Webinars and how they can help your business growth

webinar
If you are a business owner, you will know how difficult it can be to promote and grow your business, even if this is just slightly. But, not only is this difficult to do, it can also be expensive.

There are a great many tools available within the field of Digital marketing, some more effective than others and all have a cost to some degree.

These can vary to almost zero cost, such as for example, an email marketing campaign that you conduct yourself. This could be to a marketing list that you already own, ie. A "mailshot" to your own existing customer base. Your total cost in this case would almost entirely be covered by your fixed cost of your broadband connection and your hosting fees. Plus any data limits that exist, which for most businesses these days are generous and cover most normal mailing activities for many medium size businesses. Email marketing therefore is low cost / almost cost free and can often be fairly effective, without too much risk.

On the other hand, there are some recognised marketing techniques and methods that can be very costly and without any guarantee at all of any success. I am thinking particularly of online classified advertising. Whilst some classified ad campaigns can be seen as the domain of "high flyers", they can sometimes reap great rewards. But also great losses. Those of you that have tried Bing and Google ads will know how important it is to keep an eye on, track and control the budget for these types of campaigns. They can and do run away with you if not careful. (more on this on another article).

There are of course many other Digital Marketing tools, methods and techniques, that can employed with varying costs and success rates, that sit somewhere between the above two examples. Some tried and tested and some are emerging.

Another highly cost-effective way to consider business growth is through the use of Webinars. Webinars are not new, but can yield huge rewards for many kinds of businesses, but all depending on the way that they are implemented. These replicated events, which is what they are, or what they become, can greatly help with your online success and branding through, qualified, direct opt-in customer engagement. This marketing method works for any industry that your business is engaged in and can be powerful.

What is a Webinar?

what is a webinar

I do not like to assume that everyone knows what a Webinar is and if you have never organised or delivered one, or been a recipient of one, then why should you?

A Webinar is a planned online event, or workshop for a specified subject, for a desired, targeted audience. Webinar is a new word developed over the last few years, being an acronym developed from Web & Seminar. It is a gathering of interested parties, ie, an online audience who wish to find out more about a particular product, concept, subject, or update. Webinar organisers publish a time and a date when their event will take place and interested attendees will then register to express their interest. Following which, they are then advised a URL, which they can then log in to prior to the allotted time.

Webinars can currently have an audience size from anything from 2 people to 10,000 people, who can be located anywhere in the world. The participants can access and follow the webinar through any online device. Participation is only limited by the quality of the network connection and the relevant access rights. The Webinar speaker /presenter can also be based anywhere. The software format of these events enables him or her to use voice and various other multimedia to present the required subject matter.

Webinars create a unique one-to-multiple conversation. The latest webinar technology, uses high speed connections and is of a very high voice and communication quality. It also enables any webinar attendee to speak to all and to also present their own media from their own location. Some of the recent webinars that I have been on have all lasted for around 90 minutes and have been extremely interactive.

One downside is that access to Webinar technology is not cheap. But this is a reflection on their effectiveness and the market price is set accordingly. If you wish to look further into hosting your own Webinars there are various companies out there, including Onpassive who aim to offer inclusive access to leading edge Webinar technology to its members when the company launches.

There are three main types of webinars that can be adopted, depending on the type of business in question:

Lead Generation Webinar:

This type of webinar is very popular. It enables the organisers or program owners to gather the contact details of the interested attendees, subject of course to the adherence of the requirements of GDPR and other Data protection measures, depending on your country of residence. Many businesses are built by mailing lists and each webinar attendees name can be seen as a potential customer.

In return for gaining said details, a suitable webinar is then conducted and delivered. The subject matter for these types of webinars has to be bright, interesting and of good relevance to the audience who have registered. However, with free to join webinars, some deviation can be allowed, as long as it is in keeping with the general or related published theme.

Paid Webinars:

These webinars are different and great care needs to be taken. It is one thing to just take someone's contact details, as above, which can of course be revoked by the client, as per privacy laws. However, as the name suggests, paid webinars involve someone who has taken the great step of investing their hard earned cash into finding out more about your project. This means that the webinar really needs to be on point and relevant. For these types of webinars, focus is needed and conversely to the above, no related content promotion should be adopted. But the very fact that someone has paid for specific information, makes this prospect hugely valuable, so there is no way that you would ever wish to give them anything other than what they have requested.

Webinar series:

This third type of webinar can relate to either of the above, paid or free.

If you get a good level of registration for your first webinar event and you get some good feedback, it may well be worthwhile to consider doing a follow up and if you then get similar good feedback, looking at doing a series of regular webinar sessions. These can then gain interest with new attendees and even go something towards viral. Updates to programmes, introducing new team members, new pricing structures, product updates and new product introductions are all good reasons for regular webinars. These are also then an ongoing opportunity for further general promotion.

In summary 

The biggest consideration about webinars is all about the quality and the professional delivery of the stated subject matter. These events are almost like theatre productions. People want to be edified, but also entertained to some degree. Great attention needs to be paid to the production. Get them right and people will come back to see the next instalment.

I think of Webinars as one of the most informed methods of modern mass engagement, whereby you get to know who your audience is, but without physically seeing them. Almost like a Theatre, but with potentially a much bigger audience. If done correctly, a webinar, or a series of webinars can be hugely effective, as part of your overall combined marketing efforts. Use Webinars to communicate, educate and grow your business.

See also: How can Onpassive help my business to succeed?


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