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What is a Webinar? How To Host One for Your Business

A webinar is an easy, affordable way to promote your product, improve customer relationships, and train employees. Learn how to host a webinar for your business.

With the increase of digital meetings, one-on-one appointments, and conferences, webinars have become even more popular.

Companies of every size are finding that offering virtual meetings saves them a lot of money in travel expenses and that online meetings are effective for both sides.

While you need some basic tech skills to produce a webinar, or a web seminar, you can learn to record your webinar yourself or hire a company that specializes in virtual presentations.

Business people have adopted Zoom or similar webinar hosting software to facilitate virtual meetings. You can see the adoption of Zoom meetings in every industry, including crucial medical appointments between patients and doctors.

If people are willing to trust their personal doctor appointments to Zoom, then you can certainly find a way to offer excellent content for your clients via a web seminar.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is the internet version of a seminar. Instead of going to a conference in another state to present your seminar, you can offer your webinar online.

You can record your webinar, then make it accessible for clients for free, or through a subscription service. Online webinars can be pre-recorded or live-streamed.

Web seminars can be watched more than one time, and make it less expensive to engage with customers, staff, or the public. In fact, you may find that people watch your webinar 24/7 due to differing time zones.

What is a Zoom webinar?

A Zoom webinar is a web seminar facilitated by a software product made by Zoom. It is a webinar software that you can use to create virtual events, appointments, meetings, or webinars on any PC, Mac, or mobile device.

What is a webinar class?

A webinar class is a virtual class. Instead of meeting in person, class members meet on Zoom or another webinar software platform to listen and watch their lesson virtually. This has been successful for college students as a way to participate in classroom learning remotely.

During the pandemic, children of all ages were webinar attendees to their classes virtually with teachers learning how to teach virtually by doing it, and parents helping students with classroom work at home.

Webinar classes have had mixed results. Young children have the most trouble participating and learning from remote classes. Live webinars work best for adults for most topics, as long as you can demonstrate the lesson virtually. Colleges have had a lot of success with online classes. You can also find other online classes in a range of subjects that interest adults of all ages.

Benefits of a webinar

Webinars offer several benefits for the presenter and for the clients.

1. Totally remote

Webinars are remote and just like other types of remote work, have been readily adopted by businesses and organizations. People like to work from home, and they can attend numerous webinars without ever leaving their home office.

2. You can gain audience insights

Webinars give you the ability to track viewers digitally, and they also facilitate online discussions with clients, giving you the client's perspective, needs, and problems or concerns.

This opens up an opportunity for you to resolve client issues to their satisfaction or offer them customer care solutions, thereby gaining a positive result for you and the customer.

Another purpose of a live webinar can be to start the customer's journey through your marketing funnel. Your first conversion can be signing up for the webinar or starting a webinar registration, then helping them learn what they need to take the next step towards purchasing your product.

3. You can generate leads

Whether your webinar is live-streamed or recorded for presentation, it gives you an opportunity to highlight and promote your products and/or services and generate new leads for your sales funnel. One method is to offer them free webinars in exchange for their email address in order to send them your email newsletter.

The audience data you gather from your webinar can be very useful in understanding how to approach new leads, and what type of content to create for them that will help them become ready to make a purchase.

4. You can strengthen relationships with your customers

Since you put yourself in front of customers (virtually, at least), webinars are a good way to build rapport with and build customer relationships. They get to know a little bit more about you, and you can learn about them through online chat, responses to questions, and conversions.

5. Easy to train employees

A user onboarding webinar is an effective tool for training employees, especially for employees who are working remotely and in a different geographical area.

In fact, you can gather together all of your remote workers for your webinar and then have a live discussion to engage them in the process, all without leaving their home offices.

6. Affordable

Webinars are affordable. You don't need to rent a room. You don't need to provide food and drinks. You don't need to compensate your audience for travel fees. All you need is a good internet connection, a camera to record or live stream, and the software to share with the world.

How to create an effective webinar

  • Set your goals
  • Keep it short
  • Plan for participation
  • Choose your platform
  • Promote your webinar

Set your goals

For a webinar to be successful, you need to decide what the webinar is trying to accomplish. With those goals in mind, you can flesh out a rough draft of what to include in your webinar.

Keep it short

People have short attention spans. This means you should plan for your webinar to be as short as possible, while also achieving your goals.

If your subject is complex, you can split your webinar into a series of short webinars. Ultimately, your webinar should be no more than 60 minutes. But remember that you can't just pack your 60-minute webinar with tons of information.

Instead, create an outline and make each section as easy as possible for someone to follow if they are new to the topic.

Plan for participation

There are numerous ways to offer your audience a chance to participate. Some suggestions are to include:

  • Surveys
  • Discussion topics
  • Question and answer period
  • Chat

By offering your audience the ability to participate, you also give them a reason to stay tuned, listening to what you have to say. Having built-in sessions for discussions or questions puts the ball in their court. They engage with your topic and retain more information.

Choose your platform

There are several webinar software solutions for hosting a webinar. Microsoft Teams and Zoom are two of them. Most webinar software enables viewers to access it from a PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone, giving participants the freedom to access the webinar from anywhere.

Promote your webinar

It's not good enough to just create a webinar and expect people to attend. Instead, you need to promote your webinar to attract viewers. You can promote your webinar the same way you promote other types of content.

Promote to several channels, like social media, YouTube, email marketing, search marketing, paid ads, locally, and in-person. Anywhere you typically interact with your clients or search for new leads is a good place to promote your webinar.

Don't forget to sign up your participants

Depending on what goals you set for your webinar to accomplish, encouraging participants to sign up for your email list, or take another action after attending will keep them engaged.

When they are excited and interested in your presentation is a good time to get them to convert. You can determine what conversion makes the most sense as part of your goal setting.

Your webinar, whether it is internal (for employees) or external (for customers), should be one step for participants to move through your marketing funnel towards completing a purchase of your product or service.

Unless the webinar is the product you're selling, then you can offer a free webinar as an incentive to sign up for a membership or subscription service. Mailchimp can help you plan your webinar and reach out to your target audience to drive attendance.

Create a landing page using Mailchimp, and then use email marketing, social media, and other channels to drive traffic to your landing page that explains all about your webinar and encourages people to sign up to attend. Using Mailchimp's templates and marketing library, you can learn all the ins and outs you need to start creating your new webinar.

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