I believe webinars are one of the most powerful tools in any thought leader’s marketing arsenal. There are so many good reasons for conducting regular webinars that any marketer who has not considered using them is really missing a trick.
I love webinars because they help me:
- Win Trust: When you are selling complex solutions or services, potential clients will want to know that you know what you are talking about before they waste any significant time, effort and money with you. Webinars provide an ideal opportunity to put yourself in front of a carefully targeted audience without the expense of travel or even the hassle of leaving your desk.
- Win New Email Subscribers: The ticket price of a webinar is covered by the provision of an email address which can then be used to engage the prospect with relevant offers and interesting news via email marketing, helping you build a more fruitful relationship with your webinar attendee.
- Win Social Media Engagement: If you are covering an interesting topic or are featuring an engaging speaker it is highly likely that your social network of friends and followers (and their friends and followers, etc., etc.) will help you promote your event via social media, driving registrations and building your reputation. It is also a great idea to prompt your webinar attendees to tweet during and after the actual event adding additional social media buzz around your thought leadership
- Win Media Coverage: A webinar provides excellent content for a press release or a post on your own blog or a third party website. The information you share can also provide excellent content for journalists and industry bloggers who attend your session – make sure they receive an invitation and a recording of the session.
- Win Sales: The purpose of my webinars is to inform and educate. A happy by-product of this is sales. Every time I conduct a webinar I sell something. For me this could be a book, a ticket to an event, some consultancy, etc. etc.
10 Tips for Conducting a Successful Webinar
- Promote Widely: Use all available channels (including email, social media, online PR, blogging activity, peer-to-peer conversations (i.e. when your salespeople talk to their prospects), etc.) to promote your webinar to as large an audience as possible.
- Prepare: Don’t leave anything to the last minute. Get your presentation deck in order a couple of days before the event and have notes ready to fall back on if you lose your train of thought while presenting.
- Check Your Browser: Make sure your browser is compatible with your webinar software before you go live. In the past I have had trouble with Chrome and fallen back on Firefox and (even) Internet Explorer. It’s best not to discover these problems at the very last minute.
- Start Early: Make sure you are online a ready to go a full 15 minutes before the webinar is due to start.
- Get Colleagues Involved: Having a colleague available to handle any online chat or help with the Q&A will allow you to concentrate on delivering a polished presentation
- Guest Speakers: A “celebrity” guest speaker will almost certainly drive registrations to your webinar and add credibility to your thought leadership.
- Solicit Q&A Prior to Webinar: Having a couple of questions (either from your audience or your colleagues) will help lubricate further engagement from you audience.
- Keep It Mute: Nobody wants to hear a dog barking or a baby crying (I’ve seen this happen on more than one occasion) in the background or your webinar so make sure all attendees lines are muted throughout the webinar. Most good webinar software provides a function were delegate can raise a virtual hand if they wish to become unmuted and ask a question.
- Call To Action: Give your attendees something to do following the event. Perhaps you could point them towards a whitepaper or blog post for more information or (even better) direct them to a web page, email address or telephone number where they can make a direct enquiry or even buy your product or service.
- Follow Up: Don’t leave your attendees hanging after the event. Follow up with a timely phone call or email marketing message.
Join me on my free webinar: An Introduction to Thought Leadership Marketing – on Thursday, February 14th at 4pm (GMT), 11am (CET).
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