BrightTALK content creation and selection best practices for lead generation

Why content selection is important 

Not all content is made equally – and putting timely, relevant, and informative content in front of your audience not only drives user engagement, it also reflects positively on your brand as a whole. So what, exactly, are the proven best practices for creating and selecting webinar content? 

Content best practices 

Over the past 20+ years in the lead generation space, we’ve seen content of all stripes – and the cream of the crop webinar content tends to have the same elements in common. We’ve developed the following 5 best practices to help your content succeed: 

  1. Keep information practical and relevant: Avoid using language and slide copy that will make the video seem outdated. Remember, live webinars become on-demand after they air, so try to make the video and slides seem evergreen.  
  2. Consider the mix of lengths and format: Be sure your campaign or channel includes a variety of webinars and videos that span each buying stage(Awareness, Consideration, Decision), format (hosted talks, panels, virtual events, etc.), speaker attribution/video source, and lengths (short & snackable vs. comprehensive, in-depth) to match both the researcher’s level of depth on the topics and users’ personal preferences. 
  3. Independent content works best: In analyzing a full year’s worth of data, we see content from independent experts outperforms vendor-produced content by an average of 30-35%. 
  4. Focus on user pain points: The content that sees the most engagement on the BrightTALK network is often the content focused on helping viewers solve headaches they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis.  
  5. Episodic/serialized content is a win: Episodic content allows for the scaling volume of relevant webinars. At the same time, it’s important to ensure each webinar episode is valuable as a standalone (in other words, you shouldn’t need to have seen parts 1 & 2 to understand part 3). 

Adhering the above principles goes a long way toward creating strong bones for your webinar. Now, let’s dig into the nitty and the gritty: 

Picking content for your channel or campaign 

How long should my webinars be? How should I format my webinar? These are among the most common questions we get asked about webinar selection – and every time, our answer is the same: quality trumps characteristic. This leads us to the number one rule for picking content… 

#1 Rule: Don’t build solely based on content characteristics like length, format, stage, etc. 

Always start from a place of quality – and webinars with the strongest, most timely messaging screams “quality”. Content that’s both as up-to-date as possible and aligned with the key trends that are shaping the market today is content that’s positioned for success. 

At the same time, don’t underestimate the importance of catering to user preferences: by providing a variety of quality content that spans multiple authors, formats, and lengths, your audience can self-select the content experience they prefer – which, in turn, maximizes their likelihood of engaging with your brand.  

Aligning content with current trends 

Acknowledging the importance of selecting content aligned with key market trends is all well and good, but what does this mean in practice? After all, these markets are constantly shifting with the introduction of new technologies, change agents, and macro-level global trends. Consider the following tips… 

  1. Maintain a pulse on market maturity: For mature, well-established markets, buyers in particular tend to engage with content that compares various vendors, solutions, and deployment options. For newer or emerging markets, buyers tend to gravitate towards content focused on educating the audience on the ins and outs of the market, as well as key trends in the space. 
  2. Data, data, data: The consistent use of resources like thought leadership, research and survey data, independent news publications, and intent data delivers a better and more comprehensive understanding of the common challenges and pain points that your audience faces, as well as the goals they strive for. 


Aligning content with your target audience 

One of the most challenging aspects of developing and selecting content is ensuring that that content is well-suited to your intended target audience. At the same time, creating content that only appeals to a single persona runs the risk of limiting your total addressable market and excluding high-quality contacts that would otherwise be eager to engage with your content. 

Here’s a checklist of key questions to ask in order to ensure your content aligns with your target audience:

  • Is the content tailored to the specific vertical you’re targeting, and does it include industry-relevant discussions and pain points? 
  • Does the language used in your content appropriately reflect the region with which you’re seeking to engage? 
  • Does your content accurately speak to the size of organization that you’re targeting? 
  • Does your content reflect the needs and wants of the job titles and personas that you most value? 


How the “buying stage” factors into content selection 

When it comes to your content and the buyer’s journey, one size does not fit all. Content that speaks to organizations researching a pain point will not resonate in the same way with organizations that are ready to purchase a solution. 

In general, content can be bucketed into one of three “buying stages”: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Each of these buying stages targets users at different legs of the buying journey. Awareness content asks users do you have a problem that needs addressing? Consideration content asks what technologies or approaches can be used to address that problem? Decision content asks what specific vendor or solution can be used to solve this problem? Selecting content that strikes a good balance between these different buying stages is essential for extending the reach of your content and engaging all different types of users.  

A good rule of thumb is adhering to the “40/40/20” rule: including a mix of 40% Awareness content, 40% Consideration content, and 20% Decision content. That said, your content and your market are unique, and different factors can impact what an effective balance looks like. Here are some guiding questions that can help you tailor your specific content mix: 

  • How established is the market? Is the technology already widely adopted? 
  • Is a new problem or dynamic impacting users in the market? 
  • Is your brand and reputation firmly established? 
  • Are you taking a market leader head on? 

3 essential tips to help you scale webinar content production effectively

Applying the following tips can help you scale webinar production and tackle the common challenges associated with consistently recording and producing new video content: 

  • Tip #1: Our Plan, Execute, Scale: Webinars that Convert eBook collects the knowledge of our own marketing team (which produces 150+ webinars per year). See this eBook for expert advice! 
  • Tip #2: Convert your top-performing written content into video format. Creating slides based on charts and other visuals, and having an in-house expert talk through the information, is a winning recipe for streaming content. 
  • Tip #3: To complement your in-house efforts, TechTarget & BrightTALK have off-the-shelf webinars, custom webinar creation products, and virtual event sponsorships available. 


Webinar creation best practices 

Taking a thoughtful approach to the technical aspects of webinar creation – audio, visuals, editing, and production quality – can elevate your webinar. Content created with these aspects in mind possesses an air of professionalism and caters to the user experience. 

Audio best practices 

The best webinar in the world won’t provide value to users if they can’t understand what you’re saying. Unfortunately, inaudibility is all too common in the wide world of webinars. 

A primary culprit of poor sound quality? The use of a computer’s built-in microphone. These mics don’t typically offer the necessary level of sound quality for webinar creation, often resulting in muffled speech. Consider using a dedicated external microphone instead – and provide the same purpose-built device to all speakers. After all, there’s nothing more jarring than listening to a conversation that yoyos between a speaker with crisp, clear audio and one that sounds like their audio was recorded through a garbage disposal. 

Be mindful of ambient noise, as well. Unintended background sounds are at best distracting and at worst make it impossible to hear the speaker, which undermines the value of your webinar. Recording your webinar from a location with naturally low ambient noise can eliminate unintended background sounds. 

Be sure to speak clearly and annunciate, so it’s clear what you’re saying – and be sure you’re not on mute when you begin to speak. While this last point can be easily rectified, such technical glitches can interrupt the flow of your webinar and throw you off your game. 

Visual best practices 

Top-performing webinars employ dynamic and compelling visuals that keep users interested and engaged throughout the duration of your presentation. In contrast, visual monotony – such as no slides to accompany a speaker, or a lack of slide variety – can lead to user disengagement. 

A webinar with compelling visuals will include a variety of slides with relevant, legible text  and images that visually anchor key points of the presentation. For on-demand viewers, this also allows for more precise seeking (and, in turn, a better user experience). In contrast, issues such as blurry text, too much or too little text, visuals that don’t relate to the audio, and a lack of visuals altogether can contribute towards a less appealing experience for users. 

When the camera is focused on the speaker, switching between views (Gallery vs. Full vs. Sidebar) throughout the presentation is an easy way to break up visual monotony. Additionally, ensuring that your presenters don’t have cluttered backgrounds will eliminate distractions, allowing your audience to focus on what matters most: your presentation. 

Editing best practices 

Remember: user experience is king. When editing a webinar, always consider the effect it will have on user experience. For example, dead air – that is, unintended periods of silence – can lead to a poor user experience while artificially inflating the runtime of your webinar. If your presentation actually starts several minutes after the “record” button is hit (as you wait for attendees to log in), those minutes don’t add to your presentation and can be cut. 

Production quality best practices 

You can make the most of your virtual environment by considering the functional elements that maximize both perceived content quality and user engagement. For example, polls – especially polls that facilitate conversation, rather than just collect data – are a great way to engage users. Consider running one to three pools during your presentation. 

Here are some additional functional elements to consider in order to elevate the production quality of your webinar: 

  • Prepare to moderate a successful Q&A at the conclusion of your presentation 
  • Upload supplemental resources to your talks to extend the conversation 
  • Use animation 
  • Take advantage of BrightTALK’s Production Services for both technical production support and strategic guidance to ensure recording quality and maximize engagement 


TL;DR: Keep webinars timely and relevant, and include a mix of lengths and formats that span each buying stage. Be mindful of the audience for which you’re creating the content, as well as the trends impacting your market. Consider how the technical aspects of webinar creation will affect the user experience. 


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