We said goodbye to conference rooms and took centre stage, online! We traded physical spaces for virtual interaction and attended conferences from the comfort of our own home. Now, with the rise of online conferencing and webinars, this trend looks like it’s here to stay. In this blog, we take you through everything you need to know about the latest digital marketing trend so that you can set one up for yourself.
What is a webinar?
Think of a webinar as the digital cousin of a seminar. It is an online event, presentation, seminar, classroom, or lecture that is used to educate and engage the audience. Hosted on a webinar platform, participants can interact in real-time by sending questions and open discussions allowing knowledge to be shared far and wide, without geographically constraints. A webinar can also be recorded and shared after the live presentation has ended.
Some of our favourite webinar platforms are Zoom, Livestorm, Demio and WebinarJam. Each platform is specific to the user’s needs, which is why it’s best to do some research into which platform is best suited for your business.
How does it work?
The host of the webinar sets up a virtual event on a webinar platform where they require the audience to sign up or register. Once registered, the audience will get a confirmation email with a link to a live event which can quickly be added to their calendars. They will also be notified of any software that will need to be downloaded beforehand.
When it’s time for the webinar to begin, the participant can jump on to the webinar, via the link, and watch the educational magic unfold.
Think of how accustomed you have become to working from home and still doing an excellent job! Well, it’s the same concept for webinars. It’s still the same valuable content being presented but in the comfort of your own home. A webinar enables you to do everything you would normally do at a physical event but from anywhere in the world. Webinars can be recorded so no matter the time zone, your audience is not missing out.
Not only are you able to attend a webinar from all corners of the earth, but it doesn’t limit the number of people you can present to, which lets you tap into an entirely new potential customer base. It is also versatile and can be used by every industry from marketing to education. The webinar platforms also offer support with multiple tools to be used such as whiteboards, polls, and live Q&A’s, making the presenter’s job a whole lot easier!
And the best part? It requires minimal effort. There is no need to hire expensive board rooms and equipment, no need to travel to a congested location in the city and no need to provide the audience with perfectly cut cucumber sandwiches at tea time. This not only cuts down on wasted time, but it’s gentler on your pocket too.
Webinars can be used for:
- Educating the audience about your brand.
- Product demonstrations.
- Live Q&A’s.
- Help for customers.
- Education and training.
- Onboarding of new employees.
Now that you’re up to speed with why you would use a webinar, let’s look at the different formats.
What are the different formats of webinars?
There are multiple different formats that you can use, depending on what you wish to accomplish with your webinar.
Let’s run through them:
Live – The most popular and engaging format. It builds a closer relationship with the audience and makes your brand more personable.
Slide – Similar to a PowerPoint presentation, slides are used to educate your audience with attractive visuals and striking copy. This is one of the easiest options as it doesn’t require much human interaction.
Prerecorded – As if webinars weren’t convenient enough you can prerecord them and people can choose when to watch them. This webinar format is also useful if you have a guest speaker who can only make it at a specific time that does not align with a live presentation.
Text – Text format webinars allow the participants to ask questions in Q&A chat text boxes. It creates a strong connection between your business and consumer, establishes authority and supplies solutions and answers in real-time.
Whiteboard – Think of whiteboards as the school chalkboards of the digital age. They are used to explain and draw out concepts with charts, maps, images etc. It helps the participants follow your thought process when there are more complex topics that need to be explained.
Surveys and polls – These are useful when you want to answer questions, supply statistics, and get feedback in real-time.
Screensharing – This format is used to share your screen to provide your audience with a step-by-step demo or to share files, documents, and spreadsheets. It allows you to jump between different pages and apps quickly and freely.
So now you know what a webinar is, how it works, the different formats and exactly why you should use them, you’re probably wondering what value they create for a business?
What do you get out of it as a business?
Staying on top of the latest digital marketing trends can be challenging, especially when it’s one you’ve never been exposed to and have little knowledge of. Luckily, the rise of webinars is an easy and cost-effective trend to implement into your marketing strategy and adds plenty of value to your business.
With all this talk, you’re probably wondering what value it actually can add? Let’s take a look:
- Generates leads to your social media platforms and website.
- It effortlessly engagingly educates the audience.
- Being exposed to a wider audience increases brand awareness.
- It can increase engagement. Video content is king after all.
- You are seen as a thought leader in your industry and positions you as an expert in your field, building trust with your audience.
- It builds authority and credibility.
- Relationships with new and existing customers are built, formed, and nurtured.
- You can collaborate with other complementary brands or influential industry leaders that aren’t limited by physical distance.
With all the value that webinars can add to your business, it would be a waste not to include them in your future marketing plans.
Now you know exactly what a webinar is, how it works and how it can be beneficial to your business, keep an eye out on our blogs for how to start your webinar.