Webinars are quite possibly the simplest and most effective ways to conduct business today. With just a few mins of preparation and a couple of slides, you can have a whole audience engaged with you – even if they’re half a world away. With a few more features, you can make sure the engagement is as thorough as it can be. This is why, when you’re looking for a way to engage your audience, you should really consider using a webinar.
Webinars are incredibly useful for attracting and retaining customers. Studies show that consumers who attended webinars were 3.5x more likely to make a purchase after the webinar than before. Additionally, 80% of consumers said that watching a webinar enhanced the learning experience. This is why creating and holding a webinar is such a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.
Why Should You Host A Webinar
Since its inception, the World Wide Web has been the playground of the tech-savvy entrepreneur. Launching a successful website has become a cinch; all you need is a decent hosting package, a reliable network connection, and you can be up and running in no time. The cost of putting together a website, buying and displaying ads, and handling all the necessary email marketing is a small price to pay for the exposure you get.
As the world gets more connected every day, the demand for online learning experiences grows. The vast majority of people (87%) learn better via a live presentation or a video session, so hosting a webinar is a guaranteed way to connect with your audience, educate them, and make them feel like you’re someone they can trust. Additionally, webinars give you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and draw in potential customers who might not have found you otherwise.
How Does A Webinar Work?
In a nutshell, a webinar works by having you, the host, present in real time while an audience — usually remote — connects over the internet. Presenting while connected to a webcam allows you to engage with your audience and clarify any points you make while en route. This form of online education is incredibly simple to set up and requires minimal effort once you’ve gotten going. Just remember to record your webinar session so you can review it with your audience should you choose to do so.
You don’t necessarily need a webcam to host a webinar. In fact, the majority of attendees (55%) choose to participate without one. So long as you have a microphone and a connection to the internet, you can host a webinar. Additionally, we’ve seen hosts use both the software and the cloud based services that power webinars — making it even easier for you to get up and running. With minimal effort, you can have your own mini-Conference Center at the click of a button.
Should You Host A Webinar For Free?
While we don’t recommend doing so, you certainly don’t need to charge for a webinar. In fact, you might consider having a free trial or even offering your services for free as a way to gain traction with your potential customers. Since your audience is likely to be prospective purchasers of your product or service, you have an economic incentive to educate them and thus grow your business.
Additionally, since the internet is a global community, you have the opportunity to connect with customers from all over the world. If your product or service is not location-specific, hosting a webinar allows you to showcase your expertise to potentially interested parties and draw in customers who would have never given you a thought.
How To Host A Webinar
Webinars are incredibly easy to host once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Simply grab an online meeting tool like Zoom or GoToMeeting and get started. While there’s no specific checklist for putting together a successful webinar, there are a few tips you can follow to make sure your experience is as good as possible.
The absolute minimum requirement for a successful webinar is a microphone and a webcam. Zoom, GoToMeeting, and others offer free trials, so you can get up and running quickly without worry. Should you choose to go this route, we’d recommend securing your microphone by running a quick trial before you go live with it.
This will ensure you’ve got the right sound quality when presenting.
Decide What To Talk About
If you’re still in the process of deciding what product or service you’re going to pitch to your audience, you can use this time to scope out potential topics. The more you know going in, the more you can prepare. Researching the industry, the competitors, and the general topic from a strategic point of view will give you a good base from which to form your presentation. This will make the information much easier to recall.
Choose A Good Subject Line
If you’re sending out the invites to your webinar, make sure you use a subject line that resonates with your audience. This is especially important if you’re inviting only subscribers to your email list. Since you already have a potentially interested audience, you can tailor your subject line to make it as enticing as possible. When you get a lot of spam, you know exactly what we mean.
Practice makes perfect, and this is especially important for a webinar. Even after you’ve done all the preparation and you think you have the hang of it, you might find that presenting in front of a live audience is not as easy as it seems. Having some dry runs is therefore essential if you want to ensure you provide a good experience to your audience. Fortunately, you can use tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting to record and review your presentations as many times as you need. So long as you have a microphone and a webcam, you can host a webinar and get education on the fly.
Make Sure The Room Is Set Up Correctly
Setting the room properly is important, particularly if you’re streaming live video. For best results, get a big screen TV and set it up so attendees can see the video properly. Additionally, have attendees change their display settings so they’re not plagued by image glare.
Use Good Quality Equipment
Depending on the level of expertise you’re seeking to showcase, you might need to upgrade your equipment. Even something as basic as a webcam can make a world of difference. You don’t need to spend a fortune; even the cheapest model will suffice. If you do go down this route, make sure you invest in good quality equipment for the best possible experience.
Once you’ve got everything set up and you’re confident that everything is going well, it’s time to have some fun. Enjoy your presentation while you can—even if it’s only for a few mins—and then bask in the fact that you educated and entertained an audience with just a few slides. This is what makes hosting a webinar so worthwhile—you get to interact and engage with potential customers in a way that is both personal and professional.
As a business owner, you’re bound to get asked questions about marketing, sales, and profit. Sometimes a customer will ask the perfect question at the perfect time, and you’ll have the opportunity to really showcase your expertise. This is what makes your work worth it—the knowledge you’re gaining from interacting with real humans via the internet is invaluable. The personal satisfaction of helping people is incredible, and it’s all due to the fact that you used an online platform to do it.