As I embark on creating more traffic and sales for 2020, one of the strategies I will be using more of is hosting webinars. I’ve done this in the past and loved it! So today’s post may be basic to some, but if this is something you want to incorporate in your own marketing efforts, continue reading this article.
Webinars are one of the most effective ways to drive prospects and sales for your business. Webinars take time and effort to plan and you do need some technical skills. However, if you want to get more prospects and sales, webinars are definitely at the top of the to-do list when it comes to lead generation and making a profit.
What is a webinar?
A webinar, also referred to as a teleseminar, is an online event designed to offer useful information to the audience. It is often live, but can be pre-recorded. There might or might not be interactivity with the audience, such as question and answer. The webinar service used can offer various useful tools to the webinar host, including a shared desktop, white board, polls and more.
Webinars are most effective when they are related to a particular niche or topic, and offer solutions to “pain points,” or problems, within that niche. Webinars are educational but also promotional. Think of them as an infomercial for your brand or a product you wish to sell.
Why should I use webinars?
Online education is booming. According to the latest statistics, 70% of people are visual learners. In general, they love to watch videos and participate in webinars that teach them what they need to know. Webinars are very useful if you plan to launch a new product and want to make it an attention-grabbing event. Think of a Hollywood movie premiere and you will get an idea of how powerful a webinar can be for marketing your business.
Some webinars are free, while others require payment to attend. Paid webinars usually offer more exclusive information opportunities to prospects.
But in general, a free webinar is best, and is a powerful tool for email marketing list building.
Why use a webinar to build my list?
Webinars can grow your list rapidly because people like to be the first to share a good deal or “news” with their friends. Announcing the webinar on social media makes it very easy for them to share your news. However, you’ll need to use free and paid channels.
You may already have a good following on Facebook or Twitter but running a paid ad or event listing can give you highly qualified traffic for pennies per person. When prospecting in this way, create a separate email-marketing list for each webinar you plan to host. Then, use it to marketing to prospects before, during, and after the event. You can also enlist the help of participants by getting them to continue to spread the word.
Before the webinar
Once someone joins your new list, send remind them of the event date, start-time, time zone, and how to participate. Continue to send reminders until the show actually begins. Even after you have started, you can still send out email reminders to get people to jump in, and/or to participate. If you have a couple of helpers, have them check your Inbox for questions or other issues. Also, consider creating a hashtag (#) for your webinar so you can spot their questions and comments easily.
During the webinar
In addition to looking for questions during the event, you might also run a contest or give away prizes. It adds fun and interest to the live event.
After the webinar
The follow up after a webinar can be just as important as the planning and presentation stages. Those who have not purchased can still receive information about the product and the special offer. Those who are on the customer list can be given extra content that adds value, making them feel like they really got a great deal. Send a surprise thank you gift for attending. Make sure it is something of value and is branded with your logo and URL.
Selling on your webinar
Building your list of prospects via your webinar will be great, but sales are even better. Present a webinar on a particular topic, and offer one of your existing products as a useful solution. If you are launching a product, show all of its features and benefits in relation to one or more common problems.
A product-based webinar is your chance to show off your new item and create buzz about it. Set up a special webinar-only price for it. The information you provide shouldn’t be a glorified ad for the item. It should give your target audience information they really want. The context will drive the sale.
What do you need to host a webinar? Here’s a great checklist:
- An interesting topic
- A product you wish to sell
- A landing page for people to register for the webinar
- An email-marketing list for people to sign up for the webinar
- A sales landing page for the product you are going to create
- A customer list allows you to provide customer service and follow up with the people who buy your product as a result of your webinar.
- A high-quality microphone/headset-one that plugs into your USB port is usually the best option
- A quiet area to broadcast your webinar
- A couple of helpers to be online with you at the time of the webinar
- A webinar hosting service that will enable you to register people and present the webinar
- A way to accept payment for the sales you make (such as PayPal)
Let’s start with the basics, a great topic, and a high-quality product to entice your target audience.
Brainstorming your webinar topic
Think of some of the most common issues the people in your niche have. Decide which products you have that can help them solve one of these problems. If you are not already selling your own products because you have been working as an affiliate marketer, create your own product first. Far too much work goes into creating a webinar for you to market for someone else.
An e-book in PDF format that will address their issue or an e-course is the easiest way to create your own product so you can keep 100% of the profits. Stack it with value, such as workbooks, fact sheets, templates and so on, and you can create an impressive product they will be eager to pay for.
Planning the webinar
Once you have decided on a topic and a product, think of a compelling title that has niche-related keywords in it and offers a promise of help.
Next, list around 5 to 10 important points you want to make in relation to the topic. Creating a PowerPoint deck can help keep your talking points organized. (If you don’t have PowerPoint, use Apache OpenOffice Impress of Google Docs Slides.) Put one talking point on each slide. Add 2 or 3 bullets underneath as talking points/reminders of what you want to discuss on the webinar.
Next, add an introduction slide (or two) and a conclusion slide (or two). Introduce the topic at the start, and summarize what they have learned by the time the webinar is over.
Next, add several more slides about your product. Discuss the features and benefits. Give an idea of the dollar value and then the discount they get, as a result of attending the webinar. Also, highlight any bonus items they will get through your exclusive deal.
There are other ways to present a webinar, but if you are “camera shy,” giving a slide-based webinar means you never even have to appear on screen.
Some webinar presenters share and even record their desktop to use as part of their talk. This is very useful if you wish to demonstrate a product such as software, or show a step-by-step process, so your audience can follow along with your instructions. CamStudio and EZVid are 2 free products to try.
Include high-quality images of your product on each slide as appropriate. Include images that support what you will be saying in relation to the topic. Use your own photos, or royalty-free images from Pixabay.
Duration of the webinar
Most webinars should be between 30 minutes to an hour. If you have interactivity, be prepared to stay on the line as needed to answer any questions.
Making a recording
When you compare hosting services for your webinar, make sure it offers you the option to record the presentation. There are several reasons for this:
- The courtesy of a replay in case your followers miss it
- Are play for those who want to watch it again
- A replay gives happy attendees an opportunity tell friends
- A recording can be used for future marketing purposes, or even part of a paid multimedia course. Just edit sections that talk about special offer for attendees.
- Some businesses use “evergreen webinars.” They keep the recordings online for on-demand buys and keep selling the product to people who missed the webinar.
Invitations versus attendees
It is important to note that in many cases, the rooms can “fill up,” so others will not be able to get into the room. Estimate how many people you would like to attend by looking at the number on your list and the capacity of the “room” you get from the hosting service.
You can get help in a number of ways. The main way is to have a “member of staff” standing buy in case you need help with the technology side of things. This could be someone from the office, or a Virtual Assistant. It does not really matter as long as you are all willing to learn how to use the hosting service.
Consider inviting guests
If you have colleagues, or business partners working in the same niche, the two or more of you might be able to market your products and services effectively together. You could create a special bundle containing both products and offer them for one special price. With both of you driving traffic to the sales page, you will both make more profits.
Delivering the Webinar
You can pre-record some or all of it if you wish. This is ideal for people who tend to be nervous public speakers. You will need an audio editing program, or record yourself a few times until your presentation is error-free.
Comparing webinar hosting services
There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when it comes choosing a webinar hosting service. Cost and ease of use, and feature will help you choose.
You need to find a system that:
- Is user-friendly, with easy log-in and high-quality sound and performance
- Has an interface which is easy to use for both you and your attendees
- Enables people to register with just a couple of clicks
You can choose between webinar software or a hosted online service. If you are new to hosting webinars, the latter is definitely your safest option. There are several popular choices. Chances are if you have ever attended a webinar yourself, you are familiar with at least a couple of them. Note that most services will give you a free trial. In order to make the most of it, be prepared enough to treat your rehearsals as the real thing so you can become familiar with all the bells and whistles.
Popular webinar solutions
Zoom – One of the newest and most popular platforms that is free up to 45 minutes and 25 attendees. Subscribe to the Pro version to get more features, including recordings.
GoToWebinar – Has many great features and has become one of the industry standards BUT with a hefty pricing structure to match.
WebEx – You can host up to 3,000 people at a time. They will offer you custom pricing and support staff on the day of your event. This is another popular service; however, it’s also expensive.
AnyMeeting – This service is easy to use, reliable, and affordable.
Google+ Hangouts – Are free and allow you to host up to 25 people at a time. It is a good way to start slowly and/or create the impression of exclusivity. You can upgrade to the paid service Business Hangouts for an affordable monthly fee.
YouTube and Facebook Live now offer video streaming, and replay once the event is over. If you are the chat-show host type, this could be a quick and easy way to present your webinar. Include a link to the special offer in your description box. Give your webinar a great title.
Webinars can seem very intimidating. Not everyone likes to speak in public, and some people are more nervous about technology than others. However, the marketing potential can be huge because special events such as webinars are in high demand in almost every niche. You can educate and inform your audience and position yourself as an expert in your niche. Even if they don’t buy, you’ve created and grown a new list of prospects.
Contact me if you need assistance in setting up a webinar for your next promotion. I can help!
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