Long before the internet existed, whenever businesses wanted to get together with others to discuss or promote their products and services, or to train their staff, a meeting called a seminar was arranged. The format would tend to be one or two speakers making a presentation to a live audience which could number several hundred in larger seminars.
Today, seminars still happen, but the onset of the internet has spawned an online version of seminars called webinars. Now, we are not here to challenge nor vouch for the merits of ‘webinar’ being the name conjured up to describe online seminars. What is more important is their use by businesses and the many ways that webinars can be used to promote products and services.
What Is A Webinar?
For those that have never heard of or been on a webinar, they are online presentations that the audience views on their PC, laptop or mobile device and the information being relayed is presented by one or more organisers of the webinar. Just think of a Zoom call but instead of speaking to one person, you present it to hundreds.
Webinars are relatively simple to create with the main equipment needed being a microphone, a webcam (optional), presentation slides (e.g. PowerPoint), and a script so that you can describe what is on the slides. In addition, a webinar platform is needed which acts as the conduit between the presenter and the audience. The most popular webinar platforms online include GoToWebinar and Webinar Jam.
In most cases, webinars are presented live and there is often an opportunity for the audience to ask questions via a chat box. However, they can also be set up to replay, or to be broadcast automatically on a loop several times per day, every day.
What Can Webinars Be Used For?
The answer is any situation where you wish to impart information to a group of people online. Examples include:
- Training And Education
- Company Meetings And Presentations
- Sales Presentations
- Marketing Presentations
- Establishing Brand Authority
As they are based online one of the huge benefits of a webinar over traditional seminars is that they are taking place in a physical location. This means you can present a webinar from Perth, WA, but it can be viewed by anyone who has signed up, regardless they are situated in the next street, the next town, in Sydney, Los Angeles, or Toronto.
Using Webinars For Sales And Marketing
One of the most effective uses of webinars is to include them within your sales and marketing tool kit. Unlike many sales and marketing scenarios, with a webinar, you are in total control and can have at hand anything which can help you answer the questions which might come at you from attendees.
It also allows you to put together exceptional presentations which highlight your products and services to their best advantage. Whenever you launch a new product, a webinar is a highly effective way of showcasing it not just to new prospects, but to your current customer database by inviting them to an exclusive clients-only webinar.
With webinars, you can include other experts from within your company or organisation to contribute to the presentation. For example, if your product is technical in nature they could present the part of the webinar which discusses its specifications or how it operates. You could also have your customer service manager outline the warranties, guarantees and after-sale service which will be in place.
Webinars are also the perfect opportunity to offer one-off ‘webinar only’ offers. These not only make attendees feel that they are being offered something no one else will, but conversion should be high due to them not wanting to miss out on the offer.