This video goes over webinars and how they can help generate qualified leads and sales.
- If you're watching this course, the odds are that you're familiar with webinars and what they can do for content marketing. Ultimately, if I were going to try to break it down I would say that webinars are live video presentations that you can have available that serve the purpose of qualifying potential leads or buyers while also educating those potential leads or buyers about the value proposition of your product or your services or maybe even qualifying yourself as an authority or an expert in an industry or a specialized area of interest.
There are online video platforms that suit themselves really well to hosting or even distributing your webinars and I think we need to cover a few of those as well as tools that you might want to put in place, and this leads to a larger conversation about live video as a whole. Now it is possible to do recorded webinars, but it is often frowned upon. It can be practical if it's marketed that way up front, but most people tune into webinars because they want to interact and want to have the ability to ask questions and get an actionable piece of advice out of them.
So you just have to consider your target marketed audience when you're making that choice. Let's get into some of the best platforms and tools that you can use for your online webinars. In terms of platforms, you need a live video platform of some kind. As of right now, the two best platform that I can recommend for live video webinars, are Facebook and YouTube. There may be more in the future, I'm probably sure there will be, but let's focus on these for the time being. Now when it comes to live streaming, you can either use the native tools within the platform, or you can use outside tools and appliances.
Two of the ones I can recommend when it comes to just doing your live streaming and setting this up, especially if you want to customize and control the look and feel of the stream and the brand, are going to be OBS, which is an open source broadcasting system, or Wire Cast, something that is a little bit more of an investment. Both these tools are great and share a majority of the same features. Simulcasting, or distributing to multiple platforms at the same time, is available in both of these, however, there can be some caveats here.
There may be platforms that are more restrictive on whether or not you can simulcast. And so you'll have to work around this as best as you can and there might be other tools and appliances in the future that address this or the platforms might change. With this in mind, I again stress context. Always understand that each individual platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and that if you simulcast you will have to also split your attention in how you interact with comments in real time. I actually advise again simulcasting, if your goal is audience interaction.
If you're just interested in broadcasting information, then it may be practical, but when it comes to a webinar, you have to consider how the platform handles your calls to action, and what tools you have to take advantage of that, and so I would focus on a one platform at a time strategy when it comes to webinars, or, what I would suggest, is that you have an individual host for each platform even if you're going to do that at the same time, and so that's just a matter of what you're organization and infrastructure can handle.
This is actually a great point to talk about strategy. Ultimately when it comes to online webinars and your strategy you have to think about the call to action and what you want to achieve with this webinar. While most people use it to qualify leads that are either going to buy their product or service they could also be a very practical way just to grow an email list that you can convert from later. Which means that a webinar doesn't have to convert to direct sales then and there, although it's entirely possible to do direct selling, you can at least capture a lead in a meaningful way in terms of the email that they used to sign up for this webinar, or you can have some other type of value up front.
You could offer some type of lead magnet or free download that you capture in exchange for an email address so that you can follow up later or put them into an email cycle, called an email sequence. These are some practical things that you should consider in your marketing strategy when it comes to hosting these webinars and you should really more than anything think about the target audience, think about how you can best serve their needs and what is the qualification for them joining this webinar in the first place, because, since they're giving you a very specific amount of their time, and they're doing this live, rather than through an on-demand video, it means that you have their immediate attention.
There's a lot that you can leverage there. So try to use this to your best overall advantage and do it very strategically. While it's entirely possible to do webinars on your own, it's wildly impractical to do so. For one thing, you're managing live audience interaction. Being able to prioritize that is important and if you have to do that and manage the robust tools of live streaming at the exact same time, and all the other technical aspects of that, it can get overwhelming very easily. And you don't want to lose that audience engagement interaction because that's the entire point of doing a webinar in the first place, and why they tuned into this versus an on-demand recorded video.
So one of the last things that I would advise you to do is to attend webinars yourself and be a participant. This is going to help you understand what makes a good webinar because you'll have your own perspective as reference. Take a lot of notes, engage in the conversation, really think about what spoke to you and what helped you in this webinar, and where you feel that it fell short. If you can apply this to your own strategy, then you'll be able to have a successful webinar that meets the needs of your audience and allows for that interaction.
Some final thoughts, don't leave Q & A to the end. Remember, the audience experience is everything, and you need to be able to get that enthusiasm and that energy across to them, and so I wouldn't leave it until the very end. Make the audience the priority, that is going to be the key to success in your webinar strategy.
- Preproduction and planning
- Production: camera, lights, and audio
- Video editing and post
- Online video platforms
- Understanding your audience
- Making awesome content
- Releasing the right volume of content at the right times
- Developing a content calendar
- Video optimization strategies