It takes a lot of energy and effort to deliver a high-quality webinar related to your product or service. A good webinar delivers useful, relevant information in an entertaining format. People who really wanted to know about your product or service would surely pay for it if they had to. So why shouldn’t you charge your prospects to attend?

The answer lies in the numbers. Hosting a fee-based webinar gives you a return on investment in the short-term. The direct transaction – payment in exchange for access to the webinar – looks good at first glance and provides you with monetary compensation for your efforts. If you want to guarantee that you’ll get something in return, then fee-based webinars seem to be the solution.

The error with this way of thinking is that it looks at the webinar as the product. However, what you are really trying to sell is the product or service that your company provides. The webinar is the catalyst for making that transaction happen. Like food vendors in a shopping mall giving out free samples, a webinar lures in potential customers with a taste of what’s on offer. If a prospect likes that one bite of chicken teriyaki, they’ll likely return for a whole plate. If they had to pay for the sample, it’s more likely they’ll decline to try the chicken and never become a customer. A free webinar gets you nothing at the beginning, but ensures that more prospects will be back for more.


Bolster Long-Term Growth

Free is not just free of cost, but also free of risk. When people have to pay for something and they’re not sure what they’re getting, they may abstain to minimize loss and the risk of disappointment. This psychology of economics explains why free webinars have statistically more registrants and attendees than fee-based webinars. Offering free webinars is a strategy to grow your brand’s following in the long-term. It’s a form of marketing that fosters relationships between your brand and potential customers. Reach more people, and you’ll get more leads. These leads may not spend money on you right away, but according to current data, about 75 percent will buy related products or service within two years of the webinar.


Get Greater Returns Per Webinar

While it can be argued that prospects who are willing to pay for a webinar are more serious about becoming customers, it’s never a guarantee. These types of prospects are a rare breed – most, even those who pay, still have to be persuaded. Free or fee, a good webinar will succeed at that. With fee-based webinars, some of those who attend will become customers. You’ll have fewer people in that pool, however, than if you offered it for free. To get the same amount of clients, you have to offer that webinar again, and this time even fewer people may be interested because you’ve tapped out your resources. Showing the same webinar over and over can make your brand seem dull, so eventually you’ll need to make more webinars. Offering a free webinar will not only increase your prospects, but it will also require less repeats.


Spread the Word Further

Boil it down, and a brand webinar is an advertisement. It’s a visually and contextually appealing presentation created for the purpose of selling your product or service. You wouldn’t charge a prospect to view one of your advertisements. The same rule applies to webinars – but webinars can be even more effective than ads. Webinars have the potential to spread your brand far and wide across the vast Internet. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase the value of the products and services you offer and engage with your potential customer audience. Ads, on the other hand, are static and easily overlooked. Even if a prospect only stays for part of the webinar, they’ve learned more about your brand than they ever would have from looking at an ad.


Enhance Your Reputation

What do big brands like Apple, Toyota, and General Electric all have in common? They’ve garnered a reputation that exceeds other companies in their niche. Part of what has earned them that reputation is their knowledge of the industry and their customers. In your webinar, you can show your customers that you’re an expert in the area of your product or service. Perhaps you’re the whiz kid of team training because you understand human work patterns; or you might be an expert about what active mothers want from a jogging stroller. In order to provide a great product or service, a brand has to know what their audience wants and be able to deliver it in an appealing package. A webinar is your platform for delivering the message that you’re capable of that, and leaving your audience with a sense of trust in your brand.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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