webinar audience

How To Define and Target a Webinar Audience

Here’s a guide for maximizing ROI on your webinar audiences—from defining the right target buyers to aligning webinar topics to targeted webinar promotion tactics and more.
February 1, 2024

Businesses increasingly leverage webinars to engage potential customers, promote their brands, and showcase their expertise. They provide an opportunity to educate, inform, and entertain the audience, simultaneously enhancing visibility and reputation. However, before pressing the "broadcast" button, a crucial step involves identifying the right prospects to attend your webinar.

The success of your webinar strategy relies heavily on the audience. Marketers frequently prioritize audience size as the primary gauge of success. However, the focus should be on webinar audience engagement, as it is the key factor that ultimately leads to higher conversion rates and subsequent sales.

The extrinsic and intrinsic motivations of your target audience

To ensure your webinar has a more significant impact and yields better results, you should move beyond merely listing or guessing the demographic and psychographic traits of your audience. Instead, analyze the extrinsic and intrinsic motivations of your target audience.

  • Extrinsic motivation pertains to the external drives and rewards that propel individuals to take action or alter their current situation. 
  • On the other hand, intrinsic motivation involves the internal rewards individuals seek, such as emotional connection or personal satisfaction. 

Understanding these motivations enables you to identify your audience's primary challenges, desired outcomes, and the emotions they aim to experience. 

You can craft a compelling webinar that not only addresses people's needs but also resonates with your target audience. To define your audience's extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, leverage two frameworks that, when combined, provide an extraordinary understanding of your target group.

The Jobs To Be Done Framework

We believe that buyers are drawn to our brands due to the quality of our products and services. But, the reality is that purchase motivation is significantly more self-centered. B2B buyers are driven by a specific job they need to accomplish—a problem they must solve for their organizations.

The JTBD framework revolves around the concept of changing your marketing perspective from being solution-focused to being problem-focused. Instead of highlighting the features of your brand and its offerings, delve into the problems and needs of your audience to make them feel understood.

Alan Klement in his book said, “A Job to be Done is the process a consumer goes through whenever she aims to transform her existing life-situation into a preferred one, but cannot because there are constraints that stop her.”

The foundation of the JTBD theory revolves around the concept that individuals seek self-improvement and a change in their life situation. The focus is on comprehending the factors driving people to instigate a change. The JTBD framework is closely linked to people's motivations and progression. By applying the JTBD framework, you can analyze the present situations of your prospects, discern the job they aim to accomplish and pinpoint the obstacles hindering their success. This information, in turn, aids in positioning and promoting your webinar effectively.

Define your webinar target audience using the JTBD theory

Compelling webinars effectively communicate with your audience, articulating the steps or solutions necessary for them to fulfill their "job to be done." For instance, if you conduct a demo webinar to showcase your product or sevice, it's essential to highlight the use cases and demonstrate how your audience can leverage it to achieve specific results. Failure to address these aspects can lead to poor engagement and a lack of interest.

Without pinpointing your target audience based on the job-to-be-done criteria, your webinar campaign is likely to yield a low return on investment. Instead of centering the entire webinar around your product, it's crucial to identify and prioritize the outcomes your audience seeks and how your product can support them.

To achieve this, inquire about:

  • Why your audience needs your product/service.
  • How they envision changing their current life situation.
  • The specific outcomes they aim to achieve.
  • The primary barriers preventing them from changing their life situation.
  • How your product/service aids in overcoming existing obstacles and attaining desired outcomes.

These questions can be posed during live interviews or surveys involving both leads through your marketing team and existing customers. Gathering this information is instrumental in refining your target audience for both your service/product and your webinar.

The StoryBrand Framework

Marketers leverage StoryBrand to eliminate confusion, enhance their messaging, and establish stronger connections with their audiences. When brands identify their audience, they often confine themselves to addressing external problems, overlooking internal challenges. Yet, internal desires to overcome frustrations serve as greater motivation than the interest in resolving external issues. 

As Miller asserts, “Brands that realize their customers are human, filled with emotion, driven to transform, and in need of help truly do more than sell products; they change people.”

The StoryBrand framework emphasizes the need to delve deeper during audience definition, comprehending people's internal frustrations and challenges. In comparison to the JTBD theory, the StoryBrand framework aids in unveiling the internal drives, fears, and frustrations, providing a more detailed depiction of the target audience.

Define your webinar target audience using the StoryBrand theory

Webinars provide a distinctive opportunity to foster engagement and cultivate relationships with your audience in a live setting. The purpose extends beyond showcasing your product or service; it also involves connecting with your audience and aiding in their personal growth.

To achieve this, in addition to understanding the specific results your audience seeks, it is crucial to identify how they emotionally perceive their challenges and envision their future selves. By tapping into your audience's emotions, you can formulate an empowering topic and design a robust promotional webinar campaign

To identify the target audience using the StoryBrand framework, pose the following questions:

  • How will your audience feel if they can't resolve the challenge they are facing?
  • How will your audience feel once they achieve their desired outcome?

This approach enables you to grasp how your audience emotionally perceives specific challenges in their lives, guiding you to pinpoint the right webinar topic to capture their attention.

3 key steps to define your webinar audience

Commence with customer data

Avoid guesswork in crafting traditional buyer personas by grounding your updated target audience in actual customer data. Aggregate buyer information from various sources in your marketing and sales strategy, including your CRM system, email or newsletter subscriber lists, social media follower lists, survey responses, event registration or attendee lists, and web tracking software. Consolidate this data into a unified source and format, allowing comprehensive viewing, mining, and analysis. 

Once you've compiled your list, engage in audience analysis. Break down your audience by attributes such as industry, company size, purchase behavior traits, individual position title, budget, level of engagement, type of engagement, or any other relevant point for your next step—constructing your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas.

Construct your ICPs and buyer personas

ICPs delineate the organizational attributes of your target audience, focusing on traits that describe companies rather than decision-makers within them. For organizations, having multiple ICPs that align with different parts of their product/service portfolio or that utilize their offerings in distinct ways is common. Develop a separate profile for each.

Once your ICPs are outlined, shift your attention to individual purchase decision-makers. Concentrate on motivations behind a purchase and traits impacting those motivations. While aspects like job role, level of experience, or areas of expertise are relevant, demographic factors such as gender or age may be less crucial. While noting demographic trends is acceptable for audience understanding, targeting efforts should prioritize the need for what you offer.

Segment your target audiences

After completing ICPs and buyer personas, consider how you want to segment your audience. This varies for each company. To enhance clarity in audience segments, they create one-page summaries with data-driven overviews.

How to target your webinar audience

Create a webinar schedule focused on buyers

To enhance targeting effectiveness, structure your webinar strategy around your audience's preferences. Prioritize understanding what matters to your audience by asking questions such as:

  • What topics inform buyer purchase decisions?
  • Who from our organization or industry would they prefer to hear from?
  • How can I assist my audience in solving problems or achieving goals?

Select webinar topics, speakers, and formats based on what resonates best with your unique audience. Utilize data from past events and other sources of buyer/customer data to align your strategy with their priorities.

webinar goals

Reach them on familiar channels

Identify the channels your audience uses to engage with your brand, whether it's LinkedIn, social media platforms, email, content marketing, or traditional in-person methods. Tailor your targeting and webinar promotion to align with their current behavior and preferences. By meeting your audience where they are, you increase the likelihood of them seeing and engaging with your webinar.

Personalize your outreach and follow-up

Achieving a deep understanding of industry- and company-specific needs is crucial. Personalize every aspect of your webinar strategy to build trust and connections with your audience. Leverage tools that automate and execute personalization at scale, such as integrating CRM with email marketing software or data analytics tools. Personalization tactics include including personal information in emails, segmenting lists, customizing messaging, targeting ads, and addressing specific problems or needs your audience has.

Engage them at your webinar

Enhance audience targeting during live events by incorporating interactive tactics like survey questions, in-event discussions, and Q&A sessions. Gather insights that help you connect better with your audience and improve targeting capabilities during post-webinar follow-up. For instance, asking attendees about their preferences and recommendations can guide future webinar design.

webinar engagement

Align your strategy with your sales team

Ensure marketing and sales alignment to continue a seamless buyer experience post-webinar. Keep your sales team informed during the webinar audience targeting strategy development. They can specialize reps for different buyer segments, create sales enablement materials, and align pitch presentations with specific buyer problems and needs. The collaboration ensures proper lead qualification, follow-up, and conversion of leads into closed deals.

Solicit audience feedback

Collect in-depth insights by following up with post-webinar surveys. Include objective rating scale questions and open-ended queries to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. Systematically collect and analyze webinar audience feedback over time to identify trends and refine targeting strategies according to their preferences, interests, and needs.

Wrapping up: Why webinar targeting is an ROI essential

When marketers consider webinar success, the primary focus often revolves around the size of the webinar audience. Merely relying on demographic details is insufficient to make your webinar successful. It's crucial to delve deeper. When defining your webinar's target audience, explore both external and internal drivers. The belief is that a broader reach translates to more webinar attendees and, consequently, a higher conversion of leads—right?

To some extent, yes. The industry average suggests that fewer than 50% of registrants become attendees, necessitating effective promotion to a large audience for successful attendance. However, neglecting to target your strategy over time can result in low conversion rates, drawing attention from sales teams and leaders.

Fortunately, with the tools and technologies available today, marketing teams can target the right webinar audiences. This approach transforms webinars from being just another marketing tactic into a fundamental component of your lead generation strategy.

By leveraging Hubilo, you can craft a lasting impression and optimize ROI by delivering the right message at the right time to your audience for superior webinar results! Hubilo Webinar+ empowers marketers to create revenue-generating webinar programs with its built-in promotional tools, robust email engine, engagement features, and conversion tools. Enterprises worldwide rely on Hubilo to expand their webinar audience and drive revenue. 

Eager to discover how we can contribute to the growth of your business? Request a demo today to learn more about hosting impactful webinars that yield substantial ROI.


Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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