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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Webinar Unlocked: Ultimate Guide To What Is A Webinar.

What is a webinar
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Do you really know what is a webinar and how it works?

Read the word " webinar" again and again in your mind.
Sounds familiar?
Yes, it sounds like a seminar. But,

A seminar might kill you.

I know it's too much but gathering at one place during COVID-19 can seriously cause you some health issues. 

So what about the launch of a new product which your company gonna introduce in the next seminar.

I don't think people will risk their lives during COVID-19 to attend your seminar.

So do you have to cancel the launch of your new product until the pandemic ends??

No, not now,
Webinar is the new protagonist and host for launch of your new product. 

You can host a successful webinar only when you know what's a webinar and how a webinar works.

Don't worry if you have no or very little knowledge about webinar.

In this the post we will study the core of webinars and will take a step ahead to understand how webinar works.

So what is a webinar?

Just Split the word..
Web+seminar,

Simply, a seminar which is hosted and attended on the web is known as a webinar.

Webinar is a video conference hosted on the web through various online platforms.

Now you need not to book a venue for your group discussions and meetings. A webinar is live broadcast of any presentation. But people often confuse it with webcasts which is not true. Webcasts and webinars are two completely different terms.

Two-way information transmission in webinar makes it different from Webcasts.

Webinar is a live two-way communication channel.
Your audience not only hears you but also will be able to ask questions and give their suggestions.

That's why most of the educational institutes are using this technique for teaching their students.

Plus, webinars are exclusively used for online audience or you can say that only online participants attend webinar. The hosting place (the place from where the webinar is being broadcasted) has no physical audience.

So here's what we got...

Key points of the webinar:-

  • Webinar is a web-hosted conference which is used for multipurpose like education, product launch of new products, discussions on any specific topic, suggestions from the audience, solutions of customers problems, ideas discussion and many more.
  • Webinar is separate from Webcasts. Webcasts can be prerecorded presentation in which both physical and virtual audience is available but webinars are live presentation which are exclusively only for online participants.
  • Webinar is two-way communication channels in which both presenters and listeners can freely communicate with each other. Both parties can share their ideas, thoughts and suggestions.
Also, webinars help in maintaining social distancing in case any virus outbreak took place.
Just kidding😉

Our discussion about what is a webinar reminds me about its types and forms.

Webinar is not that kind of tool which is used for a sole purpose of marketing or education. It is a very diverse tool which has many different forms.

Webinar has this great quality of live broadcasting, which makes it a lucrative tool for nearly every industry around the globe.

But it has shown a tremendous result as a marketing tool.
That's why...
More than 57% of marketers run near about 50 webinars per year. (99 firms.com)
And every webinar is helpful in generating  1000+ new leads.
But the result of webinar depends on the purpose, duration and type of webinar.

Let's have a look at its type and which type you should choose according to your purpose.

Types of webinars.

Webinar types
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Product launch webinar:-

Introducing a new product under your brand and want people to know about it?
Then hosting a webinar for your current customers and potential customers will be a good idea.

While you are organising a product launch webinar you must be very specific.
Don't oversell it. Just take it easy.

To get success in it, it is important that you try to keep it short and descriptive.

Just be specific and don't stretch the length by talking here and there. Your webinar must be focused on your new product.

Don't focus on promoting the old ones because this will distract the whole discussion to a different track.

And always try to end this type of webinars with a reward for your customers and audience.
For example, if you are launching a new software then you can reward your audience with a free trial of your new software.

This is the greatest method to generate solid leads through your webinar.

Case Study Webinar:-

So you have some leads but you want them to convert into your customers?

Then you must go with a case study webinar. It is as same as its name suggests. Just reach to your current customers who are currently using your product, record their testimonials and share them with your leads into your live webinar.

This is a great way to show your audience how your product is good from other products into the market and how it is helping people with its services.

This kind of method is great when you already have some leads for your products. Because it is easy to convince leads to buy a product by showing the proof of the quality of your product.

So to get success in this type of webinar, first, you need to collect some good leads and then invite them for your live webinar.

If you are using videos as testimonials then you can stretch the length of your webinar to one hour because people love to watch video testimonials. It will not only engage them with your webinar but will also lead to some good conversions.

Lead-generating webinar:-

So we talked which type you should choose when you already have some leads in your pocket.

But what if you don't have one?
Will webinar still be able to land you somewhere?

Well, definitely it will!

You can generate solid leads through a webinar. But in this kind of webinar, you have to loose your pocket a little bit. To get successful, you need to promote your webinar through various types of ad platforms. You have to gather more and more audience.

Advertise your webinar to a huge audience and invite people to join your session.

Here again, you can use the " reward method" to invite more audience.

We can use the same scenario of software to understand this clearly.

Suppose you have a software which you want to sell and for which you want some customers and for customers, you need some leads, right?
Then advertise your webinar with some reward so that you can attract group of audience. For example, you can announce a free one month trial for those who will attend the webinar.

But remember, although you are offering them free trial still you are getting something back and that is there email address which can help you to convert your present leads into future customers.

Sales/Workshop webinar:-

Perhaps the most common type of webinar is sales webinar.

This webinar is all about pitching the product to the audience. Although this method is not that good in engaging the audience still it is a good method to get some real and loyal customers.

To host a successful sales webinar you need to follow two fundamental rules.

First, if you are just starting your webinar journey then try to keep the webinar 35-50 minutes long but if you had already hosted a few successful webinars then you can extend the length up to 90 minutes. It all depends on your experience and expertise.

In this context, Amy Porterfield is a great example. She offers digital marketing courses and her webinars usually run upto 90 minutes. But she is a pro that's why she know how to keep her audience engaged in session. You can choose the duration according to your level and experience.

Second, don't just focus only on sale. Offer them something valuable in return. Educate your audience about your product. Why you should be the one in which they will invest their money.
Give them that reason.

Don't introduce your product in starting. First, start a flawless discussion and slowly turn the discussion toward your product. Try to introduce your product after 20-25 minutes. Up to 25 minutes try to engage them in discussion.

The good thing of sales webinar is that your audience already aware about what kind of products/services you are offering.

In other words, they are already your leads. You just have to convert them into your customer. And it all depends how awesomely you will host the webinar and will make it engaging.

Educational webinars:-

This type of webinars used for subjective objectives.

For example, an educational webinar can be used to educate your audience about your product, its uses and its benefit.

An educational webinar can be used to teach the audience about the use of your product. This kind of webinars is helpful in brand promotion.

On the other hand, an educational webinar can be used as an inter-company tool to educate and train the employes. It is generally used for non sale purpose.

The sole purpose of educational webinars is to provide information either to customers or to employees.

Idea discussion:-

I like to call these webinars as non-profit webinars. These webinars don't provide you benefits in the form of money or leads but these webinars are a great method of discussion.

In fact the discussion is the core of webinar and if you are able to establish a discussion between you and your audience then it's a win-win.
Discussion is the ultimate key to engagement.

Different companies use webinars in different forms according to their requirements.

Which type of webinar you should host, completely depends on your niche and audience.

Also, a webinar is a subjective tool. You should organise a webinar according to your purpose. If you know what is the purpose of your webinar then you can choose wisely.

For example, if you are introducing a new product or a new service to your current customers, potential customers and prospects and organising a QnA webinar then that will not give you a positive response because a QnA webinar is helpful only when people already knew about your product or service and if you are launching a brand new product then how will people be able to ask you questions about that.

Purpose of webinar defines which type of webinar you should use. Identify the purpose and choose the type, this is the golden rule for hosting a relatable webinar.

Due to diversity of businesses, there can be infinite types of purposes. But mainly these purposes can be categorized in 3 categories.

Let's discuss them.

What is your purpose of the webinar?

Like I said before, the purpose of webinar defines which type of webinar you should use. Whether you should host a QnA or a case study session, it all depends on purpose.
Webinar purpose
Info. source= clickmeeting.com
Determining the purpose of the webinar is first step. If you will take this step carefully only then you will be able to host a successful webinar.

For Educating:-
If main purpose of your webinar is to educate your current and future customers then you must focus on QnA sessions.

One of the best thing about QnA webinars is that these webinars are best in terms of engagement.

The reason for the high engagement rate in QnA sessions is because these webinars are kind of problem-solving sessions.

People will ask you questions related to your product and you will answer them or in other words, you will solve their problem related to any specific thing which they are facing with your product.

QnA sessions are also helpful in creating a good relationship among customer and company.

Also this encourages potential customers to trust your brand.

For generating leads:-
Who doesn't want to generate leads and convert them into loyal customers?

But the process is not as simple and easy as it sounds.

It is not easy to convince someone  to buy anything. But a good webinar can do the job for you. You just have to be wise with choice of its type.

If generating leads is your sole purpose then you must host a case study webinar. Use testimonials and convince them that your product will not let them down.

Webinars are great in establishing you as an expert in front of your audience.

Interviews are great method to improve your image as an expert among your audience. When interviewer will ask you questions and you will answer them on live session then it will build a trust bond among you and your audience and audience will understand that you are an expert not an amateur.

For building a brand name:-
Building a brand name in the market is a difficult journey. It is not easy to make people trust your brand.

If building your brand is your aim then you must host webinars more often to interact with your audience more and more.

The more often you will interact with them the more they will remember you and your brand.

Discuss your products and show their value to your audience.

Provide them sample products and ask for their reviews. This method always produces positive results.

Building a brand into the market is a skilful act. You have to show your communication skills into your webinar. Provoke your audience to ask questions about your product and engage them in the discussion by asking about their suggestions.

But still, you have to go live more often if you want people to remember your brand name. Plus provide them with something which helps them to remember your brands like PDF or a video about your brand's product.
If you want they choose you then make sure they don't forget you.
 So now in the response to "what's a webinar", we can answer that it is a set of activities which a host perform online to meet his purpose.


Now we know what webinar means and how it works but still, a huge topic is untouched in this post so far.
And that is features of the webinar.
The reason which makes people use this method is its sets of features. Uploading online videos is not new but what makes it different and innovative is its live functionality and one-to-many people interaction.

Features offered by webinar.

Features of webinar
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Live Chatting:-

Live chatting is a valuable feature of webinars. Live chatting includes audio, video and text chatting during an ongoing webinar. You can ask your questions and can give your suggestions.

Live chatting makes webinar most engaging type of marketing and educational tool.

Webinar offers all three types of chatting options audio, video and text chatting.

Another good thing about it that webinar softwares run live text chats along with the session. So if it is a huge audience session and the presenter didn't hear you then you can ask your questions through texts.
Text chatting also great when you want to discuss something with a member in the audience.

Through texts chatting audience can interact with host as well as with each other.

Screen capturing/recording:-

Want to record the whole webinar session?
Yes you can.

This is one of the best features of the webinar.
Some software like Webinarjam has an inbuilt feature of screen recording. So if you are using it then you don't have to download separate software for recording the live session.

But if you are using any free webinar service which offers limited features then you have to use a separate screen recording software.

Some softwares like Snagit and Screenflow offers great screen recording services. These softwares allow you to record the whole webinar, edit and save them so that you can go through those points again which had missed during the live session.

Screen sharing:-

A presenter can share his computer screen with others during an ongoing session.
This features helpful when the presenter wants to demonstrate about his product through documents, presentation and pictures.

Screen sharing is a good feature to lead your audience exactly there where you want them to lead.

Most of the webinar software already come with this great feature but if you are using a tool with limited functionality then you can use screen sharing software to share your desktop data to your audience.
These softwares allow you to share only those things which you want to share with your audience. To avoid having personal data shared, you can activate privacy settings.

Two-ways communication channel:-

As I already had mentioned that it is a great two-way communication channel. Both parties participate equally in the webinar.

Both sides can interact with each other. This particular feature makes it a great tool of real-time problem-solving. The audience can ask and you can answer them on the live webinar at real-time.

Live feature of webinar makes it fastest problem solving tool.

Synchronised presentation:-

Webinars allow you to run a presentation alongside a live webinar.
You can demonstrate your view while you are hosting a webinar.

You can also share your product benefits its use and other information through webinar presentation.


Wait wait, that's it?
Does a webinar offer just these features?

Well, my answer is no.
Webinar offers an enormous amount of features.
You can unlock them only by hosting a webinar by yourself. As they say
Practical is better than theoretical.
We have talked all about what webinar means, how webinar works, the purpose of webinars and features.
But still, one point is remaining.
And that is...

How to create a successful webinar?
The successes of a webinadependds on many factors. Such as type of webinar, purpose of webinar, theme the of webinar, audience etc. But there three main factors which can either make a webinar all-time hit or a flop event.

These three factors are...

  1. Hosting software.
  2. Presenter/host.
  3. Duration.
Although these are not only factors which affect the successes of the webinar but these factors are highly responsible for the success and failure of the webinar.
You must start by choosing the right platform for your webinar. Selection of the right platform is very necessary. You must focus on that tool which provides maximum features.

A software with a glitch can kill your webinar in front of your eyes. You have to make sure that it offers the basic functions like screen sharing, recording so that you don't have to manage too many tools at one time. Just find a platform which is a complete hub for your requirements.

Another factor is the host or presenter. A presenter is the only person who can engage the audience with the topic but only when he knew how to do it.

If you have great skill to engage people in discussion then you must go but if you are not sure then you must choose someone who is better in communication.

A good presenter can make even a bad and boring topics webinar. the interesting.
And a bad speaker can make a turn a good topic into the morning session.

Choosing the right host is that step which can take your session to the txt level. The best thing about choosing the right host is that it increases engagement, to  100%. Otherwise, the audience will leave the session in halfway

Duration should be decided on the basis of topic, purpose and audience interest. It is better to end before the audience leave.

These three factors affect the health of a webinar. Before hosting a webinar you must take care of these three factors.

Now let's move to some questions which people generally have in their minds related to the webinar.

FAQ.

Why choose webinars?
Attendance rate of webinars is 31% higher than seminars.
How about that.
A webinar is an evolving tool of marketing and education.

Most of the people who host webinars more often agreed that webinars are a great platform to showcase and grow their business brand.

the webinars a great method of live anreal-time interaction with your audience. Webinar helps in solving the problems real-time.

Webinars increase audience intrusion your brand. If hosted rightly then a webinar could generate 100% lea ads.

Webinars allow you to interact face to face with your audience even if you are a hundred miles away from your audience.

Webinars are a very cost-effective method of marketing of the product.

All these benefits make it one of the best tool for every type of business. The webinar is helpful in every field from product promotion to educate your audience.

Are webinars live?

Yes, webinars are live broadcasts of video presentations. Sometimes people confuse webinars with webcasts but its feature of live broadcasting makes it different from the webcast.

A pre-recorded session will be termed as a webcast, not as a webinar.

Do webinars work?

Without any doubt,
Yes, they do.

But how they will work for you is completely dependent on you. How skillfully you will host the webinar will define its fate and result.

Nobody can give you the fixed stats about the webinar's result because it varies from person to person. Result of the webinar is subjective. It depends on which platform and type you will choose for your webinar.

Are you ready to rock now?

The true result can be measured only by doing it yourself.

Your skill of hosting a webinar will improve with time and practice. The best you can do is to start from choosing the right path.

Now it's your turn to be the host of your own webinar and don't forget to share your experiences with me.

Peace out!

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