by Bruce Newman
Webinars allow people throughout the world learn and communicate. Particularly in the past two years, webinars have rapidly gained prominence as an important component of many marketing plans. No longer considered an afterthought, a well-crafted and successful webinar can greatly enhance a company’s reputation and sales.
One of the reasons for this rapid growth is the lowered costs of both creating and attending a webinar. Without requiring the expenditure of significant amounts of time, energy, and money traveling to in-person events, webinars allow attendees and presenters to easily attend events via the internet. These savings in time and money for the presenters are significant, ranging between 60 to 90 percent when compared to the cost of live events and depending on the event.
Social media is a very powerful medium for meeting people and doing business. This industry has rapidly matured in the past ten years. However, one of its biggest hurdles is the amount of time and effort required to build and maintain a loyal following. In most cases, sales that are done through or as a result of social media are one-to-one. Though effective, it’s not time efficient. Conversely, webinars utilize a one-to-many approach, making them highly effective and providing them with the ability to reach a worldwide audience through a single online presentation.
Four different types of webinars are consistently utilized in today’s business environment:
- Sales webinars are the most well-known and are used to sell a product or service.
- Branding webinars are the most popular type of webinar, accounting for 50 percent of all webinars. Companies of all sizes are using or considering using branding webinars as a critical marketing component to enhance their reputation and drive traffic to their website and blog.
- Lead generation webinars are designed to generate new followers and remain in contact with existing ones.
- Education webinars are the hottest and fastest growing type of webinar. Large companies are now using internal webinars for training and communication purposes while training companies have achieved enormous savings and returns on their long distance learning programs.
Webinars usually range in length from 30 to 90 minutes with the usual length being 60 minutes. Less than 30 minutes is too short, more than 90 minutes is too long, particularly for people lacking both the patience and time for such long presentations.
Consistently, the weakest part of most webinars is their Call To Action (CTA) which should be presented towards the end of the webinar. A weak or non-existent CTA will result in potentially many lost sales or future business. Every webinar should have a strong CTA and follow-up plan upon completion of the webinar.
Some successful sales webinars can generate over $30,000 in a single presentation. Using a simple example, here is how the numbers work. Let’s say that we have 200 attendees at a sales webinar that is selling a $200 product. By providing excellent content to a targeted and receptive market, this webinar achieves a 25 percent conversion or sale rate, generating $10,000 (50 sales at $200 each) in sales for a single webinar. Making this even more attractive is the ability to easily repeat this webinar multiple times and generate additional revenue. While these numbers are alluring, it is important to realize that much work is required to be able to achieve them. Too many people think, “Now that I have created a webinar, they will come.” It didn’t happen for websites or Facebook fan pages, it doesn’t hold true for webinars either.
However, when webinars are properly constructed and marketed, they can be extremely effective in helping almost all companies reach their goals. By incorporating webinars into their marketing plans and taking advantage of their reach and effectiveness, companies can realize real cost savings while achieving significant growth.
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