Webinars are hip, right? Everyone is doing them now. The ROI of webinar is often better than other marketing activities—less costly than a tradeshow, prospects self-select based on the topic, valuable opportunities to capture prospect information. Although maybe still considered a new(er) tactic, the strategy behind a webinar program is constantly evolving. If the plan is stagnant, you’ll never produce better results. If you are still approaching your events the same way you did even just a few years back, you could be missing out some of your most promising opportunities.
This week, I had the chance to chat with our upcoming Webinar Series speaker, Wayne Turmal, CEO of GreatWebMeetings.com to discuss how changes in the webinar arena could be, and are, affecting the way many marketers approach their event strategy:
What do you think will be the most challenging change for most people that are running these types of marketing programs or series of webinars?
The biggest challenge with webinars is understanding that they don’t magically happen. Most of my clients don’t understand that these need to be treated like any other marketing project. To be successful they need to be carefully planned executed.
Do these changes require a big shift in budget?
Well, webinars are incredibly cost-effective but they aren’t free. It’s not so much the money for the webinar platform, but there is a lot of time and work involved to market, plan, design and pull off a quality webinar. They require human resources as much as anything else. The problem for most companies is that nobody “owns” them, whoever is in charge is doing the webinar in addition to everything else they do. That’s why our coaching system is 6 Weeks – long enough to get a little done each day, time to practice and perfect the webcast, and not distract from the hundred other things people are doing each day.
In the description of the webinar, you mention tools to think about – can you give us a high level view of what you’re going to touch on?
There is the presentation platform (tools like Ready Talk) of course, but even with that, most people use the bare minimum of features so they often lack interactivity. I hope to demonstrate some of the features. You can also use outside registration services like Constant Contact or EventBrite to handle your registration and some will even handle the payments if you offer for-pay webinars. It’s a very different world than it was just 24 months ago. My big focus is not so much technology as how companies are using webinars for lead generation of course, but also channel education, brand enhancement and even low-cost, high-value website content. That’s what’s really exciting. I hope people will really take the time to examine their webinar strategy when we’re done.
Can you suggest any books or other resources to supplement effective webinar skills & presentations?
Well, the two I’ve written, 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar (which is also available on Kindle) and 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations would be a good start. Webinars with Wow Factor is also pretty good.
If you’re interested in learning more on how webinars have changed in the last three years – what’s working and what’s not – be sure to sign up for the webinar on Tuesday, February 28 at 2:00EST/11:00PT. You may be challenged to do a system check and grease your gears. Jump start your strategy and start moving forward again!
Simone has been involved with both the sales and marketing teams at ReadyTalk and is currently the role Marketing Demand Manager and manages the monthly ReadyTalk Webinar Series, which is a free forum for professionals to interact with their peers and other experts on topics ranging from sales and marketing to nonprofits and funding to leadership and professional development. Simone is an outdoor enthusiast – skiing, climbing, triathlons, and trail runs with her dog, Bucket, are just a few of the things she enjoys outside of the office.