Hosting webinars is a farsighted strategy for introducing a business in the mercilessly demanding offline and online markets.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur with an ambitious startup or an experienced operator with an innovated brand. Smartly run webinars can turn into an effective, large-scale, promotional channel that introduces an original novelty and reminds about an already familiar product equally well.
Although a webinar remains a very helpful, widely applied educational tool, witty marketers have unleashed its true potential and are now making the most of its informational, advertising, and entertaining powers.
Well, that’s the theory of webinars in a nutshell. You can see that they are promising, ubiquitous, and useful. Fine. But what real-life benefit can these characteristics bring to a business?
Let’s move on to practice.
In the marketing environment, a webinar doesn’t and shouldn’t teach. A webinar should convey an idea of a product or a company’s philosophy and sell it, actually.
The success of webinars depends on a whole range of factors. The most determining of them are:
- the quality of presented content (its informativeness, logic, usefulness, novelty)
- the quality of technical support (equipment and connection)
- the quality of speaker’s performance (knowledges, communicative skills, even appearance).
All these qualities must be excellent if you want a webinar to meet you and your target audience’s expectations.
So, why should you really care?
1. Make Your Business Keep up with the Titans
“Webinar” tends to become an integral part of corporate culture at large companies and organizations: Procter and Gamble, LinkedIn, Red Cross, Harvard, to name but a few.
Of course, the reason for their success lies not only in the fact that they hold weekly webinars. But such acts of interaction with audiences, interested in offered products or services, and between the members of these companies’ teams definitely contribute to both the product’s popularization and the company’s reputation.
Webinars support multi-faceted management and communication within and outside the company. These are the two key ingredients in the recipe of successful business promotion, which results in expected profits.
But you don’t need to be a multinational corporation to enjoy them. Just include webinars into a promotional campaign and make the most of the opportunities you obtain.
2. Get Connected to People Regardless of Geography
The size of the office and the district where it’s rented don’t matter when the communication with the target audience or between team members occurs online.
What’s more, both a speaker and a viewer may stay at their cozy homes or travel across the country without experiencing any difficulties during such information exchange.
Besides, running a webinar is a perfect way to attract audiences from different countries and hence to introduce the product or service abroad. If such test and practically costless introduction draw international attention, this becomes a safe reason to expand the geography of advertising and promotion.
3. Interact with a Real Audience Directly
Interestingly, lack of interaction with viewers is considered one of the heaviest drawbacks of webinars. The most common arguments include the impossibility to check the viewers’ reaction to the information they receive as well as the rather limited possibility to discuss this information, ask questions, and respond to the viewers’ comments.
Although it may be quite intimidating for budding web-speakers to talk to the screens of their laptops for several hours, experience shows that the effectiveness of communication with target audiences online still doesn’t yield to that of live meetings.
Each self-respecting webinar platform provides special tools that enable a speaker and viewers communicate in real time. Mostly, these are chats of different kinds.
Such chats allow viewers to comment on the webinar’s content, discuss various questions, analyze problematic cases, and share stories related to the topic. Plus, all participants can keep in touch even after the webinar, therefore creating a strong network that can support the promotion of the product and spread information about it.
4. Save Time, Money, and Other Resources
The cyberspace and digital technology eliminate the necessity to spend money on live events, paper materials, and snacks. It gives an entrepreneur the opportunity to manage the time of presentation and interaction with an audience. Invited guest lecturers from other towns and countries can also join a webinar online regardless of their whereabouts.
Running webinars proves considerably cost-effective and lightens the organizational and managerial burdens on entrepreneurs’ shoulders.
5. Help to Learn and Encourage to Buy
A webinar itself shouldn’t be taken as an advertising campaign purely, though it is an integral part of such campaigns. Their integral teaching part, to be precise.
The content of a webinar should teach a target audience about your business values, philosophy, and aspirations. Yet, since your product or service is their material representation, the content can and should soft-sell this representation.
Speaking roughly, a promotional business webinar teaches why your products and ideas are worth buying. Its content should be aimed at highlighting the audience’s needs that your offer can satisfy, as well as at clarifying why and how it can do that. If the content meets these requirements and is presented persuasively, the profits won’t be long in coming.
6. Position Yourself as an Expert by Default
Even if you run a free webinar. Each potential participant, a member of your target audience, is going to pay you with their time. And this time covers not only those two or three hours of the webinar itself but also all those minutes spent on registering, checking your notifications, and following the updates.
Time is a valuable currency. And if people are ready to play with it before they actually get the info, which they pay you for, that means they position you as an expert in the industry you represent.
7. Train Managers, Teams, and Even Applicants
Webinars can unite a target audience of a certain product. But they also can unite the initiators, developers, and promoters of this product, making them all a better, stronger team. Teaching, training, exchange of experience and news can be provided online in a flawlessly organized and conveniently managed manner.
Email newsletters can also help, surely. But their positive effect on team building and corporate culture are quite questionable.
Yes, a well-run webinar can help with that all. But a smart and clear-sighted entrepreneur certainly realizes that so tried and trusted “webinar” is just one of the multiple marketing tools, serving to promote brands and their products.
Be ready that one webinar and even one series of webinars, however successful it was, won’t be enough to increase consumers’ awareness of your brand and encourage them to buy your product or idea.
Yet, at the same time, webinar can and will become an effective, interactive, and attractive complement to a particular advertising campaign and to promotion in general. So, it turns really worth the hassle.