How to Earn Money & Grow Your Brand with Webinars
Webinars have become increasingly popular as a marketing strategy in the past (few) year/s due to their appeal to prospective customers. Differentiation among similar entrepreneurial enterprises depends not only on the amount of attention which can be acquired or the level of expertise but also on the quality and quantity of customer engagement. With the rise of webinars – all of the stated can be achieved in the course of one hour of live (or recorded) broadcast.
In this article, we will introduce webinars and present a walkthrough of their organization and staging through sections 1) Introduction to Webinars and 2) Staging a Successful and Profitable Webinar. Lastly, we will discuss some ways in which 3) Generating Profit with Webinars can be achieved.
INTRODUCTION TO WEBINARS
Webinar is a blend word comprised out of words ‘web’ and ‘seminar’ and represents a lecture, presentation or a workshop transmitted online. Its key feature is the possibility of interaction between the presenter and the audience in real time and has a broad application specter ranging from business and education to medicine and media. They are mostly used for demonstrations of services and products, sharing information, news, and analytical data as well as for productive how-to presentations and as such attract large amounts of participants.
This form of video conferencing has emerged in the 1990s as a consequence of increased technology accessibility. The multi-point simultaneous communication on various geographical locations depends on video conferencing software that can be found online for free download. Additionally, presenters should have an audio interface and a video camera in order to ensure optimal interaction with their audience.
Features of Webinar Software:
- Slideshow presentations – so as to make following of the content easier and engaging.
- Web Tours – easy access to online sources during the session through URL links or cookies.
- Sharing – allowing participants to see the desktop of the presenter as it is at any given time.
- VoIP – using headphones and speakers, presenters can communicate with attendees in real time.
- Live streaming – using a video camera and an audio interface, presenters can deliver content to participants and receive feedback right away.
- Recording – so as to enable later viewing and distribution to audience.
- Whiteboard – sketching and marking notes for participants during the session.
- Surveys – addressing questions with multiple answers to the participants and thus collect important information for the topic.
STAGING A SUCCESSFUL AND PROFITABLE WEBINAR
In this section, we will guide you through most important points in the journey of staging a successful webinar divided into three sub-categories: before, during and after the session. If you follow these notions you will get through your first webinar without too many setbacks – find comfort in the fact that live streaming always comes with imperfection – it is a part of its charm.
Before the Event
Choose a Constructive Topic
The topic of your webinar must be chosen according to the niche that you are a part of and have relevance in reference to the product or services you offer. It should be within the area of interest of your target audience. Consult your customer support team and examine preferences of your circle of followers on social media and construct a topic that will both engage your customers and present your products and services as useful opportunities regarding the content.
For example, if you are managing an enterprise that sells preparation materials for colleges, you can make a webinar session on how to structuralize and conduct the period of preparation and invite the future student to participate.
Create a Compelling Registration Page
It is advisable to use a generic registration page if you are a beginner in webinar organization. You can also create a custom page but bear in mind that it must be simple and comprehensive. Present valuable information about your event – a compelling title, a short description of what will participants gain from the webinar as well references on hosts and presenters. Lastly, include a registration form through which your audience admissions to the event and gives you some information on themselves. The quantity of information depends on the form you choose – for a first time webinar organizer you might want to stick to the basics (as it gets complex, people tend to back out, especially if they are not familiar with the host). Your form should require first and last name of the participant and his/her e-mail address. Congratulations! Each of the prospects which enrolls has been micro converted to a lead.
Use Webinar tools
- Free Webinar Platforms: If you want to minimize the cost of your webinar strategy, you can choose from free providers such as AnyMeeting, Google Hangouts, Big Blue Button and MeetingBurner. These platforms allow incorporation of various features (surveys, whiteboard, VoIP, streaming) at no cost regardless of the number of attendees.
- Customizable Webinar Platforms: If you wish to use more of a custom conferencing software you can opt for iLinc, StageToWeb, PGi Better Meetings and a variety of other. They offer various educational and usage materials that can be useful in webinar organization and have free demo trials.
- Hit Webinar Platforms: The most popular webinar platforms are GoToWebinar, Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Verizon Small Business Web Conferencing. The price ranges from 24$ to 100$ per month depending on the provider as well as on the intended number of attendees. Most of them, however, offer an up to 30 days free trial period that is a great opportunity to give the webinar strategy a try – no cost and all of the beneficial features.
Promote your Webinar
- It is advisable to find an expert in the niche of the webinar topic and agree to their participation in the event as a guest. It gives credibility and valuable insights for the audience. Try to avoid financial payment for such appearances and ensure them that they are promoted in the same manner as your products and services – through content.
- Use your all of your channels to spread a word of your webinar (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, on your applications and websites as well as through mailing lists). Make sure you provide essential information while promoting and convince your prospects that they can benefit from your event.
After you have acquired a substantial amount of attendees, make sure you remind them via e-mail of the date and time of the webinar. Send preparative materials in forms of brief scripts if you find it necessary.
Make sure your technology works properly– it will be found unprofessional if you fail to attend potential difficulties up front. It would be advisable to have a rehearsal for the functionality of the screen sharing software, broadcasting and the slideshow presentation with your presenter and a third party in the role of an attendee.
The success of your webinar is dependent on the quality you present to your audience. In order to achieve optimal productivity of your event, you must distribute roles constructively. This means you will have to form a functional team that should include a:
- Host: The host is going to give an introduction to the topic and increase engagement with to-the-point questions in the course of the presentation as well as ensure proper flow of the webinar from the beginning to the end.
- Guest: Your guest should be an expert in the niche who will make an interesting and productive presentation on the chosen topic.
- Sidekick: Employ a sidekick to deal with incoming feedback and questions during the session. He/she will serve as a bridge between the presenter and attendees in the course of presentation (determine and ask important questions addressed by attendees).
- Manager: The manager of the webinar will overlook the process in whole as well as collect additional data and share it with the attendees immediately or in the follow-up.
Time and Duration
- 30 minutes prior to broadcast – test technology functionality;
- 15 minutes prior to broadcast – start letting the attendees in;
- Start broadcasting on time;
- Presentation should go for 30-60 minutes.
Key Elements for Interesting Presentation
Build content of your webinar concerning your audience’s preferences and present with passion. Presenters must engage their attendees with what they are speaking but also in the way they are speaking of a topic.
- Interesting Content: Make a comprehensive storyline for your audience and include compelling examples of what you are presenting – they need to learn new things and understand them. Incorporate surveys in the course of the webinar where you will acquire further information on participants and broaden the specter within which you can properly address them.
- Multiple Slides: Incorporating a slideshow for your content is one of the most useful tools for success. Jumping from one link to another will only confuse your participants whereas frequent slides will give a structure to the storyline as well as keep and enhance an attention of viewers. Bear in mind the golden rule of presentations: A small amount of concise but to-the-point bullet points and multiple interactive and relevant images to break the text and activate your audience.
- Record the Webinar: It is advisable to record the webinar because your attendees will probably want to get back to it at some point. It is also a great strategy for re-connecting with them after the session.
- Leave Time for Q/A: Webinars are so successful precisely because of the two-way street type of communication it involves. Leave time for attendees to ask questions and clarify them because that way you are building a quality relationship and fulfilling the purpose of your session – showing expertise and being helpful is what will build trust of your potential customers.
- Call to Action: Do not overwhelm your attendees with advertising but be clear in what you are offering them regarding the topic you have covered in the webinar. Remind them that they can expect a follow-up from you and point them to your other channels.
After you conclude the session, your main tool of continuing communication is the webinar recording. Fine-tune your recording, include additional data that was mentioned in the course of it and convert the registration page into a landing page where participants can watch it.
Send your audience a follow-up where you are informing them of the accessibility of the recording.
GENERATING PROFIT WITH WEBINARS
After we have determined the process that you have to undertake in order to stage a successful webinar, in this section we will tell you why!
Webinars as Customer Engagement Tools
Webinars have become one of the favorite content marketing strategies because they are immediate tools of customer engagement. If you use your knowledge of the niche, examine your target audience you will be able to provide important information within an area of their interest. Essentially, you are offering something they need at no cost (because a prevailing number of webinars is free) and they do not have to move from the comfort of their home – it is as accessible as it gets. All they need to do is give you an hour of their day. If they decide to do so, you have already reached the point of their conversion to leads – because they gave you information on how you can contact them (preferably their e-mail).
If your session does not lack quality content, liveliness and involvement, you will acquire something priceless – the trust of your audience. Your attendees will learn something they wanted to learn and will additionally become aware of how your products and services can meet their needs.
Studies show that:
- more than 60% of attendees check vendor websites after participating in a webinar – increased traffic quantity of interested leads;
- 58% share it to their circle of people – word of mouth marketing;
- 34% follow through a purchase – conversion rates go up;
- 70% of attendees register to vendor websites after they receive the follow-up e-mail which means they have positive attitude towards remaining in contact with you.
Through all this increased traffic (whether it results in direct purchase or not) you are acquiring attention not only for the products or services that were related and advertised the webinar, but also for all of your endeavours and offers. As a consequence, webinars have influence in matters of speeding up the transition from prospects to leads as well as from leads to loyal and retentive customers – and that is the point of content marketing.
Other Ways of Generating Profit With Webinars
- Offer the same webinar to different target audiences.
- Post the webinar recording online and profit from the traffic it drives.
- Organize coaching webinars for matters within your niche which can last, for example, six weeks and charge a fee for participation. Some coaching webinars online cost from 299$ to 500$!
- Employ a joined venture webinar tactic where you will not have to do anything other than promote the webinar while someone else takes care of presentation (and you split income).
- Cross-promote your other channels in webinars and vice versa.
Things to Avoid in Webinars
- Solely advertisement (‘sales-y’) presentations;
- Lack of effort and/or authority in realization and content;
- Dullness of content and performance.
One of the building blocks of the ‘new age’ marketing is quality. Sure you can offer mediocre products and be able to sell them. However, you can do it for a brief period of time before your customers see through you and turn to someone else – believe us, there is always someone else. Not to mention that it is not in the entrepreneurial spirit to cheat your way to profit. Your goal should always be longevity and broadness over time. Content marketing is what is being used with reference to these points in order to attract and maintain customers through engagement. The ‘cherry on top’ of the strategies employed nowadays is webinars. In addition to the excellent promotion platform that they are proving to be, they generate large amounts of profit – they speed up conversions, drive traffic and bring in new potential customers. Moreover, they can be either not too costly or completely free to stage which means that the return on investment comes in the form of practically pure profit. All you are required to do is invest some time and, well, you are asking the same from your targeted audience – sounds like a fair deal to us, provide quality and receive revenue!
Just hearing the phrase “data mining” is enough to make your average aspiring entrepreneur …