Webinars are proven to be very effective tools for making money online as they can help build brand awareness, generate more leads, and enhance relationships with existing customers while establishing a business as a thought leader in an industry. All their advantages, and how to get started creating them, are outlined below.
Promoting your business through webinars
People started using webinars for promoting businesses as soon as they became possible. The following are the main reasons they are effective and should be considered:
- Webinars offer a wider reach. People from all over the world can attend a webinar. Since most webinars are less than an hour long and can be accessed any time (provided it has been recorded and made available for replays), they can convenient and accessible for everyone.
- They work better in holding people’s attention. Webinars hold people’s attention far more effectively than the written word since they combine the power of three important elements – audio, visual and personal interaction. As such, webinars are consistently more effective at getting a message across to a target audience.
- They allow immediate feedback from the target market. Webinars give marketers the chance to get real-time feedback. Audiences can simply type in their questions or comments before, during or after the session, and you can answer them on the spot.
- A live webinar drives people into action. Live webinars imply a sense of urgency which, in turn, drives people into action.
- Webinars convert well. According to BlogMarketingAcademy.com, webinars convert a lot better than your typical sales page. While a sales page converts at about 10% or less, a well-presented webinar can convert as high as 20% to 30%.
- They enhance your status as an expert. It isn’t easy to fake expertise in any field, especially if you are hosting your own webinar. As such, those who do so are viewed as experts by the webinar participants.
- Webinars can be repurposed in a number of ways. The same webinar can be used repeatedly provided you present it using different formats. You can record it and archive it for playback so those who were not able to attend the live webinar can access it at their most convenient time. You can also divide it into several short videos and give it away as a gift to subscribers, use it to build email lists or upload it on video sharing sites such as YouTube, MetaCafe and Vimeo to drive more traffic to your site or sales pages. They can even be used for membership sites or sold.
- It is a cost-effective way in delivering your message. Research indicates that hosting webinars are about 75% less expensive than holding in-persons events.
Making money online with webinars
Aside from using them to promote a business, webinars can be used to directly make money online. Here are some ideas that you can use:
- Use webinars to promote your product. While some experts tend to suggest otherwise, you can promote your own product or service in the webinar. However, it is important to provide great information and solid content for the first 45 to 50 minutes of the session before promoting any products. This can help ensure that your attendees will get something out of the experience, even if they decide not to buy your product.
- Use it to promote affiliate products. You can also use webinars to promote affiliate products following the above techniques. At the end of the session, consider offering attendees a resource guide that contains the links for all the related products and services you are endorsing. This will add value to webinars and help you make higher commissions at the same time.
- Sell access to your webinars. There are people who are willing to pay top dollar just to gain access to premium webinars. There is also a great chance that these very same people would pay for a full training program, an in-depth course or consultancy service that you may be offering at a later date.
How to conduct an effective webinar
Now that you have a more concrete idea on how important webinars are, here is a step-by-step guide that can help you plan and implement your first webinar.
Devise a plan. You need to consider a lot of details in devising a plan for your webinar. You need to set your goals, choose a topic, prepare materials, choose the webinar software to use and devise a marketing plan to promote the webinar.
- Determine your goals for conducting a webinar. A successful webinar starts with the proper identification of what you want to get out of the event. Is it simply offering valuable information to your audience? Are you planning to launch a product and/or generate leads and sales? Make sure you know what your goals are so that you can design the webinar accordingly to accomplish desired goals.
- Choose an interesting topic. The number of attendees will largely depend on the topic of your webinar so choose one that is hard to resist. If you offer something your target audience desperately needs or wants to learn, chances of success are greatly amplified.
- Choose the proper webinar software. In determining which software to use, consider the number of participants that will be attending the event, the frequency by which you intend to host webinars, the features you need and the cost of using the software. Make sure you choose one that will best suit your needs since it is relatively difficult to switch once you and your audience are already familiar using a particular software.
- Set a schedule. Now that you have chosen a topic, prepared your materials and picked the software you will be using, it is time to set a date for your webinar. For best results, consider holding your webinar during weekdays (except Mondays and Fridays) at 10:00 am PST. However, if your target audience works regular jobs, you may want to consider hosting your event on a Saturday.
- Devise a marketing plan. How do you intend to let your target audience know about the event? Will you charge a fee or offer the webinar for free? To reach the highest number of people possible, consider blogging about the details of your webinar and send emails to your subscribers (email marketing). You can, likewise, make an announcement in social media networks, distribute press releases, advertise in newsletters that go out to your target group and ask existing contacts to refer others or share the news. Posting in related forums can also help.
- Select your speaker and support team. Select a guest speaker who is an expert in the topic and has good speaking skills. You should also choose an experienced moderator to keep the webinar flowing smoothly and a support person to handle the more technical issues of the webinar.
Start inviting people to your webinar. Now that the basic plan has been laid and perfected, you can start putting your marketing plan into action. Make sure to send reminders to those who have registered for the webinar several times before the scheduled event to make sure they don’t forget about it.
Conduct your webinar. On the day of the webinar, make sure to log in to the system at least 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to start to make sure everything is working properly. Although you may have had a trial run and are already quite competent in using the system, technical glitches are known to happen when least expected.
It is also very important that you start the webinar on time. Remember, a lot of people have shown up on time so don’t keep them waiting. Keep your webinars fun and informational and don’t forget to interact with your audience. Ask your audience for their feedback after the event and archive your presentation for playback.
Follow up. Make the most out of your webinar by sending follow-up emails to your participants. Thank them for attending, remind them of the most important points of the webinar and send them a link to the recording of the event. Conversion rates can be greatly improved with this simple step.
Done right, hosting webinars for your target market can help you achieve your business goals quite effectively. Are you ready to see how well it will work for your business? If so, this is probably the best time for you to try it out.