Using Webinars as a lead-generation source is a great idea, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. It's tempting to put all your eggs in one basket and host a one-time event that will determine whether Webinars will continue to be part of a corporate marketing plan.

But remember, it takes time to understand how to devise the most compelling topics and even more effort in planning how to reach the target audience. The reality is B2B sales happen over several months, not several days. Webinars are a great way to bring new leads in the door as well as moving existing leads through the pipeline to a final contract.

For this reason, instead of a one-hit approach, decide where Webinars fit into the overall sales cycle. Then review the next six months of the marketing calendar and see where Webinars can coordinate with already planned campaigns.

When looking at the marketing calendar, consider these four ways to integrate Webinars into a B2B marketing plan.

Hosting a webinar on how a new product is designed to solve a current problem is a great hook for a target audience.

Just remember not to blatantly promote the new product, especially in the Webinar title and description. Doing this could turn off prospects and keep attendance low.  Instead, focus the Webinar content on the industry and the problem at hand. If possible, use a neutral outside expert. Doing this will make the presentation seem more educational and less gimmicky. If the Webinar offers valuable information, prospects will naturally turn to the Webinar-sponsoring company for solutions.

Between product launches, companies typically design campaigns focused on their key characteristics.

For example, if a company or service has an especially helpful customer service team, integrating a campaign on that topic. Using a Webinar as part of the promotion could be very effective.  Also, consider combining a Webinar with a whitepaper. This can also lead to a substantial audience draw.

Vertical marketing campaigns are perfect for integrating Webinars.

Because of the specific audience reach Webinar attendance seems to thrive.  A great way to promote these types of Webinars is through sponsored newsletters, blogs, social networks, tradeshows, and local meet-ups.

Major industry tradeshows or events on the schedule are a great opportunity for a Webinar.

These venues can be used to inform prospects about an upcoming Webinar specifically related to the topic of the event.  Use the tradeshow’s attendee list (if there is access to the list) to promote the Webinar which should be hosted a week after the event.  If there isn’t access to the attendee list, promote heavily at the actual show.  In this approach, it would be more appropriate to hold the Webinar several weeks later so the attendees have time to place the Webinar on their calendar.

After a few Webinars have run successfully, the bottom line business value they bring to the sales cycle will be quickly seen.  New ideas for additional Web events and ways to cross-promote with other marketing campaigns will definitely follow.

Webinars are a powerful way to impress prospects and add another dimension to marketing campaigns.  If titled and promoted wisely, they can result in more qualified leads to hand to the sales team.

Check out four more “Ways to Integrate Webinars into a B2B Marketing Plan.”