Imagine this: You’ve just launched a new product or service offering, or are expanding into a new market vertical. Your team has logged countless hours of research, planning and execution to get the venture off the ground, and now it’s time to share it with potential customers. But how?
You’ve already tackled the obvious owned media, like your website or social media pages. But there’s one tool you may have overlooked — the webinar.
Webinars are online seminars that connect your brand with an audience in real time. They’re especially effective when it comes to interacting with your audience on a personal level and sharing your expertise as a subject matter expert.
The best part? Webinars don’t require a massive budget. In fact, the typical webinar cost ranges from $100-$3,000, which can be manageable for even small businesses.
If hosting an informational webinar has never been on your radar, here are five reasons to rethink its role in your overall content marketing strategy:
1. Facilitate lead generation. When you present a webinar on timely topics or useful how-tos, this can be a great way to generate qualified leads. Plus, prospects who sign up will provide their contact information, allowing you to follow up after the event with a white paper, newsletter or exclusive offer to keep the engagement going.
“Webinars are a regular part of our marketing strategy,” says Jane Tabachnick, founder of book publishing imprint Simply Good Press. “They provide us with a positive way to interact with our prospects and clients. By being able to demonstrate our expertise and offer value, we are building connections and trust. While we don’t pitch on webinars, they often generate qualified leads for us.”
2. Build trust. How often (if at all) do you get to personally engage with your prospects? Including a Q&A session at the end of your presentation allows you to directly respond to audience questions and concerns, which provides valuable data to guide future messaging efforts.
For attendees, interacting with your brand on a more personal level can help build customer relationships that last. Be sure to reinforce those relationships right from the start with a well-planned nurturing campaign that rolls out post-webinar.
3. Demonstrate thought leadership. Webinars can convey your brand’s thought leadership in a conversational manner. This is an opportunity to be inspiring and authentic. You can position your brand as a go-to authority in your niche by sharing your viewpoints and offering your audience a deeper understanding through the power of voice.
4. Continue the conversation. Ideally, 100% of your webinar viewers will end up as your customers. But that’s not realistic, according to David LaCombe, founder of Imperatives Delivered.
LaCombe explains, “I believe in webinars’ value if they are created using a realistic conversion expectation. Too often, there is an expectation to derive attribution for a sale to the webinar. More realistic expectations like subscribing to a newsletter or joining a group are also wins in the long game.”
5. Repurpose content. You’ll spend time and resources creating a well-thought-out script for your webinar. And lucky for you, it’s not a one and done product. Think about all the ways you can repurpose the content in a blog post, a video or even broken down into social media posts to keep gaining traction.
Pro tip — Don’t use webinars to sell. Create value by sharing useful information, and have a follow-up plan in place to move prospects down the sales funnel.
Another pro tip — Don’t let your content go to waste once the webinar is history. Post a recording on your website, turn the content into a blog, or create a downloadable transcript for people who’d rather read than watch.
While the pandemic is largely in the rear view, remote experiences still continue to replace in-person connections. A webinar gives you digital “face time” and a powerful new tool in your content marketing strategy.