I have been following, with much interest, the use of Webinars as marketing tools for the small business. During the past few months I have tried to attend at least one Webinar per week. My conclusion is that if they are properly “formed” and properly marketed, they can generate leads, help position your firm as a leader in the market place, impress you existing client base and most important, give any small business the same credibility that a large business has. My comments are from information put out by GoToMeeting; this firm does all the technical work necessary for you to put on a successful webinar.
First, let’s define a webinar: it consist of visual elements delivered from your computer (powerpoint, etc) and most-often a teleseminar delivered through a phone bridge or through the computer speakers. Attendees are in “listen-only” mode and can interact via text.
The following are 5 core elements of a basic Webinar, as suggested by Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc.
- A strong e-mail list is the foundation. This list should contain a high percentage of people that can use your service. Most of the registrants come from an opt-in email list. Consider purchasing a quality e-mail list or perhaps invite another, non-competing firm to participate in the Webinar and have them add their e-mail list to your.
- Have a communication plan including the timing for delivery of your webinar. Use your existing marketing system to promote the upcoming webinar. As a general rule, the majority of the registrants will occur within 10 days of your webinar. Consider you audience as to the delivery time for your webinar.
- Develop an effective e-mail invitation. In addition to the compelling subject line (encourages the opening of the invitation) it must contain a call to action and a simple format for registration
- Delivery time depends upon your target market. To target a business, hold the webinar mid week and mid day. For individual targets, the early evening is the better time.. Always make a copy of the webinar and make it available to your entire e-mail list the next day.
- A one time invitation is not enough. I usually get a daily reminder the three to five days prior to the webinar, including the day of the presentation.
Of course the content and the clarity of the presentation is crucial. If needed, a professional speaker can be used to make the presentation. The follow up with those that attended should also be carefully planned. I enjoy a webinar if it provides me with information that I can use now and an invitation as to where I can go to get additional information on the topic.
There is a lot of material on how to plan a successful webinar. I forecast a lot more use of the internet for reaching potential clients not only in the “listen only” mode but also with full video. I also see short presentations be sent to potential clients on the “smart” phones, I-pads, etc.
What you get by reaching your goals is not nearly as important as what you become by reaching them
Have a great day!