Webinars are hot.
From small businesses to big enterprises, everyone seems to be recognizing the benefits of a webinar now.
Professional events and trade shows are getting canceled around the world because of the COVID-19 crisis. So many businesses are looking for ways to reach out to their target audiences digitally.
And webinars are a great way to connect with your audience.
If you aren’t already leveraging webinars to grow your business, it’s time to get started. Before we discuss the benefits of a webinar, let’s take a look at what a webinar is.
In simple terms, a webinar is just like a seminar, but on the internet. It can be any online event that is attended by a web audience.
Typically, webinar participants can see and hear the presenter of the event online. In a webinar, you can share videos, images, as well as PowerPoint presentations.
Additionally, you can give interactive presentations to your audience. Some webinar applications also allow you to use their screen capture feature so that you can show your audience a particular website or application.
A webinar also provides you with an opportunity to host a poll, survey, or simply ask your audience questions.
Using their whiteboard, live chat, and other features, all webinar participants can also communicate with you.
Webinars are particularly well-suited for making business or marketing presentations. They are professional, yet they allow you to be engaging and creative.
For instance, you can begin your webinar with an introductory video about your brand and product.
Next, you can follow it up with a series of slides highlighting the key features of your product. You can also add a live demo to outline the benefits. To round it up, you can host a Q&A session with your audience.
In a nutshell, you can create a sequence of content or a storyboard with a webinar service provider beforehand to engage your audience.
The best part is that you can create a webinar for different stages of the customer journey.
Isn’t that awesome?
Here are some of the webinar types that your business can explore:
Now that you know what a webinar is, let’s move on to discussing webinar benefits.
Not sure how a webinar can help your business?
Still on the fence about creating your own webinar?
Let’s clear up all the confusion. In this section, let’s look at the key benefits your business can reap by leveraging webinars:
When it comes to trade shows, geographical location is everything. After all, you can only reach out to an audience where a particular show is happening.
But that’s not the case with webinars.
One of the biggest benefits of a webinar is that it enables you to reach out to participants and sponsors anywhere in the world. There are no geographical barriers because you’re online. You can be sitting in the US while your audience is viewing you from Australia.
Anyone with an internet connection can join your webinar.
You won’t have to arrange travel, lodging, meals, and other facilities for presenters or participants. Logistics and planning won’t take up your time or energy. You don’t even have to send your marketing and sales teams to events far away.
Webinars make it possible for you to build your professional network and connect with your target audience globally.
Without leaving the comfort of your home, you can reach out to a large number of people online. This webinar benefit is especially useful for companies that are global or have target audiences in different countries.
If you can iron out time zone differences, webinars offer a great opportunity to grow your business.
Business owners need to spend a considerable amount of time, money, and resources to build their brand identity. From creating a unique logo and choosing brand colors to building a brand voice, there is a lot of work that goes into branding.
Webinars present you with the opportunity to enhance your brand identity online.
During your webinar session, the attendees will get exposed to these branding elements repeatedly.
If you design your presentations and content smartly, you can reinforce your brand identity. After repeated exposure, there is a chance that your brand recall value may increase.
To make the most out of this situation, you can leverage white-label reports. In addition to this, you can also design your content in such a way that it increases your brand awareness.
While the key benefits of this strategy may not be quantifiable, they can help you strengthen your overall brand identity in your niche.
Lead generation is necessary for all businesses to survive. Without generating quality leads, business growth will be stunted. However, finding qualified leads is easier said than done.
That’s where webinars can help you.
For your webinar’s registration process, you can collect details like name, email address, phone number, and other information. When someone registers for your event, they directly become a high-quality lead. That’s because they have already expressed their interest in your webinar.
Once they are ready to opt-in, they are already familiar with your brand. This can make it easier for you to move them along the marketing and sales funnel. This, in turn, can boost your lead generation efforts as well as your overall conversion rate.
Additionally, you can also ask attendees to provide more information during the live chat, online polls, or Q&A sessions. It’s a non-intrusive way of collecting high-quality leads and building your sales contacts.
If you want to convert your leads into paying customers, you need to show them that you can provide them with tremendous value.
The first step in the process is to educate your target audience about how your product can solve their pain points. The biggest benefit of a webinar is that you can naturally highlight the value of your products.
Webinars create a virtual space where you can talk about why your products are great to an interested and engaged audience.
You can leverage this environment to nurture your leads and build a relationship with your target audience.
If done right, it can be as good as visiting a prospect personally or jumping on a call with them. The biggest benefit here is that it provides an online space to nurture your seasoned, quality leads. On the other hand, you can also leverage webinars to form a great first impression.
In fact, a survey showed that webinars are one of the most effective channels to generate qualified leads and help with conversions.
Image via HIPB2B
Another benefit of hosting a webinar is that it can help you project yourself as a thought leader in your industry or niche. To build authority, you need to ensure that you are providing your audience with insightful information.
Your target should be to answer your audience’s questions. You can solve their problems by educating them about your product in your webinar. If your audience finds value in your webinars, they are likely to look at your business as an authority in the space.
Through thought leadership, you can attract new leads and grow an audience online. Keep in mind that to be regarded as a true thought leader in your space, you’ll need to consistently deliver valuable webinars and content.
You’ve got to be in it for the long haul to create an impact in your community.
Regardless of the industry that you’re in, this is a well-known thing in the business world:
Acquiring a new customer is tough.
In comparison, it is easier to retain an existing customer. That’s why successful businesses put effort into retaining their current customers.
That brings us to the question:
How do you retain your customers?
One of the best ways to maintain relationships with them is to keep them engaged.
Webinars offer two main benefits:
First, they provide a better scope for building your online engagement. When an audience sees a promotional video, they only passively consume your content. However, during a webinar, there is scope for interaction. They can participate in polls and Q&A sessions and even express their opinions via live chat.
Not only does it open up lines of communication, but it can also lead to increased engagement. If you are focused on building a community, this can be a major webinar benefit.
Secondly, your brand gets a human touch. Through webinars, presenters can become the face of your brand. This can go a long way in winning your audience’s trust and building credibility.
The scope to drive online engagement via webinars is huge. However, only 40% of all demand generation webinars leverage these features.
Image via GoToMeeting
Make sure you don’t miss using these features to host an engaging webinar.
Hard-selling techniques don’t cut it anymore. Not only are they ineffective, but your audience may also view such strategies as intrusive. If you want a solid brand reputation, you need to avoid the temptation to hard-sell your products.
What’s the alternative?
How can you soft-sell your products online?
Webinars allow you to focus on educating the customer along with selling your products/services. In your webinar, you can touch upon customer problems and how your products or services can help. This is the point where you can organically highlight the benefits of your products/services.
The biggest advantage of webinars is that you can also experiment with multiple content formats. This can make a world of difference and allow you to share insights and demonstrate the abilities of your product.
By the end of the webinar, you can also provide discounts to motivate your audience to make a purchase.
As we already discussed, webinars don’t require you to rent out a physical space. Unlike trade shows and in-person seminars, you don’t have guests coming from different places. Logistically speaking, it’s much easier to manage a webinar than an in-person event.
That’s not all.
Because you are not renting out conference halls and auditoriums, the costs involved in hosting a webinar are very low. You can also save money that you would have spent on hotel stays, refreshments, and providing other facilities.
The only requirement for a webinar to run successfully is a stable internet connection. If you are thinking of cost-cutting while reaching out to a large audience, a webinar is the perfect alternative.
Overwhelmed by the effort that you may have to invest in hosting a successful webinar?
Not sure if it might be worth it?
Well, webinars can help you reap long-reaping benefits, long after your session is over. The best thing about webinar platforms is that they allow you to record your entire session. That extends the shelf life of your webinar content.
You can edit your webinar videos into easy-to-consume short social media videos. Alternatively, you can also display PPT content as infographics or other social media content.
You can also upload the entire session to YouTube or convert it into a podcast. If writing is your forte, you can turn your webinar session into a series of blog posts or even an ebook.
The possibilities to repurpose your content are endless. Plus, it can save you a lot of time and money that you would otherwise have to invest in content creation and production.
Just starting a new business?
Don’t have a large audience base for your webinar?
To attract more people, you can invite well-known subject matter experts in your field to host the webinar for you. The biggest benefit of inviting speakers to your event is that you can piggyback on their reputation. This, in turn, can boost your influence and authority in your field.
If they are hosting your session, you can also attract their loyal followers. All in all, webinars can be a great way to build your visibility and influence.
For webinars, you can explore different formats as well. Single speaker events, interviews, multiple speaker sessions — it’s all possible. When you host a webinar, you can pick any format that suits your budget and goals.
While free webinars are great for attracting a large audience, you can also choose a paid format. If you already have established your credibility and have a large audience base, you can opt for paid webinars.
They can provide an added revenue stream to grow your business. However, keep in mind that you need to ensure that paid webinars especially are full of valuable content.
As we discussed, the benefits of a webinar are many. If you want to reach out to a broad audience, and boost your engagement and conversion rate, webinars are the way forward.
Ready to take the plunge?
To host your own webinar, you’ll need to first pick a webinar hosting platform. If you are new to webinars or are short on time, you can leverage Flow’s automated webinar session.
Using this feature, you can simulate the experience of a live webinar minus the hassles.
It’s designed in such a way that you can combine your pre-recorded content with live polls and interactions. The app’s Smart Storyboard feature also allows you to preload all of your content blocks and assign necessary permissions to speakers.
The biggest benefit is that at the time of hosting the webinar you don’t have to worry about the technical logistics involved. You can get everything done in advance with Flow so that your webinar runs smoothly.
Flow also comes with built-in APIs to help with webinar registration, SSO, reporting, and more. Additionally, it provides detailed webinar analytics and options to link your webinar to your marketing stack and CRM.
From increased reach and visibility to getting more leads and saving money, there are many reasons why you should host a webinar. To boost your influence and credibility, you can even invite other experts in your industry to join your webinar.
All of this, without seeming pesky or intrusive to your target audience. Through a webinar, you can demonstrate your product’s benefits and promote it in a subtle manner.
The best part is that hosting a webinar is extremely affordable for a business of any size. You just need access to a stable internet connection and a good webinar hosting platform.
Once you have an established audience, you can even turn webinars into a revenue stream for your business.
Sounds great, right?
What are you waiting for? It’s time to host a webinar!
Check out Flow now.
Got questions about webinars? Need more information on webinar benefits? Let us know in the comments section below.