Article

Daniel Waas
Daniel Waas 11 September 2017

Why webinars are a key tool for marketing professionals

Webinars are still an easy and quick way of educating large audiences, especially when attendees are located in completely different cities or even countries. However, they also provide marketers with a key tool for business growth, boosting brand recognition and sales.

In fact, Gartner has indicated that marketing leaders allocate 27% of their expense budget to webinars and by the end of this year, CMOs will spend more on this technology than CIOs!

Compared to traditional video platforms, webinars give marketers an opportunity to present a wide variety of information in an easily digestible format. They can also be viewed at a later date by those who signed up and weren’t able to attend the live session. With no geographical barriers, webinars are a great digital tool for reaching wider audiences and new markets.

The growing importance of technology

With consumer behaviors changing and decision-making processes becoming increasingly digital, multichannel marketing is more important than ever. There’s no doubt that today’s consumers have a lot more control over the buying process, mainly thanks to the increase in communication channels. The bottom line is that when it comes to absorbing information, consumers have more choices than ever before.

Keeping up can be challenging, especially as the number of marketing tools and techniques regularly changes and is on the increase. However, with a trend toward content and inbound marketing, webinars have earned their place as one of the most effective and innovative tools for marketers to tell the business story and reach people at scale. Complimenting other marketing activities such as email and content marketing, webinars can reference and be combined with other tactics to add value to businesses.

Efficiency savings

Arranging hotel accommodation as well as attending conferences, seminars and sales meets can present high costs to any business. But both time and cost savings can be made using webinars, as they provide an efficient process which quashes the need to travel to meetings and hire rooms. This allows marketers to engage with prospects all over the world in an easy and flexible way.  

Time savings can also be made during the preparation stages, as many webinar platforms provide features such as pre-recording and scheduling allowing marketers to create content, polls, descriptions and titles beforehand. Utilising these options takes the stress out of presenting live and means that marketers have the time to think ahead when responding to attendees during the actual session. Additionally, the materials created for these sessions can be reused in various forms, the same content can be transformed into articles, slides, and ebooks – helping marketers to extract the most value.  

Gaining valuable insights

As well as hosting webinars for later or repeat viewing, many platforms offer powerful analytics on attendees’ behavior during the session. Polls and surveys help to increase engagement during the webinar but they also give valuable insight into the thinking of the attendees. Firstly, this information can be used to gather feedback and plan future webinar topics and content but most importantly it can also be used to profile the audience.

Applying this information can inform and make a substantial difference to targeted follow-ups and guide attendees through the sales funnel. During the sign-up period, marketers can require attendees to register, information which can be used by the sales team as potential leads. Additionally, monitoring the topics and questions which are raised, can help marketers gain intelligence to feed into the content strategy.  

The personal touch

From a content perspective, webinars are an effective and powerful way of getting a point across.

They allow marketers to engage with customers and prospects on a large scale and provide a way for businesses of any size to be themselves and build a true connection with their audience, making it that much easier to build lasting relationships. Webinars really do give a personal approach and this can be used as a way to interact with existing customers – meetings can be used to host question and answer sessions, updates on product releases and training.

With competition rife, standing out from the crowd is more important than ever. Webinars allow marketers to put forward their best spokespeople forward, positioning them as experts in their field and the right people to approach on industry issues – building credibility as well as the businesses profile.

Simply put, there’s more to hosting a webinar than showing off the latest and greatest products and promotions. Be mindful that attendees are investing time, so ensure that the content produced is substantial and interesting. When applied properly webinars can be a vital sales driver and also play a crucial role in marketing operations. Webinars have the ability to inform, provoke participation and deliver tangible insights – all the while guiding attendees from leads to customers.

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