Modern day marketing is a completely different sector to what it was a decade ago - even five years ago. Some might even say it’s different to what it was a year ago!
The kind of techniques that might have had a significant impact once might be completely ineffective these days, and with companies investing heavily into more and more advanced digital marketing campaigns it’s crucial that each campaign is a success.
At the heart of this success is the freedom to be creative, as it will always be, but businesses now are relying on marketing agencies or experienced marketers within their teams to steer them in the right direction across an ever-increasing series of marketing channels. There used to be only a handful of channels - radio, print and television - but now there are all kinds of different marketing channels including social media, public transport ads, email marketing and an increasingly popular newcomer to the mix: webinars.
Since the pandemic brought live, in-person events to a halt businesses have been looking for new ways to reach their audiences and webinars have filled the void admirably. They have bridged the gap between businesses and their prospects, as well as industry peers, and enabled companies to continue their marketing efforts while also ensuring that their brand value continues to rise in the industry.
What is a webinar?
For anyone who might not be aware of what a webinar is, it is essentially a digital event such as a conference or audio recording that enables businesses and individuals to connect and share their thoughts and expertise.
One way of looking at a webinar is as a digital presentation. Imagine being in a conference room with a speaker on stage, a big screen behind them and an auditorium full of people. Well a webinar is a digital version of this with a speaker and live presentation, only the attendees have tuned in through their laptops, smartphones or tablets.
How do you host a webinar?
There are a number of different ways in which you can host your own webinar, and it’s all down to the platform you choose and the scale of your event which will ultimately inform your final decision.
Platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made it incredibly simple for people to host and join webinars, but these are perhaps best kept for small meetings and team conferences rather than events for hundreds, even thousands of people.
As your event grows larger and seeks to bring in revenue you can look at different paid-for webinar platforms and packages that will enable you to encourage event sponsorship to cover any costs, potentially even guest speakers, and then you can look at systems that enable you to do more and invite greater numbers.
Invitations are fairly quick and simple to send out, and usually require a simple link to the host platform where you’ll be holding your webinar. When you have your platform in place and have selected the time and date to host your event, you can start with the promotion. This could be done through email marketing where you contact all of your current newsletter subscribers, or even through social media and paid advertising so that you can reach targeted audiences who are likely to be in the market for your products and services so that you can talk to them about what they’re most likely to be interested in.
When you get a response from your potential attendees, who might register through a dedicated landing page on your site or a form, you can start to capture their details ready to send out a webinar link ahead of the event.
Who takes part in a webinar?
A webinar is a great opportunity for anyone with a particular interest in the topic or sector to get involved. Just like an industry conference that might span a few days in a physical auditorium, a webinar is an opportunity for beginners, experts and business owners alike to get involved and hear what the speaker or speakers have to say on their chosen topic.
It’s also a great chance for prospects to learn more about potential business partners. If a company has been reaching out to try and sell them a product or service, this upcoming webinar might be what helps to seal the deal as they learn more about who they would be working with, their level of expertise and also the products or services they have to offer. That is why so many businesses are turning to webinars and adding them to their ongoing marketing strategies.
Not only are they a chance to promote themselves in the industry by boosting their reputation and brand awareness, but they also represent an opportunity to reach new markets both at home and abroad, to engaged audiences interested in the packages or services available but perhaps unable to attend a meeting in person.
Can you download a webinar and catch-up after the event?
If a particular webinar interests you but you’re unable to attend at the specified time then it is possible for you to catch up at a later date. A lot of companies will publish edited versions, transcripts and links on their blog pages so that anyone who is interested is able to see and hear what went on, and get in touch to ask any questions or even sign up or invest.
This is another particularly valuable benefit of a webinar and why you should definitely be adding it to your marketing strategy. Sure, the main live event is what you set out to attract people to, but by sharing it afterwards you have the potential to make it an evergreen piece of content on your site that people can use as a valuable resource to learn more about who you are and what you do prior to joining.
Hopefully this gives you plenty to think about, and has helped you to understand more about webinars and their place in your marketing strategy. There is great potential around webinars and digital events in general, and they can be hosted with very little outlay or equipment required at the smallest of scales should you wish to test the water before your first major event.