We can’t gather in person like we used to, so we’ve taken to the web to procure some vital social interaction. The good news for marketers is that we can use the same tools we use to connect with each other to connect with our customers. The year is 2020 and you’re going to need a good webinar strategy.
What’s a webinar?
The word “webinar” is a portmanteau, or the combination of two words to make a new one. It’s the union of the words “web” and “seminar.” This word is not new in the era of COVID-19, but we sure do see it a lot these days. Because we currently live in these uncertain times of pandemics and social distancing, we turn to the internet to facilitate some of the previous year’s activities, like seminars.
The case for seminars
Seminars have been around for ages, and you’ve probably been to one. If you haven’t, here’s what you missed: networking, sure, but more importantly, learning about some aspect of your business or industry you didn’t know before, among a group of other people in your industry who didn’t know that aspect, either. You were all learning together, and maybe you were one of the people sharing your knowledge with others.
The argument for hosting or participating in a seminar still stands, even if we can’t have them. Enter the webinar.
What is a webinar good for?
- Inform. You get to share your knowledge with people who need it, and we are always in favor of that.
- Network. You get your own little opportunity to network, as you can collect email contact information from your guests. As we told you in our Definitive Guide to Gated Content, they’re not just email addresses, they’re bona fide leads. Your audience can network with each other, too.
- Lead. This is not just a way to talk to people, it can also be a way to reinforce your authority on the subject matter.
- Collaborate. You get to do some networking of your own, as you can invite other thought-leaders or experts in your field to help you out, too. You might get access to their audience, and they get access to yours.
You said something about strategy
We said you needed a good webinar strategy, but we didn’t say we’d give you one. But that’s okay, we’re happy to help, so here they are—the 5 best webinar strategies:
- Plan ahead. Pick a date and time that works for you and your audience. Also, you should not only know what you’re going to talk about, but you should also consider having a slide deck, which leads to the second strategy.
- Use visual aids. The easiest and most common method of this is screen-sharing some Powerpoint slides, in which you can embed photos, infographics, videos, etc.
- Test your equipment (and your participants). A rehearsal, even a quick one the day before, will let you identify any rough patches in your technology, and, even better, can help you identify parts of your presentation you might be able to trim off (or expand).
- Consider a Q&A. Just as you would take questions at a seminar, you can take questions at your webinar, too. Most software solutions support some sort of audience participation—take advantage of it.
- Continue the conversation. As we said above, the audience for your webinar is interested in hearing what you have to say, and it’s not a very long leap from there to becoming a customer. Make sure you’re capturing contact information so you can follow up on those leads.