Webinars have become a popular way for companies to host meetings, lectures, and discussions with team member or clients.
In the marketing world, a business may use a webinar to engage or create participation with prospects and client. The tool is a great way to turn attending audience members into lifelong customers.
What is a webinar?
A webinar is a web-based seminar, usually, held using video conferencing. Unlike a typical video conference or a webcast, a webinar is interactive and allows for conversation and discussion about the topic at hand.
A Webinar Contribution to a Marketing Plan
Content marketing is dramatically altering the way most businesses approach their marketing efforts. This new focus on engaging the customer has made webinars a go-to tactic for doing just that.
The Content Marketing Institute shows that marketers consistently rate webinar marketing as one of the top 12 most frequently used strategies, and is in the top five for being most effective.
That’s because webinars are extremely effective at building brand awareness, and are used for communicating with audience members at different stages of the buying/customer lifecycle process. They are also cost-effective and help build relationships with audience members.
Tips for Creating Effective Webinars
A webinar takes more than just talking to the camera or throwing together some slides. Hosting one requires creativity, planning, strategy, great design, vision, and promotion.
Usually, the hardest part of creating a webinar for a business is coming up with a relevant topic or generating applicable and valuable content. To come up with some content ideas, hold a brainstorming session with your marketing team.
Chances are your business has a broad range of topics that it could discuss in a webinar in. Try to narrow it down to something specific and useful to the customer. “How-to” webinars are great, as they put the attention directly on your brand, and are extremely pertinent to the needs of the consumer.
After you’ve established a topic that your webinar will be on, the next step is to gather data and experts that can be used to support your content and add authority to your webinar. Not only will attracting industry experts help to give your brand some clout, but they can also add to the lure of your webinar, providing an incentive for audience members to attend.
Depending upon the software you’re using and the size of your business and team, the number of people involved in hosting the webinar will vary. Usually, between three to seven people is an appropriate number.
You’ll need a webinar host who’s responsible for keeping the audience’s attention and guiding them along through the information you’d like to present.
Before you actually host your webinar, make sure the chosen team does a couple of practice runs to ensure that you’re within the set time frame and that there aren’t any glitches in the plan (microphones work, the video is good, slides are performing as needed, etc.).
The best webinars are typically around an hour.
Getting the Word Out
Equally as important as planning your webinar is making sure that people register to attend it.
You’ll need to design a landing page for people to register for the webinar. The registration landing page should have a great title that’s catchy and informative. For example, “Why You Need to Be Using Webinars for Your Business.” It should include a short description about what the webinar will cover, and introduce any experts/influencers in the field who will be presenting. It will also have the registration details for interested audience members.
Include a few testimonials on the page about additional webinars that would supplement your topic, and don’t forget a call-to-action. This will link potential attendees to the registration form where they will sign up. Before publishing your registration page, make sure to test it first.
Lastly, use social marketing to promote and advertise the webinar, and send out an invitation email to your customer list.
Best Webinar Software
A big decision you’ll have to make surrounding your webinar is the software that you’ll use.
Adobe Connect provides very top-of-the-line webinar software. AnyMeeting provides webinar tools and offers a free package option that can be used for up to 200 attendees. Other best webinar software leaders are WebEx, GoToMeeting, and ON24.
As great technology is perhaps the biggest factor in hosting a webinar that runs smoothly, it’s important to do thorough research about webinar software platforms, and to give them a test run before hosting the actual webinar.
Start Webinar Marketing for Your Business
For businesses looking to improve the effectiveness of their content marketing, hosting a webinar can be a valuable tool. Choosing the right software, involving industry experts, selecting the right content and topic, and promoting the webinar in advance are all important to a successful webinar marketing strategy.