I recently noticed that some pretty big internet marketers have weaved webinars into their marketing and sales funnels, which got me thinking about why. A webinar is a seminar conducted online and at the moment, they’re all the rage as a marketing and distribution channel for products and services. If you’ve attended a webinar or seminar before, you know that the format usually includes: one or more presenters, a moderator (optional), and a question and answer (Q&A) period. Webinars are succeeding because consumers are craving real-time video which is why platforms such as Blab, Periscope, and Meerkat have quickly grown in popularity.
A webinar can have one or many objectives, which can make it a dynamic sales tool. It can be used to: inform, teach, train, consult, coach, promote, sell, and support. For example, an internet marketer conducts a webinar to inform and sell while a financial advisor decides to run a client-centric webinar to educate. There are many benefits to hosting webinars including the following.
Benefits of Using Webinars
An opportunity to introduce yourself. There are millions of people who don’t know you or I, but they probably should. People interested in internet marketing, infopreneurship, and self-publishing should get to know me. Sure, other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn are great touch points, but they have their limits. Through a webinar, I can briefly introduce and talk about myself.
Demonstrate credibility, legitimacy, and authority. A live webinar, as opposed to prerecorded, is an excellent way to separate an expert from a phony. Webinars serve as a stage for you to demonstrate your subject matter expertise and authority. If you know what you’re talking about, you’ll appear knowledgeable, but if not, attendees will see right through you.
Discuss your product/service in a less salesy way. Webinars are primarily meant to inform, not push sales outright. Sales can occur as a result of providing value-added information, demonstrating credibility, and talking about your product/service as an extension of the webinar itself (most presenters use a portion of their webinars to pitch which is perfectly fine). Post-event autoresponders can also support the sales cycle in an unpressurized way.
Generate leads and expand your marketing and sales funnels. Webinars fall into the category of online event marketing, which is a marketing activity that many folks leave out of their marketing plans. However, online event marketing is too important to leave out of the equation because of the impact it can have over other marketing activities.
Grow your email list and expand your network. Most webinar systems require attendees to register via email which automatically gets you email addresses. Although these individuals aren’t necessarily consenting to your subscriber list, adding them to your list is advisable as they can always unsubscribe later. I recommend that you add a visible consent blurb on the register page or opt-in checkbox where applicable. Secondly, by directing traffic in your pre and post event notifications, you can encourage registrants to connect with you on other platforms e.g. “please connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter after the event.”
Keep expenses low. My offline events were costly compared to my online events. Event organizers usually need to pay for event spaces and refreshments for starters. Costs can be kept to a minimum since online events are virtual.
Webinars can be re-purposed. Webinars can be re-purposed for YouTube, podcasts, and your website, which is an excellent benefit. Being able to reuse an entire webinar or just snippets is great for your content development activities.
Convenient for everyone involved. It goes without saying that webinars don’t require commuting, which makes them very convenient to attend. Furthermore, since events are online, you’re not limited to local attendees. This is a huge plus, for example, I can organize a webinar on DIY investing and welcome people from all around the world.
Charge membership fees for exclusive webinar content. Depending on your objectives and business model, a section of your website could contain exclusive webinar/video content for paid members. Your free webinars would provide the bait while your paid webinar content would provide the hook. Typical monthly subscription fees range in price between $4.99 to $9.99. If you got one thousand members, that would be some great income.
I successfully ran several webinars regarding course creation, and now I’m in the midst of planning my next webinar series. With all the benefits listed above, consider how you can use webinars to grow your business, expand your online reach, and increase sales. If you’re wondering which webinar software I recommend, see my post The Webinar Software Winner Is?