If you aren’t using webinars as part of your marketing and communications strategy, your business might be missing the key ingredient to effectively connect with your audience.
As content marketing becomes more and more important to your overall marketing strategy, diversity is the key to conquering the content puzzle. The Content Marketing Institute recently reported that in-person events are the number one strategy for content marketing effectiveness and webinars came in as the second most effective way to reach audiences. Since in-person events are not always possible or practical, webinars are a more cost effective way to reach your target audiences. Webinars can help you to reach a global audience, produce high quality content, and do it at a much lower cost than a full scale event. Our three tips for ensuring that your webinars are an integral and successful part of your overall content marketing strategy are delivering value, positioning, and promotion.
Your Webinar Must Deliver Value
Above all, your webinar must be of high value to your audience. For a webinar, value is in the advice or information that you impart to your viewers. For webinars, there likely also needs to be an entertainment value to capture and keep the attention of viewers. There must be takeaways that are clearly presented, and the webinar should be structured in a clear and concise format that is easy to understand. Be sure to present the value in the beginning of the webinar to keep the attention of your viewers. Be genuine, informative, and in tune to the interests of your target audience. Lastly, value can also be presented in the materials of your webinar, it can be data, graphs, and other information that your viewers can keep and perhaps even use for their business or personal use.
How Should You Position Your Webinar?
To charge or not to charge, that is the big question when it comes to webinars. Sure, you have just spent time, effort, and money on producing a webinar that delivers a high value to your audience, but should you give it away for free? The answer lies within the details of your company because it is different for each company and can be different for each webinar. Free webinars are a great way to entice new audiences and share a little of your company’s genius without giving everything away, so they are more inclined to respond to your follow up methods. However remember if you take this route, be sure to clearly communicate the value and takeaways, otherwise ‘free’ can sound a lot like ‘rubbish’ to audiences. Perhaps you offer them it for free, but then you must be sure that your potential attendees don’t misunderstand that free doesn’t mean it is very valuable. If you do charge for your webinars, the best avenue is likely offering it as part of a subscription or package deal so that you can broaden the audience and widen the reach of your webinar. If you offer a webinar series, a subscription rate at a discount is often the best way to accomplish this. Depending on your audience and your product or service, you might charge for the webinar, but include a rebate for products or services with the paid webinar subscription. You will find the answer that is right for your company by testing out different variables as with any other marketing campaign.
Successful Promotion = Successful Webinar
As with anything else, you can’t just produce it and assume “they will come”. A successful webinar hinges on a successful promotion. If your webinar is geared towards delivering the high value that we discussed in our first point, then you must convey this value in your promotion. Your promotion also will focus on whether there is a cost for the webinar or if it is free. An infographic is often a successful way to promote a webinar and also adds additional content for your overall strategy. If your launch is a live event, then be sure to promote that and the extra value that is inherent in your audience watching and participating in it live. Be sure to keep your webinars available on demand. This adds content value and helps to broaden the reach to others who weren’t available at the live launch.
By Patrick Baume, Group Communications Manager at Isentia. He is an all media expert with over 20 years in communications roles. Patrick also has extensive broadcast on-air experience, successful manager of a high performing digital comms team with experience leading company messaging through rebranding and IPO to the ASX200.