Simply put, webinars (online meetings) are a convenient form of content that gives you the ability to create “one to many” engagements. One of the things I love most about them is that you can use webinars for every stage of the customer journey by altering the intent of the content as the buyer’s questions, goals and needs change. In fact, you must consider this approach to get the most from this medium.
Think of webinars as a form of content, because that’s what they are.
To see what I mean, take a look at the sections below to see what webinars can do for your prospects and customers throughout each phase of the journey. I’ve also sprinkled in ways that we at Duct Tape Marketing use them to give you some food for thought on how you might be able to apply these ideas to your business.
When it comes to spreading awareness around a business, many marketers resort to blogging, social media, emails, PPC, and so on. While I am all for these methods of building awareness and use them myself, I’m always perplexed as to why more business don’t add webinars to that list. They are an excellent way to promote useful content and teach timely topics.
Duct Tape Marketing Example: Every month we host what we call a System Webinar  that covers topics that I believe are relevant to marketers at that time. Anybody is invited to these calls, and it’s a great way for me to share my knowledge on a topic while at the same time give a good impression and introduction of my business. Past topics have included:
- Pay Per Click Advertising Basics
- Create a Referal Machine That Works Everyday
- Tips and Tools for Greater Productivity
I’m all for testing out various formats on webinars to see what works best for you and your audience, but if there is one thing I’m against on this type of platform, it’s selling. Don’t sell, give. Repeat that sentence over and over again so that it sticks with you.
Use your webinars to help your audience solve a problem they’re having. This helps to establish trust and credibility, which are two attributes that are key if you want somebody to eventually buy from you.
A percentage of people who attend your awareness-based webinars will want to know how they can act on that useful content, so you need to be prepared for this question and create a webinar that outlines how you might be able to help them.
A conversion-based webinar can even be used to deliver a proposal to a prospect.
Duct Tape Marketing Example – Whenever a person expresses interest in the network, we recommend the next step is to attend our Benefit Discovery Session  that takes place twice per month. In this webinar, I showcase the many benefits of partnering with the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network and explain why many consultants believe it is the best business decision they’ve ever made.
Additionally, we conduct Total Online Presence Audits  where we provide a detailed report that shows a business the highest priority issues for optimizing their online presence. This report is presented in a webinar format.
Once you have clients, you can continue ongoing engagements through webinars, covering anything from onboarding to new feature rollouts and demonstrations.
Duct Tape Marketing Example – Within the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, there is a plethora of tools, templates, and processes to get consultants up and running to make more money fast. Along with the benefits mentioned above, we also have Breakthrough Training Series calls bi-weekly for consultants, that address hot topics and best practices to further their marketing knowledge and expertise.
We also use webinars to train new consultants on our systems and processes which have proven to work very well thus far.
If you’re in marketing, you know how important it is to follow metrics and report the results from your efforts. Webinars are a great way to deliver this information, whether it be to a client or an internal team.
Duct Tape Marketing Example – We present mid-month reports to our clients, and it’s almost always through a webinar. The people we present to appreciate this efficient and interactive method.
Once you have educational content, you can start to offer it to strategic partners, which can eventually lead to guest appearances on their webinars or webinar collaborations between the two of you. This helps to increase your referrals and eventually lead to more business.
Duct Tape Marketing Example – I’ve developed relationships with numerous people within the industry that have helped me build up my client base and expand my referrals. For example, through relationships I’ve established, I’m doing webinars for BuzzSumo , SCORE, American Marketing Association , and Copyblogger this quarter alone. This helps to expand my exposure, reach new audiences, and increase my referral network.
Best practices for conducting a webinar
There are numerous ways you can run a webinar, but below are a few best practices I would follow regardless of the format:
- Narrow in on a topic that the webinar will focus on and stick to it.
- Don’t read off the slides – you can reference the points on the screen, but be sure to elaborate and expand on them to add value.
- Practice, practice, practice – Until you’re a master webinar host, and even after you become one, it’s important that you practice so that you have a good handle on your talking points as well as your timeline (this is especially important for webinars that have a strict cut off time).
- Promote the webinar – no matter how great the content you’re presenting is, none of it will matter if nobody sees it.
- Make an engaging slide deck – you need to keep people focused on your presentation, and this starts with the visuals.
- Test your technology – I always log on a few minutes before the webinar start time to ensure everything is running smoothly from a technical perspective (this includes checking to make sure your computer is fully charged).
To implement these webinars effectively, you need to make sure you’re using the right tools. We use the following for various types of webinars, and I highly recommend you check each of them out to see what will work best for you.
Those are the most effective use cases for how I use webinars throughout each phase of the customer journey. If you’re using them for additional purposes, I’d love to hear what they are!