Living in an evolving world can be challenging. Changes within the marketing world, owing to COVID-19, no longer offer room for experimentation or error. That’s why it’s critical for businesses across verticals to make every move count — marketing without purpose is like throwing caution to the wind. With businesses trying their best to stay stable, strategic planning for your learning segment is non-negotiable.
The ability to fish out high-quality prospects should be at the top of every marketer’s to-do list, and using webinars for marketing is a great way to do just that!
The learning industry is comprised of many experts in their own respect. If you want to position your product as a leader, you need to establish your brand as being trustworthy. Becoming a thought leader in your segment, by using one or more marketing tools, is a strong strategy to create awareness about your brand.
What are webinars and how can they help your marketing efforts?
Webinars have been around for quite a few years, but they’re still extremely useful marketing tools. Simply put, webinars are seminars hosted online instead of at a physical location. Attendees participate at their own choice, connected through an online platform which broadcasts the seminar.
It’s worthwhile to mention that a webinar is not just about broadcasting an old video, presentation, or a recording of a talk delivered in the past. Webinars are about what’s new and how you can offer solutions to issues or questions in the minds of your target audience.
Taking webinars one step further by using them strategically to establish thought leadership in your field of learning will help build a strong prospect base.
Consider this: You ‘connect’ with thousands of potential customers over social media or via email marketing. Your promotional efforts may even include print and television advertising. The question is: How many strong leads do you generate? And how many of those leads are converted into customers? Out of a potential 100 leads, if you have only 5 that convert to customers, is your marketing effectively strategic? Not really.
That’s because you’re chasing leads when you really need to let the leads come to you.
The secret to attracting leads is to position yourself as a thought leader. If you’re a thought leader, people trust your opinion, so you’ll be able to develop a strong following and connect with new leads more easily. Those interested in your learning solution will become followers – meaning they enter your marketing funnel.
This enables you to establish long-term relationships with customers by keeping them informed about your brand and share your in-depth research and innovative solutions that you can offer.
In their study titled “Establishing thought leadership through social media in B2B settings: effects on customer relationship performance,” Magno and Cassia demonstrate that communicating with your audience on a regular basis through effectively crafted webinars, blogs, whitepapers, and social media posts has been proven to contribute positively toward customer acquisition and retention.
How to Use Webinars for Marketing
Webinars need to be crafted with two things in mind. The first item is the design and content of the webinar itself. The second item is promoting the webinar across as many forms of media as possible. Both need to exist in tandem.
Promoting Your Webinar
To position yourself as an expert in your area, your target audience needs to know that you have what they’re looking for.
You can promote your webinar with website landing pages, pop-ups, hello bars, teaser videos, or a blog post on your webinar’s content. Social media promotions, engaging posts, and even paid ads can also go a long way in connecting your business to new and potentially high-quality leads.
To share your webinar, use either a webinar hosting platform or simply host it on social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Crafting the Content
Your webinar should be a well-thought-out creative capsule that’s brilliantly delivered. You’ll want three key elements in your webinar:
- Research-based – What you present at a webinar must be well-researched and backed up with evidence of success. This is a key to establishing thought leadership.
- Story – Whether you host a live talk or a pre-recorded session, how the content is conveyed to the audience matters. Great storytelling is the best way to engage your audience.
- Design – The webinar background, as well as clean and crisp video rendering, contributes to engaging the audience. It’s not about using overly loud settings, rather it’s about having a design that reflects your brand.
Why Use Webinars?
The great thing about a webinar is that there is a large number of advantages that come with them:
- Build awareness: You’re able to reach a large number of people who were previously unaware of your business and what you offer.
- Engage prospects: Those interested in your webinar will look for more information by clicking a link to your info page. So, provide relevant links that direct the prospects to content that is related to the topic of the webinar and is educational in nature.
- Create a new pool of contacts/leads: The group of people who register for your webinar (high-value prospects) will provide their contact details in order to receive the webinar link. This cohort is already engaged with the concept you are promoting through your webinar and more likely to be interested in your services.
- Learn about your potential customer base: Those who attend the webinar will be able to engage with your content further through chats, polls, and surveys. This will allow you to understand their needs more closely and present customized solutions for them. (explain how)
- Nurture prospects: Post-presentation, you can offer participants the option to request a call-back, offer feedback, share with friends, connect on social media channels, or purchase your service or product. This helps your prospects get to know you better and aid their decision to buy. For those who missed the webinar, you can offer them the option to view or download the slide deck or the transcript, so that they can still view the content. You can also offer them the option for a free sign-up to your newsletter or RSS feed of your blog.
Research shows that your potential customers feel valued when they get to interact with the business behind the service they’re interested in. A webinar is the best way to let customers do just that – interact firsthand with your business.
Inspiring trust in a valued prospect brings them one step closer to a signed business deal. While your marketing strategy will likely encompass a variety of channels and initiatives, webinars are an ideal tool for building awareness and creating trust in your brand.