If you’ve been looking for a partner in digital marketing, chances are you’re familiar with tactics like search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and the like. These are all highly effective ways to drive leads to your sites, but today we want to talk about a more under-the-radar technique that we’ve been seeing success with: webinars!
Webinars are, in short, seminars or otherwise educational meetings that occur online, meant to keep both employees and customers in the know. While webinars are created, first and foremost, to educate, they’re also an underutilized platform for both content marketing and networking.
How can businesses utilize this kind of online learning to build an audience and drive those leads—without coming off like they’re giving a sales pitch? We’ve got answers.
Collect Emails to Build Your Audience
The people tuning into your webinar are already curious, on some level, about your brand. That might be because they’re deeply involved in your industry or because your webinar topic caught their eye. Whatever the case, you want to stay in touch with these interested parties, because they may convert into a customer or even a valuable brand partner. If your webinar is engaging to begin with, those people will want to see more from you. Your job, then, is to make the most of their interest and keep in contact—i.e., obtain audience emails and reach out proactively.
Once you’ve connected with a potential customer via email, there are all sorts of creative ways to keep them updated and engaged. Maybe you’ll send out a monthly feedback survey, with a reward of some kind as an incentive. Perhaps you have exclusive deals that require emails—in other words, ones that those customers wouldn’t be receiving if they hadn’t tuned into your webinar. This incentive method can also serve to increase your webinar audience in the first place, so be sure to get the word out about any special promotions or deals for attending.
Just a quick note here about email best practices: don’t spam your customer, we beg of you. A prospective client who tuned in for one webinar isn’t expecting (and probably isn’t wanting) promotional emails every single day, especially if they were hesitant about your brand or content in the first place. We recommend capping out at 2 to 3 emails a week for a younger demographic, and even fewer than that for an older one.
Make the Webinar Useful
Prospective clients are already curious and are hoping to gather more information about your brand when they join a webinar. The last thing you want to do is leave them feeling underwhelmed or like they didn’t learn anything valuable while tuned in.
There are several ways to make a webinar useful, regardless of what you’re selling. We recommend the following.
- Provide both data-driven research and real-life examples of how your brand or expertise is useful in everyday life. The sign of a polished webinar is that, no matter how informal the discussion, it’s educational in nature.
- If your webinar touches on your product or services, be sure to address any challenges that might come up so as not to seem biased, but be sure to emphasize the positives in the process.
- Make your webinar novel—in other words, provide interesting facts and start engaging discussions so that your session stands out from hundreds of others.
- Reserve some time for questions at the end of your webinar so that listeners can chime in and get their questions answered. In such cases, you may want to consider enlisting a webinar co-host to field and moderate questions from the audience.
- Whatever you do, avoid obvious sales pitches! Your customers are intuitive and can sniff out a forced marketing scheme from a mile away. You can still show enthusiasm for your product without coming across like a phony TV commercial, particularly if you’re discussing a topic that has industry-wide implications.
Gain Extra Mileage by Posting Past Webinars Online
On the one hand, there’s a sort of thrill for audience members that comes with knowing they were one of the select few who attended a useful webinar. On the other, we don’t recommend that you alienate potential clients, either, especially if they simply weren’t available to tune in when the session occurred. If they’re genuinely interested in the subject material and even take the time to reach out to you, the last thing you want to have to tell them is that this information is gone forever.
Consider creating an archive of some sort for previous webinars, so that new clients can still tune in and learn more about your business. You might post past videos or even just audio to a YouTube account or directly to your website. Of course, those email sign-up sheets and deals will only be available to those who attended the live session, but this is a great way to keep everyone engaged while ensuring that those who were there in real-time feel just a bit special.
Think Outside the Box With Snap
Here at Snap, we’re all about developing new, original ways to solidify your brand’s presence. If you want to learn even more about how to develop a webinar session or drive traffic via other digital marketing channels, look no further. Let’s connect and stay ahead of the curve together.