Are You Benefiting From The Power Of Webinars?
Marketing and selling is a tough, very competitive business. And it seems to be getting more competitive by the day. Our prospects are drowning in a sea of marketing “noise”. According to a USA Today article from 2005, we see anywhere from 3500-5000 marketing messages per day.
This number may even be higher today, and your prospect's attention span is probably much shorter than it was in 2005; this study was conducted before the smartphone revolution. So guess what– most likely, your job as a marketer or sales rep is even harder than it would have been only eight years ago!
To be successful in today's challenging marketing arena, we need a smart, customer-focused strategy and we need tools proven to be up to the task of carrying out that strategy. There are few if any “battle-tested” marketing and sales tools more effective than webinars.
A Proven, Effective Marketing Tool!
Whether you need to hold a strictly educational event delivered to a widely scattered group, you need to persuade prospects to buy during the event in a B2C sales situation, or you need an effective tool to get your B2B prospects to take that next crucial step in a long sales process, webinars are a proven, effective presentation tool you might want to consider.
First of all, what is a webinar? A webinar is an Internet-based event displayed through a web browser that typically combines verbal and visual presentation elements to a group of observers who have previously registered, usually in the hopes of becoming better educated on a subject that interests them or to gain a solution to a problem.
According to the Institute Of Management Consultants USA:
“Webinars are marketing events where you invite prospects and customers from outside your company to learn about a new product, share in your subject matter expertise on something important to them, or just find out what makes you a good fit to work with them.”
Webinars are an ideal sales and marketing tool, a marketer's dream come true, we might say! They allow marketers to address a large, diverse, geographically widespread group very economically and with no travel time or expenses involved.
They are a great tool for marketers to use to build up their credibility and trust and “likeability factor” in the minds and hearts of webinar attendees. And they are a powerful tool presenters can use for strengthening their thought leader status.
Webinars provide companies a simple, cost-effective way to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate new leads
- Strengthen prospect interest in their product or service
- Move prospects further through the sales funnel
”Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu
Something to be aware of: In today's rapidly changing marketing world full of dazzling innovations like SEO, social media, SMS (text messages) and video marketing, it's easy to obsess over “the latest thing”, to look at a marvelous new tool as a “magic bullet” that's the answer to all of your marketing headaches. And it would be very easy to feel the same way about webinars.
Keep in mind that social media, SEO, video marketing, etc. are marketing TOOLS. And tools need to be used properly, skillfully and for a specific purpose. Before we use the tool (tactic), we want to have a sound, well thought out strategy in place. There are few if any marketing and sales strategies that could not benefit from webinars.
Webinar Best Practices And Marketing Tips
Your webinar attendees won't buy from you or be persuaded to take the next step in the sales process just because they are on a webinar.
If you are using a webinar for marketing (as opposed to strictly educational or training) purposes, the same rule matter that also apply to any other marketing message. For illustration purposes, we'll focus today on marketing webinars as opposed to those strictly educational or training-oriented.
WIIFM? This stands for “What's In It For Me?” It's a question your webinar attendee is asking himself, maybe subconsciously as he considers whether or not to invest in your product or service.
If you want your webinar to resonate with attendees, if you want to capture and keep their attention and interest, if you want to persuade them to buy from you then and there, or at least take the next step into your sales funnel, your message needs to be focused primarily on them. Not focused on your product.
They are investing their precious time to be part of your webinar because they have a pressing, painful problem they want solved, or a cherished dream they want to see come true. Either way, they want you to help them!
So focus your message, especially near the first part of your webinar, on them, NOT on you, your company or your product, no matter how spectacular it is. Since your attendees are asking “What's In It For Me?”, tell them what's in it for them if they invest in your product! Tell them about the benefits they'll receive by becoming your customer.
In order to save time as you are preparing your webinar, try to leverage your existing marketing content. Look through your Case Studies, White Papers, blogs and other marketing materials to see what you can repurpose, what you can make it part of the webinar script. There are at least two benefits for you if you use this approach:
- You'll save yourself time and effort
- You'll “hammer home” key parts of your marketing message (from your blog, White Papers, etc.) to those webinar attendees who've already read your existing content
To aid your future content creation and other marketing efforts, record your webinar to offer it on an “on demand” basis. Also, take new pieces of content you introduce in the webinar and repurpose those by including them in new blog posts and other parts of your marketing content.
Webinars are potentially GREAT marketing and sales tools. But, you still need for people to register for and attend your webinar. You can announce it through a number of different channels:
- By all means, send a message about it to your email list
- Mention it to your social media networks
- Announce it on your blog
- Have a link on your homepage that goes to your webinar's signup page
How to use a Landing Page to promote your Webinar
For every one of these ways of announcing your webinar, use a specially designed landing page as your signup destination.
Landing pages are ideal tools to help you promote your webinars. They are powerful online “workhorses” to use in situations where you want to funnel targeted traffic to a specific location for a specific purpose – for example – announcing your webinars to your social media followers, encouraging them to click the link you include and directing that link to your landing page optimized to help you fill up the event!
When you are using a landing page to register people for an event like a webinar (or for any sales or marketing purpose), here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Keep the page design as simple and uncluttered as possible.
- Remove all design elements that might detract from your message and your goal of getting readers to register
Because they can be so distracting, do not include any of your website navigation buttons on your landing page. You want to give your reader only three options:
- Close the browser window
- Click the back button
- Sign up for your fantastic webinar!!
Your landing page's written message needs to be persuasive. You need to “sell” readers to sign up for your webinar. Have copy that is brief and to the point, is focused on the reader and how you can help him, copy that is loaded with benefits he stands to gain by signing up for your webinar. And by all means use bullet points.
When you are setting up a landing page for your webinar, you want the process to be very simple, don't you? You want “turnkey”, easy to set up landing page templates that are aesthetically pleasing and have been engineered to help you convert! To help you dramatically increase the number of webinar registrations you capture.
That's why we've created a new category especially design to promote Webinars! If you're doing a Webinar in the next few days and you don't know how to promote it, try one of these template now and totally for free!