In the world of Content Marketing, today webinars have gained immense popularity with top performing marketers and bloggers.
Through to the core, webinars are just another form of ‘content’, due to their intrinsic attribute of being much more ‘interactive’, ‘visible’ and ‘realistic’ than other content forms. Webinars have been instrumental in converting many subscribers into customers.
Do you know why today more than 60% of marketers are using webinars as their content marketing strategy? Well, one logical reason could be, 40%-50% of the registrants actually attend the webinars they register for.
Another promising estimate says that 30%-40% of visitors who come across a webinar landing page turn into qualified leads.
Audiences naturally give more value to webinars as they can immediately relate the ‘message being imparted with the messenger’ via live interactions. Seeing an ‘authority’ figure speak to you and answer your queries on the topic of your interest in real time, is much more fulfilling than going through a blogpost on the same topic, which is more of a ‘one way’ traffic and many of your queries could go unanswered.
For marketers, webinars are a ‘godsend’ when it comes to customer acquisition or for sales optimisation. It gives you the flexibility of talking to hundreds or even thousands of people at a single go, and yet deliver your information/message with a personal touch!
The medium helps you to deliver your full message to a captive audience, without leaving any stones unturned. You get a better sense of the prospects ‘feel’ on the topic and can always align and optimise your information to suit their needs as you go.
The benefits of a ‘dynamic’ and a well-orchestrated webinar, no doubt outweighs ‘static’ forms of content any day, but the question is, how hard is it to get it right?
Now that’s a question which scares even the seasoned marketer, because the technology does seem challenging and any wrong turn, or a slip-up during the event can hurl you and your brand ten steps behind, losing your image and credibility with the masses.
It could be anything from slow internet bandwidth distorting the live feed and sounds, to other logistical problems such as delaying the ‘start time’ or other disasters like ‘no show’ of guest speakers.
But there’s nothing to fear. All you need to do is find time to run a few tests and practice enough before you go live.
So without further ado, I’d like to show you in 4 easy steps, how you can run a successful webinar:
1. Choose a Topic and a Headline that intrigues your audience
Just like with any blogpost titles, your webinar topic/title needs to immediately captivate your audience. And especially with webinars, you have to convince attendees to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour, to join in on your presentation.
Your headlines should always be more specific and provoke curiosity, rather than being ‘plain’ and ‘vague. For instance, ‘Content Marketing Strategy’ sounds a lot more boring and uninviting than, ‘How to come up with an effective Content Marketing Strategy in 60 minutes or less’.
It’s always a good idea to share the details of your presentation at the very beginning. This helps to retain the attendees right till the end, for that special discount you’re offering before you wrap up, or for that secret hack you’ll be offering later.
The highlights of the benefits can also be stated in the landing pages to boost the ‘intrigue’ factor. An example below from KickoffLabs illustrates this:
Here the bulleted points below the sub title ‘Why should I attend’ clearly give the nuggets of benefits the participants will get from the webinar.
2. Warming up the Crowd
To find success with your webinar, it’s important you put your audience into a ‘receptive’ and ‘engagement’ mode.
Unlike blogposts where you may dive quickly into the thick of things, here it’s essential you first build a rapport with them. The idea is to build anticipation and excitement amongst the crowd and also help yourself to loosen up, so your presentation will run smoothly and confidently.
Arrive at least 15 minutes early to make sure you can run your technical tests and confirm everything is in good working order. After which you can immediately greet and engage with the audience through the chat box.
An example below from GoTo Webinar, shows a console of the chat box where you can ask questions to your audience and learn about their expectations from the webinar:
When engaging with the participants, it’s advisable to chat in a friendly and polite manner, and also be wary of not writing long answers, but exchange short, succinct pleasantries. This instills a practice and motivates the attendees to ask more questions in the Q & A session at the end of the presentation.
Though most of your prospects may know you, it’s crucial you introduce yourself before the start of the webinar, for those new ones on board.
3. Focus on providing ‘Value’!
Now that you’ve sufficiently warmed up your participants and stirred up their anticipation, it’s time to deliver what you’ve promised and provide the ‘value’ they’re looking to get out of this webinar.
The rule of the thumb now is to first, educate them about the problems and probable solutions to the problems. During the later stages, you may want to illustrate honestly, that one of the solutions is in fact a product or service your brand sells.
Neil Patel, calls this process to either Make pain worse, or the Benefit better. So it’s either delving into the pain points that’s costing them their business and are desperate for solutions, or they’re looking to grab the promises you laid out earlier.
Once you’ve prepped them enough about the problems and corresponding solutions at hand, it‘s necessary to delve how specifically ‘your’ solution will be able to work wonders for their business. Basically a sales pitch at the end that offers solutions through your services and how can they get maximum ‘value’ out of the webinar.
4. Engage and Close off with Q & A Sessions
It’s quite natural for some of your participants to drop out midway through the webinar and some could be sitting idly and waiting for that free bonus at the end.
The ones who would actually go for your products/services are the ones who are most engaged. They’re the ones who find every opportunity to chat and question you about their problems and corresponding solutions, and are the most qualified leads for the sales team.
However to increase the engagement, you can always launch a Poll to get concrete feedback, compliment participants by their names to make them feel more involved and valued. It also makes sense you do not read from the slides to bore them, but use the pointers as a cue to deliver spontaneously with your own words.
When closing off, always slide in smoothly to bring out your offer and the bonuses you promised earlier, if any. It’s important you don’t make the participants feel they’re being sold to with sentences like, “Ok, now here’s a product I’d like you to buy”.
The offer has to hold its ground of being ‘unique’ and ‘valuable’, say a discount that can only be availed through this webinar.
You can hold the Q & A Sessions after the pitch to clarify queries and engage further. Lastly, you can end with one more reminder of your offer, as they have come so far into the presentation.
Webinars can be quite instrumental in helping you build your ‘authority’, drive more traffic and leads and even convert them into valued customers. With the advent of free webinar softwares, including Google Hangouts, it’s a ‘no brainer’ that marketers should jump in to take this opportunity and learn the ropes of running a webinar for their audiences.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email email@example.com
Our Website is element7digital.com.au