Research keeps pointing its finger toward webinars as being the golden key to unlocking a treasure trove of paying customers. Sixty-two percent of established B2B marketers leverage webinars, and on average, they generate 20–40 percent of their qualified leads from registrants.
Yet for small business owners and entrepreneurs just starting out, the mere mention of hosting a webinar can sound daunting.
It’s time for you to overcome your fears about webinars and start jumping on the bandwagon before your competitors find out how lucrative they can be. It all starts with a little bit of education about what webinars are — and what they aren’t.
Webinars Aren’t as Scary as You Thought
Webinars may best be considered a cousin of onstage performances, such as TED Talks. Therein lies the initial flush of intimidation for anyone whose knees knock at the thought of public speaking. But webinars needn’t be perfect; in fact, the more real they are, the more relatable presenters seem.
Of course, no one can deny the technical aspect of the webinar, another hurdle to getting small business owners on board. However, it’s hardly something that’s impossible to master. Popular webinar platforms don’t exist to be difficult; they exist to make money. Consequently, it’s not hard to eventually find one with the right mix of tech and affordability.
So what’s left as a barrier to trying a webinar? Generally speaking, all the other unknowns: Will anyone show up? How will potential attendees learn about the webinar? What if participants ask questions that I can’t answer?
If you’re locked in the belief that you can’t handle a webinar or that your product isn’t a “webinar quality” good or service, take a deep breath, embrace the experience, and learn as you go.
People Want to Learn From You
When webinars are created and utilized properly, you can be certain your bottom line will reap the benefits, but beyond that, you’ll give your audience members a chance to interact and connect with you on a new forum. When they see you and your team as experts willing to educate, you’ll build trust and credibility with them. Plus, attendees appreciate being able to ask questions and get immediate answers by sending emails during the event.
This leads to another benefit: Your audience members will reveal a host of pain points. Leverage what you hear from them to create other webinars or online content pieces.
Finally, don’t forget that your wrapped-up webinar can become an on-demand draw on your website. Its mere presence helps your SEO as well as brand awareness. In time, a prerecorded webinar can even be used as part of the sales funnel, keeping prospects engaged and informed. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Arranging the Building Blocks of a Successful Webinar
Before you map out your presentation, remember the effective webinar traits that Ashley Stahl noted in a piece for Forbes: content, storytelling, interaction, timing, and preparation.
First, opt for an entertaining rhythm. You don’t have to tell jokes or be a Shakespearean performer, but you should add true, relevant, and personal stories to the presentation. These valuable touchpoints will make your audience feel closer to you, and you’ll no longer feel like a salesperson on a stage.
In terms of getting ready behind the scenes, always test your preferred software to avoid hiccups. Though you probably won’t need a moderator at your first webinar, you’ll want to have one on hand if your participation grows. Not only does it help everything run smoothly, but it also takes your mind off sifting through incoming questions.
To create a webinar that will ultimately yield high conversion rates and boost sales, follow these four tips:
1. Be respectful of your audience’s time
Whether your webinar lasts 30 minutes or two hours, be conscious of the clock. Respecting your audience’s time shows that you’re concerned about giving participants what they deserve without stressing them out. Content not quite long enough to fit the full webinar? As long as you’ve delivered quality, you can either stop the webinar short or lengthen the Q&A session at the end.
2. Keep your content evergreen
Unless your product or service will only matter for a few days — which is highly unlikely — aim for webinar content that won’t go stale quickly. This allows you to repurpose it for the foreseeable future.
For example, even older webinars can provide traffic through affiliate networks, positively affecting your revenue stream. In time, you should be able to measure your expected return on investment for each webinar by generating reports based on past performance.
3. Open your webinars to affiliate promotion
Affiliates can be terrific partners to spread your webinar messages. For instance, at JVZoo, we offer vendors access to our webinar platform, WebiMate, which allows them to locate promoters for their marketplace and choose which ones seem to have the right reach based on target personas. Just be sure to incentivize your affiliates correctly to forge a strong, two-way relationship.
4. Keep tabs on your customers’ ‘aha’ moments
With each webinar, you’ll have more authentic connections with customers and prospects. Write down their frequently asked questions and use their naturally occurring input to meet their needs and overcome their objections. Developing a deeper understanding of your audience gives you a leg up in knowing how to better attract qualified leads.
Well-executed webinars simply provide too many benefits for you to ignore them any longer. It’s time to shrug off your fears and dive in headfirst. By following these tips, you’ll be able to confidently engage valuable prospects and position yourself as a leading industry educator.