Webinars are increasingly popular for marketing, lead generation, and customer engagement. In 2020, webinar hosting platforms showed a massive increase in audience numbers, thanks to the accessibility and convenience webinars bring to a remote world. However, popularity isn’t enough to make your webinar a success. You need to know what your audience wants to achieve, and choose webinar topics to address that.
In addition to supporting your business objectives, an appropriate webinar topic is crucial to target the right audience and measure success. In this article, we’ll go over why your topic selection is so important, how to pick a topic using the Jobs-To-Be-Done framework, and offer some examples. We’ll also introduce the concept of the Webinar Arc, and how it should drive your entire webinar strategy.
Why the Right Webinar Topic Is Important
Webinars perform well at every stage of your funnel, whether that means attracting leads, engaging with existing customers, or creating brand awareness and positioning your company.
Choosing the right webinar topic starts with understanding your business objectives. Once you understand the business goals your webinar is designed to impact, you can identify your target customers’ desired outcomes to help determine what topics will drive them closer.
Choosing a webinar topic in this way will give you more conversions, offer a better experience for your attendees, and enable you to attribute your webinar to the business objectives your company is focusing on.
1) Greater Relevance = More Conversions
An optimal webinar topic increases the relevance of your content, driving a more efficient funnel; you deliver targeted information at just the right moment during the customer journey. That helps to close deals and drive conversions.
Knowing what subject to cover in your webinar will prevent you from serving a hard sell to an audience that’s only interested in a quick introduction to your industry. When you try to sell to webinar attendees who are only interested in an introduction, you lose relevance, trust, and attention — and your leads will turn to a competitor if they don’t trust you.
2) Better Attendee Experience
Your leads and customers have a more rewarding webinar experience when your topic is tailored to their needs. Your attendees will feel seen and heard with the right webinar topic, and realize you truly understand their wants and need.
By giving them the confidence they need to reach their desired outcome, you give them a positive experience. In turn, a positive experience motivates them to take action.
If your webinar is meant to generate leads, you’ll produce more conversions. If your webinar caters to current customers, it’ll result in happier customers, increased customer retention, and a higher lifetime customer value.
Having a well-aligned topic based on your audience is profitable for your business and your attendees.
3) Focus On Business Objectives
Selecting the right webinar topic helps you achieve your business objectives. It will keep you aligned with your overarching goals, keeps you on track, and helps you build robust and relevant content that systematically serves what your organization is trying to achieve. In the end, you get better results from your webinar.
So, how do you find a relevant, engaging topic for your next webinar?
Combine the JTBD Framework With Demio’s Webinar Arc
To select a compelling webinar topic for any stage of the funnel, consider employing the Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) framework, combined with an original concept from Demio we call the Webinar Arc.
The JTBD Framework
“When you buy an automobile, you buy speedy transportation — but you could walk. But when you buy plumbing, you buy cleanliness — for which there is no substitute!” – 1923 newspaper ad highlighting customer needs for the product.
The JTBD framework involves mapping products, information, marketing, and other elements to customer needs. Top organizations use this framework because it takes an audience-first approach, as it focuses on user needs, types of customers, and their desired outcomes.
A strong webinar strategy matches topics to customer needs and challenges to deliver valuable insight and solutions. The JTBD framework helps you build your webinar subject matter around your audience’s goals — what outcomes they seek and how they want to get there.
Tip: This framework relies on effective audience targeting.Most brands already have this to some extent, but it’s a good time to brush up on your customers and make sure your profiles are still accurate.
The Webinar Arc
The purpose of your webinar is to bring your audience closer to their desired outcome. A desired outcome is what your audience is trying to achieve, and how they’re trying to achieve it.
Today, we’re introducing a new concept called the Webinar Arc. The Webinar Arc is all about guiding your audience from one state (their current state) to another (their future state) over the course of your webinar. This new state must be closer to their desired outcome than they were before; that’s the entire purpose of the webinar.
When most companies approach webinars, their immediate question is, how many leads and sales can we get from this event? Those are perhaps goals of the webinar, but should not be confused with a webinar purpose. The purpose of your webinar is to focus on asking “what is the desired outcome of this audience, and how can I get them closer to it?”
A webinar serves at every stage of the funnel, but you need to know where your audience is and what you need to do to bring them one step closer to where they want to be.
Example: Your Business Objective Is To Become The Market Leader In A New Vertical
You might design a webinar goal of introducing your brand and company to the buyers within that new market.
While your webinar goal and KPIs might look like this:
Your webinar arc looks like this:
The current state, prior to the webinar is one of unknowing. This new market likely has never heard of you or your company. The state you’re looking to drive to over your webinar is to get them excited to continue the conversation. Notice the end of the arc isn’t “becomes a customer.” That’s not an appropriate jump for where this target audience is in their relationship with your company.
Your webinar topic needs to consider your audience’s starting point, the end results they seek, the state you want to bring them to (which should be nearer to their desired outcome), and how that ties in to your company goals.
With this in mind, let’s turn to the aspects you need to think about when developing your webinar topic.
Considerations for Your Webinar Topics
Certain factors require consideration when determining your webinar topic:
What do you want to achieve with this webinar? Why are you investing your time into it?
Goals can be complex and change with each webinar, so it’s important that they be measurable and explicit.
You may want to use a framework like S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Based) to ensure your goals track to business outcomes.
Remember, the purpose of the Webinar Arc is to have your audience take an incremental step toward their desired outcome, not necessarily jump into being a customer.
How does your company measure success? Is it the number of sign-ups, recurring revenue, or monthly users? Success is different depending on your goals.
Analyze your overarching KPIs to estimate how effective your webinar topic will be, then set your webinar KPIs based on those. You can choose one North Star KPI, or multiple. Ensure your list is targeted and measurable to ensure you collect the proper data.
Your Audience’s Desired Outcome
“Your product isn’t your customers’ desired outcome — it’s just a tool. Hopefully that tool gets them closer to their desired outcome – but it isn’t ALL of it.” – Ashley Levesque, Director of Marketing at Demio
What do your customers care about? When someone buys a drill, for example, they don’t want a tool — they want a hole. Buying a webinar platform is useless if you don’t know how to put on a great webinar. For example, we’ve found that Demio customers want to feel impactful at their organizations. They want to influence business goals and they want to feel confident when they do it. Consider more than the external challenges and work to identify the internal struggles that plague your audience.
Take a look at your customer journey and the JTBD framework. It’s imperative to understand the various challenges and goals across your customer subgroups, since most companies have several target audiences and use cases.
Again, think about what subject will lead your audience closer to their desired outcome — and your product or service. You don’t have to rush into a sales pitch, but you do have to focus on propelling your audience to a new state with your webinar.
Your Product Relevance
Imagine you have the perfect topic that’ll be incredibly relevant and useful to a certain audience. If you can’t incorporate your company in any way, it’s a great topic for the wrong audience. For example, if you’re an eCommerce fulfillment company that doesn’t support branded packaging, but eCommerce merchants come to you asking about customizing their boxes and inserts, you shouldn’t be talking about how to customize boxes — your business doesn’t support that option.
Again, we know that your product or service isn’t the only gap between where your audience is and their desired outcome, but your webinar should position your brand as part of their ideal solution.
For example, imagine your company operates a review management platform for eCommerce companies. You could host a webinar on How to get more reviews on Walmart Marketplace, or How to get more sales on your D2C eCommerce website. Both topics would treat your company as either part of or the whole solution to your audience’s challenge.
The Jobs-To-Be-Done framework helps you formulate predictable and quantifiable webinar topics around your customer’s needs and issues. With it, you can connect more intimately with your customer’s internal and external problems, deliver relevant information, and create change in their lives. Ultimately, this drives results for your bottom line.
Examples of JBTD Webinar Topics
Using this framework, let’s look at a few examples of a fictitious company with multiple goals. Imagine the company sells small-batch roasted coffee in sealed packaging designed to preserve freshness and quality. They have a direct-to-consumer online store and a subscription offering.
Example #1 of a Webinar Topic
Webinar Goal: Boost customer relationships with the intent to convert to a subscription.
KPI: Number of existing customers registering for the webinar, percentage of those that convert to the subscription.
The Job To Be Done: Not being able to make good coffee at home.
Solution: Provide tips to improve coffee at home.
Current State: They don’t know what they’re doing wrong when making coffee at home.
Future State: They understand where they’re going wrong in the coffee brewing process.
Webinar Topic: Home-Brewing Coffee: A Workshop for Coffee-Lovers Everywhere
Example #2 of a Webinar Topic
Webinar Goal: Provide value to subscription holders to extend loyalty.
KPI: Subscription renewals from registrants within one month after the webinar.
The Job To Be Done: Finding time to brew coffee at home.
Solution: Make it easier and cheaper to brew coffee at home.
Current State: They have forgotten they signed up for a coffee subscription, or it’s on the back of their mind.
Future State: They are looking forward to their next subscription refill.
Webinar Topic: 10 Ways To Save Time When Working From Home
Example #3 of a Webinar Topic
Webinar Goal: Generate 20 new top-of-funnel sign-ups.
KPI: Email registrants or users acting on the end-of-webinar discount CTA.
The Job To Be Done: Cafes are pricey, but grocery store-bought coffee doesn’t taste as good.
Solution: Teach consumers why store-bought coffee doesn’t deliver — and what does.
Current State: They believe only coffee from cafes are high-quality coffee, and the next best thing is grocery beans (which are never as good).
Future State: They know there’s an answer in-between; craft D2C coffee roasters.
Webinar Topic: Save Money With 6 Easy Steps To Make Barista-Quality Coffee at Home
In other webinar scenarios, you can use the same goals, KPIs, and solutions to craft multiple topics.
Let’s analyze Example #3 more closely, and synthesize that webinar goal and KPI to produce some topics for subsequent webinars:
- Why Store-Bought Coffee Is Never Fresh Enough
- X Different Coffee Roasts and How They Impact Your Brew
- Are Mass Market Producers Burning Your Coffee?
The JTBD framework lets you see your goals, target, solution, and KPIs for every webinar at a glance. You can track quality, measure results, and see how the topic maps to customer wants and needs.
It also allows you to determine important factors like direct takeaways, potential webinar structure, and which audience segment you’re targeting with greater ease. Having this data can significantly improve the design and promotion of your webinar.
Your Webinar Topics Checklist
Finally, be sure to double-check the following list before you settle on your webinar topic:
- Have you set a measurable webinar goal?
- Did you choose (and validate) key performance indicators for your webinar goal?
- Is your topic relevant to your audience’s current state and where they’re at in your funnel?
- Will the topic help your audience get one step closer to their desired outcome?
- Does the topic map well to an audience demographic or customer type?
- Does it support your business objectives?
A strong webinar topic addresses your audience’s challenges, which are the barriers that are keeping them from their desired outcome. Combining the JTBD framework with the Webinar Arc to select your topic ensures a well-honed webinar that drives business results and empowers your audience to take the next step.