The average person prefers doing their own research on your product/service than reaching out to your sales team for more information, or even less: a demo. That's why having informative content in your website is not only imperative, but also the fastest and surest way of educating visitors on your products/services before any actual person-to-person interaction. The question is, what kind of informative content should that be? Though whitepapers have been an industry standard for a really long time, webinars have recently proven a higher ROI.
Whitepapers were an effective approach for such a long time because they provide in-depth knowledge on a highly specific topic in a very educational and helpful manner. But over the years, readers have lost interest in time consuming content, gravitating towards fast and dynamic media, like video. The "use of video has risen from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012" (CMI), and it will continue to rise steadily as more marketers carve out room for a video budget, which includes both paid webinars and free webinars.
Webinars have been basking in popularity in the education and training sectors for the past few years, but its been an uphill battle for marketers to prove why they should deliver webinars. Some reasons why webinars deserve a spot in your marketing budget include:
Webinars Versus Whitepapers
Webinars address the issue of 'shorter attention spans' because you can share a lot more information in a shorter amount of time (in contrast to how long it would take someone to get the same information from a whitepaper).
61% of B2B marketers rate webinars or webcasts as an effective content marketing tactic while only 57% of B2B marketers rate white papers as an effective content marketing tactic (CMI).
Whitepapers are research-heavy, causing people to lose interest before they are able to finish, while webinars can use animation and many more elements to keep viewers engaged throughout.
Whitepapers are not for everyone: they tend to attract people at the bottom of the funnel only, while webinars are appeal to everyone regardless of their funnel stage.
Webinars are fun! and can lead to networking opportunities, while whitepapers expect you to take in all of that new information by yourself.