The internet is teeming with information, covering every topic imaginable in a multitude of formats. It’s easy to get lost in the overwhelming sea of content.
But while an article or video may give you plenty of background to a topic, it’s often a very one-sided process and can leave you with lingering questions that remain unanswered.
This is where the dynamic nature of webinars are changing the game and becoming an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. In fact, they’re one of the most effective methods for lead acquisition and conversion.
Research from Quicksprout found that webinars convert around 20% of attendees into customers. Plus, they help you to connect with your audience on new levels, educating them on a wide range of topics, all while cementing you as a thought leader in your industry.
In this article, we’re taking a look at 8 key reasons why you should be harnessing the power of webinars in your marketing strategy and how these interactive sessions can help you make a lasting impression on your target audience – as well as help you generate more sales.
The rise of webinar marketing
Surprisingly, webinar marketing has been around for the past three decades. Microsoft held the first public webinar in 1996 for the launch of their NetMeeting product that allowed users to communicate and share data in real-time.
By around 2010, data transfer speeds had grown exponentially, and webinars had become more popularised due to these technological developments. For example, Skype introduced Group Conferencing for up to 10 people that year, and competitor platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Live etc. emerged to capture people’s enthusiasm for this two-way broadcasting medium.
Fast forward to the start of the pandemic in 2020, when webinars became a ubiquitous medium for connection and engagement in both our professional and social lives, marketers worldwide took notice. A 2020 survey revealed that 67% of brands increased their webinar investments that year, and even now that pandemic restrictions have eased, 51% consider webinars their most effective content marketing tool for generating new interest in their campaigns.
In the years ahead, experts predict that the webinar industry will be worth $611.28 million by 2028, demonstrating the enduring value of the medium in helping marketing teams engage and inspire audiences with interactive content.
Benefits of webinars for businesses
1. Educating your audiences
Webinars engage interested participants and provide a personalised introduction to your company. Through presentations, demonstrations, and Q&A sessions, they enhance understanding of complex concepts. Unlike websites or social platforms, webinars enable real-time audience interaction providing attendees with instant answers to their most pressing questions.
For example, CopyHouse’s Kathryn Strachan hosted a series of Business Bites webinars, educating SMEs and marketers on ‘all things business’ 20-minute bite-sized episodes.
“We wanted to share vital information in a less intrusive manner. So, having 20-minute snippets of content is great – we’re able to shine a light on all the important information and get straight to answers that entrepreneurs and marketers are searching for.”- Kathryn Strachan, CEO at CopyHouse.
2. Getting to know your customers
Webinars offer a two-way exchange, allowing you to learn from your audience. By addressing viewers' queries, hosts gain valuable insights into their audience's motivations and interests. This collaborative experience empowers marketing teams to guide the conversation within their chosen industry and ensure their content marketing strategies align with their target markets' interests and needs.
3. Collecting information
Collecting audience data during the sign-up process provides webinar hosts with ‘warm leads’ they contact via email, telephone, etc., to learn more about their specific needs and goals. Even simple follow-up questions like, "How did you find our webinar?" can reveal interesting information about how to nurture each lead further down the sales funnel. Therefore, even if a registered attendee signs up but misses the live event, it is still worth your time to get in touch.
4. Improving products and services
The findings you take from your webinar can be pivotal in business and product development. Hosting a webinar is rather like chairing a dedicated market research focus group - for a fraction of the price. Live Q&A sessions give you access to real-life examples of issues your audiences struggle with and concepts they want to learn more about.
The feedback can also go a long way in helping you improve customer experience processes – arming sales teams with more objection-handling tools and a better understanding of who your audience is and what makes them tick.
5. Building rapport
One of the best things about webinars is the connections you build with your attendees. While you can give them plenty of information through videos, blogs, brochures and podcasts, nothing truly brings something to life more than being able to speak about it directly.
Virtual event software is also great for maximising your audience’s engagement. Activities like polls and breakout sessions enable you to delve deeper into topics and get immediate feedback on areas your audience is interested in. Interactive elements also help keep your audience’s attention, making them more likely to attend future events and further build on their loyalty to your brand.
6. Nurturing leads
Webinars are beneficial for leads that aren’t quite ready to purchase yet - particularly those keen to learn more about your products or services before making any financial commitment. They provide the perfect environment to show off your products in action, answer any questions and move people incrementally through the sales funnel.
7. Increasing trust
When you host a webinar on a particular topic, and people sign up to watch it, this puts you firmly in the position of an expert within your field. Even if you're not charging people to attend, they are still exchanging their time and expecting to come away with valuable information they're unlikely to get elsewhere. The more webinars you host, the more your name will be synonymous with your area of expertise, and the more people will be keen to attend. This can do wonders for your brand awareness and allow your audience to get to know you as a person and put a face to your business - something which will make them more likely to purchase from you.
To illustrate, CopyHouse's Kathryn Strachan hosted a Pay it Forward Thursdays mentoring series for entrepreneurs looking to scale their marketing efforts in business. Through the trust she's built up in her interactive webinar sessions, Kathryn has earned herself guest speaker spots at leading industry events such as Money 20/20 in Amsterdam.
8. Content creation
Webinars are an absolute gold mine for content creation. You can reuse content from your presentation slides and create even more content from the feedback you get from your audience. You can turn your webinar conversations into blog posts, social posts, press releases, white papers or even video content. The possibilities are (almost) endless! The only limit when it comes to webinar content generation is your imagination. So, start planning your next live webinar today!
Make CopyHouse your expert partner in webinar marketing
Here at CopyHouse, we’re all about building brands from the ground up. Our content team are experts in a wide range of marketing disciplines, including webinar marketing. We can advise your team on the best and most effective ways to plan your content and excite your audience with your contributions to the wider industry conversations.
So, if you want to learn more about working together, contact us now. We’d love to hear from you.