Webinars are a great but for some reason under-used tool for the purposes of content marketing. If you think about the best ever blog post that you’ve written, something that was at once deeply informative, entertaining, paved the way for some new thinking within your industry, drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to your website, and was most likely directly responsible for a few conversions to boot…
… Well, then just think about the sort of response you could get if you delivered the same quality of content live across the web to an attentive audience which had the ability to give, receive and discuss all of the information that you covered in real time.
Now that would be something really special, wouldn’t it?
Well, on paper, the answer is of course yes. Webinars present marketers with the opportunity to really engage with their audience as you chew over some really great content together – and, as we all know, great content and engagement are two of the most important elements of any successful campaign. It seems a shame, then, that a lot of companies simply just choose to ignore the medium.
If you’ve never even thought about adding a regular webinar to your ongoing content outreach plans, let alone produced one, then you really are missing out on a great opportunity to add an extra layer of higher level value to your business.
When it comes down to it, content marketing is all about adding value to what you’re producing and selling to your customers. Blog posts are a great point in reference. Streams and streams of regular industry-relevant information delivered for free across the web – it’s no wonder that they draw in so much traffic to a site.
Video marketing is the same. Even tweets are giving away something for nothing. But the long form of the webinar adds more value than blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and videos put together.
This is because so much more information can be shared and discussed in a webinar. And, what’s more, the subject that you choose to cover can be delved into with a lot more depth than a simple blog post, and your attendees will even have the opportunity to ask you questions about it in real time – in essence increasing the personal value of your content to each of them individually.
The Tools Of The Trade
If you’ve never thought about webinars before, then you may be wondering where on Earth you start. Well, just as with every discipline, there are some absolute must have tools that you will need to get going, and so we’ve put together a list detailing 5 of them that will equip you with everything you require to start organizing your first webinar right away.
5 Must Have Tools For Creating A Great Webinar:
1. A Webinar Platform
This, of course, stands to reason, but without a webinar platform then you will have no way of sending your content out there in the first place. Your webinar platform will allow your attendees to view your slides and hear what you have to say, and will also provide the gateway through which you can take questions.
As you might expect, there are many webinar platforms available online, and you should take the time to test each one before rolling out your webinars on a large scale. This is because that the technology involved in synching video and audio is complex, which means that with certain systems there can often be glitches. So, experiment with a few before taking the decision on one over the others.
We recommend the following platforms:
2. A Registration/Sign Up Page
Now that you’ve got your platform, you will need a dedicated place where your social media and blog followers can sign up and register to attend your webinar. The ideal page will have a short and enticing description detailing exactly what people will get from taking part (when writing this, always try and focus on the value that you will be adding for your customers).
You can either have a dedicated page where people can sign up, or incorporate a side bar onto your website that will be viewable from all of your posts and pages (though if you go for this option then you might be limited on space for delivering your enticing description of your webinar).
You could even create a completely new website for the purpose. If you do this then the site can be wholly dedicated to your webinar and be free of any other distractions that you will have on your actual website.
3. A Field For Capturing Emails
Within your sign up page, you will need to present your users with a field where they can enter their email addresses. This in fact is one of the great benefits of the webinar – the ability to grow your email list. Indeed, increasing email lists is one of the hardest things to do as a digital marketer – but, the huge value added by a webinar will make people more willing to give up this information, and you will then be able to make them recipients of your newsletters going forward.
Once people have given up their emails, you will then have a direct communication pathway to them so that you can send reminders, give them further details about the webinar, and of course invite them to any future webinars that you set up.
4. A Presentation Tool
The word “webinar” is a contraction of the two words “web” and “seminar”. And these days all good seminars need to be backed up with a great presentation. Without this, you will have nothing to show but your grinning face at the event, and, let’s be honest, the more distractions there are from that thing the better.
5. A Sales Page
You may opt to deliver a free webinar to your dedicated following, or you might want to charge a fee. Either way, you will most definitely be wanting to try and further monetize your efforts by trying to sell one of your products or services.
To do this, you can either set up a new page on your website that you will provide a link to on the pages where your webinar is being viewed, or otherwise set up a special sales page using something like Optimize Press.
Remember, though – it will be the power and added value of your free content that will ultimately persuade your attendees that your services or products are worth paying for, and, as such, you should never use your webinars as a direct sales pitch, as this is missing the point entirely.
Does your company use webinars as part of their content strategy? What have you found effective, and what should newbies to the game seek to avoid? Let us know in the comments below.