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Marketing Webinars - Why do marketers love them?
Why do marketers love webinars? Let me count the reasons:
They’re a lot cheaper than sales calls and customer events.
Marketers can save the webinar and offer it later to prospects and customers as downloadable media, on-demand.
The ability to combine audio-visual media and the savvy of product experts makes webinars excellent platforms for telling your product story.
They are great for lead generation and capturing customer sentiment. The sign-up process gives you great opportunities for capturing prospects’ contact information. And the webinar itself offers countless opportunities to invite customers to opt-in to various programs and offers.
They integrate quite well into traditional “offer-respond-fulfill” marketing schemes and provide a level of scalability not offered by traditional channels.
What’s not to love about webinars, right? You probably cannot wait to get one started right this very moment. But before you set off to plan the webinar to end all webinars, here are a few things to keep in mind.
The Right Tool?
Webinars are excellent for conveying information, telling your product story and gathering user sentiment. But is it the right tool for your needs? Consider the following:
Your subject matter
Your audience needs
The time you need to cover your topic
If all you need is to discuss a new process with a small team of people within your organization, then a webinar is probably overkill. You could have a large audience, but if your topic is, say, touch sensitivity in the workplace, then an online webinar is probably not the most effective way to deliver this. Also, if you are planning a whole day event, then you would need to forego the idea of doing it via a webinar; online audiences have notoriously short attention spans and tend to tune out of anything that lasts over a couple of hours, On the other hand, if you plan to spend under an hour explaining to small business owners all over the country why webinars are great marketing tools, then webinars make perfect sense.
The Right Team
Normally, to ensure a smooth-running webinar, you’ll need great speakers, an efficient administrator and an assistant or two (or more) to provide support, before, during and after the webinar. Some very experienced speakers may be able to handle all the aspects of the webinar by themselves, but don’t take the risk until you get to that level where you can run the entire webinar with your eyes closed and your hands tied behind your back.
The Right Format
Yes, that’s right… webinars come in a variety of formats, so you must take care to select the one that most suits your purposes. Here are some popular webinar formats to consider.
Single speaker - just one person speaks, demonstrates and answers questions;
Interview - An interviewer asks a guest a set of questions;
Moderated panel discussion - a designated moderator facilitates a discussion featuring several speakers; and
Interactive - audience members interact with the speakers in real time.
The Right Images
Take advantage of webinars’ ability to feature audio-visual materials.
Weeks before the event, it would be a good idea to coordinate with the speakers and work out a presentation outline that governs the order of presentation.
The Dry Run
Practice makes perfect, as they say. So the key to a perfect webinar (or as close to it as possible) is to schedule a dry run. This also helps speakers and the rest of the team familiarize themselves with each other, exposes any technical and topical glitches and helps you resolve any outstanding issues.
And so at this point you should be ready to go with your killer Webinar. Some final items to consider include selecting the webinar platform, setting up the registration system for attendees, and promoting the webinar.