Five Reasons Why Webinars Should Be A Part Of Your Marketing
In general, what’s the goal of any marketing campaign? “Gain sales” is the easy answer, but in most cases, especially in the building products industry, it takes time to gain trust, educate, transition, and then ultimately make the sale, and the truth is, many elements to a marketing campaign are passive.
But what about gathering 50 to 500 people who have opted in to learning more about why your product matters, and what makes your solution different? And what if it was in an environment where there can be live, two-way dialog to allow for real questions and learning taking place? Then, what if to save on costs and simplify the participation for all, you facilitate this discussion over the web?
For the past seven years, we’ve produced over 160 live, online webinars, sharing information across the globe. We have facilitated internal-facing sessions to help launch new products to the sales force, CEU courses for multiple architectural firms, and well known presenters sharing their insights to hundreds of engaged participants. We have consistently seen why webinars are one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience.
And here are the 5 most important benefits of webinars:
- Your audience WANTS to hear from you
When you have a live webinar, the audience has “opted in” in the truest form of the name. By registering, and then attending the session, they are communicating they are interested in your topic or subject matter expertise. If your presentation is engaging, interactive, and on topic (just as a face-to-face meeting), you can expect this group to listen to your message.
- Sixty minutes or two seconds?
Banner and print ads are important elements in most comprehensive marketing programs, but even with compelling creative, you might have their attention for a couple of seconds. With a live webinar, you have them for much more than that. Our experience has seen most webinars last just over 60 minutes, including interaction. The length can vary depending on the amount of material you have … it is all about the content and the presentation.
- No travel – for anyone!
Raise your hand if you enjoy standing in the security line at the airport. With live webinars, you can do your entire presentation from your home office (and not have to empty your pockets while racing to get to your gate). This not only saves you time and the hassle of travel, but is a big benefit on your budget as well. You can allocate more of the budget to promoting the webinar instead. And the same benefits of saving time, hassle and money go for those who have opted in to hear your message, making them more likely to join you. Technology supports video conferencing as well, if that “face time” is important.
- Real-time dialog
Yes, video continues to get easier to do and points potential or existing customers to hear your message. But a live webinar falls under the “Engagement Marketing” group: both parties commit time to interact. There are many great things about live webinars, but the opportunity to receive follow-up questions right there while the audience is engaged AND provide a targeted, ON BRAND, answer is extremely valuable. Talking to dealers about your new product? They have the opportunity to not only hear your passion about the solutions it offers, but also ask questions that will help them communicate it to their customers.
- Hot Leads
Existing and potential customers committing time on their busy calendar to discuss with you about the solutions your products offer? That sounds like the pure definition of a “hot lead.” If you set up your webinar registration page correctly, you should receive all of the information you need to quickly follow-up with the participants. And if someone signs up but doesn’t attend, then you put them into another sales funnel where you have a reason to call. (NOTE: The key element here is to get the contact info and their participation level to the sales team ASAP. If you wait and let them go cool, you are disrespecting them and giving them a reason to find a competitor.)
A good marketing plan includes different elements. Let’s be honest in that a successful webinar includes good, extensive marketing to drive participation. But a live webinar to an interested group of builders, architects, dealers, or others that directly buy or influence the purchase is extremely valuable and efficient. The next time you are working on a marketing plan, seriously consider the power of a live webinar.