8 WAYS TO CHOSE A WEBINAR TOPIC IN A DAY

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Webinars are a fantastic way to market your business and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. But getting started can be a difficult and daunting task. While some companies just seem to have a great rhythm and lists upon lists of ideas for future Webinars; many of you may be struggling to come up with a single idea.

This guide is intended to help you think critically about how you can come up with a Webinar topic, quickly.

  1. Look through content you’ve already produced.

If you have a blog or active social media channel, you can repurpose a few of your posts to create a Webinar. This is a great way to go further in depth into a topic and to engage with your audience.

Pro tip. Once you host this webinar you can repurpose your Webinar back into blog posts focusing on your additions or audience engagement topics to keep the ball rolling.

  1.  Invite a customer to speak.

Do you have a customer who just get’s it or is using your product in unique and powerful ways? If so, ask them to join you on a webinar. You can set this up in a variety of ways. You can ask them to do a walk through of how they use your product, set the webinar up as a Q&A or ask they to prepare something a bit more aspirational and weave your product into their story.

  1. Host a panel with experts in the industries of your customers.

Your customers have many pains and needs outside of the scope of your product. Say your product is a CRM designed for pharmaceutical sales reps. Get a panel together with a top sales rep, someone from your executive team and maybe a doctor to share their expertise and take questions. Having a member of your team sitting on the panel helps gives your business more credibility by association and also helps to occasionally point the conversation to your product and the pains you resolve.

  1. Ask your customer service team’s advice.

The fastest way to get a Webinar topic is to ask your customer service team what you should do. Chances are your support staff has fielded many questions and received lots of feedback on a variety of topics. There are probably many topics they wish your company has an official statement about. This will also show your customers that you are listening to them.

  1. Share Industry & Product Insights.

Conduct a poll or survey about your industry and product. Then analyze the results and jot down a bit of commentary. You can host a Webinar where you share the results and your commentary live, then ask your audience to join in a guided discussion.

Pro tip. Dive deep into your product’s usage data to see how customers are using your product. Are there any best practices from this data or are their any underused features that you wish to promote. Sharing insights into your product usage can lead to interesting conversations and aha moments for your Webinar’s audience.  

  1. Respond to Thought Leaders.

Have you seen a speaker in your industry, but have a slightly different take? Have you read an article from a competitor, but thought it was a little off-base or didn’t provide enough value? These are opportunities to join conversations that are already happening and already have an implied audience. Spend an hour researching what else is out there and come up with a unique position to talk about or simply aggregate a bunch of different positions to give your audience a 360 degree view of the topic.

Pro Tip. Ask yourself what Thought Leaders or your competitors aren’t talking about. We’ve all had those questions in our heads that seems no one else has asked. Usually, we drop these from our minds. When it comes to a webinar, these are the perfect questions to answer. While they might be more research intensive as there may not be a lot of resources available; it’s almost guaranteed that your customers or potential customers have had the same questions.

  1. Be social.

From Quora and Reddit to LinkedIn Groups and more, business leaders are always seeking for answers to questions they have about their businesses. Find out what these questions are and if you could answer them through a webinar.

Pro tip. you can use these same groups to market your webinar. Send a quick reply in the discussion forum with a link to sign up for your Webinar to let everyone know you will be discussing that very topic.

  1. Explore ideas or early prototypes.

It’s human nature to want to see something before anyone else does. It feels like a privilege. If your team is working on something new, host a joint webinar with your marketing, design and engineering teams to give a sneak peek into what you are working on. If you are still in early development, share wireframes, prototypes or sketches to entire and retain customers.

Pro Tip. Construct this type of webinar in a way to get lots of feedback from your audience. Not only are you engaging your audience you will be able to improve your upcoming products and features with direct insights from your customers and prospects.

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Why Successful Companies Do Webinars Regularly

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For successful companies, hosting regular webinars is a no brainer. Webinars are one of the best ways to extend your business’s reach, build your sales pipeline, or grow your audience. And most B2B marketers agree. In their 2016 content marketing survey, the Content Marketing Institute found that webinars ranked as the 2nd most effective type of content, behind only in-person events. Yet, webinars ranked 11th for content marketing activities completed, with only 66% of B2B marketers reporting that they had conducted a webinar in 2016.  

If you are one of the 34% of business that did not host a webinar in the last year, you are probably falling behind.  Most businesses find that webinars are one of the most effective ways to engage with their customers and prospects and build their business.

Not convinced? We’ve spoken to business leaders who conduct webinars regularly and here’s what we’ve learned.

You Can’t Get a Better ROI

Compared to other higher-cost marketing methods, webinars are very cheap to produce. Aside from the low monthly cost of an AnyMeeting account, webinars can be nearly free. To get started you don’t need a sophisticated set up. Simply have one of your team member find a quiet room with their laptop and with a couple of prepared slides and a demo or screenshare of your product and they’re ready to go. Of course, you can make your webinars more sophisticated as you gain experience by pre-recording presentations, incorporating videos, and increasing your preparation time.

Despite the minimal costs, webinars have the potential to fill your lead funnel, speed up your sales cycle and help significantly improve the retention of current customers by engaging with them in a personal setting with a customized message.

You will also get a higher return from your time. Some webinars will only last an hour, even with time for questions. Other marketing methods can takes hours to produce and weeks of getting trapped in a feedback loop. Since webinars are live, you only have to prepare and then host, with modest additional time to review results and leverage the AnyMeeting tools for follow ups. Instead of being locked in a delayed feedback loop, you learn from the process and iterate for your next webinar. During live presentations, your audience will be much more forgiving of any mistakes than they would in a highly produced video or similar piece of content.

“If you have sales team of 40 people doing 5 demos a day, you are not getting enough leverage. Webinars let you do a demo for 3000 people at once.”

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director at MobileCause.

Spending a few hours to engage personally with a large swath of customers and prospects without physical barriers in place can have a huge impact on the growth of your business.

EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE; THEN LEARN FROM YOUR AUDIENCE

Sometimes webinars aren’t only about how you can inform your audience, it’s equally important to use the opportunity to get feedback from your customers, as well as prospective customers who may not have purchased your product yet. Successful businesses rely on this engagement and real-time feedback loop to ensure they are always in step with their target audience to make informed decisions around both their product roadmap and future marketing initiatives.

Using polling or a Q&A during your webinar will help you gather feedback to improve your product and messaging. Is there any confusion around what your product offers? What its best features are?   Why haven’t your prospective customers purchased? Are you being asked to add a feature that you already have? Are there common themes surrounding the usability of your product or unsolved weaknesses that need to be addressed?

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director of MobileCause, conducts webinars at least monthly and debriefs with his team after each webinar to discuss what went well and what might need to be improved. His team also spends time analyzing the questions they were asked and comments they received to further learn from their audience.

For every customer that is giving feedback, there is another customer who thought the same thing and didn’t say anything. Webinars allow you to address both your silent and vocal customers, which will go further to increase your authority and credibility on the topics or products you are discussing.

This engagement may lead to prospective customers giving your product a chance or convince an existing customer to stick around a bit longer all while you are both growing your business and finding opportunities to improve.

FILLS YOUR CONTENT PIPELINE FOR MONTHS

Successful companies know that a well planned content marketing strategy is key to grow their businesses. Webinars are a great way to lay the foundation of your content marketing, as you are able to repurpose your webinar content in blog posts, video clips, infographics, meetups, webpages and more.

“Our webmaster takes webinar content to create evergreen SEO pages. We transcribe all of our content and visuals in pages and create a library to train customers and help potential customers.”

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director at MobileCause

Now that you have a newly filled lead funnel or have identified existing leads most likely to buy, you can combine the questions and comments you received during your webinar to create specific content to speed up your sales cycle or increase the retention of existing customers. Not only are you filling your content pipeline, you are creating content that will be exponentially more effective.

In future posts,  we’ll spend more time exploring  how to re-purpose your webinar to create the most efficient strategy to grow your business. But if you already have lots of content, we’ll show you how to become thought leaders and market leaders by adapting your content for webinars.

Are you ready to take the plunge and host your first webinar? AnyMeeting is a webinar service designed and priced for small businesses. We offer a full-featured web conferencing platform for all of your webinar, online meeting and video conferencing needs. Test us and let us know what you think–start your 14-day free trial now