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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 can be dangerous for you.

It might seem too much but gathering at one place during COVID-19 can seriously hazardous for health. So what about the launch of your product or service or what about internal staff meetings? How about training seminars?

Of course all these things are important and an integral part of any company but is it safe to go for a seminar for these purposes? Because no matter how important these things are, these are not important than anyone's health.

Now, we all know that this pandemic will not last forever but would you have to wait for end of covid-19?

We can't change the current situation of the world neither can wait for the ending of this pandemic bit you can change the way or channel reach to your audience and potential customers.

Rather than hustling for other sources of reaching your audience you can host a webinar. Webinar can be new protagonist and host for launch of your new product. 

But...
You can host a successful webinar only when you know what's a webinar and how a webinar works.
Now hosting a webinar, even if you are new, is not a rocket science. Don't worry if you have no or very little knowledge about webinars.

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.

No venue, no arrangements required. In just few clicks you can go face to face with your people from anywhere to anywhere. A webinar is live broadcast of any presentation. Webinars save your time and energy as you need not to rush on any physical place. You can just simply decide the date and time of your event and webinars software will handle the rest.  

You must have encountered the term webcast too. People often confuse it with webinars 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 hear 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 webinars. 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 is 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.
You know what I am saying😉

Now we know what is a webinar. But webinar itself is a very diverse term. Nowadays it's being used for so many purposes that it has evolve new forms and types. Unlike other marketing tools, webinars are multitasking. You can use it for multipurpose. Or I should say you can use it for nearly any kind of meeting and training.

Webinars are great for live broadcasting, which makes them a lucrative tool for nearly every industry around the globe.

And with its origin, it became most favourite marketing tool for marketers.
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.
Hosting a webinar is not a difficult thing but hosting a successful one require lots of work and research. You need to identify the purpose of your event. On the basis of your purpose, you have to choose type of webinar you want to host.

Let's take a look on its types 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.

Why should people care about launch of your new product?

They will only care if there is something for them. Show them how your product will help them. What will be the benefit of your product in their life and how it is better than others.

Just be specific and don't stretch the length by talking here and there. Your webinar must be focused on your new product. Use demos and animation to draw the attention of your audience and showcase the use of your product.

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:-

When you already have some leads but don't know how to convert them 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 helps you to build up a relation of trust among your potential customers. By showing them the testimonials, you are clearing their mind doubts about your product and encouraging them to give your product a try.

This method works amazingly when you already have some leads for your products. Because leads are those potential customers who needs your product but they just need to be convinced that your product is good and they can trust you and testimonials of your customers will do that for you.

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:-

Now you know how to tackle the situation when you already got 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 while hosting such webinars, 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 audiences.

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 audiences. Let's understand it more specifically.

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 audiences. For example, you can announce a free one month trial for those who will attend the webinar in exchange of their email addresses.

Don't think it is a loss deal you are getting their email address which can be your first step to make new customers for your product or brand.

Sales/Workshop webinar:-

The most common and widely used type of webinar is sales webinar.

This 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.

There are two fundamental rules of hosting a sales webinar.

First, keep it short upto 30-35 minutes if you are new to webinar hosting because as a beginner it can be very difficult to keep your audience engaged for long time. 

But if you already had hosted a few webinars before 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 knows how to keep her audience engaged in her sessions. You can choose the duration according to your level and experience.

Second, Offer them valuable information and then pitch. 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 expertly 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 employees. It is generally used for non-sale purposes.

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 benefit in the form of money or leads but these webinars are a great discussion.

In fact the discussion is the core of a 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, webinars are a subjective tool to its purpose. You should organize 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 then hosting a QnA session will not be that effective because a QnA webinar is helpful only when people already knew about your product or service and have questions related to its use or application.

Purpose of a 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 purposes of hosting a webinar. But mainly these purposes can be categorized in 3 categories.

Let's discuss them.

What Is The Purpose Of Your Webinar?

Like I said before, the purpose of a webinar defines which type of webinar you should host. 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.

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 things about QnA webinars is that these webinars are best in terms of engagement. The reason for their being highly engaging is their problem solving nature.

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 between customers and company.
This also encourages potential customers to trust your brand.

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. How?

Suppose you host a case study webinar. Use testimonials and prove good quality of your product to your audience. It will also be good if you point out minor problems which they might face and their solutions to counter the problem.

Try to establish yourself as an expert. Be there for their questions. If you will be able to counter their questions on live session then their trust on you and your product will increase.

Building A Brand:-

Building a brand name in the market is a difficult journey. New businesses always struggle in market. Although there are lots of tasks to perform for small businesses to establish itself but it can start with interaction with their current customers and potential clients.

Interaction with your audience on a regular basis will increase you brand awareness in their mind. 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 requires certain skill set. 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 their suggestions.
If you want they choose you then make sure they don't forget you.

If we sum up the whole discussion we have above then we can say that webinar is a online live interaction between to parties (host and audience) which starts with a purpose of marketing, training/education or discussion and ends when both parties are have achieved their target. 

Webinar is a method which provides certain sets of features which are helpful for those who use it. These features help the host of a webinar to perform his task more efficiently and effectively with less effort.

Features Of 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. It not only helps the host to understand his audience, it also helps the audience to ask their questions and offer their suggestions to host. Live chatting makes the webinar one of the most engaging marketing and educational tool.

Another good thing about it that webinars software 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 the 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. Most of the software like Webinarjam has an inbuilt feature of screen recording. Just like chatting, screen recording is also beneficial for both host and audience. The host can record the session and can later share it on other social media accounts and, viewers can record the session and can watch that later whenever they want.

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

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

Screen sharing:-

A presenter can share his computer screen with others during an ongoing session. This feature is 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 software 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 webinars 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 uses and other information through webinar presentation.

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

Well, my answer is no.
Webinars offers a huge set of features.
You can unlock them only by hosting a webinar by yourself. As they say
Practical is better than theoretical.
 The more you will do it the more you will know it. By the time you will become an expert of this. But for that you have to start with small steps.

Now, let's talk about questions you might having in your mind right now.

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.

Webinars are great for going live for a real-time interaction with your audience. Webinar helps in solving problems in real-time. Webinars increase your brand awareness in your audience. If you host an engaging webinar then a webinar could generate 100% leads.

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 product marketing.

All these benefits make it one of the best tools for every type of business. Webinars are 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 it will work for you is completely depended on you. How skillfully you will host the webinar will define its 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?

Finally,

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 by 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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