How to Create a Top-of-Funnel Webinar

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Webinars have exploded in popularity in the last couple of years.

In fact, they’re increasingly becoming one of the most common lead generation tools around.

You’ve probably even attended a fair few too.

Let’s be honest though. Some of these have been a total waste of time.

That is, there are plenty of top-of-funnel webinars that are sales pitches, which offer nothing to the viewers.

Today we’ll look at how to run a webinar that actually provides value for the people on the other end.

But before we get started, let’s go back to basics.

1. Why You Should Run a Webinar

Webinar live

The theory behind top-of-funnel webinars is pretty simple.

If you want someone to enter your sales funnel, you need to offer them something up front.

This is called a lead magnet. Typically, this is a piece of premium content, like a whitepaper or an ebook.

In exchange, you get their email address.

A webinar plays the same role, but it adds a number of extra benefits for the viewer, including:

  • Greater interaction with your brand
  • A more personalized experience
  • A more engaging format

Because of this, webinars are typically the most effective lead magnets.

People want to watch them more than read an ebook, and who can blame them?

On top of this, webinars offer some massive benefits on your side too.

In addition to giving you some valuable facetime with potential customers, you also have a great opportunity to generate a sale.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to create a webinar which creates mutual value for you and your leads.

2. Identify the Customer Problem You’ll Solve

The key to a successful webinar is focusing on a single problem.

This is crucial for a number of reasons:

  • It will help you reach the right people
  • You’ll stay on topic
  • You can show off actual use cases for your product/service

In other words, your webinar should never be about your product.

For instance, a webinar on the lines of Top 10 New Features in Our Product in 2021 would be no good at the top of your sales funnel.

This is because it would only be useful for your existing customers.

Instead, it should be focused on a problem which your product or service just happens to help with.

Here’s a good example from DesigenerUp, who upskill graphic designers to work in user experience.

DesigenerUp Webinar

Notice that they didn’t run with Why You Need Our Course to Get into UX.

Instead, they identify what viewers want and provide it.

Remember, this is about getting people into your sales funnel.

The selling comes later.

3. How to Get Webinar Signups

Luckily, focusing on a tangible audience problem also makes gaining signups fairly simple.

That is, once you know the problem you’re trying to solve, everything else falls into place pretty quickly.

Really, there are two ways to get webinar signups.

  • Display ads
  • Your existing site traffic

We won’t rewrite the book on PPC or SEO today.

Suffice to say these are the primary traffic sources for a webinar.

For instance, using Facebook advertising:

Facebook advertising

Alternatively, Neil Patel uses his exit intent pop-up to offer his webinars as a lead magnet:

The real key to gaining webinar signups is nailing your landing page.

You don’t need to be a design wizz to achieve this.

Indeed, there are plenty of great landing page solutions out there.

Still, every effective webinar landing page has a few basic components.

Essentially, these are:

  • Compelling hero copy,
  • Social Proof,
  • A brief course summary, framed in terms of viewer value,
  • Repeated CTAs.

So, let’s check out what happens when we click through on the Facebook ad I showed you above:

Lita Trader

Note that the copy emphasises how easy trading is when you know the 3 simple steps.

On top of this, the CTA isn’t your average sign up now.

Instead, it focuses on the value on offer.

The user is getting something for free. Then we have proof from some reputable names, which is obviously vital in a niche like financial trading.

Trade learnin

Then we get a bit of a course summary, followed by a quantifiable customer success story, and another CTA.

This basic formula is rinsed and repeated a couple more times to maximise the number of signups.

When you get a person's details, you can use an online tool to verify the email address to ensure it's a valid lead

4. Running your Webinar

Okay, so now it’s time to deliver the goods. One of the reasons many marketers are put off running webinars is that they seem too hard.

When you use an ebook as a lead magnet, you can just pay someone to write the thing.

With a webinar, you need to get your head around the technical stuff, as well as drawing on your presentation skills.

In reality though, this isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds.

4.1. Choosing the Right Hosting Option

On the technical side, you’re more than covered. At least, there are plenty of options out there.

One piece of advice you’re likely to encounter is to use a common non-webinar tool like Zoom to run your webinars.

However, just because this is a common practice, doesn’t make it a good idea.

In fact, you could end up looking pretty amateurish.

Instead, there are countless dedicated webinar tools out there, which offer crucial features like comments sections and show notes that Zoom can’t.

Really, when choosing a webinar hosting platform, the key things you’ll want to consider are:

  • Whether you’ll run every edition live or use evergreen webinars
  • If you need interactive elements like audience polling
  • Whether the host can also monitor comments
  • If you want an all-in-one platform for hosting webinars and creating landing pages etc.
  • On-screen or off-screen presentation

Your budget

Consider these factors, then choose a webinar platform that fits your needs.

4.2. Structuring your Webinar

In some ways, once you’ve got a signup for your webinar, you’ve already met your primary goal.

That is, you have their email address, so they’re in your funnel.

That means, in the course of your webinar, you have two task:

  • To deliver the value you promised
  • To take this as a chance to make a few sales

The key is to balance these two things. A good rule of thumb here is an 80/20 split between solid insights and your sales pitch.

However, it’s not quite as simple as this. For example, if you spend the first 20% of your webinar talking about your product, then no one will watch beyond the first few minutes.

Instead, it’s best to not even mention your product in the first half at all.

Here’s a basic outline of the way I like my webinars to flow, and what each stage achieves:

  • Introduction & Agenda - The challenge here is getting people to stick around until the end. You can do this by signposting the value on offer throughout.
  • Establish the problem - Essentially, this is where you’ll explain the customers’ current situation, and compare it with where they could be if they follow your steps.
  • The theory behind your solution - This is where you’ll lay out the steps the customer needs to take to achieve their goals. However, this should be a high-level overview of the process, rather than concrete details.
  • Your product/service - Once you’ve convinced the viewers of the theory behind your solution, you can present your product/service and how this takes the legwork out.
  • Case studies - Provide some quantifiable customer success stories.
  • Q&A - It’s best to wrap up with a Q&A session to get in some facetime with your viewers and start to build a relationship.

4.3. How to Create Compelling Content

That’s the basic structure you can use to run a successful webinar.

However, certain niches need a little bit more work to keep people interested than others.

For instance, a webinar on something exciting like snowboarding will hold viewers’ attention pretty much by default.

For some businesses, like accountancy, you have to go the extra mile.

The only guaranteed way to engage your viewers while you talk about a dry topic is to focus on their bottom line.

That is, the topic itself stops being the focus. Instead, it’s all about focusing on value.

Typically, this is how much money you can make them or how much money you can save them.

While this is something you should keep in mind throughout, there are a couple of easy ways you can hammer home the value of your solution.

For instance, we’ve already touched on using case studies and customer success stories.

You might also offer a guarantee so that if B2B customers don’t see the results they want, they don’t pay.

Alternatively, if you’re running a consumer focused webinar, you might not be able to make the different functions of your power washer particularly exciting.

Instead, you might focus on all the time they’ll save if they buy your product.

5. Essential Steps after your Webinar

Finally, let’s look at how to follow up a ToFu webinar.

The goal all along was to gain email signups, so it goes without saying that a webinar is followed up by an email sequence to try and make some sales.

But are there any unique extra steps you should take after a webinar?

Well, yes. If you use a static lead magnet like a white paper, the lead has it forever.

Webinars don’t really work that way. As such, a few days after someone watches your session, it’s important to send them a summary of your show notes.

You should present this as a bonus piece of long-form content, like an ebook.

This can be accompanied by a survey or discovery session invite.

That way you can move the lead down the funnel and get ready to formulate a business proposal or offer a closing discount.

6. How to Create a Top-of-Funnel Webinar

Let’s recap. Webinars are some of the most effective entry points to any sales funnel.

This is because they’re enticing for new leads, while they also offer you a great chance to work your sales magic.

In other words, they work because they attract more people and move them down your funnel faster than other lead magnets.

The basic ingredients for a successful webinar are pretty simple.

First you identify a concrete customer problem that your product can solve.

Then all you need is a decent landing page to hook prospects in.

You then make the case for how you are uniquely suited to solving this problem and saving them bundles of money.

This strategy doesn’t just generate leads. It gets them warm enough to make a purchase in almost no time at all.

Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes.

She's a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.

Other posts about webinar funnels:

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