One of the biggest marketing buzzwords of 2014 has been ‘webinars’. Many organizations began to notice how effective they were at providing value and converting potential customers. Social Media Examiner even used webinars to host a month-long conference that was completely online.

The impact has no doubt been tremendously positive for most that have used this format. Yet, we wonder if the availability of webinar tools, which connect us to the masses, has taken away from the more intimate meetings, which can be particularly influential on marketing efforts. In today’s digitally connected world, it only takes delighting a few, or sometimes even one person, to get your brand name and customer service quality to go viral.

Online meeting tools are mostly used to discuss business with clients and colleagues, but they have great potential to be a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. They are accessible to people anywhere in the world, like webinars, but give a sense of exclusivity.

Businesswomen having an online meeting

Let’s explore some of the ways using online meetings can be used to promote your business.

Build Relationships with Key Stakeholders

Online meetings are not just for clients and colleagues: They are great to engage brand advocates, influencers and unhappy customers.

Social media helps you connect with fans of your brand, but the medium is limited in its ability to develop any in-depth relationships. Once you’ve identified those that are truly passionate about your brand or your products, you’ll want to extend that relationship outside social media channels. Online meetings are a great way to do this. They allow your advocates to meet and talk with a representative of your business – and with each other! Such a gathering can be great for product research and getting suggestions for improvement on marketing.

While your advocates share their love for you with friends and social media connections, influencers are not always super fans but they do have a large fan base of their own that aligns well with your target audience. These are media personalities, bloggers and persons with large social media followings. If you have an international or online brand, potential influencers could be all over the world. A small gathering with these individuals to showcase your products and discuss how you can forge mutually beneficial relationships can go a long way.

Another set of individuals that can definitely benefit from some one-on-one time with your business is unhappy customers who are vocal about their negative experiences with your brand. A customer who complains about your product or service typically wants three things: acknowledgement (that their issue is genuine), a solution to their problem, and an assurance that it won’t happen again or that it isn’t a typical occurrence. Sure, this can be done via email or a phone call, but a face-to-face chat (even if not in person) can be way more effective. A disgruntled customer who feels that a negative situation was handled well by a company usually turns into one of its strongest advocates.

Employee training

Provide Exclusive Product Showcase or Training

Speaking from experience, there’s nothing that makes a customer feels more special than when they are singled out from the masses and given a special offer or asked for feedback.

When you set up your Twitter Ads account and you start advertising, a representative contacts you to offer a free consultation to help you figure out their platform and the best way you can use it. When SumAll releases a new product or feature, they contact existing customers and offer to give them a free trial of the product and request a chat to discuss feedback. When you identify an advocate of your brand and tools on social media, mail the person a personalized, handwritten card.

Most average people will know these are marketing tactics – but they work! Online meetings with a few select customers and fans can have a similar effect. They can be used to help customers identify effective ways of using your product or giving them an exclusive look at new products. This will make them feel special and that their usage of your brand is truly appreciated.

To get the maximum marketing effect, reach out to customers individually via email, rather than through a mass message on social media channels. Additionally, make sure to follow up post-meeting to let them know you are available to answer any questions and provide collateral and snippets they can share with friends. Offering an incentive for spreading the word is also an option, they are much more likely to be enthused affiliates when they are comfortable with the brand they are promoting.

Web meeting

Promote Your Brand and Message

There has long been a debate about effective frequency, or how often a person has to be exposed to a brand before they are moved to purchase. Some argue as little as 3 while others say up to twenty, most have settled on the magic number 7. The one undeniable fact is that the more times a person is exposed to your brand, the more recognizable it will become and the more likely they are to become a customer.

It should come as no surprise then that having your branding front and center for an entire conversation is a really great way to make it stick.

This online meeting platform allows you set up your own custom branding and personalize the interface persons see when meeting with you. This is a prime opportunity to present your logo, brand message and even a specialized link that leads to a landing page with an offer just for the people you meet with.

Of course, depending on the type of business you run, there are other ways online meetings can help you promote your business. These are only a few ways that we think can benefit almost any business. Take some time to determine how your business could potentially benefit from implementing online meetings as part of your marketing strategy.

Would you like to meet your distant customers face-to-face? Would that help you in your marketing? Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts