Nothing could be further from the truth. Webinars have become one of the best marketing tools for almost any business in almost any niche. Some webinars will have seats for thousands of people and use the latest software and high-tech presentation features, but others are smaller, with a more intimate group, and with no need for all the bells and whistles. A pre-prepared PowerPoint presentation can be ideal for presenting the outline of your material so your audience will follow along.
If you offer educational services, a webinar is an ideal format for getting your message across. Online education is booming, both formal and informal.
If you are able to speak well and present useful information in an entertaining way that keeps your audience following you right to the end of your presentation, then it’s time for you to start offering webinars.
A lot of newcomers to online marketing have heard of webinars, and perhaps even attended a few themselves about topics they are interested in, or that are related to the niche or industry they are working in. However, they might think hosting webinars is “just for the big boys,” or that they are not ‘there yet” in terms of their marketing.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is an online seminar or conference. It can be an online meeting or presentation. You may choose to hold via the Internet, live in real-time, or it can be pre-recorded in order to present information about a product or service.
The advantage of a live webinar, and its main feature, should be interacting with one’s target audience. The live format should allow the presenter to discuss, send, and receive information in real-time. For example, during a webinar, it is possible to take questions, poll attendees, invite other presenters, permit online chat that the presenter or staff can reply to, share your desktop, and even use or collaborate on a digital whiteboard.
There are various webinar hosting services available and range from free to expensive. The more features they have, the more expensive they tend to be. They are also often based on the number of attendees allowed, with the price increasing as the audience does.
Here are a few of the features you will find in webinar hosting services:
● Multidirectional conferencing, that is, interactivity with the audience and other speakers as needed
● The ability to see a live or pre-recorded presentation
● Text chat
● A digital whiteboard
● Polls and surveys
● Desktop sharing by the presenter
● Webinar Recording
Smart marketers also incorporate a portion of the recorded webinar to use in advertising, such as with a video sales letter for a product. The most successful informational webinars can even be included as a bonus or sold individually.
If you’re not already hosting webinars, you could be leaving money on the table in more ways than one.
What are the advantages of webinars?
Webinars allow you to connect with your target audience like never before. They are convenient for both you as a presenter and them as attendees. Webinars allow you to hold a meeting or create a conference or summit that people from around the world can attend from the comfort of their own homes. There’s no need for anyone to travel and incur all the expenses related to it, such as airfare, accommodation, and meals out. There’s no need for hosts to have all the headaches of a physical live event, such as renting out space, sorting out audio-visual equipment, catering for coffee breaks, and so on.
Webinars can be used for almost any purpose, and in any niche. While they are most commonly used for marketing and sales, they are also ideal for education and for corporate training. You can create a webinar on your own, collaborate with 1 or 2 people, or create a full summit or multi-day conference. You can record the webinars and make them available for those who were not able to attend live, or sell them as educational courses. If you are nervous at the idea of interacting with people, you can record your webinar in advance and present it.
Many hosts use pre-prepared slides and videos and are only live for the introduction and the conclusion. Some will answer questions from the audience live, usually at the end because they don’t want to miss out any important points, or because they are using recordings.
Why has it become such a valuable marketing tool?
Webinars are part entertainment, part education, and part salesmanship. People love videos. They often like to learn something useful, to help them solve a problem, or improve their lives in some way. They are also willing to buy products they can see have real value and will help them solve their problem.
Regardless of whether you sell products or services, a webinar can show consumers what you have to offer and showcase what you know, helping to position you as an expert in your niche or industry.
How to use webinars to sell products.
Webinars for Product Launches
Every time you launch a new product or service, you should plan to host at least one webinar in order to announce it to the world and get it off to a profitable start.
If you’ve done your market research correctly, and thoroughly, your new product or service will be designed to specifically address one of the most common problems in your niche or industry, and offer an effective solution. Knowing your target audience’s “pain points” is one of the best ways of ensuring you have a steady stream of customers, and even repeat customers. They will feel you understand them. Your (hopefully) impressive products will prove that you know what you are talking about, and therefore, that you are worth doing business with.
Since your product will usually help solve or address a pain point, that pain point will be a great topic for the webinar. It will lead to the introduction of the product and give you an opportunity to soft-sell it. Often, this is done at a discounted introductory price not available anywhere else and is offered for a limited time only.
The topic creates interest in the product. The lower introductory price lowers the risk of doing business with you. The clock is ticking because it is a limited time offer for webinar attendees only. This will usually make even the “fence-sitters” take action because they don’t want to miss out.
The fact that you are giving them a low introductory price for attending the webinar makes them feel special. It also motivates them to attend more of your webinars because they know you treat your customers well.
You can leverage the webinar as a video sales letter that highlights all the benefits of your product.
There is a lot to do whenever you launch a product, but announcing a webinar and getting people to register for the big event can help get your sales off to a great start.
Webinars for Explanation
Webinars are an excellent way to market a product that requires a good deal of explanation. If you are selling a physical product, showing it in action can be an ideal way to sell it. How-to video content is the most popular on YouTube, so showing how to use your product is ideal. You can also show how the product can solve a particular problem in your niche.
Depending on the technology you are using, you can open up the floor to questions about the product. If you are not using a webinar service that allows this, or are nervous about interacting with a live audience, write out a list of what you think will be frequently asked questions about your product that you think will be most useful to your audience and promote the sales of your product.
Seeing is believing when it comes to a webinar with a pre-recorded video of the product in action. It can be just what you need to demonstrate that your product offers a real solution to one of your pain points. This is also a good approach if you are selling something many people have not seen before, but might really benefit from.
Webinars educating audiences about cooking techniques, and demonstrating recipes, can show in just a few seconds what would take thousands of words to explain in an ebook.
If you sell services, a webinar can help you show clients the value of what you do. They can look over your shoulder to see the benefits of what you can do to help them with your WordPress blog, Salesforce or InfusionSoft interface, and more. At the end of the webinar, offer a free 15-minute consultation they can schedule using software at your site. You could also go straight for the sale and put together an affordable trial package of X number of hours of help with, for example, uploading content to their blog, for the low price of only $X per hour. Show your attention to detail as you do each assignment, and you should have no trouble getting repeat customers who will be happy to pay your regular (fair) rate.
If you sell software, you can show it in action. Programs like Camtasia allow you to film your desktop while you are working. Demonstrate some of the basic features and tempt your audience with some of the more advanced features that could help take their business to the next level. Giving the audience a chance to ask questions and share your desktop live, rather than pre-recording all of it, will also show that the program is the real deal.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is booming as well, but a lot of people get nervous about how difficult it will be to use the interface and whether or not they will be able to accomplish all their tasks. A webinar that lets them “look under the hood” and see you performing some of the most important tasks should drive sales easily. Offering a set of training videos will sweeten the deal and justify a higher price tag. Offering a video quick start guide and a couple of follow-up Q and A webinars based on questions customers email to you can also help seal the deal.
If your product or service is complicated in any way, don’t make prospective customers wade through a long-winded sales letter that might still leave them with a lot of unanswered questions. Questions will make them hesitate, and not buy in the end. A webinar, on the other hand, which is short, informative, and answers their most pressing questions, can drive sales easily.
Webinars for High-ticket Products
Webinars are also ideal for selling high-ticket products. The more expensive the product is the more people will have objections at buying. You’ll need to help them overcome this if you are ever to get buyers. A webinar designed to show that your item is worth every penny is sure to drive sales.
Studies have shown that consumers buy on the basis of emotion and then try to justify with logic. Introducing your product in a way that creates an emotional connection will create interest and desire. The webinar will help seal the deal by showing them why it makes sense to buy it (even if it doesn’t).
The emotions that come into play when shopping include wanting a better life in some way. Most marketers focus on health, finance, and self-help solutions because most buyers need help in these niches/categories.
Consider Nissan, Toyota, and Lexus. Lexus is widely perceived to be a luxury brand and a sign of having achieved a certain level of success as compared with the first two. Yet all three cars are made by the same company. So what is the difference? Price, obviously. But it is also a question of perception and perception can be everything when you are marketing your high-ticket item. Show its value in comparison to similar products, on sale in your niche, and you will see the sales start to come in.
A webinar for a high-ticket item should detail its features and benefits in such a way that it would seem foolish to pass it up. Consider offering flexible payment plans to make it more affordable, such as 3 equal payments of “only” $XXX. And of course, offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked, to make it as risk-free as possible to do business with you.
Crafting these kinds of offers should also be “exclusive,” that is, to webinar attendees only. It gives them a reward for having spent their valuable time with you. It also makes them feel special.
Create a special sales landing page and order flow for your introductory price and one for the regular price. After a certain point, remove the introductory price and put a note saying you are sorry they missed out on the special price, with a link to the regular sales page. Have that link open in a new window. If you offer a limited time special price for your offer then don’t fake it as you may lose trust.
On the now edited page, place an email sign up for a notification list for your next webinar. This will encourage attendees and gives you a chance to build a relationship with them. They will get to know you better through the emails you send, and vice versa. You can survey them, send them other special offers and content, and see how they react.
Sometimes your audience needs to be educated about the issue or topic, as well as the benefits of your product, and why they need it. Let’s look next at webinars for education and sales as well.
Webinars for Education, Entertainment, and Sales
Webinars are ideal for educating your audience about a particular subject. Think of how popular videos and PowerPoint presentations are, and you will understand the huge potential to hold successful webinars your target audience will love.
When doing research into your niche, that is, your topic you will be specializing in and producing content and selling products for, you will discover that niche’s pain points and help solve their problems.
If you are trying to educate an audience about an important topic, you can present them with a foundation of facts and information they need in order to go to the next level.
You can also go to the next level. If you have a strong command of your material, you can present beginner, intermediate and even advanced webinars. You can provide detailed information by presenting a series of webinars for each level. Another option is to step up a level after each initial webinar.
The important thing is that your webinars should be entertaining enough to hold the audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more. We’ve all encountered a great public speaker who commands the room in such a way that we don’t want to miss a word. Look at a few TED talks online as examples. Try to develop that level of skill yourself when you are hosting a webinar about an important topic or skill within your niche.
You can probably remember at least one great teacher you had at school who made learning fun and fascinating. Emulating them is another way to keep your audience engaged.
A third way to keep attendees with you is interactivity. The level available will depend on the service you use, but should include Questions and Answers. One of the attractions of attending a webinar is to gain access to an expert.
You can offer free webinars or sell them. You could also record all your webinars and bundle them into one attractive product, or sell them through a popular course-selling site like Udemy. The important thing is that they should have a high-perceived value, but this can only be accomplished if you present a good webinar and get people to attend, and to want to learn more.
Your webinar should ultimately lead to a sale of some sort, such as an ebook or information product related to the topic of the webinar.
Webinars are one of the most popular marketing tools for businesses both large and small. They are not just for the “big boys.” If you have never hosted a webinar related to your products or services, now is the best time to start planning. Think outside the box how you can implement a webinar to sell your offer. Select a topic and a product, and see how webinars can take your business to the next level.
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