HOW TO PLAN, PROMOTE AND PRODUCE AN EFFECTIVE WEBINAR
Webinars are cost-effective tools for marketing your business, increasing customer loyalty, and creating new streams of revenue.
There are hundreds of ways to put on a Webinar, but this month I figured I’d tell you how I (currently) put mine on, how I market them, and how I collect money for them.
I’m not necessarily recommending any of these solutions as “best of breed,” but rather I’m just sharing my experience.
My Webinars are usually a mix of Keynote presentations (Apple’s PowerPoint alternative) and real-time online activity where I show attendees how to read traffic reports, sign up for Twitter, or perform other Web marketing activities. Using the Web-based application Glance I’m able to share my desktop with up to 100 other users.
I like Glance’s relatively low price and that my attendees don’t need to download any software to view the Webinar; they can use any modern browser. I provide a URL and a 4-digit login code and that’s all they need.
Tip: A PowerPoint-heavy presentation can make for a boring Webinar. Add more slides, especially ones with graphics. This will make your presentations more visually stimulating and hold your attendees’ interest longer.
I use FreeConference for the audio portion of the Webinar. They offer a free call-in number for up to 150 people and will even record and send you the audio file when the session is over! (You could then turn around and sell the audio recording for an additional passive revenue stream.)
I don’t offer a toll-free call-in number, but since most people have free long distance these days I’ve fielded few complaints.
Other call-in options might include the toll-free version of FreeConference (although at $0.10/min/caller it adds up quickly) or Skype, although that requires a more Internet-savvy audience.
Tip: Many conference call systems beep every time someone enters or exits the call; you should shut off these distracting alerts. Also, mute your attendees until the Q&A session (if you have one); the background noise gets worse with each additional attendee.
Charging for Webinars
There’s no doubt you’ll get more signups by making your Webinars free. However, paid Webinars have their benefits, too:
- Higher perceived value.
- People are less likely to blow off a paid Webinar as opposed to a free one. Something urgent always comes up when you’re planning on attending a free Webinar.
- Paid Webinars get rid of the tire kickers and attract serious prospects.
- It’s nice to get paid for your hard work.
- It offers an elegant shopping cart compared to PayPal.
- It allows for inventory management so I can limit my attendees.
- It sends autoresponders with Webinar login information after payment has been confirmed.
- It tracks attendees by Webinar, which can be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet for better follow-up.
And yes, I wish e-junkie had a better name.
You’re going to need to market your Webinars whether you charge for them or not. Here’s my game plan; adapt it to your own needs:
- We list all Webinars on our Web marketing events page on our site, along with buy now buttons.
- I run an opt-in mailing list for anyone interested in these type of events. An email goes out every two weeks with all upcoming Webinars.
- I blog about upcoming Webinars both on the flyte blog and on my Maine Business blog, Internet Marketing 101.
- I promote them on flyte’s Facebook page, along with discounts for anyone who becomes a “fan” of flyte new media.
- I promote them through Twitter, along with discounts for anyone who follows me on Twitter.
- I promote them within a few LinkedIn groups that I belong to.
Tip: Create unique discount codes for your different marketing channels; that way you can better track where you’re having the most success.
Webinars are a cost-effective tool you can use to market your business, establish your expertise, reward customer loyalty and develop new revenue streams. By using inexpensive online tools and a bit of Web marketing you can grow your business in any economy.
If you’d like help setting up your own Webinars, or advice on how to market them, contact flyte today.
President, flyte new media