In the early 2000s, only established companies or enterprises could afford to conduct webinars. However, in more recent years, advances in teleconferencing have made hosting a webinar more feasible for small businesses and even solopreneurs.
It's clear that webinars are one of the more effective and useful online marketing tools today. Industry analysts have also determined that as businesses continue to use more video and incorporate social media into their marketing strategies, webinars will continue to be a trend. But how can you use this technology to attract more customers and sell more products?
Explaining the Webinar
A webinar, or “web seminar,” is a video conference conducted over the web. It utilizes the internet to connect the host (person conducting the webinar) to the audience (viewers and listeners).
Webinars can be conducted in several ways. The hosts can choose to show themselves on camera during a live presentation or switch their screens to show demonstrations or slideshows. The webinar could also just be an audio presentation and speakers from different locations can be invited to co-host.
Instead of using the technology for seminars, businesses, schools, and other organizations can also use it to give lectures. As a matter of fact, 2 out of 3 webinars are used for educational purposes. According to Clickmeeting's research, 40 percent of webinars are staff training, how-tos, and product training while 15 percent are e-learning classes and online education courses. It could also be used as a promotional presentation to launch or sell a product and connect with new customers.
Why Webinars are Popular
The webinars rise in popularity is due to one very simple fact—it's very effective in getting your message across.
Webinars can be utilized to provide fundamental training for employees at a lower cost. Instead of paying for a conference or class just for continuing employee education, companies can offer a free webinar. It provides the same knowledge that employees would get from a conference without having to shoulder transportation or food expenses.
This marketing tool is also very effective in allowing customers to interact with content. Customers who sign up for a webinar can quickly provide feedback or ask the company questions. More importantly, content is delivered in real-time.
How to Boost Sales with Webinars
Webinars have so much potential to do your company good. Conversely, it also has the capacity to do some damage if it's not done right. Here are some suggestions on how you can conduct a webinar that will boost conversions.
1. Make it Engaging With Visuals
Visuals are the way to go if you want your webinar to be engaging and memorable. People prefer infographics over bullet points, as the former is easier to understand and more interesting to look at. This has been proven to be true on social media, as more users click or shared posts with images. For example, Facebook posts with images reportedly received 87 percent of engagement among users while Tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks that ones that on have text.
2. Keep Audience Interest Up
Webinars typically run for about an hour, with half of that time devoted to getting your message across. You want to keep your audience interested throughout the entire seminar. Remember that you can quickly lose the attention of your audience if your presentation is boring or has too many instances of inactivity.
One way to keep things lively is to opt for an interactive presentation. For instance, ask the attendees to answer a poll or write something down every 15 minutes or so. Entertain live callers who ask questions. Not only will this liven things up, it also makes the session sound more conversational.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practicing a speech or a presentation, even one you've done a thousand times before, is always a good idea. Go over your notes and check your visuals a few days or hours before you air your webinar. Rehearse with a colleague or a friend. Record yourself. Doing these things will give you the chance to identify possible problems with your material or how you present it.
4. Keep it Fun With Freebies
Freebies and bonuses make life fun. Offering the audience a chance to win a prize will incentivize them and keep them engaged. The rewards don't even have to be big or expensive. Cash, gift cards, discounts or a private consultation with you or one of your expert staff will suffice.
Don't underestimate the power of webinars. If you've never considered using this marketing tool, perhaps 2018 is the year to give it try.[Featured image via Pixabay]