Webinars are increasingly becoming a regular fixture in the business landscape, especially when it comes down to building new prospects and maintaining a steadily growing customer base. In most of today’s cutthroat industries, companies, whether small or big, are turning to webinars to build and strengthen their competitive advantage.
What’s not to love about webinars?
- Lower costs of communicating directly with prospects and customers
- A great deal of opportunities and room to wow and hook audiences
- Proven increased payoffs in terms of maximizing conversion of new contacts
- Enhanced capacities to generate leads
- The opportunity to build a respectable market position.
Companies who regularly host webinars, or at least those who have tried their hand at this powerful communication medium, know the drill.
If webinars did not play a significant role in increasing business payoffs, you wouldn’t even be reading this article to learn more about them, right?
How Webinars Reach Your Audience
The reason why companies use webinars is plain and simple: To grow their business by reaching out to target audiences.
There lies the rub in why caring for your audiences, hence your target market, requires your company to seek new ways of communicating effectively with them, which until recently was made possible by the power and sheer brilliance of webinars.
Reaching your target market and doing a product or service pitch on them used to be a walk in the park. The norm then was to have capable telemarketers who could charm their way into people’s contact details in exchange for a free demo of your goods or services, until telemarketers earned the ill repute of becoming a nuisance.
Throwing in free stuff was another sure-fire convert generator, until companies began to notice that only about 20% of free-trial clients eventually become paying consumers.
Imagine the strain on company resources that old ways of reaching audiences did, and we can understand how webinarsóa live meeting conducted over the internetóhave seemed to save the day. With webinars, companies could talk to audiences, educate them, feed their interests and draw them in to products or services.
The Art Of Taking Care Of Your Webinar Audience
Communicating with your audience is an art, and there is often a thin line between hearing and listening. Companies that use webinars to reach their target audience should know that webinars are merely tools for communication, and what really matters is how well (or bad) they are able to sustain the interest of their audience.
We are talking about not only of how to keep audiences sitting through an entire webinar but also how to keep their interest in your product or service.
When hosting a webinar, keep in mind that the audience assume utmost importance. You can go on and on about what you want to say but if audiences are not listening, then what’s the point in your presentation?
An audience who keeps on listening feels that your webinaróand by association your product or serviceóis created for them and no one else.
It is not your company’s duty to provide a venue for your presenter to talk; your duty is to make your audience feel that you want to take care of them and that it is you who can best take care of them.
Take These Reminders To Heart
Keep your webinar relevant and exciting. Nothing matters but your audience’s needs and interests. Know their interests, what they want to know and never for a moment make them feel that participating in your webinar is a difficult and uninspiring task to them. Engage your audience and deliver on what you promised in the original promo material.
Always keep your webinar interactive. Provide your audience with lots of opportunity to ask, share their thoughts or suggest how to make things better. Consider inviting comments or clarifications throughout your presentation instead of an appointed time towards the end.
This way, you can check if your audience are still interested or have drifted away to more interesting stuff over the web.
Maximize social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook by using hashtags to keep your audience engaged during your webinar.
Assign someone from your company to actively engage your audience in these platforms. Sponsor an online poll after your webinar event to maximize interaction with your audience. This will also help you design follow-up webinars and other post-event activities.
Keep your audience satisfied, but, wanting more. Go with the benchmark that a great webinar will make your audience keep coming back for more. Make sure that you leave your audience with contact information so they could drop your company or your presenter a line for questions arising from your webinar.
It is also advisable to contact those who attended your webinar within 24 to 48 hours to share with them whitepapers, a link to where they could find the recording of your event, and other bonus materials.
Tell them that you are keen to hear of their feedback and will surely let them know when you have another webinar.
Whenever you host a webinar to increase payoffs for your business, remember that caring for your audience is of paramount importance. You can swim rather than sink in the industry by hosting webinars, especially if you recognize that an audience who feels well taken care of is your lifeline.