How many webinar invitations do you get each week? More than you could ever attend even if you had seven 48 hour days in a week?
Attending a webinar is a big commitment for everyone because you cannot multi-task and absorb the webinar content. You cannot skim or fast-forward to the crunch points. You are investing an hour or more of your precious time. This is why webinars are so popular – They work.
Webinars are being used increasingly in universities as an alternative to traditional lectures. Most students love them. University authorities love them partly because they have an excellent return on investment.
Webinars are not free, or not if you want to avoid intrusive ads on your webinar events. You can only record paid webinar services such as ClickWebinar.
If they are not free then there needs to be a payback. The webinar MUST pay for itself, and preferably in terms of cold hard cash. There may be esoteric benefits such as improved customer communications, but ROI is measured in cash, not smiles. The cash benefit may be in terms of increased revenue or in terms of a less costly way of achieving a result.
Internal Use of Webinars
Webinars mean you can have meetings with out-of-office staff without paying for commuting time. Traveling sales people get to spend more time selling rather than coming back to base for a meeting. Home-workers get to feel involved and able to contribute. Your staff members are happier and a happy workforce means lower employee turnover and lower advertising and recruitment costs.
Of the people who measure webinar effectiveness for training, 70% thought that they probably or certainly more than paid for themselves.
There are other ways to get people from London, New York and Los Angeles together, but none are as flexible as a webinar. Webinars are the cheapest way to organize a group meeting online.
A webinar is the best as well as the cheapest way to train your employees. It allows feedback, a Q&A session and the whole session can be recorded for future employees or for reference.
External Use of Webinars
This is where webinars really come into their own: As vehicles to communicate with customers the channel cannot be matched. RoI is more difficult to measure, though.
Focus groups are very expensive when you are researching market opinion prior to launching a new product. A webinar means you can invite people from your email list and research the opinions of the most important people in the market, your customers. The cost-saving over using a focus group is impressive.
Develop and Build Your Brand
How can you quantify improvements in brand perception? It is not easy, but every company already spends a lot of money trying to build its brand. The ROI you get from using webinars over conventional means comes about through their lower costs. Webinars can be used as a replacement for expensive out-reach campaigns, rather than as an addition to your current brand-building efforts.
Improve Organic Search
If you are paying to have an SEO company boost your search ranking then you can replace a small portion of that spending and run a LOT of webinars. The webinars can be recorded and used to grow your YouTube channel. Remember that YouTube is a massive search engine in its own right. If you put the PDF transcripts on your website then you gain both ways.
You can also produce SlideShare presentations from your webinar and boost social media shares by providing interesting and helpful content.
Recorded webinars are perfect for educating your customers. If you sell carpets then create webinars related to choosing a carpet. If you sell books then webinars that discuss best-sellers will go down well with your customers.
One of the big advantages a webinar has over video is the interactive potential it offers. You could set up a webinar next weekend and invite people from your email subscription list to join in. You can enable or disable their cameras and microphones for most of the webinar and then have a live question & answer section near the end.
Sticking with the bookseller example, you could hold a webinar where the merits of different e-readers are discussed. Think about bringing in an expert on the subject for extra social media impact when you are promoting the webinar.
Connect with Customers
Webinars allow you to connect with potential and previous customers. If you supply useful information without charge or obligation people are grateful. They come to see you as an authoritative source and are more likely to buy your products or services.
ClickWebinar allows you to have multiple presenters. This means you can have your whole team presenting, so you have someone available for one-on-one with anyone who looks as though they need extra help.
It works both ways though. A webinar can be your opportunity to listen to your customers’ ideas. Feedback is always worth listening to so you can improve your service. You might also get ideas for new products by listening to the problems your customers are experiencing
Most webinar users continue to use the medium of its great RoI. There are plenty of hard cash advantages to using webinars to justify their use. When you add in hard-to-quantify factors such as customer satisfaction, higher search engine profiles and improved social media engagement then the decision to use webinars becomes a no-brainer.
Is Your Business Using Webinars?
How do you use webinars? Are they paying off for you? Please share your thinking using the comments box below.