In the online world, there are multiple ideas and techniques businesses can use to promote themselves among the target audience and grow as influencers within the industry. Gamification, hosting a conference, working with big data are few of the examples that work really well, but the problem with these ideas is they need big marketing budget that most startups and small businesses are missing, especially when they are in their initial stage.
Innovation does not stop here, there are quite a few ideas that even small businesses can use to grow as industry experts or leaders. The best part is that these ideas are cost effective, and any small business with a limited marketing budget can implement. One of the ideas is “hosting a webinar”.
Note: Unfortunately, not all business under any niche can use this idea because of the information or nature of the industry. However, if your audience is responsive and eager to learn more, this might be an idea to consider for your business. Keep in mind that there are additional things to consider and be aware of when hosting your own webinars.
What is Webinar?
The easiest and the simplest definition of a webinar is simply:”a web-based seminar”. This is exactly what it is. If you don’t have a big budget and workforce to host an actual conference, you can still interact with your audience by doing a webinar.
The idea is to host a web-based seminar by taking an expert or a few experts on board have them teach or educate the users online regarding something within your industry or business. It’s a win-win situation for you and your audience.
When you invite an expert, you get a chance to get a wider audience, as you’re able to attract their followers and fans to your seminar as well. It is also a great way for your audience to receive first-hand knowledge from experts in the industry. This allows them to interact with your business, the experts, and others customers or people that have similar interests. A webinar also makes for a great place for your customers to add any questions they may have.
Hosting a webinar is not a new technique and there are multiple brands around different industries that are actually using it. However, not everybody can become an industry leader just by using the webinar idea. There are quite a few things you have to keep in mind in order to host a successful webinar or else all of your investment in hosting a seminar will be a waste.
Hosting a Successful Webinar
Here are few of the ideas, I would personally recommend after being an expert speaker in one of the webinar series hosted by Anton of WebPromo.experts
Have REAL Experts on Board
No, I am not saying I am one of them, but I am definitely trying to make valuable contributions within the industry and these continuous efforts have helped me build a decent name within the industry, which is why Anton picked me! Anyways, my point here is to invite REAL experts to your webinar, especially those with a decent fan group.
This way, their followers will automatically get introduced to your brand and if they like what you have on your website, they will stick to your brand. In fact, this will also increase you brand awareness within the community.
When you’re hosting a webinar, you want to be able to provide valuable information. It’s important for you to find a speaker that has experience and known in the community. In general, they need to know their stuff because they will be given live questions and comments throughout the webinar. By finding an expert, they’ll be able to address their concerns with real life examples and experience. This way, your users will be able to connect with them more and have a better understanding of the information.
For example, if you’re a kitchenware business, you may want to host a webinar on cooking and invite an expert that is known in the community and great at cooking. You could look for individuals like Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver, or even YouTube stars like SortedFoods. Basically, you want to find someone that knows how to cook and can teach your community.
Branding, not Selling
Webinar like, social media is a branding tactic, so if you try to sell your products or services to attendees, chances are people will leave the webinar and never return. This will also risk damaging your brand, your sales, and the overall image of your business.
Remember the main purpose of a webinar is to be educational and resourceful for your visitors. You want to educate them and help them by providing them tips and help. By sharing knowledge and establishing yourself as leader, it helps to create a positive image for your brand.
When investing on hosting your own webinar, it’s important to set a clear goal. Your goal shouldn’t be focused on increasing revenue or sales. Instead, you may want to focus on building a strong relationship with your customers, educating them on new ways to use your product, the changes in the industry, and other useful tips. They will help you build a good name of your brand that leads to better sales over the period of time.
Choosing the Right Software
You need good web conferencing software or else you will never be able to host a webinar because most free software contains serious problems with connection and voice data problems. I contacted a few famous webinar hosts and what software they use. Most of them recommended Click Meeting because of its features and competitive prices, which won’t put a dent on your marketing budget.
I personally believe any web conferencing software that does not have a problem with voice and video issues and allow webinar attendees to see the presentation clearly is a good software. Also if you want to moderate the Q&A session, make sure your software support this option because not all software offer this functionality.
Make a list of what you need and buy the software accordingly. Always read user reviews before buying it so that you don’t make a wrong decision when it comes to webinar software.
I love Anton’s practice of testing everything a day prior to actual webinar. This will avoid any problem that can come at the eleventh hour. He asked me for 10 mins a day before the seminar and guess what? The software was showing my presentations in such a way that even I could not read it, plus there were voice and audio problems. If we hadn’t checked this before the webinar, these issues would have occurred during the presentation and risk losing audiences. Therefore, it’s very important to test everything before the actual event, so that all problems can be detected and fixed accordingly.
There must be other ideas and factors to consider, but I have attended many webinars and in my experience, these are some of the most important things to consider when hosting a webinar. If you have additional tips on hosting a webinar, share it with us in the comments below!