For every business owner, there comes a time when you sit back and think, where do I go next. Have you considered offering a webinar?

Successful businesses are successful because they have savvy people at the helm, but even the savviest of business owners aren’t always sure how to take their business to another level. The answer may be simpler than you think. 

 

What is a webinar?

A webinar is initially a live event online that allows viewers to log-in from anywhere in the world, watch you teach them about something, and ask questions. Think of it as a virtual classroom.

I say it’s initially a live event because if you record it, you can store it and allow new visitors to “attend” the webinar whenever they like.

Many sales funnels will host it as an event, and then continue to sell or offer the webinar well after the initial event has taken place by allowing new visitors to access the recorded webinar.

 

Why is a webinar a great tool in a sales funnel?

The beauty of this process is that you do a lot of work upfront, but that work continues to offer returns six months or even a year or two down the road. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and it gives a lot according to research.

In a survey released by Vidyard, the webinar is something 56% of companies have invested in, ahead of social media videos, explainer videos, and product videos. They’ve invested in this form of video because it’s proven that it works. Insidesales.com reports that 73% of sales and marketing leaders use them because they generate warm sales leads.

That tracks with what HubSpot believes about webinars. “They work across the entire customer journey. From thought-leadership panel discussions to weekly live demos, webinars are a dynamic and effective way to move prospects down the funnel from awareness to closed deals and beyond. They generate high-quality leads for sales. Webinars come with a ton of information about your prospects you can use to identify high-quality, sales-ready leads. With each webinar registrant, you can collect lead and engagement data your sales team can use to initiate personalized outreach.”

When done right, a webinar is a sales funnel unto itself.

 

How do I create one? What does a good one contain?

 

A topic

You want to choose something that you’re an expert on, obviously.

You also want to choose something that you can talk about for a considerable amount of time. According to GoToWebinar, the average amount of time an attendee spends in a webinar is 61 minutes. You need to choose a topic that you can talk about for about that long.

You also want to choose something that provides value to your customers. You know your ideal customer, what’s going to be useful to him or her?

 

Choose a host

Once you know what your topic is going to be, choose where you want to host the webinar. You do this before creating it because each site conducts its webinars differently. GoToWebinar, Zoom, ClickMeeting, and EverWebinar are all popular hosting sites.

When choosing your host consider how much it will cost you, how many people you expect to attend, and whether or not you think you can develop your webinar on that platform with ease.

 

Content

Once that’s done, start looking at your content. Are you going to be on camera talking for 60 minutes? Will you do a slide show with PowerPoint? Will there be a whiteboard behind you? All of this will help you develop the visuals for your webinar.

People will be listening and watching you, make sure you take both into account.

 

A date and time

Then pick a date and time to host it. That same GoToWebinar survey found that webinars at 11 a.m. (local time) on Thursdays attract the most viewers. However, if you expect to have attendees on both coasts, then 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST is the best time for it.

Remember that you cannot please everyone with the scheduled time of your webinar and that’s okay. You’re going to offer a replay of the live event so even if the person cannot access the webinar at the live time, they can access it later at a time that fits their schedule.

These are just a few of the items you want to think about when creating your webinar, but they’ll get you started.

 

Promoting your webinar

When it comes to spreading the word about your webinar, the first thing you want to do is create a landing page. If you need some guidance on how to create an amazing landing page, check out this post.

The landing page’s only purpose is to get people to sign up for your webinar.

You’ll promote your webinar through all of your channels. That includes social media, SEO on search engines, email lists, etc. Remind your followers to share the details of the webinar with their friends and maybe offer then a prize to the person who gets the most people to sign up.

As the event nears, send out emails that make it seem more urgent and important that they sign up for the webinar. Consider headlines like “Just one week left” or “Space is limited” or “Time is running out”. Make it seem like they cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity.

For the people who do sign up for the webinar, stay in contact. Send out a reminder email the day before and a link to the webinar about an hour before the start time. It will keep the event at the forefront of their mind.

 

Following up after the webinar

This may be the most important step because it’s the one that’s going to make you the most money and capitalize on those warm sales leads. As soon as the webinar is done, send everyone a thank you note for attending. Let them know you appreciate them.

The next day, send out a link to the recording. Make sure that the people who signed up but missed the webinar get the link as well.

Then continue to follow up in the days and weeks after the webinar. Make sure that you’re touching base with these warm and even hot leads so that your business stays on their minds.

After all, you don’t want all that hard work to go to waste!

 

Written by Erika Towne