By Oier Gil, on 10 February 2021
Webinars have become a key piece in many inbound marketing strategies. With more online activity than ever before, webinars can be excellent lead generators for brands and provide more value for users.
Here we’ll discuss what a webinar is, how to use it as an inbound marketing tool and share some tips for hosting a successful webinar of your own.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is an online training event that usually lasts between one to two hours. Combining the words ‘web’ and ‘seminar’, webinars aim to attract prospects by providing education or training on an industry or industry specific product. Prospects typically exchange some form of contact information to access the event.
Almost always free, webinars are usually hosted by an expert on the topic and also include some type of call to action. Many people can watch the event simultaneously. Benefits of hosting a webinar include:
- Increased brand awareness
- Establishing authority in niche
- Providing excellent value for users
In short, webinars are a common component of inbound marketing strategies that reinforce brand authority, generate leads and guide them towards a sale. Webinars are also utilized as a component of delivering ongoing courses such as post graduate studies.
With so many people now working remotely because of COVID-19, online events like webinars have increased in popularity. And webinars are particularly popular and effective because they are very engaging. Audiences can interact with hosts in real time by asking questions and sharing with one another. Also, if someone cannot attend a live webinar most companies record them so they can be watched later.
What is Webinar Marketing?
Webinars offer brands an efficient and effective way to generate many leads from a single event. Again, because they are so engaging, brands can interact directly with their target audience and begin building a relationship by providing valuable content and giving answers to pertinent questions.
Webinars are especially useful for inbound marketing as they move users along the customer journey. Contact information is collected upon sign up, content is delivered and leads are generated. Depending on the CTA or follow up, there are a number of ways to then guide leads to a sale.
Aside from being one time lead generating events, recorded webinars can also continue being marketing tools for attracting new customers and serve as a library of useful content for visitors to a website.
How to Host a Good Webinar
Attracting webinar attendees is one thing, but how do you deliver once they’re signed up?
Hosting a good webinar begins with a great topic and great content. It’s also vital that you are clear on what you want to achieve from the event and how you would measure it as being successful.
Below are a few tips on how to host a webinar and hopefully turn those prospects into customers.
Pick an Interesting Topic
Whatever topic you decide on, make sure it’s something your target audience actually cares about. What are their pain points? What are common questions or problems they have in your niche? What do people search for? With a bit of research you can find a compelling topic that your audience will actually want to tune in for.
Define Your Webinar Objective
What defines your webinar as being successful? Creating a clear marketing objective for your webinar is your guiding point around which everything else should be built. Maybe you just want to reinforce authority in your industry or maybe you want to upsell to existing clients. It all depends on your specific webinar objective. A clear CTA is also extremely important in giving your webinar audience a next step once the training portion is over. There should always be a next step and most people do expect it. Avoid being overly salesy here—educate first, sell second.
Provide Great Content
Like any great presentation, a great webinar needs to inform, educate and hold the audience's attention. Even if the information you’re providing is valuable, it still needs to be delivered in an impactful way. Your host should be both an expert on the topic and an excellent presenter who has adequate soft skills. Imagery and design should be clutter free and present the main points in a direct manner. Avoid the common pitfall of ‘death by bullet points’ and use images to connect with your audience.
Choose a Suitable Webinar Platform
There are many options to consider when choosing a webinar platform. GotoWebinar, Zoom and YouTube are popular options. The one that fits your project best depends on many factors and it's something worth researching. Zoom is a great option for live recording as the audio/visual quality is generally very good. Other tools like GotoWebinar and Webinar Ninja are made specifically for hosting webinars and are all in one solutions. YouTube is free, supports thousands of attendees and has a chat option.
Final Tips for Webinar Hosting
- Decide on what information participants exchange for registering. You can create custom forms that could include their email, phone number, position, etc.
- Find out where your audience spends time and use paid and organic advertising to collect sign ups
- Tap into your existing network and contacts to create buzz
- Use the OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) tool to manage your broadcast signal that’s sent to YouTube. With this free tool you can customize graphics and develop the overall visualization of your presentation.
- Try HubSpot CRM for managing your landing page, tracking leads and scheduling your emails to participants.
- Try using a second host for answering chat questions during the broadcast.
- Try having two speakers to break the dynamic if the webinar is long
- Conduct a thorough tech check before beginning
Webinars are one of the best ways to generate new leads at the moment. Online education is seeing a boom which is showing no signs of slowing down. The e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 Billion by 2025 and 98% of companies plan to incorporate it by 2020. Try incorporating a webinar into your 2021 inbound marketing strategy and see what this powerful tool can do for your brand.