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Does a Webinar Make Sense for My Marketing Strategy?

Does a Webinar Make Sense for My Marketing Strategy?

How to use online learning tools to increase sales and visibility

A webinar is a low cost tool that can deliver sales and marketing results and integrate smoothly into your small business communications strategy.  A webinar enables you to create expert content, build and maintain relationships and provide value for ongoing and prospective clients.

As a professionally executed outreach tool, a webinar can differentiate your small business from its same-size and larger competitors in a variety of ways, all of which connect to and reinforce the value statements you make in your communications strategy and marketing materials.

A Webinar Confirms Your Status as Expert

As a communication tool in your marketing arsenal, the webinar performs specific functions well.  Hosting an event of this type and featuring members of your team as speakers and content builders allows you to articulate your expertise in your field.

This expert position strengthens your relationships with continuing clients and introduces you and your small business to prospective clients from the expert vantage point.  This helps to build and reinforce the trust that is necessary for successful business relationships and sales conversions.

A Webinar Allows You to Preview Services to your Target Audience

Among the marketing and communications outreach initiatives designed to connect you to your target audience, a webinar is particularly useful because it allows you to introduce and preview your services to your audience.  These can be new services that you are introducing to continuing clients or core business services that you are introducing to prospective and new clients.

In the webinar setting, you are able to introduce and preview services outside of the formal sales setting.  In presenting your services or previewing services, take advantage of the webinar as an online communication and learning tool.  Show screenshots and demonstrations, and walk through your process so that your target audience can envision themselves working with you and understand the value that you provide them.

The key in a webinar presentation is that you are not pitching your services.  Rather, you are showing some of the best of what you do in a setting that is knowledge-focused and provides immediate value to your attendees.  From this launching off point, the sales transaction falls into place organically.  Your webinar participants see what you do, like what you do, then ask you to do that for them.

A Webinar Gives you a Place to Cement Relationships that Strengthen Your Business Position

By providing value and sharing knowledge, your webinar reinforces your relationship with continuing clients, a process that keeps your small business healthy and contributes to its longevity.  Additionally, a webinar gives you the opportunity to extend speaking engagement offers and knowledge sharing requests to others, strengthening their position with a target audience you share and supporting your business-to-business relationships.  These relationships include those with strategic partners, colleagues, customers who share your target audience, industry influencers and the media.

Just as company blogs provide you with guest blogs as something valuable to bring to your business-to-business relationships, webinars enable you to invite these same influencers to share their voice and their expertise.  This is a winning proposition for you.  Not only are you nurturing your own relationships in service of your small business; you are offering additional value to your audience and creating an environment of knowledge sharing and professional education.

A Webinar is a List Building Tool

Your webinar invite and attendee lists support your efforts to build effective lists for marketing and sales.  More than just a list building vehicle, the webinar itself provides immediate value to your audience.

A Webinar Gives You Direct Contact to Prospects

With direct access to your prospect list, the webinar allows you to confirm a prospect’s interest in your small business when they choose to participate in the webinar.  The event qualifies leads that have already taken a desired action by registering to attend your webinar.

A Webinar Gives You a Newsworthy Announcement to Share

Like other events, a webinar energizes your communications strategy by giving your small business something tangible, interesting and participatory to report to your audience on your own channels and in the press.

To encourage registration, participation, and webinar event coverage by industry press, share links to and descriptions about your webinar on your social media channels, to your mailing lists, on your website and blog, and in media alerts and press releases.

If your webinar includes a well known guest speaker or a featured presenter, that provides even more opportunity to share the news across your channels and with the media.

A Webinar Gives You Valuable Archived Content

Keeping in mind the fact that webinars are knowledge sharing, education tools used for communications and marketing, archived webinar content is a valuable resource for your small business.  Archived webinar content provides you with relevant material for social media sharing and website updates, delivering more value for your audience and search value for your business.

Sales professionals can direct prospective clients to archived web content to substantiate and demonstrate sales claims, ensuring your webinar works for you long after you conclude the session.

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by Elizabeth Eames // Owner of Brooklyn, New York-based Contemporary Communications Consulting, a full service communications and marketing firm established in 2007. Over 10 years experience in content writing, editing, communications strategy, media relations, training and presentations.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.