Businesses and individuals are always searching for sales leads, but often are unsure of how to tell their story in a way that will get prospective customers to take notice. Chief operating officer, Prezi, Jim Szafranski, has four tips to nab those leads and follow through.
That said, marketing teams are increasingly looking towards leveraging multimedia content as a tool to tell their stories. Webinars in particular are on the rise as a key tool for engaging prospects and driving leads to sales teams.
According to the 2015 Demand Gen Report, 73 per cent of marketers said webinars were the most successful engagement tactic for generating top-of-funnel qualified leads. Additionally, 65 per cent said that webinars were most successful in converting and accelerating mid-and bottom-funnel leads.
The reason webinars are so effective is because they require active engagement from the audience. Prospective customers take 30 minutes out of their day, answer live poll questions, participate in Q&A, and provide you with feedback — all of which provides sales teams with data that enables them to have more valuable conversations.
When it comes to creating an engaging webinar presentation, there are a few key tactics to keep in mind. Follow these four steps to tell a visual story and build an emotional connection with your brand to drive results — whether you’re looking for marketing-qualified leads or trying to close the deal.
1. Tell stories through data
Most presentations involve data, charts, or graphs, to validate our ideas. However, data and charts alone are not enough to inspire action from your audience. Combining data with storytelling is a far more powerful way to persuade your audience.
This is exemplified through the real-life example of the Save the Children Foundation. They ran an A/B test of two brochures, each one designed to drive donations. The first brochure had charts, facts, and figures about global poverty and hunger.
The second combined this data with a story about a girl whose life would be directly impacted by donations to the foundation. The brochure with the story drove twice as many donations than the one only containing data.
When crafting a presentation designed to persuade your audience, first start with an emotional hook (a story) that will drive people to make the decision you want them to make. From there, back the story up with insightful data, to help your audience rationalise their decision.
2. Use ‘micro-storytelling’
As your audience wait for your webinar to start, they will see a holding section which is often a simple title section. This actually presents an opportunity to tell a ‘micro-story’. You might choose to include a short blurb along with your title, or open with imagery that sets the tone for your presentation.
The point is that you shouldn’t leave any space within your presentation untouched by your brand’s voice and story. Take advantage of the time you have with your audience to build a relationship with them from the moment they first see your presentation, to the survey they fill out at the end of the webinar.
3. Be authentic
Authenticity has become increasingly important given the amount of noise that marketers have to compete with today. Audiences are far less receptive to cheesy marketing messages, and instead seek out unique and genuine content to determine which brands they can trust.
In order to build authenticity into your webinar presentations, steer clear of generic stock images. Spend time finding unique images that bring your message to life. For example, if you’re including a customer testimonial in your presentation, don’t just include a chunk of text and read it out to your audience.
Consider asking your customer to tell their story via video and play it to your audience. Better yet, ask the customer to come onto your webinar as a speaker and tell their story live.
4. Incorporate visual metaphors
Visual metaphors are powerful tools to make your message memorable for your audience — a crucial factor in encouraging them to take action once your webinar is over.
Take the three main points of your presentation, and try equating each of those with a visual aid that represents your message. For example, if you are talking about the challenges and successes of a certain business initiative, consider using an image of a mountain to represent both the obstacles along the climb and the success at the summit.