Webinars are the new darling in social and internet marketing, nowadays seems like every single marketer is doing one, so let’s take a look why webinars are so important and what are some strategies you need to plan your first webinar to promote your products or services.
Why Use Webinars for List Building & Sales?
There are a lot of reasons webinars work better than other marketing models for boosting engagement, building your list, making sales and improving your business profile. If you are thinking about hosting your first webinar and you are not sure if it is right for your business, consider the following statistics:
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 60% of marketers polled said they are consistently using webinars as part of an overall content marketing program.
- People are more time-crunched than ever before. That is why they love webinars. With recorded webinars, they can listen whenever they like. That’s why time management is so important when planning your first webinar.
- Physical seminars can be incredibly expensive, and require sometimes a sizable time investment. There is lodging and travel to consider, and none of these time or financial costs is a consideration with a webinar.
- A webinar introduces you as a real person, not just a website or a text-based marketing message. No matter what you think about yourself, there is an audience out there that will immediately “connect” with you as a person, and this deeper connection with your audience can create loyal, lifetime customers.
- Webinars level the playing field. Small businesses can compete with even the largest businesses in the world. You may not have the advertising budget of an Amazon, but you have the exact same Internet Amazon users, meaning you have access to all of the people on the Internet.
- You can reach a global audience from your kitchen table. Many kitchen table millionaires have been made thanks to the power of the Internet. You have that same ability with webinars.
- Webinars cost little to no money to produce and host, and can turn into passive sales funnels that make you money with little input from you for the rest of your life.
Planning Your First Webinar
1. Choosing a Topic – Answer 1 Question or Solve 1 Problem
Every large niche or marketplace has countless questions and problems that plague people interested in that topic. As an example, when you choose a topic for your first webinar, as well as a title, “Weight Loss” is much too large of a focus. Even if you desire to lose weight, if you saw a webinar offered that was titled something like “How to Lose Weight”, you would probably not sign up.
That is because the topic is too large.
It doesn’t draw your attention. There is also entirely too much information to cover during a single webinar. That is too much information for even a single book. You need to figure out 1 big question or 1 big problem your audience needs to solve in the weight loss market.
Focusing on a single micro-topic in a larger niche makes your content more relevant to those people searching for that particular answer.
It also serves you well. It makes your research easier. It makes you look like an authority figure to people that are desperately trying to solve that 1 problem you are going to talk about. This means a higher number of sign-ups, as well as a higher click through rate. It means better sales conversions.
You also have a good opportunity to really identifying with someone, when you answer a question or solve a problem that people in your niche market stay up at night worrying about.
In the writer’s market, if you plan your first webinar titled “How to Write a Killer Headline that Gets Your Content Read”, and you focused your marketing efforts on writer’s forums and writer’s groups on Facebook, you would have a win/win situation for both you and writers looking to improve their skills.
There are literally hundreds of different skills a writer must develop. Focusing on one topic that is crucially important to getting content read online and off, rather than attempting to cover everything a writer needs to know to be successful, will create a better experience for you and your audience.
2. Deliver a Quick Win
What will someone come away with after listening to or viewing your first webinar? The answer is, they should be able to achieve a “quick win“. This means that what you teach in your webinar should be able to be employed quickly. This goes back to the idea of answering just 1 big question or solving 1 big problem. When you stick to just 1 question or problem, it is easier for your audience to take action.
This means it is easier as well for your attendees to realize the result you taught during your seminar.
Suppose you have developed a lot of knowledge on the topic of training New Zealand goldfinches. You know how to get a goldfinch to do just about anything, including playing games, picking up bits of trash around the house, acting as an attack bird, singing and whistling, and mowing the grass.
You would love to teach your audience all of those things. However, the New Zealand goldfinch lovers out there would have a hard time implementing all of that knowledge at once. Pick one small thing you know you can teach, that just about anybody could do. For instance, maybe you found that it is very easy to get a New Zealand goldfinch to whistle happy birthday. That one skill would be an excellent webinar topic.
When choosing a topic for your first webinar, make sure you deliver a quick win to your audience, something that even beginners to your niche or industry can put into practice.
3. How Long Should Your First Webinar Be?
This is where a lot of webinar providers spend too much time trying to figure out. Just remember that your first webinar should be as long as it needs to be, with-out being any longer. It is like writing a piece of content. When you write any-thing for the web, it should be as short as possible and as long as it needs to be, not one word more.
People consuming online content have extremely short attention spans. So, your first webinar should not be so long that it becomes boring.
However, you want to cover all the content concerning the 1 big problem or 1 big question you are going to speak about. One way to figure out exactly how long your webinar is going to be is to first streamline your introduction and conclusion.
Your introduction should talk about who you are and why someone should believe what you are saying. Make this as short as possible. It is important for people to believe you, and understand why they should listen to you, but you should not spend more than 3 to 5 minutes on your introduction.
As far as your conclusion goes, here is where you want to wrap things up and include a call to action. This may be an opportunity for you to present a value-filled offer for your audience. If you do so, make your offer extremely rich in value. Give your audience the opportunity of purchasing a product you usually sell at $97 for just $17. Add scarcity and a limited time for your offer, and you will do well. Just remember to make your conclusion no more than 3 to 5 minutes, just like your introduction.
You already have 6 to 10 minutes of time committed to your webinar.
You should have a question and answer period, after you deliver the meat of your first webinar. This Q and A session should be no more than 10 to 15 minutes, and is important because it drives engagement and gets your audience involved.
Since research across dozens of markets shows that 60 minutes seems to be an ideal length for webinars, this leaves anywhere from about 35 to 44 minutes for the body of the webinar to deliver a big win for your audience.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
Now it is time to practice, practice, practice. Practice your introduction until you could do it without reading your script. Practice your call to action. This should be polished, engaging and enticing. Write down several frequently asked questions in case your question and answer session does not draw too many questions from your audience.
Finally, work on presenting your material. You should be intimately familiar with your webinar software, as well as exactly how you are going to present your webinar content, which we will go into in the next session.
5. Include Polls, Quizzes, “Yes or No” Questions
The feature of webinars that can develop a dedicated, interested prospect pool is engagement. This means you should have a few spots in your webinar where you ask questions where the answer is a simple yes or no.
Depending on the webinar software you are using, you can have your audience enter their responses on their tablet, computer or smartphone, and this input can be seen by everyone in the webinar.
This makes those people that answer your questions feel important, and a part of the process.
The same happens when you offer polls or quizzes. Polls are a great way to find out exactly what is bothering your audience, and what questions they need answered. This can give you excellent data for a future webinar, or input you can use to develop a product you already have a built-in audience for.
6. What Day Is Best for Launching Your Webinar?
According to a lot of data, Tuesday and Wednesday seem to be the best days for hosting a webinar. Attendance seems to be higher on those days, as is engagement, giving you a better chance at building your list, selling your products or services, or whatever it is you are trying to do through your webinar presentation.
By now you should have a good idea about the many benefits a webinar can bring to your bottom line. Webinars have many benefits and you need to plan your first webinar carefully if you want to maximize your results.