What is a Webinar? How to Engage, Educate, and Monetize Your Audience
You’ve heard about webinars, right? The marketing tool that every marketer is either using or wants to start using to achieve his marketing goals.
But marketers are not the only ones using webinars. Almost everyone in the business environment is using them. HR managers, Finance directors, Sales directors and even engineers, they’re all using webinars.
And it doesn’t end there. Non-business users are also using them.
Family members are using webinars to catch up and hold family meetings. Nonprofits are using them to engage with funders and program coordinators on the ground. Brand ambassadors are using them to advocate for brands.
So, what’s all the fuss about webinars?
If you’re looking to understand webinars; what they are, how and why you should use them and get tips on the best practices, then this article is for you.
It’s loaded with details and numerous examples of how to use webinars. After reading it, you’ll be equipped enough to get started using webinars and be confident about it.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is simply an online seminar. The word webinar comes from combining web and seminar. When a seminar is held over the internet, it’s called a webinar.
Webinars can be used for various purposes including video workshops, making presentations, product demos and building relationships.
Of all the industries, software and technology tops the list of those using webinars most.
To host a webinar, you’ll only need a webinar software, a stable internet connection for video broadcasting and the material you’ll be sharing with your attendees. Your computer will also need to have a webcam and microphone.
Although an in-built webcam and microphone can serve you well, buying an external set can be better. A common webcam for webinars is the Logitech Brio which can do 4K recording. The Blue Yeti USB microphone is a good option for high-quality sound.
Webinar attendees on the other hand will only need an internet connection and a viewing device—a computer or mobile device.
In some cases, they’ll need to have installed the same webinar software you’re using.
In other cases though, they’ll only need a link through which to join the online event through their browsers.
Benefits of Hosting a Webinar
Webinars have been growing in popularity. More and more businesses are recognizing the value of incorporating webinars into their marketing strategies.
And the best part is that when measuring the ROI on webinars, the results prove them to be worthwhile. J Turner Research ran a single SaaS webinar campaign and realized a ROI of 756%.
With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of hosting a webinar.
1. Capture High-Quality Leads
One of the biggest challenges businesses face has to do with capturing quality leads. Although this involves more than just using the right marketing channel, using webinars makes the whole process easier.
In fact, webinars filter out most low-quality leads by making use of a registration process. The registration requirement narrows the path to your webinar and those who fill the form are very likely interested in your content.
According to a study by GoToWebinar, hosting a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads.
Then there’s the event itself. With time being a limited and very expensive resource, someone spending 45-60 minutes watching your presentation means they’re interested. This is someone who is looking for a solution he believes you can provide.
2. Build Your Email List
As a business or marketer, one of the most valuable things you can have is a direct link to prospects and customers no matter what business platforms you’re using.
This enables you to communicate with them whenever you have a new product, an upcoming promotion or any other marketing message.
The most direct link to customers comes in the form of having their email addresses.
By virtue of requiring email addresses when registering, webinars are a sure way of building your email list. Anyone who gives you his email address is basically telling you that they’re okay receiving communication from you.
Emails are widely read. When you get an opportunity to email your prospects, you should grab it with both hands.
Something else, your email list is the true reflection of your audience size. If you think that your social media followers are your audience, consider the fact that a simple algorithm change can make your followers see your posts less often than they used to.
Whereas this might be good for individual social media users, it’s bad news for businesses. Such an algorithm change would mean that businesses have to use ads to reach their followers. In other words, you need to pay a social media company like Facebook to reach your followers.
If you want to have some control over your audience reach, the smartest thing to do is to build your email list. And you can use webinars to do that.
3. Combine the Benefits of Live and Recorded Video
Of all the different types of content, video is truly king. This is the reason YouTube is the second most-visited website in the world after Google.
Video is not only entertaining but also a good way of spreading information. For that reason, the demand for video content is very high and still increasing.
Video also enjoys the highest engagement rates. The number of times people watch, like, comment on and share videos shows that they’re the best content type to use.
Now, there are two types of video content; live and recorded. Whereas both are great for marketing purposes, live has an edge over recorded video. Just seeing the person speaking in real time and having an opportunity to interact live, makes live video better in every way.
Videos are also becoming a top priority for content creators.
With webinars providing an opportunity for both live and recorded video, you can’t afford to ignore them. The webinar itself will be a live video event and since you can record it, you can use the recorded video in future marketing campaigns.
4. Save Time and Money
Hosting a webinar is arguably the most cost-effective and time-saving way of reaching your target audience and passing your message effectively. And when you cut down on costs and save on time, the benefits can only increase.
Businesses improve their profitability in one of two ways: by increasing sales or cutting down on costs.
Marketing costs are one of the hardest things for marketers to justify. Many of them face a challenge even calculating ROI accurately.
With such situations, won’t you prefer using a marketing channel that ensures low costs?
With webinars replacing the traditional seminar, it’s easy to see how the costs are reduced to a minimum. If you just compare the costs involved in organizing and running a seminar and a webinar, it’s clear why both businesses and customers prefer webinars.
As the host, you don’t need to rent a conference room in an expensive hotel. You don’t have to factor in costs like snacks, travel, equipment and accommodation. The same applies to your attendees. No-one is traveling and wasting time in traffic.
Hosting a webinar from the comfort of your office or home means less costs and time saved for everyone.
Convincing your customers to attend the event also becomes easier. All they need to do is spare the time the webinar will take and nothing else. This way, even making a buying decision becomes easier since there is already some money saved and lots of convenience provided.
5. Position Your Brand as an Industry Leader
How do the biggest brands distinguish themselves from the rest? Simple. They position themselves as leaders in their industries.
Think about SAP and Salesforce for instance. You probably know them for what they sell. But something else they have in common is that they host events. SAP hosts its SAPPHIRE NOW event while Salesforce hosts the Dreamforce.
What do they do in those events?
They talk about their industries; the current state, the challenges and what they’re doing to make things better. They may even reveal company projects they’re working on as solutions to their industry’s challenges.
With data and results to show their expertise, these industry leaders offer solutions and advice which everyone embraces.
When brands host such events, they’re basically showing how they’re looking into the future. They make it clear that they are visionaries in the industry who are interested in solving problems and making life better. This brings them recognition and respect, even from their competitors.
It starts with having information, acting on it to come up with a solution, then making a presentation about it. All you have to do is show your understanding of the problem and the solution you have for it.
Webinars are here to level the playing field so you don’t need a lot of resources to host a big in-person event. As for attendees, you have the internet which can help you reach millions of people who are looking for solutions to their problems.
Why not host a webinar and set yourself apart as an expert in your subject area?
6. Boost Trust and Credibility
Webinars do a good job when it comes to boosting your credibility. As long as you provide valuable information during the webinar and show how your solution addresses your attendees’ pain points, you will earn more trust with both prospects and paying customers.
Webinars give you the opportunity to show that you understand your target audience and their needs. And when you introduce your solution and show them how to use it, you come across as one truly interested in relieving them of their pain.
Since webinars provide unmatched engagement, the ability to answer questions makes things even better. As you answer attendees’ questions and show your commitment to helping them, they will trust you as a solution provider.
This will lead to more sales and higher profits for your business.
In all your interactions with customers, before you start selling to them, show them that you’re really interested in seeing their lives become better. Say it and show it and you’ll attract more customer loyalty.
The level of connection and interaction made possible by webinars help you achieve this.
7. Improve Your Offering
One of the most overlooked benefits of webinars is the sheer volume of customer insight they help you collect. This happens especially during the Q&A session which comes at the end of your presentation.
As attendees ask you questions regarding your product or service, you gain insight into their challenges and learn from them how they would like their problems solved.
Considering that you can conduct polls during a webinar, you can ask the attendees to vote on suggestions made to gauge their interest. They can even tell you how badly they need the solution and maybe even pre-pay for it.
This can help you focus on creating the solution which has a ready market instead of building solutions which would need extra market research and marketing efforts to sell.
What are Webinars Used for in Business?
Webinars are used for different purposes. It all depends on what the webinar host wants to achieve.
Because of the flexibility and high engagement rates which webinars offer, they can be used for virtually any kind of interaction.
Let’s look at some of the common uses of webinars by businesses.
1. Webinars for Lead Generation
Whether you’re running an online store or a traditional brick-and-mortar store, you’ll have to attract prospects to your business. Unless you generate leads, you might have few to no customers.
Having created a buyer persona to guide your marketing strategy, you need to look for those prospects that fit your buyer person. These are the leads that will hopefully identify with your marketing messages and follow through to make a purchase.
Since every customer starts off as a lead, the more you have, the more paying customers you could potentially have.
Webinars are a simple yet highly-effective way of generating leads because of the information they help you collect through registration. When someone interested in attending your webinar gives you his name, email, address and any other information you ask for, they are essentially showing interest in your offering.
For some prospects, your webinar might be the first time they’re interacting with your brand. As such, engaging them through a webinar gives the best opportunity to create the best first impression.
Conducting your webinar professionally, showing your understanding of your audience’s pain points and sharing helpful and valuable information will go a long way in nurturing these leads.
For those who have already known your brand and solution but are yet to make a decision, webinars can help push them further down the sales funnel. This can be especially helpful if you’re operating in a complex market or have a complex sales funnel where prospects are stuck in various stages.
With a good understanding of your audience, you can create content that speaks to leads in each of the stages so as to make the most of your webinar.
As you design your presentation, focus on each stage of the sales funnel while also keeping in mind the big picture. This will enable your webinar to guide a new lead from a position of knowing his options to actually buying.
To have a clear picture of how successful your webinar has been and help you improve, define the goals you want to achieve. You can measure things like registrations, attendance rates, engagement rate and even the response rate to your CTA.
2. Webinars for Online Course Sales
Learning has no end and as we embrace new technology, there is a need to acquire more knowledge. It’s through learning that you can remain relevant and stand out in a competitive industry.
The traditional way of learning is being phased out as online courses become more popular.
Online courses come with lots of benefits, including affordability and flexibility. It’s for this reason that the industry has been growing and is projected to continue growing.
If you are an expert in any field, you need to realize that there are people out there willing to learn from you.
Students are looking for ways of reducing their education costs while saving some time. Taking an online course helps them achieve both.
This leads to increased interest in e-courses. When you combine the fact that there is increased interest in e-courses and that the market is growing, you get one thing: competition.
Teachable, our recommended online courses platform, has shown that you can make good money with online courses. One expert even made over $400,000 from online courses in just one month.
Although anyone can enjoy this kind of success, not everyone does.
Factors like your expertise and teaching skills aside, your success as an online tutor will come down to your marketing prowess. This is where using a webinar to sell your online course comes in.
With your course hosted on an online course platform like Teachable or Thinkific, you need to work on reaching as many interested students as possible.
Start by creating a website with Bluehost then create a landing page for your webinar registrations. With your target audience clearly defined, reach out to them through social media marketing and SEO to draw them to your webinar.
Using your webinar, showcase your expertise in your subject area. Share your expert knowledge, show how you tackle pain points and give freebies like ebooks to further prove your helpfulness.
As you start getting buying customers, use their testimonials as social proof. Social proof will show interested students that your e-course has benefited others. As they get convinced and buy, sales will continue flowing in.
We have written more about this topic on our article about how to create and sell a wildly successful online course. Read it to learn how to make money from your knowledge.
3. Webinars for Software Sales
There’s a big change happening in the software world. Software products used to come in CDs. Whether it was a music player, image editor or an accounting software, you would buy the product in a CD then install it in your computer.
Once you bought these products, you would install updates over a period of time until the developer created a new version which you would need to buy.
But things have changed. Software is no longer being sold as a product but as a service.
We’re using mobile devices more than desktop devices. And to ensure we can access our files on the go, apps have shifted to running in the cloud.
This comes with several benefits. Top among them include freeing of storage space on mobile devices and the convenience of accessing the same data from various devices.
With the different needs out there and the ease of learning to develop software, there has been tremendous growth in the SaaS market. And more growth is expected.
The SaaS business is a sure way of making money online and businesses are getting into it with both feet.
For business owners, not having to deal with expensive server infrastructure, paying for costly IT skills and reducing the costs of scaling means a lot. These are actually some of the advantages which have made startups register success in the SaaS business.
With little resources being required to launch a business, you can expect to hear more entrepreneurs launching startups from garages.
For your SaaS business, two things are happening. One, there is a ready market for your offering. Two, there is competition and it can come from anywhere, at any time.
Although launching is easy, getting customers isn’t automatic. With so many options existing and prospects being so well informed, you have some work to do if you’re to sell your product or service.
Selling software is not like selling any other product. Whereas it’s easy for a good picture to make someone order a cake or some food, selling software doesn’t work like this.
You have to interact with prospects, connect your solution to their problem, then show them how to use it to solve the problem.
None of the traditional marketing channels can accomplish this as well as webinars can.
Choosing a webinar guarantees you an opportunity to build the relationship with each lead. You also get to not only show your software’s functionality but also vouch for its ease of use.
With a webinar, if you run your presentation right, you can get customers to even pay for a whole year in advance. This gives you a great ROI and an opportunity to easily scale your SaaS business.
4. Webinars for Running Online Conferences
Many businesses and industries at large rely on conferences for different reasons.
Businesses may organize conferences for bonding purposes or to review company progress. At the industry level, conferences may be organized for anything from networking to releasing the latest industry news.
Whatever the reason for the conference, they are an integral part of modern business.
If you’re organizing a conference, going for the traditional physical event can be tricky. When you consider the costs associated with organizing an in-person event, it’s easy to see why conferences are moving online.
Changing your approach from a physical event to a virtual one comes with lots of benefits. These are centered on cost cutting and added flexibility in terms of engagement opportunities.
The ability to invite attendees on stage to speak is also a great plus which can be experienced without any prior planning.
Webinars also allow you to have private chats which the hosts can use to discuss an issue raised and give an agreed-upon answer. With private chats being invisible to attendees, this feature helps show that the organizers are reading from the same script, thus building trust with attendees.
This is something you can’t pull off during a physical event.
And who wants to organize an event whose success they can’t measure or will struggle to do so?
Webinars give you access to rich insights about everything from registrations and engagement rates to responses to the actions you ask attendees to take. This is important to help you understand what your audience loved and what needs improvement.
Imagine for instance that you’re hosting a physical conference and you want to know how many people are of a certain opinion. Will you count the number of hands raised?
Well, with a webinar, you can create a poll and get instant results showing you how attendees vote and the percentages holding specific opinions.
If you want to organize a conference, using a webinar will make your work easier and give you an opportunity to know how successful your event was.
5. Webinars for Customer Onboarding and Retention
You’ve worked hard to attract leads, nurture them and eventually converted some to buy your product. You’re happy about your success and indeed you should.
But is that all? Should you now go out to look for new leads as your sales team follows up on the leads who are yet to buy?
As a business owner or marketer, you need to be thinking hard about retaining your customers. This is because retaining a customer is cheaper than acquiring a new one.
If you want high customer retention rates, you’ll have to ensure that your customers have a great experience when they first interact with your product. And the best way to do this is by using a webinar.
Instead of including a user manual with every purchase—something customers never read—why not host an onboarding webinar?
An onboarding webinar will give you the opportunity to guide your customers through the “getting started” journey and help them be comfortable using your offering.
A study by ProfitWell noted that when onboarding is done well, the customer’s willingness to pay increases. This is achieved by onboarding that focuses on the value of the product to the user.
The same study compared the first 60 days of customers with a poor perception of the onboarding process to those with a positive perception. It was found that those with a positive perception have much less drop off in the first 21 days of being a customer.
A great onboarding process will ensure that your customers are happy with your product as they start using it to solve their problems.
Depending on what you’re selling, your customer onboarding process may be long or short. You may have fewer things to tell your customers or a lot. Whichever way, there’s no better way of delivering this necessary assistance than by using a webinar.
Webinars do the job well because they feel personal and offer a great experience for attendees.
Another plus for webinars is the opportunity to have a Q&A session. This is extremely important because during onboarding, customers will always have questions to ask.
Consider using on-demand webinars as these will give your customers the option of watching them at their own convenience.
6. Webinars for Employee Training
To a large extent, a company’s profitability is determined by the employees. From their skills to work attitudes, your employees play a big role in driving your company’s growth.
Many business owners understand this and that’s why they invest in empowering their employees. They organize for training, go out for team building activities and create a conducive work environment.
Organizing training for employees is an essential part of improving the knowledge and skill set of your team members. This builds their confidence and positively impacts their work output.
You probably know about employee training. But have you ever thought of conducting them using webinars?
Employee training is time-consuming and costly when it comes to organizing the event and getting everyone to attend. Yet, after all this, learning is not guaranteed.
As a savvy business owner, what do you do in such a situation?
You use webinars.
Webinars deal with the common challenges of employee training in an easy and effective way.
Take for instance the challenge of getting all your staff in one place on the same day at the same time. If your company is big, then you know that this can be a logistical nightmare.
Then there is the timing issue. Will all employees arrive on time? Will they all sit through the training to the end?
And that’s not all. Will they understand the material being taught? Is the training format the best for all of them? Will they remember everything they’re taught?
When you decide to use a webinar for employee training, you make your work easier and increase your chances of success. Since webinars are in video format, they’re very engaging. This makes them ideal for staff training since video content is embraced by all.
Geographical distance between employees will also not be an issue. And since the webinar can start live but be accessible on demand, employees can watch them later, take notes and even follow up with the trainers on any questions they have.
This flexibility and convenience is good for both the business and the employees.
7. Webinars for Product Demos
On the way to converting your prospects, you may have to do a demo of your product. Product demos allow you to show off your product while highlighting the top features which help your customers solve their problems.
Before webinars, doing a product demo meant making lots of preparations, visiting the prospect’s office for a presentation then following up a few days later.
But with the internet and all the webinar tools available, you no longer have to meet leads in person. In any case, aren’t prospects making purchases after watching a video?
Using webinars, you can conduct demos remotely and close more deals at lower costs. And with the webinar being a virtual event, a whole team can attend even when located in different parts of the world.
While conducting your demo, remember to highlight your unique selling point to differentiate your product from the competition. Your prospects will most likely be comparing your offering to the competition and so you’ll do well to point out what makes yours better.
Practice your demo to avoid a situation where you get stuck while delivering your presentation. Check the dummy data you’ll be using and try as much as possible to use data which aligns to your prospect’s industry. For example, if presenting to a hospital, use dummy patient records.
How to Create and Host a Webinar
Whatever you want to use your webinar for, the experience must be good. The webinar has to deliver on the value you promised those who register.
To do this, you have to put in some effort to ensure everything goes well. You’ll have to conduct some research and make lots of preparations to guarantee success.
Here’s how to go about it.
1. Pick the Best Platform to Host Your Webinar
The first thing you need to do after deciding to host a webinar is choosing your webinar platform. This is where you’ll record your webinar and interact with your attendees from.
There are many webinar platforms and they all come with different packages. In this article, we will cover our top picks. If you want an in-depth comparison between various platforms, please read our webinar software article.
Here is a comparison of the five webinar platforms we recommend.
Demio is a very user-friendly webinar platform. It’s easy to set up both the live and automated sessions while also offering the option of automating a replay.
It has private and public chats to allow private conversations as well as answering questions publicly. Their customer support is fast and very efficient. You can choose the live chat option or head over to their help articles to find answers to your questions.
Top features of Demio
Here are some of the features which make Demio stand out as a webinar platform:
- The user interface is very beginner-friendly so setting up a webinar is easy
- Has an intuitive interface which enhances user experience for both you and your attendees
- Attendees don’t need to download or install any software. They easily join your event through their browser
- You can apply your branding and logo to all your event materials thus creating a custom environment
- Has interactive polls which feature statistics to help you track and improve ROI
- Allows you to switch between private and public chat modes
- Attendees can @ mention other participants and use emojis in their interactions
- Automatically records webinars in HD to ensure high-quality video. You can download the video in .mp4 format, customize the replay page and even include a CTA
- 24/7 live chat dedicated support with an average response time of 5 minutes or less
- Lots of integrations including ConvertKit, MailChimp, Zapier, Active Campaign and AWeber
How much do you pay for these features?
Demio comes in three packages: starter, growth and business. Their pricing is pretty straightforward and you can easily understand what you’ll be getting depending on which package you buy.
If you’re completely new to webinars, Demio might be the best option to go with. Being very easy to use will help you get started quickly and their support will be available if you need any help.
WebinarJam is a webinar platform that’s easy to use especially since it provides instructions to guide you along the way. It comes with landing pages which you can customize to give them the right feel.
WebinarJam provides 24/7 customer support although it can sometimes take a while to get a response. You can use private and public chat for messaging attendees or hosts while the control center allows you to get help in managing the backend.
Top features of WebinarJam
Any big reasons why you should choose WebinarJam? Here are some to consider:
- Can accommodate 5,000 attendees and up to 6 hosts per webinar. This allows you to host a roundtable while reaching a large number of prospects
- Comes with built-in email marketing to help you communicate with registrants
- Provides statistics to track everything from attendance to sales
- Has an advanced messaging system which allows you to set up email replies depending on attendee actions
- You can create webinar series and even schedule them thereby increasing flexibility
- Has an “Always On” room which you can use over and over again. This is complete with your business branding and you can log in and go live within seconds
- Records your webinars in HD and provides access to both desktop and mobile devices
- Has a panic button to use in case something goes wrong e.g. frozen functionality. Pressing the panic button creates a completely new webinar session and automatically pulls in all your attendees to ensure your webinar continues smoothly
How much do you pay to use the WebinarJam platform? Their basic plan starts at $499 per year.
WebinarJam isn’t the cheapest option out there. But for all it provides, if you need the features, it’s well worth it.
WebinarNinja is simple to set up and finding solutions to queries is easy. Has an extensive knowledge base for step-by-step instructions though navigating the backend can be a bit confusing.
WebinarNinja includes built-in landing pages which you can customize as well as templates to make your work easier. Setting up a webinar using WebinarNinja is easy; it can actually take you less than a minute.
The platform allows you to play video over a webinar and the email sequences are set and ready to go.
Top features of WebinarNinja
Here are some of the features and benefits you can expect when using WebinarNinja:
- Straightforward and easy to use. You can create a webinar in seconds
- Create hybrid webinars (recorded video + live host) for maximum interaction and future use
- Has dedicated Q&A area to keep questions separate from the chat
- Create multiple offers and either display them on demand or schedule them
- Automate your webinars and choose to offer them weekly, daily or multiple times a day
- Customize your registration and thank you pages by adding your logo, choosing colors and fonts and adding a calendar feature. Allows you to create templates so you can save time in the future
- Track and measure attendance, conversion, retention rates and offer clicks to determine the success of your webinars
- Export questions as well as registrant, chat and poll data for discussion with team members to help you improve your offering
- Integrates with over 1,000 apps including ConvertKit, HubSpot, Squarespace and ClickFunnels
With so much to offer, here’s how the pricing looks like:
WebinarNinja is a stable webinar platform that offers lots of features. They offer a free trial so you can get a taste of it before deciding whether to stick with them.
Livestorm is a well-designed webinar platform that is easy to use and runs off the browser. Once you set up your webinar, it handles everything else for you. It will take care of the registration process, send out reminders about the webinar and even send an email about the webinar replay.
You can have multiple moderators working on the chat and Q&A, while allowing the speaker to focus on the presentation. Comes with an option to duplicate your settings across multiple webinars to ensure consistent and quick branding of webinars.
As a French company, Livestorm stands out for being GDPR compliant, something that has endeared it to its many European customers.
Top features of Livestorm
Here are some of the top features of Livestorm:
- Simple but powerful webinar tool with elegant user interface which you can also use for video-conferencing
- Needs no software download and installation, making it easy to get started
- Creates beautiful registration pages and sends email reminders for you. You can also customize the registration pages and emails for increased control over the content
- Makes webinar hosting and management easy by allowing you to invite team members to help you build the webinar your audience will love
- You can invite moderators to help you engage your audience on chat and Q&A
- Provides rich insights into attendee information which can be accessed by all team members for discussions later
- Integrates with many apps including Salesforce, Slack, Zapier, HubSpot, Facebook and Google Ads and Eventbrite
Livestorm has generous offers for its basic plans. The free plans are well designed to help you discover the platform and hopefully sign up for the premium package.
If you like the platform’s feature set, especially the part about being GDPR compliant, then Livestorm will be a good option to go with.
EverWebinar is a sister tool to WebinarJam. The platform is meant to create evergreen webinars. Since it’s designed primarily for automated webinars, you can use it to convert WebinarJam’s webinars into automated ones.
The interface is user-friendly while offering great functionality. It comes with a ton of marketing features including the ability to add clickable and customizable CTA buttons during the webinar. You can also segment attendees and send them different emails based on their activities.
This tool also provides deep analytics which help you measure the success of your webinar. Through the analytics, you can easily know the number of attendees, how long they attended and how they responded to your CTAs.
Top features of EverWebinar
Some of the features and benefits of using EverWebinar include:
- HD broadcasting of your webinar to all devices guaranteeing a high-quality video stream
- Provides you with a lot of flexibility in pre-configuring your automated webinars and provide audience with scheduling options
- No software downloads and installations. Works straight from the browser
- Allows one-click automation of WebinarJam webinars so you can easily and quickly convert your live webinars into automated ones
- The hybrid webinar options allows you to handle real time questions as the presentation runs on autopilot
- Comes with a live chat simulator to simulate interactions on your automated webinars
- Split test your landing page and its contents to track which version converts better
- Make visually-captivating offers which can include expiration countdown to motivate your attendees to take action quickly
One big way through which the EverWebinar team helps you get started is by offering an installment plan.
If you want to generate more leads and sales automatically, then EverWebinar is a tool you want to use. The automation power and feature set it provides beat the competition hands down.
2. Identify the Goal of Your Webinar
Before you start creating the content for your webinar, start by identifying the goal you want to achieve through your webinar. This is important because it’s what will guide all your other efforts.
The goal of your webinar will determine who you target, how you craft your marketing message and even the content you share with your attendees.
Since webinars can help you achieve different goals, being specific makes it easier to stay focused. You’ll be able to pick a particular sub-topic, narrow down your target audience (resulting in higher-quality leads) and deliver much value compared to if you just hosted a webinar because others are doing it too.
Take for instance the common goal of lead generation. If you’re looking for more leads, you’ll want to “warm up” your webinar attendees before doing anything else.
To do this, you’ll have to start by introducing your brand by telling them your brand story.
You’ll then show them your expertise by talking about the industry, mentioning their pain points and your understanding of those problems. Finally, you’ll present your offering and give them a chance to buy.
With leads, you have to be careful not to push them to buy. Leads often need nurturing that takes more than the typical 45-60 minutes of a webinar. The most important thing here is to get their contacts, introduce your brand, show your expertise then mention your offering.
If you get immediate sales, that’s great. If not, then keep nurturing.
What if your webinar isn’t targeted at leads?
You might decide that you want to engage your customers through a webinar.
Although many businesses stop engaging with their customers the moment they make a purchase, it’s important to realize that customer loyalty is never automatic. Many customers have experienced difficulty in getting support after buying a product or service subscription.
When a customer has a bad experience with a brand, chances are high that he’ll not only cut links with the brand but will also share the experience online. This will give your brand a negative image and make it more difficult to acquire more customers.
For that reason, you can use a webinar as an effective after-sales service tool to achieve different goals. This can be answering customer questions, giving product demos or showing them new features which will make their lives easier.
And when you do this through a webinar instead of something like an email, you also show the human side of your brand. You build a deeper connection with your customers, giving them more reasons to love your brand and be associated with it.
3. Plan and Outline Your Webinar
For any event to be successful, including virtual events, planning is key. You have to factor in different aspects and requirements to make the event a success.
For your webinar, planning will span several weeks before the event. You’ll also have to plan for the days after the webinar itself since you’ll be following up with some attendees as well as non-attendees.
Start planning for your webinar around 8 weeks before going live. This might seem too early but with everything that needs to be done, the more time you have the better.
At the beginning of your planning time, focus on identifying what you need and sourcing it. If you’ll be having a co-host, include him in the planning. If you’ll be the only host but will feature a guest, ask him to start preparing as well.
Part of the planning will also include creating an outline for your webinar. This will help you know what you should do and how long everything is to last.
Before creating an outline for your webinar, decide how long you want your webinar to be. As much as most last between 30 and 60 minutes, you don’t have to go by that.
If you have been engaging with your audience for some time, use the knowledge you have of them to determine the best duration. Look at everything from the audience’s perspective. Can they really stay with you for 1 hour without losing their concentration?
If your answer is yes and you have a lot to share with them, then go ahead. Otherwise, keep your webinar short.
Much of the webinar presentation will go into sharing valuable information with your attendees.
This is the most important time of your presentation. Your webinar attendees registered and showed up for your event believing that they will get value for their time. You can’t afford to disappoint them.
Resist the temptation to rush through your presentation so as to pitch your offering. If your audience feels like they’re just being sold to instead of being given value, they might even start leaving the event.
Focus on providing value and educating, not pitching. Use the education in the webinar to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to your solution. – Ryan Smith
This is the time to expound on their pain points and show how they affect their lives. Share the relevant data you have to back up your claims and show that you have a good understanding of the matter.
The last few minutes of your webinar must be dedicated to a Q&A session. There is no way attendees will attend a webinar and not have questions. The questions might not be many but you should at least expect and plan for them.
4. Design Your Webinar Slides
Webinars are indeed powerful and they offer opportunities for high engagement rates. But the engagement is not automatic. You have to make your webinar engaging and part of that has to do with your slides.
Your webinar slides should have a strong visual appeal so as to grab and sustain attention. This is necessary so as to keep your audience engaged to the end of your presentation when you can pitch your offer.
It’s important to realize that designing your webinar slides is not the first step when creating your presentation. Instead, you should start by developing a structure for your presentation.
The flow of your webinar content is what determines the flow of your slides.
Once you have your structure set, you can now determine the slides required to give flesh to your presentation. Consider this work to be a draft since you’ll be editing it in the course of your preparations.
Create a template for future use by creating the basic slides and saving the file as a template. Anytime you need to create slides for a webinar, just open the template, make changes then save the new file using a name which reflects the purpose of the webinar.
While creating your webinar slides, here are some things to consider.
The Title Slide
Your title slide plays a key role in your presentation. Being the first slide you’ll show your attendees, it works to introduce your message to your attendees.
For your recorded webinars, the title slide is what will attract viewers and entice them to click the play button. With this in mind, you have to make sure the slide looks good and communicates what the webinar is about.
Remember to display your logo on the title slide. If you’re working with some partners, their logos should also be part of the title slide.
For the background, choose an image that aligns with what your webinar is going to be about. If for example you’re talking about fitness, you can use a picture of a fitness center.
Alternatively, you can use a solid background color. This color should ideally be one that is naturally associated with the subject. For example, green is associated with the environment while blue is associated with water.
The Agenda Slide
It’s important that you tell your audience what the webinar will cover. This will create interest and build anticipation for the content you will share.
Listing what you’ll be discussing will require the use of bullet points. Make sure this is short to avoid stuffing your slide with text. The agenda slide should only mention the main points and not every topic and subtopic.
The agenda slide is meant to just give an idea of what to expect from your presentation.
The Statistics Slide
For a great and memorable webinar, your presentation must include statistics.
Using numbers is always an effective way of passing messages across. But don’t just mention numbers, be creative and come up with a simple infographic. This will have a bigger impact on driving your point home.
Statistics are a powerful way for you to show credibility and build trust with your attendees. Showing them that you’ve done your research well—or have conducted studies, helps convince them about your expertise since they can see that you know what you’re talking about.
The Recap Slide
Whatever the duration of your webinar, your attendees will rarely be able to take in the information at once and remember it all. Furthermore, having shared a lot of valuable information, it’s just helpful that you do a recap and emphasize on the most important points.
In all your webinars, create a recap slide which shows the key takeaways from your presentation.
Summarizing your presentation with 4-5 key points which your audience can easily remember will help them see the value of attending your webinar.
The CTA Slide
How else would you conclude your presentation other than by asking your audience to take some action?
The last slide of your presentation should not be a boring and plain ‘Thank You’ message. Rather it should be a strong message which inspires action from your attendees.
Whatever you want your audience to do, put it in the last slide and be bold about it. If people can sit and watch your presentation for a full hour, then they can take some instruction from you. This is especially so since they’ve already seen you as someone who is able and willing to solve their problems.
Designing your webinar slides can feel challenging. Although you don’t need to be a designer to do it, hiring a skilled designer for the job can make a huge difference.
Similar to other skills, you can find a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr who can design your webinar slides for you. Just come up with the text and any other data which you need to go into the slides and they will handle the rest.
There are also design companies which can help you with this. Some well-known presentation design agencies include Stinson, 24Slides and BrightCarbon.
5. Market (or Promote) Your Webinar
Marketing your webinar is part of the work that goes into preparing for it. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to attract a good number of attendees to your webinar.
Even if you’re just getting started and have no contacts, you can still manage to draw attention to your webinar.
One thing you should keep in mind is that all your webinar marketing efforts should be determined by your target audience. Marketing that’s based on anything else will most likely cost you a lot of money and time while yielding little to no results.
Successful webinar marketing comes down to two things: the marketing channel you use and the message you communicate.
If your target audience uses a different communication channel from the one you’re marketing on, then you won’t reach them. If you’re using the same channel but share the wrong message, then you won’t get their attention.
Which Marketing Channels Should You Use to Promote Your Webinar?
Whenever it comes to making some decisions about your business, always start by referring to your buyer persona.
Since your buyer persona defines who exactly your target audience is, it will guide you on what to consider when picking a marketing channel.
Here are three marketing channels you should consider when promoting your webinar.
1. Your Website/Blog
The first place you should market your webinar is on your own website or blog. If you don’t have a website or blog, then you need to create one. If you’re not sure whether to create a blog or a website, then just go with a blog.
What distinguishes the two is that with a blog, you publish articles which showcase your expertise. Posting valuable information on your blog helps you show prospects that you’re an expert in your subject area. This is critical, especially if you don’t have an audience yet.
Having a blog also opens up numerous ways through which you can increase your income potential. You can easily make money blogging as some high-earning bloggers do.
Focus on posting content that touches on the pain points you address in your webinar and above all, the business solution you’re selling. Use a catchy headline, use visuals in your posts and respond to any comments or questions asked by your readers.
To create your blog, you’ll need a web host. With so many out there, choosing the right one can be a challenge. All factors considered, Bluehost easily stands out as the best web host.
Bluehost has a reputation of being reliable, budget-friendly and easy for beginners. The tech support is responsive and considering that it’s recommended by WordPress, you can never go wrong with Bluehost.
After making the purchase, choose a WordPress theme that fits your style and start publishing your content.
Once you have some posts published, look for guest blogging opportunities. These will give you a chance to introduce yourself to audiences other than your own. Having your name on another blog, especially a popular one, helps you attract an audience to your own blog.
When building your blog, don’t just randomly come up with topics to write about. Do some keyword research using SEMrush to gain insight into the questions people are asking about your subject matter.
2. Email marketing
The most cost effective way to communicate with both prospects and loyal customers is by email.
Even though many marketers are still debating whether email is a worthy marketing tool in the 21st century, there’s a lot of data showing that it’s actually better than many other options.
Email marketing is first of all cheap because all you have to do is write the email. You don’t need to pay anyone to reach your targets since you have their email addresses.
Moreover, due to the reach and low costs, the return on investment is always high.
To successfully run your email marketing campaigns, you’ll need to use a specialized email marketing tool like ConvertKit.
ConvertKit works from the ground up. It helps you get started by creating a landing page for promoting your webinar on the internet while collecting email addresses. It then analyzes your blog visits to categorize visitors based on their activities there.
This provides you with the necessary insight to send prospects the right email. Relevant messaging is key to nurturing leads, converting them and building customer loyalty.
Another great option for email marketing is Constant Contact. This email marketing tool will help you with email automation and monitor email open rates to resend emails to those who didn’t open previous ones.
3. Social media marketing
Promoting your webinar on social media is a must if you’re to draw considerable attention to it. Social media marketing becomes even more important if you don’t have an email list yet.
This will be the case if you’re just getting started in business and are hosting your first webinar to promote your offering.
Social media statistics prove that these platforms offer an opportunity to reach thousands and maybe even millions of prospects. All the same, you need to choose the right platform if you’re to have success in your marketing efforts.
Generally speaking, each platform attracts a specific kind of user. These users are usually determined by age. The unique features of each social media platform are what attract users of specific ages.
Of the main social media platforms, it’s only Facebook that has users across all the age groups. This explains why it’s the biggest social media platform in the world.
For that reason, you need to include Facebook marketing in your webinar promotion strategy since it can help you reach the widest audience. Another reason you need to do Facebook marketing is because the platform offers the most effective way of targeting the right audience.
Using Facebook ads, you can narrow down your target audience using filters like age, location, relationship status and even hobbies. At the same time, using Facebook ads will help you reach even those who aren’t following your page.
6. Use the Waiting Room
Most webinar software tools have a feature called Waiting Room. This is a virtual space where attendees gather before the beginning of the webinar.
One reason for having the waiting room is to hook those who show up early and help build anticipation. It helps to get the attendees ready for the webinar and prevents them from doing other things in case they come back and find the webinar already started.
There’s however another reason for the waiting room and this is what you should use it for.
Think of what happens in a physical seminar. Those who arrive early might get an opportunity to meet the speaker outside the seminar hall and even chat briefly. This is what you should aim at.
Around 3 minutes to the start of the webinar, get into the waiting room and welcome your attendees as they “arrive” for the event. Ask them how their morning/afternoon was and have some small talk.
This interaction will help you build rapport with the attendees. It will also create a welcoming atmosphere which increases the chances of your attendees embracing your offering since they feel like they already know you.
How to Construct a Profitable Webinar Sales Funnel
Your webinar needs a solid and well thought-out plan for it to produce the results you expect. The plan which will help you attract the right audience and sell to them is called a sales funnel.
A sales funnel will help you design your webinar in a way that it attracts many prospects and smoothly leads them towards making a purchase.
In creating your webinar sales funnel, be strategic about it. Don’t just create a sales funnel; create one that’s designed to bring in high-quality leads and guide them towards buying what you’re selling.
To create a profitable webinar sales funnel, think of how you can effectively guide a prospect from the point of knowing about you to buying from you.
Although this requires both time and effort, you can be sure that none of that will be wasted. Furthermore, there are sales funnel software tools you can use to make the process easier. And when you see the results, you’ll actually be glad that you put in the effort.
In this section, we’re going to look at the steps you should follow to construct a profitable webinar sales funnel. Follow through and learn how to handle this critical part of your webinar.
1. Start by Attracting Your Target Audience
It’s easy to be excited or worried about your webinar and go straight into creating the content thinking it’s the most important thing. Sure, content is important, but great content and no attendees means an unsuccessful webinar.
You obviously don’t want that.
Start by thinking about how to get the right people to know about your webinar and register for it. Ask yourself where you will find these people and how to convince them to register for your webinar.
If you already have a business with customers you can email, then start there. But if the aim of hosting your webinar is to generate leads, then your email subscribers are out of question. Those are already in your funnel being nurtured. Unless you’re pitching a new product.
The best place to go fishing for webinar attendees is the internet. On the internet, you have the social media option of running Facebook ads or using PPC ads through Google Ads or on niche blogs. Ideally, you should do both. But in case your budget can’t allow it, then focus on Facebook ads.
Let’s look at these two options in more detail.
Attracting Webinar Attendees Using Facebook Ads
Facebook is the largest social media platform in the whole world. With 1.79 billion monthly active users, you can’t talk about social media marketing and fail to mention Facebook.
More than that, there is no social media platform which can rival Facebook when it comes to targeting the right audience using ads. Due to the large amount of data and advanced system the platform uses, Facebook gives you a lot of control over who your ads should reach.
One of the must-use filters of Facebook ads is the demographics. This allows you to target users based on, among other things, education level, political sentiments and even life events.
Besides these, you can narrow down your target audience by interests which include hobbies and fashion preferences.
Once you have your targeted audience locked, it’s time to prepare your ad. Your ad should be well crafted so as to draw attention and convince people to click on it.
Here are some quick tips to implement with Facebook ads:
- Use video – videos rule the world of content. They’re engaging and deliver results. As long as you make an interesting video, people will watch it. And with the right copy, they will follow through to your webinar landing page and register.
- Mention pain points – your ad must mention what your webinar will be tackling. This gives the reason for attending your online event. People will respond when they see that you’re offering them a solution to their problems.
- Schedule your ad to run at the right time – Facebook allows you to set the time you want your ads to run. This is helpful because you can choose to have your ads displayed on the days and at the times your target audience is using the platform.
If you want to know more about how to advertise on Facebook, read our article on Facebook marketing. It will teach you many tactics including how to sell on the platform through ads, groups and the marketplace.
Attracting Webinar Attendees Using PPC Ads
Another way of getting registrants for your webinar is by running PPC campaigns. PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns are advertisements whose cost is determined by the number of people who click on them.
Traditionally, you would run PPC campaigns through Google Ads. With time however, online business owners have developed competitive offers for those seeking to advertise on their blogs.
Advertising on websites can be a great alternative to Google Ads especially if you advertise on a high-traffic website whose visitors are your target audience. You can then pay the website owner for every ad that is clicked on by the website visitors.
Running the ads on Google will mean that your ads appear at the top of the search engine results page depending on the search query typed. This will largely be determined by the keywords associated with your ad.
Here is an image of how that looks like when someone searches for “facebook advertising” using Google.
Advertising on niche blogs could prove to be a better option since you have the guarantee of quality traffic. Since your ad will be relevant to most of the visitors, you’re likely to have more high-quality registrants than if you advertised on Google.
And the good thing about PPC ads is that you only pay for actual engagement (clicks).
2. Create Your Webinar Landing Page
Landing pages are unique web pages created specifically to help with conversion. These pages are a big part of your webinar sales funnel since they are where clicks on your ads will lead to.
Landing pages can be short or long.
A short landing page can fit into your computer or mobile device screen with little to no need for scrolling. A good example is the Outreach landing page for their webinar on how to turn a fail into a sale.
A long one on the other hand will feature copy that needs scrolling for you to read the whole of it.
MarketingProfs has a good example of a long landing page. What makes it long is the detail they provide about what attendees will learn from the master class.
A long landing page can show you how a sales funnel works. As a prospect scrolls down the landing page, he’s told about different aspects of his pain points, learns about your solution with all its benefits and finally gets an opportunity to buy.
How to Create a Landing Page That Converts
Your landing page will be doing much of the heavy lifting for you. For that reason, you need to give it the necessary attention.
Webinar platforms come with landing page templates which you can customize to your liking. Go through the templates they provide, pick one and tweak it to reflect your brand’s style and goals.
There are at least six things you need to work on when creating your landing page. Let’s take a quick look at each one of these.
1. The headline
Your landing page headline is the first message that grabs the prospect’s attention. It’s a short piece of text that says everything about your offering. It communicates a sense of the problem while showing that you have the solution.
Some landing pages have two headlines; a primary and secondary headline.
The primary headline will be in a big font and will stand out from any other text. The secondary headline comes below the primary headline, in a smaller font, giving additional information on how your solution relieves prospects of their pain.
Here is an example from Drift showing this.
When you implement a primary and secondary headline, you communicate the overall benefit of your solution better.
2. The copy
Your copy consists of every word on your landing page. From the headlines to the text talking about pain points and benefits, your copy is the main part of your landing page.
It’s extremely important that you take time to craft your copy. As you do it, think of how the prospect would go through the process of making a registration decision.
If you find it difficult coming up with copy that you’re confident about, consider hiring a skilled copywriter.
There are many professional copywriters on Upwork you can choose from to get a compelling copy that will convince people to register for your event. You can also visit Freelancer.com and Fiverr for more options on copywriters.
UserTesting gives a good example of copy written to clearly communicate the benefits of a webinar.
In this landing page, UserTesting should have broken the long paragraph into at least two paragraphs to increase readability.
All the same, their choice of words and outlining the benefits in a bullet point list as they did, clearly communicates the value attendees will get from the webinar.
3. Colors and buttons
Your landing page shouldn’t be so plain and simple to the point of having a white background and black text. You’ll need some colors to spice up the looks and make it attractive to potential attendees.
Working with your brand colors is a good idea.
Colors are a powerful communication tool. The right colors can help you get the registrations you need as they complement your webinar copy and help convince leads to register. The wrong colors can do just the opposite, causing you a lot of disappointment.
The power of colors comes from their ability to evoke emotions. For example, red is known to elicit strong responses as it can communicate danger, love or passion.
Also note that you might need different colors for different parts of your landing page. For instance, it’s unlikely that your registration form will have the exact same color as the one on the background.
Your landing page will also have a sign up button. You need to think about the color of the sign up button as well as what to call the action of clicking it. Will leads click it to “Register,” “Submit” or “Reserve My Spot?”
If you feel that this is too much to think about, don’t worry. As with everything else in these technology-driven days of the 21st century, there’s an easy solution.
The solution is called A/B Testing.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the act of testing different options so as to know which one produces the best results. You can test anything from colors to CTA text. You will show both options to different prospects and monitor the best-performing option.
4. The webinar host(s)
Your landing page must include some basic information about the host(s). This serves as an introduction to prospects to help them know who they’ll be learning from.
Information about the host(s) should include at least three things:
- Head shot – it’s important to include a picture of yourself or the team hosting the webinar. Make sure the pictures are professionally taken and everyone is smiling. This works well as a friendly invitation to the webinar.
- Name – this is quite obvious as you can’t have a picture without a name. Keep things professional and use formal names.
- Credentials – it’s important to show the hosts’ credentials. Including any academic qualifications, industry certifications or title helps inspire confidence that the content shared will be valuable.
5. Social proof
To further convince potential attendees to register for your webinar, include some social proof on your landing page.
Include some testimonials, mention people you have helped or the brands which recommend your solution.
This will greatly boost your registration numbers because social proof works like a positive review. Showing that there are people who have benefited from working with you or following your advice gives people more confidence to engage with you.
Showing the logos of brands you’ve worked with or are currently working with is another way of proving your expertise. When a prospect sees that some big companies are using your solution, they’re more likely to register for your webinar and even buy your solution.
Look at how Contify implements this on the landing page of their webinar on optimizing competitive intelligence.
What do you do if you haven’t worked with anyone yet?
In that case, just focus on the benefits you provide. Emphasize the discomfort of the pain you’re dealing with and show how you’ll help attendees solve the problem.
6. Date and time
Lastly, and quite obvious, is the date and time of your webinar. This information should be clear and easily seen.
When deciding when and what time to hold your webinar, don’t just pick a random date and time. Be strategic with your choice and choose a date and time when people are most likely to attend the webinar.
Research shows that webinars are usually attended mostly on Thursday, between noon and 6 PM.
As you plan your webinar event, keep such statistics in mind to ensure you make the best plans possible.
3. Collect Email Addresses
Email addresses are at the center of all lead generation efforts. Having a lead’s email address means that you can contact him with your marketing messages, nurture him and turn him into a paying customer.
Although you can make immediate sales from your webinar, generating leads will most likely be your biggest success. So, aim and hope for sales but focus on attracting leads you can nurture for future sales.
Now, to collect email addresses, you have to take people through a registration process. And this is where you can lose an opportunity to collect as many addresses as possible.
Your webinar’s registration process should be as simple as possible. And no matter how tempting it feels, avoid asking people for too much information.
Apart from people being wary of sharing personal information for privacy concerns, having to fill too many fields can make the registration process feel tiring.
As you design your registration form, ask for the most important information. Instead of asking for phone numbers and titles, just ask for at least the name and email address. That’s all you need to open up a communication channel with the prospect.
Bandzoogle have done this in an excellent way. They don’t even ask for your name, just your email address.
With such an easy and short registration process, bands interested in knowing how best to book a tour will register for the event fast.
4. The ‘Thank You’ Page
Should you display a ‘Thank You’ page or just a simple message confirming the registration?
Thinking along the lines of simplicity can convince you that just showing a confirmation message is better. But if you consider that a sales funnel works to nurture leads for sales, you might decide otherwise.
First of all, a good lead nurturing process includes many touch points along the customer journey to maximize the impact of your messaging. The more a lead interacts with your brand and hears your message, the more likely he is to see how good your offer is and eventually buy.
So, it’s a better idea to use a ‘Thank You’ page to confirm the registration.
Also use this page to give further directions about the webinar. As much as you’ll be communicating with the registrants over email, it’s good to give them attendance information immediately they register.
Tell them when the webinar will take place and at what time. Tell them how to join the webinar; whether it’s through a specific software tool or you’ll send them a link for the event.
Include social share buttons on your ‘Thank You’ page to let those registering spread the word about your webinar to their networks.
5. Provide Real Value Through Your Webinar
When it’s finally time for your webinar to go live, remember that you’re supposed to offer your attendees maximum value. Whatever your topic and whatever the duration of your webinar, make sure you give as much helpful information as possible.
With so many things to do, your webinar attendees need to feel that their time wasn’t wasted by attending your event. Giving great value for time sacrificed will make your attendees feel valued and respected. This will also increase the chances of them responding positively to your message.
Other than the content you’ll share, your presentation matters too. If you have valuable information but lack presentation skills, you might lose some attendees in the course of the event. Others might stick around but fail to get much value due to how you made the presentation.
Work on being relatable. Be transparent when telling your story. Mention mistakes which you’ve learned from, tell jokes, laugh and enjoy yourself.
The more comfortable you come across while presenting, the more others will be comfortable relating with you.
6. Sell Your Offering
Soon enough, your sales funnel will qualify some leads and it will be time for you to pitch your solution. How will you go about it?
At this point, your leads are quite informed. They are aware of the problems they face, have realized that you care about them and can tell that you’re well equipped to help them solve their problems.
Now what remains is for you to show them the solution, show them how it relieves their pain and give them some guarantee.
Depending on your offering, this process can be short or long. Here are some things you should consider including in your selling strategy.
Compare Your Offering to Alternatives
Informed leads are usually aware of some alternatives and you shouldn’t ignore this fact. Although different solutions come with their own pros and cons, help the lead make the buying decision by showing them the superiority of your offering.
You can easily do this by comparing your offering to the alternatives you think your attendees are considering.
There are two alternatives you can compare your solution to. A competitor’s offering and a DIY option. Comparing your offering to a competitor’s product might feel awkward. But this is something that is widely accepted and practiced. Just be objective while doing it.
On the other hand, comparing your solution against a Do-It-Yourself option is pretty easy.
Just talk about the cost of creating the solution in terms of time, money and skills required. Such a comparison will help show that it makes more sense to buy your finished and perfected product than put in the effort to build one from scratch.
Showing testimonials is a powerful sales tactic. Anytime you show that there are those who have used your offering and are willing to advocate for it, you remove any doubts potential customers have in their minds.
This is psychological selling. Prospects want evidence that other people have bought your product and benefited from it.
If you have video testimonials, use these as they’re better. If you don’t have a video testimonial, text will also serve the purpose. The testimonials should contain the name of the customer, their business and position or what the person does.
For better results, show testimonials from people who are using or have used your solution. An example is a marketer using your social listening tool or a small business owner who hired you to handle tax filing for him.
Talk About Pricing
Proper pricing is a challenge for many business owners, especially startups. When businesses fail to set their prices right, they usually end up incurring losses.
Too many businesses have gone down as a result of making losses. Despite having good products, they weren’t able to make enough money to stay in business.
Although a business can go down due to low sales, prices which are too low to guarantee sustained profitability can also be a reason.
As long as you have nurtured your leads well and showed them the superiority of your offering, pricing shouldn’t be a problem. Many business owners sell themselves short because they’re afraid of scaring off customers with high prices.
If your offering is expensive, its benefits should justify it. And if you’re not sure about it, maybe you targeted the wrong audience. Also check your costs. Maybe you can cut costs somewhere without compromising on the product quality.
Keeping costs down is almost impossible if you’ve already developed your product and marketed it using expensive options. The best thing to do is to look for ways of keeping costs as low as possible throughout your processes.
If from the start you know that your product is going to be expensive, then target a high-income audience.
You can also create different pricing packages as a way of appealing to customers who have different needs. These packages should be based on functionality so that the more the features available, the more expensive the package.
When prospects experience the basic functionality of your offering, they can more easily move towards buying one of the other packages.
Look at how SaaS businesses price their offerings and you’ll get an idea of how to do the same for your offering. Some even have a package which is completely free—for life—though it usually comes with the basic functionality only.
Here is an example of this from CCleaner, a software tool used to improve computer performance. The free package offers only the basic functionality. Anyone who wants the more advanced features has to buy one of the two professional packages.
Another option is to provide free use of the full package for a limited period of time. This is referred to as a free trial. Free trials are typically limited to 7 or 14 days. Some businesses offer free trials for up to 30 days.
When a lead experiences the full power of your solution and then receives a notification that their free trial is about to expire, they will act. With their pains having been relieved, they won’t want to go back to that painful situation.
Note that not everyone who chooses the free version will buy. Some people just need a basic solution. Keep this in mind and continue communicating with them. They might advocate for your product and lead someone else to buying.
To increase the chances of this happening, just ask them to share their love for the product with their networks. Add social share buttons to your emails and blog posts to make this easier.
What if you’re not selling a software solution?
This strategy works for all business types. You just have to adjust it to make it suit your unique business needs.
If for example you’re selling physical products, you can charge more for customization or additions. Car manufacturers usually do this. As long as you can offer more of something, you can charge for it.
Remove Obstacles to Purchasing
The final step when selling is to remove the obstacles which stop prospects from buying. These obstacles are usually thoughts which make the prospect believe that despite the offering being good, they can’t buy, at least not at the moment.
Although the prospect may come back after some time and buy, what if in that period of consideration, he finds another solution which he buys immediately?
If you want more sales more quickly, you should remove obstacles to purchasing and encourage customers to buy as soon as possible.
Here are four common obstacles to purchasing.
1. The product is expensive
The cost of a product determines how much it will be sold for and how many people will afford it. If you suspect that your target audience might feel like your price is high, you need to deal with that obstacle before it stops someone from buying.
Of course not everyone will buy and there are those who will still feel that the price is high despite your efforts. As long as your solution to this obstacle gets some people to buy, remember that you can never get all the customers out there to buy from you.
The best way to deal with this obstacle is to provide a payment plan. Here is an example from EverWebinar.
When working with payment plans, offer discounts for cash payments. Let those paying cash enjoy a discount while those who can’t or don’t want to pay cash have the payment plan option.
2. Concerns about product lifetime
You might have noticed that manufactured products come with a warranty of 1 year. Ever wondered why?
Initially, this was a way of distinguishing products. Those with a warranty were seen as being of higher quality. Today, including a 1 year warranty is standard practice. Customers even assume that all products have this warranty.
Giving a warranty for your product shows that you guarantee it will function perfectly as long as it’s used in the recommended way. This helps in convincing a prospect to buy. The big question however is, can you go beyond the standard practice and make your offering stand out?
Here is an example of a product with more than the standard 1-year warranty.
You can do something similar with your offering. Give a warranty as an assurance of high quality. Just make sure that your product delivers what you promise.
3. Product maintenance could be costly
Maybe your solution is obviously better than the ones already in the market. However, looking beyond the original purchase, potential maintenance costs make prospects decide not to buy. How do you handle this?
Let’s look at how this can be a challenge for a car manufacturer and how it can be dealt with.
Say you have a Ford truck. Just being a popular brand guarantees the availability of spare parts and affordability of service. What happens when a startup launches a new truck which clearly outperforms your Ford truck?
It tows a heavier load, goes from 0-60 faster, consumes less fuel, has a higher ground clearance and comes equipped with systems which enable it to take on any off-road challenge.
Now, the startup explains that the truck uses a newly-invented transmission system which makes all these benefits possible. From this statement, you might understand that spare parts aren’t readily available and repairs could be costly.
If you are into high performance trucks, you might want to get this truck. But the associated costs will be an obstacle for you. But what if the startup promises free spare parts and servicing for the first 2 years?
Now that’s a real incentive. Not only does it mean that the truck can easily go for 2 years without issues, you’re also covered just in case.
Dealing with the obstacles in a prospect’s mind before they ask questions disarms them and clears the way for them to make the purchase.
4. Skepticism about the product solving the problem
Have you ever seen brands giving a 30-day money-back guarantee? They’re essentially promising to refund all the money paid to them if the customer finds that the offered solution doesn’t work for them.
That’s a big risk. What if someone enjoyed the product/service for a while then decided they want a refund?
As legitimate as this concern is, it’s pretty rare that this will happen at a large scale. If your webinar sales funnel is qualifying leads as it should, the prospects who buy will be very sure about your offering. Just believing in your solution paves the way to the problem getting solved.
The money-back guarantee is used to address the doubts in the minds of those prospects who are still wondering whether to buy or not. Telling prospects that you’ll refund the money in case they’re not satisfied with the solution gives them the confidence to make the purchase.
When you show them that they have nothing to lose, they will buy because they know that their money is safe.
Here is an example from Strafford Publications. Hosting a webinar on mergers and acquisitions for which they charge $297 for the live event only, giving a money-back guarantee becomes necessary. With Strafford however, all their webinars have a 100% unconditional money-back guarantee.
Offering a money-back guarantee for any webinar you’re charging for is quite common these days. Prospects might even be surprised if you don’t do it.
Taking time to understand your prospects and nurturing them with helpful and practical advice can help reduce the chances of dissatisfaction. If your offering is also good, it’s possible no-one will be asking for a refund.
7. Follow Up
Your webinar sales funnel will still be at work even after you conclude your event. Since not all attendees will buy immediately, you’ll need to follow up with those who didn’t. This is an opportunity to further nurture the leads and increase the chances of turning them into paying customers.
Send the first follow up email within 24 hours after the webinar event. At this point, you’ll need to have two different emails; one for those who attended and the other one for those who didn’t.
For those who attended, thank them for their time. If the attendance rate was good and you had great engagement, tell them that you’ll be hosting another follow up event and that you’ll keep them informed.
Email those who didn’t attend and remind them of your solution and its benefits. You can motivate them further with some time-limited offers like discounts or other freebies.
Within 7 days after the webinar, send an email to all who registered for the event. Share the webinar slides and a link through which they can watch the recorded webinar.
Go through the video yourself to edit out any parts you think need to be cut.
1. Tips for Creating a Successful Webinar
Creating a successful webinar can feel overwhelming. But as long as you have a basic understanding of what you should do and a reference to remind you of the same, you’re good to go.
That said, here are some tips which will help you stay focused, deliver value to your attendees and experience significant success with your webinars. Know Your Target Audience
Identifying and focusing on your target audience is a must if you hope to connect with your prospects and turn them into customers. Since these are the people who will respond to your message, being clear about who they are is necessary.
The more you know about your target audience and understand their pain points, the easier it will be to engage them. You’ll be able to share relevant stories, show your expertise and convince them of the ability of your solution to solve their problem.
2. Clarify the Value Your Webinar Delivers to Attendees
When someone sacrifices time to attend your virtual event, they expect to get value for it. This is a natural expectation and you have to meet it. If you can exceed this expectation, the better.
The question is, is your webinar worth your attendees’ time?
Although this question can only be correctly answered after attending your webinar, a potential attendee will want to gauge your webinar’s value even before registering.
This means that how you communicate the value your webinar will provide will determine whether people register or not. This is a matter of messaging and that comes down to writing a good copy.
Writing a good copy doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are three basic things which your copy needs to address:
- Your target audience – these are the people you want to speak to. They are the people for whom you have created a product/service and want to sell to. Failing to specify who you’re targeting might result in generating leads who will never convert.
- Your target audience’s pain points – the people you’re targeting have specific problems they want addressed. You have to show that you know those problems and that you understand them well enough to draw a prospect’s attention.
- Your solution – the whole point of creating a webinar is to show that you have a solution to your prospects’ problems. Show that your solution relieves customers of their pain and you’ll convince more people to register for your webinar.
Remember that you can hire a skilled copywriter on Upwork or Fiverr if you need help with this.
3. Seek Valuable Partners
Partnerships are a proven way of getting your message to more people than the ones who are already aware of your offering. This is a valuable marketing strategy utilized by many businesses.
When it comes to partnerships, you need to be both careful and strategic. Careful not to seek partners who are your direct competitors and strategic so as to choose someone who complements your offering.
Let’s say for instance that you’re promoting your social media marketing business and are hosting a webinar on the subject. Instead of partnering with another social media marketer, partner with a company like Hootsuite which sells a social media management tool.
Work with your partner to spread the word about your webinar to their audiences even as you run relevant ads to attract as many attendees as possible.
4. Create Scarcity and Urgency
You can also implement a strategy that communicates urgency and prompts people to register for your webinar. These create the impression that time is running out and therefore motivates those interested to register as soon as possible.
A common tactic of implementing this strategy is using a countdown. When you include a countdown on your webinar landing page, visitors see that the time for the event is drawing near. They will want to register before time runs out.
Another tactic, which might actually be more effective, is to imply a limited attendance count. You shouldn't give a specific number here since you want to attract as many attendees as possible. Just saying that there are limited spaces available will do.
HealthCheck360 uses this well in their webinar landing page. They also add a countdown to remind you that the event day is quickly approaching.
Realizing that only a few people will be able to attend the webinar, an interested lead will immediately register so as not to miss out on the opportunity.
5. Build Anticipation
Building anticipation for your event is a must and it will go a long way in getting you more attendees.
Some of the strategies you use to build anticipation can actually help push attendees down the sales funnel even before the webinar. This is because they’ll have started to see you as a solution provider and whatever you’re selling as what they need.
There are some common and some not-so-common ways of building anticipation.
The common ways of doing it include providing ways of integrating your webinar with your attendees’ calendar apps, sending them reminder emails about the webinar and adding social share buttons to your emails.
More powerful—and more effective—ways of building anticipation include creating a teaser video of your webinar and sharing it widely, sharing interesting facts about your industry/market and emailing attendees an infographic showing statistics about the pain points you’ll address.
Use a combination of these tactics and your webinar will have a higher attendance rate.
6. Start with Free Webinars
Webinars can be free for anyone to attend or priced for paying attendees only. It depends on what you’re actually selling and what your monetization strategies are.
When getting started with webinars, it’s best to offer them for free. Hosting a free webinar gives attendees the opportunity to know you, build a relationship with you and more easily buy your offering.
With a free webinar, you’ll be giving away free valuable information in exchange for high-quality leads and sales.
Your aim with free webinars should be to generate as many high-quality leads as possible.
7. Display Your Offer Page During the Q&A Session
The best webinars are designed to offer valuable information first then pitch the solution afterwards.
After empowering your attendees and pitching your solution, keep the offer page on the screen during the Q&A session. The more attendees see the offer, the more they’ll think about it.
Your offer page, designed for maximum conversions, will remind attendees of their pain points and the solution available. It actually tells them that the solution is close enough and all that’s needed is to click the ‘Buy Now’ button.
Since it’s a Q&A session, any question an attendee has will be asked and so obstacles to making the purchase will be eliminated. This increases your webinar conversion rates and overall success rate.
8. Include Time-sensitive Bonuses to Motivate Buying
To motivate more leads to make the buying decision, you can also include time-sensitive bonuses. You can use these when marketing your paid webinar or on your offer page which you’ll display at the end of your presentation.
To provide a real incentive, offer bonuses which are truly valuable. Ideally, it should be something that either complements the information provided through the webinar or adds value to the offering you want attendees to purchase.
An example of a valuable time-sensitive bonus would be a free ebook given to those who make a purchase within 3 days. This ebook should be something you normally sell. If your webinar attendees already know about the ebook, the better.
Make sure you calculate the cost of the bonus to avoid negating your own efforts.
9. Offer Discounts
The majority of people love the opportunity to save some money. This is why they will flock stores for the weekend sale. Just a tag on a dress or shirt indicating that it sells for 25% less is enough to make someone buy even what they hadn’t planned for.
Discounts work for webinars too. When you give your webinar attendees an opportunity to save some money, there are those who will immediately take it. Others may work towards it by looking for the cash so as not to miss out.
Discounts work best when incorporated with other tactics too.
For example, you can offer a time-sensitive discount to the attendees. On your checkout page, you can implement a coupon code which automatically expires after a specific number of days.
Deadline Funnel helps you implement this very well.
10. Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the benefits of hosting a webinar is that you come across as an expert in your field. But this expertise is communicated through your presentation. Your presentation skills therefore need to be good.
Some of the reasons attendees don’t stay to the end of webinars include poor audio and video quality and poor presentation skills.
To avoid disappointing and losing the leads you worked hard to attract, practice hosting your webinar before the actual webinar event. This will help you identify potential issues and address them before they cause trouble on the webinar day.
Hosting a test webinar will also help you familiarize yourself with the webinar platform you’ll be using. This will ensure that you know how to use the various features it offers e.g. chat and screen sharing.
Get someone to attend your test webinar. Let them take note of any issue they notice. This could be anything from long awkward pauses and unnecessary repetitions to problems with the sound or video quality.
A test webinar will also help you know what you need to have for the actual webinar. You might find that you need some drinking water nearby, AC set at a certain temperature, an external microphone and webcam or a friend to just keep you company.
We’ve gathered some of the most common questions about webinars and put them together. With quick answers, you can easily get the information you’re looking for.
Most webinars are live although this is not necessary. Some webinars are recorded for the purposes of providing on-demand content that helps achieve the intended goals.
Live webinars are the best when you need interaction. Attendees can ask questions, participate in polls and you can even invite some of them onto the virtual stage to share information.
Recorded webinars on the other hand provide a lot of flexibility by always being available. This makes them ideal for training, onboarding and even as a means of nurturing leads. Live webinars also get recorded and then used as recorded webinars later.
Hosting a successful webinar has been made easy due to technological advancements. Apart from a recording device—basically any kind of computing device and the material you’ll share, the other most important thing you need is a webinar hosting platform.
A webinar hosting platform is where you’ll be broadcasting your webinar from. Webinar platforms come with many features meant to make your webinar a success. These include offering help with landing page design, sending email sequences and webinar scheduling options.
Choosing the best webinar platform requires going through various options to see which one provides what you need at the most affordable price. Such an exercise can be very time-consuming. We however put in the work and wrote an article to guide anyone comparing webinar platforms.
Since every user has unique needs, different people will go with different platforms.
Our top recommendation for a webinar platform goes to WebinarJam. The platform has many powerful features, and when you add EverWebinar to your purchase, the possibilities are unlimited. You get a unique ability to create powerful live and automated on-demand webinars.
Our other recommendation is Demio. Simple and intuitively designed, Demio helps you to get started quickly while also offering powerful features for marketing your webinar.
There are no rules for how long your webinar should be. Most are however between 30 and 60 minutes. The length largely depends on the content you’re sharing and your audience’s willingness to spend time watching your presentation.
If your webinar is meant for a short Qu0026A where you address customers’ questions and there aren’t many of them, you can be done in a short time.
However, if you’re doing a demo for a software solution, you might need up to 1 hour to guide your prospects through the journey of how your offering solves their problems.
The most direct way of making money through webinars is by charging for attending. Although not many people charge for their webinars, a highly sought-after speaker can charge for his webinars and make money from the registrations.
Indirect—and more common—ways of making money through webinars revolve around hosting a free webinar then selling something at the end. What you sell will determine how much you make.
You can sell your own products like online courses and software solutions or even physical products to make money. You can also promote other people’s products and services for an income. This is similar to how many bloggers use their blog posts to make money through affiliate marketing.
When someone buys the product you’re promoting through a special code associated with you, you earn a commission.
There is no logical limit to the number of people who can attend a webinar. Practically speaking though, you can be limited by the webinar platform you choose or the package you buy. This is assuming that you can attract many interested registrants.
When it comes to the webinar platform you choose, two options stand out for giving you space for very many attendees. WebinarJam can allow you up to 5,000 attendees. Cisco Webex Webcasting however takes things to a whole new level. It provides virtual events of up to 100,000 participants.
The reason webinars are so popular is because they provide the hosts with unrivaled opportunities to interact with their attendees. From chats, polls, screen sharing, stage sharing and many other features, webinars are great for the level of interaction they offer.
From a business point of view, webinars easily rank as the most effective marketing channel. Being a type of video which offers more engagement than the typical video, it’s not difficult to see why marketers use them for lead generation.
But webinars can also be used by non-business users. You can use them to catch up with family and friends thus maintaining relationships. And the best part is that you don’t even need to pay for this. Zoom offers a free package for personal meetings lasting up to 40 minutes and hosting up to 100 participants.
To put it simply, webinars are just as good as in-person meetings but without the associated costs.
Ready to Host Your Free or Paid Webinar?
If you’ve never created a webinar, it’s understandable if you feel that there’s so much that goes into making it successful. As with anything new however, you just have to make a decision of getting started.
Identify a topic you want to talk about and make sure it’s a topic that your webinar attendees will be interested in. It’s always best to address challenges your target audience is facing. This makes them willing to make time to attend your event. Ensure you’re well informed about the topic so as to share value.
After this, sit down and come up with a draft flow of the presentation you’ll be making. Using this flow, create slides using the presentation software of your choice. Popular choices include Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote for Apple or Google Slides.
If you prefer, you can also engage the services of a freelance presentation designer on Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer.com.
As you do this, create a landing page with a registration form and start spreading the word about your event.
Using email (if you have subscribers), social media and search engine ads, get people to register for your event and urge them to spread the word. Make sure you use copy that touches on the pain points you’ll address and highlights the benefits of attending your webinar.
Pick a webinar platform like Demio which is very easy to use when getting started or WebinarJam if you want more power. More importantly though, your budget and needs are what should guide your purchasing decision.
Host a test webinar to check your level of preparedness while familiarizing yourself with the platform. If possible, have someone attend the test webinar to help you identify any issues you’ll need to tackle to ensure your webinar flows smoothly.
Just as other hosts got started and they’re now confidently hosting webinars, get started today and experience the power of webinars.