Content marketing is nothing if not diverse. There are so many different forms that content can take: blog posts, tweets, Facebook status updates, YouTube videos, LinkedIn Pulse articles, infographics, podcasts and the list goes on. Today I want to focus one on particular type of content that is, I think, wildly undervalued, perhaps the most often ignored tool in the content marketing toolbox: the webinar.
Speaking for my own business, I can comfortably say that webinars can make a big difference. True enough, it takes a little bit of time to prepare for a webinar and then at least an hour to deliver it; you may also wish to invest some time in following up with webinar attendees.
Even with this kind of time commitment, however, holding a webinar can yield a significant return on investment; a single webinar can convert multiple attendees into lifelong customers. That’s a potentially high customer value for potentially low customer acquisition cost.
Webinars may not be the best option for all businesses. If you have a digital product you can offer, that’s best. Having a robust e-mail list also helps, as it ensures that you can invite a good many people to attend your webinar with relative ease. If your business can check off both of those boxes, a webinar may be something you should try – and let me give you a few reasons why.
Webinars Leverage the Power of One-on-One Conversations
Do you ever miss the days when sales transactions were closed with a face-to-face smile and a handshake? Digital marketing, for all its merits, has added some remove to the sales process, but webinars help you bridge the gap – your targeted leads can actually hear your voice, ask questions directly, and feel like they’re getting some direct engagement with you. Meanwhile, you can actually be speaking to dozens, if not hundreds of people at once – a powerful way to amplify that one-on-one effect!
Webinars Condense Your Sales Funnel into a Short Timeframe
Educating a lead, qualifying a lead, conveying value, establishing trust, closing a sale – all of that can take time, and in many cases it can require multiple interactions / touch points before you finally have your conversion.
With a webinar, though, you can guide someone through that entire process in just the space of an hour or two – significantly boosting the ROI on this marketing initiative.
Webinars Cast You as an Authority
Here’s what happens: People receive your invitation, they mark it on their calendars to attend your webinar, they arrive, they hear you speak, and over the course of an hour or two you convey meaningful information about your business or niche. All of that has the effect of positioning you as a true thought leader – establishing trust and authority in a short span of time.
Webinars Really Let You Sell – Without Seeming Pushy
The old mantra about content marketing is that it allows you to sell without selling, right? Well, in a webinar, you really get to spend time unpacking a topic and conveying real, actionable value to your audience. You’re educating them, not being pushy in your sales pitch – so when you do give a call to action at the end, it feels anything but aggressive.
Webinars Can Help You Capture Leads
Even if you don’t close a sale, you will get people registering – and that means providing you with their contact information. If nothing else, then, a webinar can allow you to grow your contact database considerably.
Webinars take some preparation, but the end results can be significant – significant enough that you should really think about adding to your content marketing toolbox.