Get Your Digital House In Order – Part 3 – Webinars

Webinars – A Great Way to Intrigue Prospects in A Non-Sales Environment

Webinars are the perfect vehicle to tell a longer story than what you can deliver in a 30 second TV commercial. Today, webinars stand as the number one lead generation tool for many companies. When marketed properly, you are able to find potential customers that “raise their hand” to say they are interested in your product or service.

In fact, firms using Webinars can generate a qualified lead for as little as $20 with a Webinar versus between $200 and $1000 for a live event.  You can effectively eliminate as much as 80% of the budget required for a live event according to Bloomberg Businessweek.  That’s quite the bang for your proverbial buck.

Eliminate Cold Calling

Creating an effective and targeted Webinar also eliminates the need to cold-call your prospects.  Cold calling can interrupt their day, since most of them are already too busy to answer a 30-minute call to talk about your product or service.  Webinars allow you to invite everyone on your prospect list, and present to them in a more effective, non-invasive manner.  In fact, those prospects will be able to receive more information in a Webinar than they would have on a call, which can often take place in a pressurized sales setting.  You also have the added advantage of following up your Webinar with an email containing a link to the recorded version for them to view when they are able. This is an especially effective tactic for those prospects who miss your presentation, an important step of Webinar maintenance called Post, one of the five P’s of a successful Webinar detailed further later in this article.

While Webinars help level the playing field for smaller firms, large firms still hold a decided advantage in their efforts to generate leads and prospects.  Large firms have the ability to use their resources to supercharge their marketing efforts. By using more efficient and sophisticated (and sometimes more expensive) tools that are expressly dedicated to their needs, they can help streamline their approach, and create the right Webinar for their business.  To illustrate; Large agencies that are marketing toward a large number of people—or hoping to attract a bigger number of registrants—need software tools that can handle 100, 500, and even 1,000 registrants.  There are a number of tools for that purpose.  Below are four software technologies that are ideal not just for firms with larger marketing budgets, but for firms that also want to customize their approach in order to define their brand more clearly:

  • GoToWebinar: Is the biggest player in the space for online meetings and webinars. Their free version solution starts with screen sharing capabilities for up to 3 attendees, but the enterprise solutions host up to 1,000 attendees (GoToWebinar) or even more (up to 5,000 attendees) with GoToWebcast. Try a free trial here.
  • ReadyTalk: ReadyTalk offers the ability to host large webinars, capable of allowing up to 3,000 attendees.  ReadyTalk can also integrate with other software products such as Salesforce, Eloqua, Marketo, and Pardot.  You can also access their API in order to create your own custom integrations.
  • Omnovia: An alternative to Webex, Omnovia allows you to attend a webinar without downloading anything.  Omnovia also allows you to host as many as 5000 attendees in one event. One standout feature for large firms is its multiple meeting rooms, a classroom setup where you can assign each room to a different department or event.  You’re able to customize the rooms to your specifications, specifically assign branding to your team’s rooms, or provide a unique URL for attendees so they go to the right room.
  • ON24: Is a software platform that allows its users to create custom packages for their customers.  It is another innovative way to personalize your brand.  On24 includes widgets that you can use during your webinars, and you are able to select as many as you wish for your webcast.  Your options include slide-sharing, Q&A, group chat, social media, and many more.  Another feature of ON24 is their responsive design, which allows you to host or view one of their webinars on a mobile phone or tablet.

The 5 P’s for Successful Webinars

While finding the right tools will vary depending on the type of Webinar you’re setting up, what remains consistent is what your Webinar consists of.  In preparation for your Webinar, you should follow the 5 P’s: PreparePracticePromotePresent, and the aforementioned Post.  In order to have an effective Webinar—read as a Webinar that generates business—you should consistently use these components as part of your plan.

Preparation is the heart of your performance.  As you prepare, keep in mind that this is where you are choosing a topic—one that is not just engaging in order to generate a captive audience, but one that can convert said audience to business fans.  Keep your marketing goals for the event in mind as well.  Clear, concise marketing goals not only drive your performance, they narrow your target audience allowing for a more targeted performance.

While practice may be self-explanatory, you do want to make your performance seamless.  That means taking extra time testing tools such as sharing your screen, transitions, as well as launching any interactive tools needed.  Help ensure your success with a full feature practice session and trial run.

Promote your Webinar by using the following acronym: B.U.S.S.T.O.P.  BUSSTOP stands for Blogs, Use existing client list, Social Media, Send Reminders, Traditional Advertising, Own Website Landing Page, and Public Relations.  There are a vast number of resources at your disposal in order to target and promote your webinar to a wider audience.

As you present, always look to stay engaged with your audience by creating a connection with open ended questions and time for feedback.  This will allow you to develop a better understanding of your audience in order to apply your correct solutions to their questions and/or problems. You can also use engagement tools such as interactive surveys and poll questions to keep your audience involved.

As you wrap up your presentation, launch your post-event survey in order to determine the next steps with your prospective clients.  Your specific solutions are hopefully the answer to their problems. Be sure to send a follow up email with a link to the recording of the webinar.

Another key; Prospects attending your Webinar will only concern themselves with the presentation itself.  How informative was this for me?  What product or service could I receive?  Did this excite me?  The merits of the event are more important than what firm is presenting it, so there is opportunity to dazzle the crowd regardless of name recognition.  Your firm can appear to be a market leader whether you are established or just launching a new service.

The potential of Webinars is powerful.  As an invaluable resource, they can consistently power the engine of lead generation in increasingly competitive markets.  Learning how to master this power is essential to understanding how you can transform your business.   Reach more prospects than ever before by using Webinars to your advantage.