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Webinars are great tools to use as part of your marketing strategy. Online marketers who start using webinars to promote their products find that their sales quickly increase. However, there is always the question of which is the best type of webinar: one that concentrates on providing value in your webinar or one that focuses on selling and conversions?

According to a recent survey of 608 buyers who played a key role in a software purchasing decision, The B2B Buying Disconnect conducted by TrustRadius, while buyers remain somewhat skeptical of vendor claims, and there is growing trend of doing their own independent research on any particular product, purchases are still being made by way of personalized interactions with the vendor.

Of the buyers surveyed 62% reported that vendors played a tactical role in the decision-making process, including answering of questions and providing demos of the product. One key takeaway from the TrustRadius survey was that vendors need to provide a realistic view of the product; it is something buyers expect and want.

 

Webinars That Provide Value

The best types of webinars for marketing your product are ones that have the goal of illustrating value to perspective buyers, versus typically over hyped statements, as illustrated by the B2B survey. One quote from a survey responder that stood out, ‘user friendly. Everyone says it. No one has it. Most companies don’t even have UI people for admin tools. They think features are more important – true if you just want to make the sale and run. Long-term relationships require high adoption rates = usability,” illustrates the need for a more hands-on approach, action versus verbal claims, something a live webinar provides quite efficiently.

Therefore, instead of making these types of verbal claims that spurn skepticism, a webinar presentation allows you to show the value and greatness of your product to perspective buyers.

The webinar platform offers prospective clients a hands-on look at value, this could be in the form of:

  • educational materials
  • training courses
  • product demonstrations

 

What makes content valuable?

Another quote of interest from one of the B2B survey respondents, “Vendor collateral is often puffery and glosses over important details.” Buyers in the TrustRadius survey found the certain vendor claims to be questionable and not so believable, and this included claims of unlimited product flexibility or the product’s ability to solve all their problems. Buyers also reported that they find the vendor’s website the least helpful and least trustworthy as a source of information, mainly because these sites were clearly much more aimed at converting a sale versus providing them with information they could find useful about the said product.

In order to make sure that your webinar content is of value to your audience, you should make sure that it fits into one or more of these categories (preferably all of them):

  • Use live webinars with product demos. Live webinars with product demos convert much better and make your sales pitch much more effective.
  • Relevant. Your audience will view your content if it addresses their specific problems and offers solutions, and instead of claiming this verbally, this can be backed up visually in real time through the webinar presentation.
  • Consistent. Always prepare high-quality content for your audience. They will keep coming back and view you as an industry authority. Low-quality content that features more hype than fact will turn your audience away and diminish your trustworthiness.
  • Avoid hard-sell tactics. Even though the goal of your webinar is to make sales, you never use hard-sell tactics. This will undermine your authority and turn prospective clients away.
  • Engaging. Your content should not only be high quality but it should be presented in an enjoyable way for your audience.
  • Useful. Always provide content that your audience can use immediately and without having to pay for it.
  • Credible. For your content to be credible and trustworthy, make sure that there are no mistakes, get your facts right, and cite verifiable references.
  • Authentic. Be yourself when presenting your content and this will be of value to your audience.
  • Keep your audience engaged. This is important for any kind of webinar. During a sales webinar, use polls, surveys, questions, and other interactive activities to engage your audience. The Q&A is critical, as it is one of the most important interactions as noted by buyers in the TrustRadius survey.
  • Follow up. It essential to follow up each webinar with one or two emails. These could include special offers if the attendee didn’t buy your product and answers to questions not answered within the webinar.

 

Show them instead of telling them.

In fact, if you have a product that provides value, it will speak for itself when the audience gets a hands-on view of it at work through the webinar interface. In the end, when your audience clearly sees the benefit to them, you don’t have to spend so much time selling. Content marketing helps to establish you as an authority in your industry. You become the ‘go-to’ person for your audience and they are more likely to trust you because they know that your only goal isn’t to make sales.

Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Marketing Director at ClickMeeting.