Frameworks to Create Achievable and Measurable Webinar Goals

It’s easy to get caught up with day-to-day operations and forget about the bigger picture of business performance. That’s especially true when you’re launching a variety of marketing campaigns. If you’re not closely tracking the impact of your marketing actions, you risk wasting your resources without achieving good results. Webinars are no exception. 

If you’re looking to scale your webinar marketing campaign and ensure that your webinars are impacting your larger marketing strategies, you have to create clear webinar goals. Defining your webinar goals is crucial to tracking your progress and evaluating the impact of your webinars. Also these goals should be aligned with your business objectives and marketing strategy, making sure that your webinars will help you accomplish the long-term vision. 

But webinar goals such as “Attracting new leads” or “Closing more deals” won’t do. They’re too vague and generalized. Forming general goals won’t help you understand or evaluate the effect webinars have on your business growth. On the contrary, because of the lack of precision and alignment with company goals, it may result in an ineffective webinar design. To prevent this, you need to construct a laser-focused webinar goal that will help you: 

📌 Identify and Measure Success 

A strong webinar goal supports cross-functional alignment, ensuring all company stakeholders are on the same page regarding what the expected results are from the webinar you’ll be running. Subsequently, it guarantees an easy analysis of the webinar performance, answering the question, “Did we do it?”

📌 Provide Focus and Direction for Your Campaign

Establishing a webinar goal will provide you direction and focus for everything related to this specific campaign, including the type of webinar you’ll run, the topic you’ll tackle, and the audience you’ll target. 

📌 Drive Revenue

The key to revenue attribution is tracking your webinar attendees and registrants through your marketing and sales funnel. If you don’t have a clear goal associated with your webinar, you can’t effectively convert your registrants into customers. 

How you approach goal setting will determine the success and impact of your webinars. Luckily, there are a number of methodologies you can use to establish your webinar goal before launching your webinar campaign. In this article, we’ll focus on two goal-setting frameworks: SMART goals, and Objective and Key Results (OKRs). 

SMART Goals Framework

SMART is an acronym that defines the most important characteristics of each goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Attributed to the work of Peter Drucker, the SMART goal methodology is a helpful framework for those who want the simplest way to measure progress. Here’s how you can establish your webinar goal using the SMART framework: 

👉 Specific (What’s My Goal?)

Instead of just stating that you want to close more deals with your webinar, be clearer when articulating your goal. In this case, a specific goal can be, “I want to run weekly demo webinars to convert our Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs.)” As you can see, the goal and the reasoning behind it are defined and specific, offering you an initial action framework. 

👉 Measurable (How Will I Measure It?)

The entire purpose of a webinar goal is to track and measure your performance. Which metric or indicator will show the impact of your actions? Going back to our previous example, you can say you want to attract high-quality leads, but this won’t tell you if your webinar performs well or not. To make your goal measurable, you can say, “I want to convert 10% of our total MQLs (500) to SQLs (50).” With this indicator, you’ll know how close you came to achieving the goal you set. 

👉 Achievable (Is My Goal Reasonable?)

The next step is to ensure your webinar goal is achievable. It’s important here  to be realistic . For example, it’s great that you want to have 5,000 MQLs per demo webinar, but it might not be feasible. An infeasible goal will only put pressure on you and your team, instead of keeping you motivated. So, instead of introducing unattainable expectations, it’s better to start small and come up with a target that fits your capabilities.

👉 Relevant (How Does My Goal Relate to My Overall Vision?)

Is your webinar marketing goal connected to your company’s larger direction? For example, let’s say your business goal is to increase your monthly recurring revenue by 15%. You recognize that increasing the volume of SQLs supports the business goal of increasing monthly recurring revenue. With this in mind, your goal of converting MQLs to SQLs via webinars definitely supports and impacts your larger business goal. 

👉 Time-Bound (When Do I Want To Achieve the Results?)

Finally, you need a clear timeline to track your goal. For better performance and higher efficiency, you have to establish how long it will take to achieve your defined result. 

With all this in mind, here’s an example of a webinar goal you can set up before launching your campaign: During Q1, we’ll convert 500 MQLs to 50 SQLs by running weekly demo webinars. 

OKRs Framework

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a popular goal-management framework that helps companies implement and execute strategies. According to Perdoo, “An Objective is a description of something that you’d like to achieve in the future. An Objective sets the direction — like a destination on a map. Objectives shouldn’t be technical and shouldn’t contain a metric so that everyone understands where to go.” 

A Key Result, on the other hand, is “a measurable outcome required to achieve the Objective. It contains a metric with a start and target value. Key Results measure progress towards the Objective — like a signpost that shows how close you are to your Objective.” 

As the famous American author and investor John Doerr states, “Objectives and key results are the yin and yang of goal setting — principle and practice, vision and execution. Objectives are the stuff of inspiration and far horizons. Key results are more earthbound and metric-driven.” 

Using the OKR framework will hone your focus on the results that matter, increase transparency, and improve strategic alignment between teams. 

Weekdone recommends connecting three to five key results to each objective. Otherwise, things may get complicated and you’ll be too overwhelmed to accomplish anything. 

Here’s an example of a webinar marketing goal you can build using the OKRs framework: 

🎯 Objective:

Convert 10% of our MQLs to SQLs (people who agree to have a contact with the sales team) during Q1.

📈 Key Results:

  • Run weekly demo webinars during Q1
  • Sign up at least 40 MQLs per webinar
  • Generate discovery calls with 50 SQLs at the end of the Q1

Subsequently, you can measure the performance of your OKRs using Confidence Levels. As Henrik-Jan van der Pol, the CEO of Perdoo, asserts, “An OKR confidence level is a simple indicator of whether the person leading that OKR believes that it’s (still) achievable. An OKR is usually considered achieved when you get to at least 70% progress.” 

OKRs have three confidence levels: On-track, meaning you’re confident you’ll achieve an OKR; Off-track, signaling there’s a risk, but you still believe you can achieve the OKR; and At-risk, meaning you most likely won’t make it to 70% progress. 

So, if you’ve confined your webinar marketing OKR to three months, you can review your key results monthly and assign a confidence level based on the results you obtain.

SMART Goals and OKRs: Key Similarities 

Now that we’ve presented both goal-setting frameworks, let’s examine their similarities. According to Weekdone, both OKR and SMART goals remove the “vague” factor, being measurable, achievable, and time bound. Also, although both are specific, OKRs go deeper, highlighting the key results you need to achieve. To summarize, both frameworks offer a strong goal-setting structure, ensuring a detailed visualization of the end result, and providing rules to help determine the scope, time frames, and overall alignment. 

SMART Goals and OKRs: Key Differences

Can you use both SMART and OKRs to develop your webinar marketing goal? The answer is no. Key differences between the methodologies make reconciliation impossible: 

  • Isolation versus alignment. The SMART framework views goals in isolation, without considering the bigger picture. OKRs, on the other hand, focus on aligning all company departments and teams with the overarching business objective. 
  • Compensation versus experimentation. According to Smartsheet, SMART goals are often tied to compensation; achieving your goal is the only metric. OKRs, on the other hand, encourage experimentation, or a useful fail (wherein a team may grow capabilities, but do not fully accomplish their intention).
  • Attainability versus ambition. Compared to SMART goals, OKRs are aspirational. Only 70% completion is necessary to declare your OKRs a success. In other words, by using the OKRs framework, you can stretch yourself, aim for higher goals, and potentially experience remarkable breakthroughs. SMART goals, however, revolve around attainability, leaving little space for innovation or ambitious plans. 

Both frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses, but either will work to establish your webinar marketing goals. Just remember, you can’t mix them; you have to choose one framework, depending on your circumstances. 

Using the SMART Goals Framework for Your Webinar Goals

You can set up your webinar marketing goal using the SMART framework when you’re at the beginning, about to launch your first webinar campaign. During your first campaign, you’ll want to understand how webinars work, how to create and promote them, and how to run a session. This means your beginning webinar efforts may be separate from your overall marketing strategy. You don’t need to align completely with the rest of your company if you’re just experimenting with webinars as a possible addition to your marketing efforts. 

Using the OKRs Framework for Your Webinar Goals

You can create your webinar marketing goal using the OKRs framework once you’ve decided to incorporate webinars into your overall marketing and business growth strategies. In this case, you’ll need greater context, making sure your webinars will contribute to company growth. This goal-setting framework will improve alignment between teams, hone your long-term webinar vision, and formulate specific actions to take consistently. 

Key Takeaways

  • Goal setting is the backbone of your webinar campaign, and the key to determining your webinar success.
  • A strong webinar goal will help you evaluate the resources you can invest into your campaign, keep yourself and your team accountable, track the performance of your webinar and make necessary adjustments, and achieve better results. 
  • SMART goals and OKRs are two goal-setting frameworks you can use for your webinar campaign. 
  • SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals. 
  • OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results, and the framework keeps everyone moving in the same direction. 
  • SMART goals and OKRs share similarities in reducing uncertainty, generating clarity, and having a clear target. 
  • The biggest difference between SMART goals and OKRs revolves around the explicitness of each framework. The SMART methodology treats goals in isolation, while OKRs focus on the bigger picture.  
  • You can use the SMART goals framework at the beginning, when you’re trying to understand how webinar campaigns work. 
  • Use the OKRs framework when you want to incorporate webinar campaigns into your marketing strategy, and you need to align your whole team based on your long-term vision. 
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