This is a guest post by John Jantsch – Duct Tape Marketing

iStock_000034684846_SmallSmall business owners have a lot on their plate. You know running a business is no easy feat. Because of all the time constraints being put on you, it is easy to relegate marketing to the back burner.

Sure, you write blog posts and create content whenever you get a few free hours or need a break from the business side of things. Bigger marketing tools, such as webinars, though, are for a time in the future when you’ve grown a lot and can better justify taking the time and effort necessary to host a webinar that is valuable to your customers.

If done right, however, webinars can be an integral part of your content marketing strategy for many reasons. They can also be used in multiple ways. The effort you put into a webinar can result in not only great leads, but can also be the foundation of multiple pieces of content. Here are 10 reasons to hold webinars as part of your small business marketing plan.

  1. Networking. One of the best ways webinars can help you is through networking. Unless you do all your webinars yourself, you will likely need some help. Finding someone to host a guest webinar for you is a great way to expand your network, and when you give them a little bit of publicity, they might reciprocate by asking you to help out on one of their webinars.  
  2. Contacts. Webinars is one of the best content marketing tools if you want to gather a list of potential clients. Most webinars have you sign up ahead of time. Once the viewer has registered, you have all of their contact information. So even offering a free webinar can ultimately make you money in future sales.  
  3. Prestige. Even the word webinar sounds fancy. Everybody has a blog and a Twitter handle, but not everybody offers webinars. Seeing them listed on a site or having them pull up in a Google search can add a little prestige to a website that just might make the product you are selling seem a little bit more legitimate and trustworthy.
  4. MultiPurpose. When you create a webinar, you can multi-purpose it as a blog as well. All you have to do is add a line or a paragraph about the webinar and then insert the webinar, or a link to it, in the post. That way, you get two content marketing posts for the price (and time) of one.
  5. Communication. Hosting a webinar is a great way to communicate with your target audience. Webinars are interactive, so not only do you get a list of contacts by hosting a webinar, you get to hear, and answer, real customer questions.
  6. Research. The interactive component of a webinar has another important consequence. The questions that people ask during webinars show just what their concerns are. Answering those questions during the webinar helps foster communication, but examining those questions in more depth at the end of the webinar gives you valuable research into future webinar and social media topics as well as what people are looking for in your service.
  7. Money. While a lot of people host webinars for free, you can charge for them as well. Even if only one out of four of your webinars are for profit, this is one of the only content marketing strategies that can actually make you money by their very existence.
  8. Social Media. Hosting a webinar does not have to be done strictly on top of your other social media campaigns. You can Tweet about the webinar and use your other social media outlets to promote it.
  9. Accreditation. If your webinar is geared towards professionals who need accreditation hours (e.g., lawyers), you can go through the process to set your webinars up with credits, which will make them much more likely to sit down and pay attention to what you are teaching.
  10. Repurposing. Once you have a few webinars under your belt, you can update what you already have with new information instead of starting from scratch.  

Plus, here is a bonus for you. In addition to all of the above, webinars are just a really good way to build up brand recognition.

Creating Webinars

While thinking about creating a webinar can be daunting, it does not have to be. There are many tutorials, and even webinars, that can walk you through the steps. If you just are not good with that type of thing or simply do not have time, you can still take advantage of these great marketing tools. Think about using a marketing service that could help you create them. You’ve got to spend money to make money, after all, and the small cost of marketing can make you a lot of money with the new business it will supply you.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial with AnyMeeting’s Webinar Pro and get started with your first webinar today.

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Kwela logo

Kwela Leadership and Talent Management is a Vancouver-based consulting company that specializes in leadership development, team building, organizational development and training for businesses of all sizes.

Who is the target audience for your marketing webinars?

Both current clients and new client prospects.

Nic.jpgWhat goals were are you looking to accomplish with your webinars?

The primary objective of these informational webinars is to deepen Kwela’s relationship with its current clients, in what is a strongly relationship-driven business.  A secondary objective is to engage with new prospect by providing information relevant to the services Kwela provides, without a hard sell.

How do you attract people to your webinars?

Kwela encourages its staff to reach out personally to each of its clients when inviting them to these information sessions.  It also promotes them via its website to attract new client prospects.

What content are you typically presenting in your marketing webinars?

Informational webinars on topics important to its clients and prospects, without any hard selling.  Past sessions include:

– Performance management best practices

– How to build a high performing team

– Selecting and hiring great talent

The sessions are generally about one hour or less with Q&A breaks at key points throughout the presentations.

What are your personal tips for conducting effective marketing webinars?

* “There is no substitute for preparation.”  Kwela distributes a “webinar best practices” guide to each of its presenters and encourages practicing in advance with presenters and an acting attendee.

* Avoid hard selling.  Kwela focuses on providing value to the audience to help build relationships and trust.

* Keep the content simple, without too much content on each slide.

* Don’t leave audience engagement and Q&A to the end of the presentation.  Take moments out within the presentation to solicit and address questions from the audience.

* Understand that your audience can get distracted, so lead with what’s in it for them, as well as with assurances that the presentation will be brief, rich, and sensitive to their time.

What has been the biggest surprise or learning you’d like to share with others?

The biggest surprise has been how challenging it can be to engage with audiences remotely versus in person.  It requires practice to overcome the limits of online versus in-person presentations.

Like their webinar strategy? Vote Now!

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PROergonomics “Winning Webinar Strategy”

by chrisb on August 10, 2015

PROergonomics photo

PROergonomics logoThe mission of PROergonomics is to provide solutions to advance clients’ ergonomic strategies to help reduce injury risk and improve workplace design.

Who is the target audience for your marketing webinars?

Company HR and/or health & safety managers

What goals were are you looking to accomplish with your webinars?

“It’s a great way to drive traffic to our website, generate interest in our business, educate our clients about what we can do to help them, and it’s also a great offer on a cold call if the client isn’t interested in a meeting.  This way, we still get them connected to us so that we can open up that conversation again later.”

How do you attract people to your webinars?

The webinar events complement PROergonomics’ prospecting activities including cold calling and tradeshows.  The company also sends e-newsletters each month, which include articles about the webinar topics, and promotes upcoming and past webinars on its website.

What content are you typically presenting in your marketing webinars/

Informational topics of direct interest to HR and health & safety managers.  Titles of recent events include:

* What Makes a Product “Ergonomic”?

* Developing an Onsite Stretching Program

* Addressing the Millennial Workforce Through Ergonomics”

Content includes PowerPoint presentations as well as chat-based Q&A to engage the audience, which range in size from 30-40 people.

What are your personal tips for conducting effective marketing webinars?

* Keep presentations informational and not too “salesy.”

* Provide enough information to catch the audience’s attention and get them reflecting on the topic, but leave them wanting more, which will help drive follow-up engagement.

* Keep events to an hour or less to be respectful of the time demands of your audience.

* Ask questions of your audience, which can be managed through chat, to further engage them.

What has been the biggest surprise or learning you’d like to share with others?

The importance of making an offer to all participants – ideally one that is closely tied to the topic of your presentation, such as a 30-minute free consultation related to the topic area.  Then follow up with each participant to further drive participation in that offer.
Like their Winning Webinar Strategy? Vote Now!

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Winning Webinar Strategies – Vote for your favorite

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July 26, 2015

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Building Your Business Webinar Series

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Join us for a free 3-part Building Your Business Webinar Series, presented by AnyMeeting, Comcast Business and SCORE, a non-profit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration with over 11,000 volunteers dedicated to helping small businesses launch and grow. Check out the sessions below and register today. We look forward to seeing you there! Part 1: […]

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