On March 31st, Defy The Status Quo hosted its first webinar called “In-Touch Marketing During Turbulent Times.” Based on the name, you can probably guess the inspiration. But if you can’t, I was hearing from a lot of people that they felt awkward marketing during a time of upheaval. But they still need to generate leads and make money for their businesses. So I decided to host a webinar. What I wasn’t really counting on were the benefits of webinars for my business.
What is a Webinar (And What It’s Not)?
A webinar is a virtual seminar or workshop that you deliver via a video conferencing or webinar platform of some kind. But how about what a webinar isn’t?
A webinar isn’t a way for you to pitch the hundreds of people you think are going to sign up. Even if hundreds of people do, it still isn’t a way for you to mass pitch.
It’s an opportunity for you to educate (and in some cases, entertain) a group of people who’ve opted-in, and therefore expressed their interest in your topic!
Lead With Value When Promoting and Executing Your Webinar
A great webinar starts with picking a great topic. You want to pick a specific topic that you can cover in 30-60 minutes. You should leave time for a Q&A as well.
When considering a topic, try to think of a problem that really matters to your audience. Narrow in, and you should have a problem that is specific and that you can help them solve in about 60 minutes. You want to focus on solving a problem, not selling.
People will generally make up their mind about participating based on your webinar topic. So besides being specific, you also want to indicate how your webinar is different. Under normal circumstances, there are plenty of webinars to pick from.
When you’re developing your webinar sign up page, you want to be sure that you’re clear on the benefits of participating in your webinar. Your audience should have a clear view of what they’ll get out of it.
Focus on the value to your audience, not the value to you. The benefits I’ve listed in this article are benefits to your business. But these benefits result from focusing on your audience and taking care of them. Deliver on your promise, and the benefits will be yours.
So Are You Saying Not to Pitch AT ALL?
No, that’s not what I’m saying. All I’m saying is that when your goal is to lead with value, then you can’t spend the whole time pitching. For this webinar, I didn’t have a pitch in mind. I just wanted to help. I tried to convey that with my content, and it seems like I succeeded.
Based on that webinar, I had 4 people schedule phone calls with me. There are some people I’m going to reach out to specifically, so who knows what will result from that?
The worst thing you can do is spend your whole time pitching. Webinars like that are one of the most hated marketing techniques.
Social Media Growth, But Only If You Do It Right
If you promote your landing page over and over, some people will probably sign up. If you promote the value of your webinar and include the sign up page, you’ll do so much better. Social media is a given for webinar promotion. But how many times can you promote your webinar without sounding spammy or desperate?
Well, how many different sneak peeks into the content can you come up with? There’s your answer.
In the two weeks that I promoted my webinar, I posted about it nearly every day on a variety of social media platforms. I approached it from a variety of angles, like the one below.
I saw great results in terms of social media network growth:
- 70 new LinkedIn connections
- 200 new LinkedIn followers
- 20 new Instagram followers
Not to mention, because I led with value on every social media post, I got a few sign ups each time I posted about the webinar. Not to mention, my posts saw great engagement because they still contained conversation starters within the posts themselves.
Growing Your Email List With a Webinar
One of the big reasons people like to deliver webinars is because it can help grow your email list. That’s a big perk. We still see great conversion rates from email, despite how long it’s been around.
But your email list isn’t just for announcing things you care about. It’s a valuable content delivery tool.
Once you’ve gotten people on your webinar email list, don’t ignore them until it’s time to send reminders. Be sure to use this more intimate content channel to keep them excited about your webinar.
They’ve already shown you that they care about the topic. So if you send on-topic content, then your engagement level should be high.
Here are some of the email stats we saw at DTSQ during our 2-week webinar promotion period:
- 42 webinar signups (more than doubled our email list)
- 67.3% open rate average for the 6 emails related to the webinar
- 30% click through rate on various links (for some emails, the point wasn’t to CT)
DTSQ’s email list is more of a micro-list, but everyone starts somewhere. Out of all of the methods we’ve tried for growing our list, hosting a webinar delivered the fastest results.
That’s not to say our other lead magnets won’t or don’t produce results, but they’re more over time. Although we turned the webinar recording into a pretty sweet lead magnet (an interactive video), so there’s that.
Our average open rate was 67.3%. But our content emails (there were three) had open rates of 95%, 90% and 89%. The final three emails were reminder emails sent on the day of the webinar, delivering the webinar link and the workbook. Less people opened the first two reminder emails, but really the subject said what they needed to know, so that was fine.
A 30% CTR average ain’t bad, if I do say so myself. But not all of the emails were meant to drive clicks. I’m a fan of delivering value in emails without expecting clicks. My weekly newsletters are like that.
You can get information, insights, and tips all from my email. None of this “click here to read my post on….” without at least giving the reader something first. Most people aren’t that curious anymore.
For the emails that were meant to get clicks, we saw a CTR of around 45%.
The Most Important Benefits of Webinars: Audience Knowledge and Trust
Gaining audience trust and insight is by far the most important benefit of hosting a webinar. You get to deliver content with a live feedback mechanism. So if you think quickly on your feet, you can tailor your presentation in real time.
Whether you think quick on your feet or not, I highly recommend you do a pre-webinar survey. Not only does this show you why your audience cares about this topic, it helps give them a sense of ownership. Based on your survey results, you can tailor your content to best serve the people who’ve committed to joining you.
Of the 42 sign ups, 25 people showed up for the live webinar! There were some people who I knew were signing up to receive the recording later because they had prior engagements.
Thanks to Hosting a Webinar, I Can Better Serve My Network
Because of their survey responses and participation in my webinar, I know those nodes of my network much better. I got to hear their voices, get a better sense of their concerns, and bond with them.
These are people I can support more on social media because I know more about their needs. I’ve been tagging people on opportunities I’ve seen on LinkedIn and Twitter because I have a better idea of what they’re looking for.
Lead with value during your webinars, and your audience will learn that you deliver on your promises and that you value their time.