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The following excerpt comes from The Content Marketing Handbook by Robert W. Bly. Buy it now on Amazon Barnes & Noble
Webinars have long been an effective tactic for content marketing. Your potential customers can hear you speak and see your slides directly on their computer screens. A typical sales funnel for a content marketing campaign with a free webinar is:
- Set up a webinar registration page.
- Route traffic to the registration page with an email invitation.
- Hold the webinar.
- Make a special offer at the end of the webinar.
- Follow with emails reminding attendees and registrants of the special offer.
The biggest problem with webinars is that more and more companies are producing them. That means the web is crowded with them, making it more difficult to get attention for your event. Create your visual webinar presentation like a high-quality sales letter, including all the elements that lead to the conclusion of a sale.
Schedule sales tracking early. Too often a great webinar or teleseminar wastes a lot of work and money because leads are not processed quickly. Don't make this mistake. It is better to over-prepare for follow-up by automating as much as possible and creating reports to review the process and track the results. After all, the most important metric for the webinar is mostly the revenue attributed to the event.
Here are eight other ways you can improve your webinars:
1. Use a topic that attracts participants
Which topic is likely to attract more participants: a] "How do I buy our product now?" Or b] "Make your business life easier with new strategies"? If you said b] because it promises to be of use, you are right.
If you test different topics, you will find that the promise of an interesting, timely and educational webinar is best. Your presentation should be "solution-oriented". So give participants practical ways to solve their problems. Of course, this topic should match the actual goal of your presentation: training, lead generation or product launch.
2. Research to target the right people
It would be impractical for me to market a teleseminar on getting started with e-book writing to people who were already successful e-book authors. I have to search for forums, chat rooms, email groups or e-zine lists aimed at the beginning e-book author. When you find an interesting topic, create a sales follow-up plan and build your event marketing plan from there.
3. Temper your expectations of presence
You should expect an exhibition rate of around 30 percent of those registered for a free webinar.
If your numbers are well below that, make sure you have day and 24 hour reminders via email. Invite more interested parties to your event and invite them several times.
4. Use polling questions
Most leading webinar platforms allow you to preload interactive survey questions into a presentation. You can collect attendee-specific data that can help you customize this and the next webinar. Ask things like:
- What interests you most about this webinar?
- What is your biggest challenge today?
- Where are you in the buying process?
- Would you like more information about our new technology?
5. Crafts to meet certain needs
You can create a webinar to meet all content requirements, e.g.
- Educational marketing events
- List or database creation events
- One-to-many sales calls
- Thinking events
- Customer training
- Sell or resell events
- Thank you or loyalty events
For example, you can hold database creation webinars to replenish the top of your sales funnel. Other webinars help keep your prospects and customers informed over time, which in turn helps you achieve your marketing, sales, and organizational goals over the long term.
Choose your technology with a view to your overall goal. You want a reliable web conferencing solution that is compatible with a variety of operating systems. It should be scalable to the size of your audience and include the features you are looking for: queries, questions and answers, and recording. My favorite is Webex.
6. Focus on live events first
There are many reasons for this, including the use of survey questions, the ability to answer live questions, and the immediacy and excitement that participants create from a live event.
You can always use a recording of a webinar just for presentations as a sales tool on your website, but the live events really create relationships and build your business quickly.
7. Inspire and motivate perspectives
Let your attendees try to buy or contact you for more information. Also consider a limited time offer for webinar attendees to add incentive and urgency to your call to action. This can be a simple but effective way to get more results from your webinars. If you are running a training webinar followed by a sales presentation, ask them to continue to "get more information on how they can use the information presented with [your product or service]".
8. Talk to energy
Be enthusiastic. Your exuberance and your friendly personality can inspire and motivate your participants. Join conversations and feel comfortable enough to ask questions when you have chat or Q&A enabled. Have fun with your presentations!