Video content is a great way to engage users, inform or educate an audience, and to stand out from the competition. Many businesses – be they small or large – don’t create any video content at all, despite video content’s proneness to have a greater impact than other forms of content.
But not all video content was created equal.
There are many different types of video content, from how-to videos to entertainment. However, today we’re going to take a closer look at one type of video content in particular: webinars. Small businesses should take advantage of webinars and incorporate them into a well-rounded digital marketing strategy to connect with users, grow an audience, and ultimately grow their business.
Let’s take a look at why webinars are so powerful.
1. Present Your Business as an Authoritative Information Source
Webinars are exciting to attend, as long as the user/visitor choose to attend the webinar of their own volition; some mandatory forms of webinars, such as corporate training events, are a real bore.
As a marketer or business owner, however, chances are your visitors weren’t forced into viewing your content. As such, it stands to reason that the users are primed with curiosity, and have a genuine interest in your product, service, or information.
And your webinar is going to put you miles ahead of the competition (as long as you succeed in the execution and produce a quality webinar), because so few businesses take advantage of this marketing medium. A business owner that takes the time to talk directly with an audience and educate them on a subject is going to look wiser and more credible than the competition who forgos this type of marketing.
2. Marshall a Social Media Following and Grow a List
Furthermore, webinars are a great way to create, cultivate, and nurture an online audience. If you are already building an email list (you are, aren’t you?), webinars are a great way to grow the list.
With few exceptions, webinars often require some sort of registration process, which typically involves entering an email address and name. We typically build a few ways for someone to sign up:
- The default landing page from Webinar Ninja - this one's ok, but not terribly exciting. Nor is there a lot of editing you can do to make it nicer.
- Graphic sidebar optins on our website using OptinMonster - This takes a little time to set up but once that's done its quite beautiful (and hands-off!)
- Landing page using ClickFunnels - by far our favorite method, although it can't be 100% automated. That's ok, the landing pages are beautiful and encourage more signups. Here's an example
Furthermore, near the end of your webinar, you can create a call to action by asking the audience to follow you on social media or share your video if they found it helpful. As the old adage goes, word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. The goal is to give people such a great experience or fulfill a need that they become evangelists who tell anyone and everyone about your business.
3. Live Webinars Are Incredibly Engaging
Visual content is much more engaging than other types of content, such as text. But a webinar is even more interactive than watching a video for several reasons. First of all, because it’s live, the user feels more connected with the host because it’s happening in real-time. Not only is the content current, topical, and fresh, but the user can even interact with the host, and other members of the audience as well.
It’s fairly common for hosts to have some sort of chat system setup to either verbally talk with the audience or respond to a textual chat window. Not only can users interact directly with the host during a Q&A or as the webinar progresses, but the audience can even send messages to each other.
And the more people engage and connect with your content, more and more opportunities are presented to encourage people to take action. Just think how much more motivated a user would be to take action after a 30 minute or hour long webinar than if they had skimmed over some of your content for a two or three minutes.
By the way, we use Webinar Ninja, which has all of these features built in.
4. Webinars Can Generate Powerful Motivation through Time-Sensitivity (aka Scarcity)
There are two ways to motivate users to take action and sign up for a webinar with regards to time-sensitivity. The first is to simply remind users to sign up before a certain date, being sure to count down the days (or minutes and hours too) until a user will be barred from joining. The second way is only offer the webinar to a finite amount of people.
For instance, you could set a maximum head-count of 100, 500 or 1,000 people. There may also be limitations on the webinar software you use. For instance, our Webinar Ninja account limits us to 100 attendees. You can have more register, but only 100 can actively attend live. Of course, if we hit that limit, we can always upgrade.
I would advise against lying to your audience, though. Some marketers have employed this tactic and told their audience there were only a few more seats left, when in reality, there was no cap. If your audience finds out or sniffs out your lie, you could seriously damage your marketing campaign, following, and your business.
5. Webinars Build Personal Relationships with Your Audience
Last but not least, note that webinars are a great way to build personal relationships with your audience. Getting a chance personally interact with a knowledgeable and honest instructor (in the case of educational webinars) helps build an emotional connection, and makes your business seem more human than the ‘giant, soulless corporations.’
While that might sound like hippie nonsense, do note that there’s real market research showing that people – millennial in particular – seek emotional connections before making a purchase. Believe it or not, they are 48% more likely to make a purchase if they know the people behind the company. It seems that millennials only want to purchase products from trustworthy sources, and interacting with a lead personally is a great way to establish that bond of trust.
6. Webinars Can (and Should) Be Recycled
The best part about a webinar is that it's not a one-and-done. The training doesn't suddenly become void right after you're done teaching it, so use it to your advantage. After we do a live webinar, we take the recording and turn it into an immediate optin that any new website visitor can watch. Of course, they'll have to put in their email address in order to access it, and we'll put them into our email marketing system.
This is a great way to think longer term about a webinar - it's not just a one time shot, you're actually building an asset that can be used over and over again, without any real additional work on your end!
Webinars are a Win for Your Business
Planning and creating webinars – or any kind of video content, for that matter – takes a lot of time, energy, and skill. Putting all the pieces in place can require a little technical know-how, but that shouldn't stop you from using this terrific marketing strategy for your business. It's a great way to build your list, solidify your business as the leading experts, and help more people. What's not to love about that?!