Should You Or Shouldn’t You? The Case For Adding Webinars To Your Content Strategy
These are the top reasons to incorporate webinars into your marketing mix, along with a review of best practices to help you succeed.
If you’re somebody that loves attending industry events but doesn’t have the bandwidth to physically attend a different one each week (who does?), then webinars are probably your jam.
A webinar is a live, web-based event, presentation, seminar, or workshop that uses audio visual communication to connect presenters and attendees across the globe. Basically, they provide real-time or on-demand opportunities for participants to learn or further their knowledge, just as they would at an in-person event.
Although there are still some companies that are unsure or intimidated by the idea of hosting webinars, a recent study found that over 60 percent of marketers are incorporating them into their overall marketing strategies. This makes sense because between 20% and 40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads. Not too shabby.
If you’re one of those who haven’t begun doing webinars yet, and you need a little nudge to get there, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are a few reasons you should be doing webinars
They position you as the brand expert
Hosting a webinar puts you and your brand in a unique position of authority. This type of presentation is like a virtual forum of like-minded people, and those people have deliberately chosen you as the subject matter expert to educate them.
In addition, since this is a platform that fosters interactivity, it allows for a stronger connection with your audience. And because webinars are generally free, they help you to earn the trust of your prospective customers and allows you to deepen your relationship with current clients.
They help you generate high quality leads
Webinars are awesome if you want to bulk up your email lists, but they’re even better for measuring the quality of your leads. The people that register and attend your webinars are much more serious than those who simply fill out a form to get access to a piece of content. They are making a commitment to attend your virtual event, which signifies their level of engagement and interest in a deeper connection.
In addition, you can obtain more detailed information from the leads that opt-in to attend a webinar than you could with another kind of gated offer.
They promote engagement
One of the most valuable aspects of a webinar is the opportunity for attendee engagement. And what is one of the highest indicators of an interested lead? Their level of engagement.
Through Q&A sessions, live chats and polls, and other feedback options, attendees are given a safe platform on which they can easily correspond with you, allowing you to identify who your hot leads are, and who may benefit from more resources or information.
They broaden your reach
Webinars have no geographical boundaries. They are accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. If you are interested in reaching global prospects or targeting leads from different regions, webinars are a great way to accomplish that. The potential roadblock is working around different time zones, but you can always opt to turn your live event into an on-demand resource for anyone who missed it.
Now that the benefits of webinars have been reviewed, it’s important to educate yourself on best practices before diving in head first.
Here are some of the most notable webinar best practices to consider
- Keep them between 30 and 45 minutes long. If you can’t generate enough content to fill at least 30 minutes without adding fluff, then reconsider your topic. Conversely, if your topic requires more than one hour, then it’s best to divide your presentation into two parts.
- Promote them. Studies show that most people will only commit to attending one webinar per week. This means that you have a lot of competition vying for your viewers’ attention, so it’s important to be strategic with your webinar promotion. Seventeen percent of webinar attendees sign up more than fifteen days in advance, so you’ll also want to shoot for a long promotion cycle. Mid-week emails will be the most impactful.
- Mornings are best. Contrary to popular belief, which suggests that the lunch hour is the best time to host a webinar, statistics show that people prefer to attend those that are hosted at 10 or 11 o’clock in the morning, instead.
- Avoid Monday’s and Fridays. These tend to be the busiest days of the week, and also the ones that most will use as their vacation days. Your safest bet are Tuesdays, which seems to be the most favored by webinar attendees, but Wednesdays and Thursdays are also solid choices.
- Always provide an opportunity for Q&A at the end. This is your time to engage with your audience and answer their questions in real-time. Factor your Q&A session into the overall running time of your webinar, and plan for it to be about ten minutes, to start. Have a couple of questions in your back pocket, just in case your audience needs a little warming up.
- Record them. There will always be interested people who are unable to attend your live webinar, so consider recording them and leaving them up for as long as possible to increase your number of views.
While webinars certainly aren’t new, they continue to drive quality leads and take on bigger roles in the marketing and sales process, year over year. But remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Educate yourself on webinar best practices before going live, and if you’re not passionate about the topic, then rethink and rework it.
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