ways to Make Your Webinar More Engaging 

Hosting is not just about ensuring your event runs smoothly – it's about holding the audience’s attention. There are several simple tactics that can make your webinar more engaging: 

1. Pose questions to the audience 

Never forget that your webinar is a dialogue. Even if the audience is silent, they are responding to everything you say – and that’s why we have found running polls during the event can be very effective for attention retention. Start the event with a brief poll which you can then cite throughout the webinar to ensure you are speaking directly to the buyers in attendance.  

2. Focus on visuals 

Your webinar is a great place to present information – but you need to consider how it impacts the audience’s concentration. A thick wall of text is likely to distract and exhaust the audience. Instead, opt for presentations that use minimal text and emphasize visual elements like graphs or design to complement the speakers’ talking points. 

3. Use real-life examples 

Your audience needs to feel they are learning something actionable – and the best way to signal that is through concrete case studies. Include real-life examples wherever possible, even if they are not your own. 

After the Event: How to Turn Sign-ups into Leads 

Your webinar is finished – but the marketing process is still in full swing. Now that you have a pool of qualified leads who have built a connection with your business, it’s time to nurture those connections and push them through the funnel. 

5 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Webinar 

1. Make a follow-up offer 

Your event has created the perfect context to offer a harder sell. This could be a free consultation or a trial of your solution; the key is to make it directly relevant to the webinar to create a natural progression for attendees. Focus on providing: 

  • Genuine value: Your follow-up needs to at least match the value offered by your webinar.
  • Exclusivity: Present your offer as a reward for attending, not just another sales pitch.
  • Simplicity: Make the offer as low-touch as possible for the attendee to minimize friction. 

2. Share recordings 

Recording your webinar allows you to share the footage with both attendees and non-attendees. The content may be complex and dense, and many buyers will need to review it to maximize its value. Create a simple landing page where the recording lives along with your follow-up offer to easily provide a quick link in follow-up communication. 

3. Prepare follow-up email sequences 

Send every attendee a series of follow-up emails to promote your offer. We have generally found a 4-email sequence is enough to produce strong results, as long as you: 

  • Revise the email copy: While the sequence can be prepared before the event, you should always revise these emails once the event has taken place. This ensures you can include any specific information or references to things that happened during the event (e.g. your polls) to make the emails feel more authentic.
  • Emphasize the offer: Connect your follow-up offer to the content of the event and include clear CTAs to maximize uptake.   

4. Analyze your data 

From sign-ups to behavior during the webinar, every aspect of your event will have generated valuable data. Make sure you extract insights from it to: 

  • Improve lead nurturing: Figure out what your audience responded to and use that information to adapt your messaging and cadence in the future.
  • Enhance future events: Assess the engagement your event generated and use that to refine the process during your next webinar. 

5. Repurpose content 

From the presentation itself to any data gathered during the event, your webinar is a rich source of new content. Create a plan to repurpose it as new blogs, eBooks or social posts – and use that content to generate new leads in the future. 

Throughout the Process: Partner with the Right B2B Webinar Agency 

B2B webinars are complex and time-consuming – which is why so many businesses rely on a B2B webinar agency to support them. ProperExpression has over 20 years’ of combined experience across every aspect of webinar setup, promotion, hosting, and post-promotion that has been covered in this article.  

Our expert team develops irresistible event topics, promotes them across every relevant channel, hosts seamless events on behalf of our clients, and executes post-webinar marketing that turns attendees into highly-quality sales opportunities. That’s why we are trusted to plan, promote and run webinars by leading brands across Fintech, professional services, healthcare tech and many others. 

Want to generate quality leads and build thought leadership? Request a free webinar topic consultation today.

1 https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/articles/b2b-content-marketing-trends-research/

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