Ever since I started online marketing, I have been told that hosting webinars can be one of the most effective ways to generate sales of high-end products, services, or tools that you either own or are promoting.
Based on my experience in the off-line marketing and sales world, I could immediately see why. It is a chance to get a captive, targeted audience that wants to hear about what you are offering, something any salesperson considers a prized situation to be in!
Today we are going to go over just what a webinar is, why you should use them in a little more detail than my statement above, and then go over the 10 steps involved in putting a successful webinar together…
Following that, I will be offering you some additional training that you can secure for yourself to learn even more what is involved and also will provide you some great tips on what to do and what not to do…
Let’s get started!
WHAT IS A WEBINAR & WHY USE THEM
This at first blush seems to be a couple of nonsensical questions but I assure you they are not. If you are going to start with anything, no matter the subject, these are the questions to ask!
In my mind, you should ask the following questions about anything you are considering adding to your online marketing program: What? Why? How? Where? When?
Getting answers to these questions will provide a clear picture of what the tool is, how your program will be helped, how to go about using the tool, and what you can expect the results to be for you…
So…What Is a Webinar?
A Webinar is a web-based seminar or meeting that is attended and viewed by selected participants over the internet.
Often you may hear of them being referred to as an “online workshop” or an “online seminar.”
What Are They Used For?
They have many uses. In the IM world, you can use them to:
- Teach a subject to a group; help build your brand;
- Generate sales of high-end products;
- Attract new prospects for your programs;
- Conduct a live press conference;
- Make corporate announcements, and even
- Conduct focus group meetings…
The actual set up for Webinars is very similar to a conference-based seminar…The difference is that participants can listen to your audio and view your presentation through their web browser.
What Is The Main Benefit?
The main benefit of a webinar over a video or audio is the added interactive element that is available…Participants can discuss, provide input and receive information and input from other participants live.
This is different from a “webcast” which does not allow such interaction. It also is a concept that is starting to be replaced by live casts of presenters using mediums such as Blab, Periscope, Facebook Live, and others…
The webinar concept is starting to be replaced by live casts of presenters using mediums such as Blab, Periscope, Facebook Live, and others…Many people may tell you that webinars are so “yesterday!”
But these newer mediums are still less focused than the webinar is, and although evolving, they still are not as good in many situations as the tried and tested webinar format.
Meanwhile, more and more businesses have discovered the advantages that webinars have to offer and have started offering them in addition to or instead of more traditional face-to-face seminars.
More Advantages To Using Webinars…
What makes webinar’s so attractive is their flexibility, affordability, efficiency and effectiveness…
Another plus is that participants don’t have to travel in order to attend a webinar. They can learn from their office or in the comfort of their homes at times that are convenient for them.
Being able to digitally record their presentations for future playback is also giving business owners the ability to reach a much larger audience over a longer period of time.
They also help businesses cut down on traveling and other expenses that they would normally incur with more traditional seminars and conferences.
To host or attend a webinar all you need is a computer, internet access, and a phone line. You can also include downloadable materials like handouts, printable checklists, and other reference files.
Where and When You Can Use Webinars.
Webinars not only help business owners reach larger audiences, they help them reach them faster than ever before…
They make it possible for colleagues across the globe to meet, work and collaborate as a team. These can be hosted as your schedule permits, and people from everywhere can attend.
For attendees and presenters, this concept means there is a common meeting place using a predetermined website where all can easily interact no matter where they are or what time it is.
There are many different formats that can be used to plan a webinar, you are only limited by your imagination as you start to plan for and create your webinars.
Here are a few examples:
This format is well-suited for providing an environment where transferring skills and knowledge effectively is possible. When used for training, most running times are about one hour.
To help supplement the video and discussion, you can prepare and offer downloadable handouts and exercises for attendees to complete either during or after the training.
You can also have a Q & A session at the end, and offer a special tip at the very end to keep people tuned in and engaged…
Full Training Courses
This use of webinars for a course is largely an expansion of the above concept…
You can present a complete multi-module training course using a series of shorter webinars rather than one long running webinar, or you can add more training.one.
The average running time for a webinar session when planning for these would be about 30 to 40 minutes, although it can vary depending on what the subject is.
Giving Keynote Presentations
This may be a quarterly report, a company update, or a corporate mandated training session. Anything where you as a presenter will do most of the talking, and follow that up with a brief Q&A session at the end portion of the presentation. This gives attendees their chance to interact with you. These can run anywhere from 45-60 minutes generally…
Sharing An Interview With An Expert
This is a great format for a webinar. You can bring in experts that will offer expert advice for your audience. It can be conducted as you do other webinars except you are interviewing the guest expert while your attendees listen in on your conversation. Again you can leave some Q & A time at the end of the interview…
One on One Coaching or Mentoring
Although I think platforms such as Skype may be better suited for one on one coaching or mentoring, certainly the webinar format can also be used.
Just as when using Skype, with this type of webinar you’ll be asking the open-ended questions and then having the client answer them. You guide the flow of the conversation to achieve the desired goals…
Some may say the days of webinars are numbered because it is less effective than meeting in person…Or they may comment that webinars are cumbersome and less useful than using the newer platforms such as Facebook live…,
But nonetheless, even with the drawbacks that may or may not be true, today the interactive discussion that you get with a captured audience of persons that have expressed an interest in attending can still be an effective method of communication.
Remember that discussion boards most webinar platforms allow and the use of them for an open exchange through discussion of knowledge and information is an attractive feature. The host and all attendees can freely view and participate.
In fact, these discussions can be maintained and added to online and it can be made available for anyone to review it at any point of time, at any hour…This means that it remains a living and valuable running dialogue, something that having a physical one-time meeting cannot provide.
So far from being a dying medium or platform, webinars are still the first choice for web conferencing. This is the case because they are easy to set up, they are affordable, and far more effective than having people travel to a site from around the globe at great expense and time.
OK, so now you understand the power and uses of webinars and also when and where to use them…Now let’s get into the “how” of webinars…