By Susan Saldibar

By now we’ve pretty much reconciled ourselves to the fact that we’re going to be in pandemic mode for a while. Even with the vaccine rolling out, most of us realize that ours is a world transformed by COVID. But, we’re adjusting. In fact, we’re getting pretty good at using virtual tours and webinars to connect and (hopefully) engage with prospects.

Who Would Have Thought Webinars Would Take on Strategic Significance?

Over the last eight months, LeadingResponse (a Senior Living Foresight partner) has been keeping close track of COVID, especially relating to how it has transformed consumer behavior. Valerie Whitman, LeadingResponse’s VP of senior living, tells me that they’ve been collecting hundreds of data points from thousands of prospect interactions and have, as a result, gathered some useful insight into how prospects collect and digest information about senior living communities.

Not surprising, using webinars as a conduit for information and engagement is now considered an essential tool. But Valerie says that there is still plenty that marketers need to know about webinars. Here’s what she had to say.

Live webinar events:

  1. They are not as hard to do as you might think. Technology has made them easier with apps designed to enhance performance, even for novices.
  2. You can fill them with highly qualified prospects. Using hyper-targeting and re-targeting (LeadingResponse uses their VisitorConnect), you can invite people who have already shown some interest in your community. You can filter out invitations to only those who are financially qualified as well.
  3. Sending over a meal from a local restaurant increases participation for live webinars from an average of 71% to 84%! And Valerie says this is easier than you think. “Many of our clients will send a meal from a popular local restaurant to the doors of qualified webinar attendees about 30 minutes before the event,” she says. “They tell us it has made a big difference.”

But the real “secret sauce” for communities, Valerie tells me, is providing pre-recorded on-demand webinars.

On-demand, pre-recorded webinars:

  1. They are preferred by your prospects. That’s because they are easier to watch on their schedules, rather than having to tune in live.
  2. You’ll get more views. Average views increase about 30% from live webinar attendance.
  3. They can be used in more ways than you’re probably using them. Valerie is seeing them used on websites and through social media. “Pre-recorded webinars have a longer shelf life than you think,” Valerie tells me.
  4. Prospects can interact with them. Prospects can actually interact with on-demand recorded webinars. “Just because they are pre-recorded doesn’t mean they can’t be dynamic,” Valerie says. “Prospects can click to talk with someone, access a download, and follow links to get more information,” she adds.

What Else Can You Do with Pre-Recorded Videos?

LeadingResponse has created a great video (see below) where they share a wealth of information on how you can engage with prospects during a pre-recorded webinar.


One more thing Valerie wants readers to know. Webinars are affordable, whether live or pre-recorded. “Even if your budget is already finalized, a $250/month subscription per community can give marketers use of our full webinar platform branded to your community,” Valerie says. “It includes registration and follow-up landing pages, click-on ads, downloads, or other content.”  And, with the subscription, communities can do as many as they like per month, targeted to different audiences.

Pretty cool idea. Webinars aren’t going away any time soon. Something to consider as part of our new marketing “normal”. 

For more information about LeadingResponse, please visit their website.