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Technology (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Technology (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Top Tens

Ten reasons to include webinars in your marketing strategy Add to ...

As an entrepreneur, you can probably relate to at least one of the following scenarios: you plan to attend an event only to have to cancel last minute, or you spend countless hours organizing an event, only to end up with an empty room.

Webinars offer a number of advantages to live events, which can be difficult to manage and hard to control. Here are the top 10 reasons why they should be included as part of your overall marketing strategy.

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1. Convenience. Perhaps the biggest benefit of a webinar is that it can be viewed by anyone, anywhere, at any time. As long as participants have an connection and access to the registration details, they can attend from wherever they please. Webinars are easy for people to attend because they don’t have to stress over wild weather, traffic on the highways, or finding a parking spot. The other advantage is that they are recorded so if something comes up last minute, registrants can view the recording at a time that’s convenient to them.

2. Geography. If you have an online business or want to span across a few areas, webinars are a good alternative to traditional events for a few reasons: First, the webinar details can be shared across different cities, time zones and countries, so if you have customers in different areas you can reach them all at once; second, there is no limit to the number of people that can attend a webinar at any given time, so potentially hundreds or thousands of people can attend at once with no service interruptions.

3. Affordability. Events take a lot of planning and preparation to go off seamlessly. Webinars by comparison are more economical because they do not require space, rentals, food, printed materials, and they also save on company resources as it only takes one person to run them. Raising awareness for webinars can also be quite economical as they can be promoted via e-mail, social media on hosting websites like www.webinarhero.com or www.meetups.com.

4. Measurability. It is easy to find out how many people signed up for the webinar, how many people attended and the dollar spent per person on acquiring those leads.

5. New leads. If you’re looking to grow your e-mail database, webinars can help you get there. When people sign up to attend, they enter their personal information including name, e-mail and location. Not only can this information be helpful for future marketing opportunities, but it can help you identify where your customers are coming from.

6. Engaging. The great thing about inbound marketing efforts like webinars is that people are opting into your message. People sign up to attend webinars because they’re interested in the topic, so when you have a large number of people gathered around a topic it builds community.

7. Educational. Webinars are great learning tool. For example, if you are a photographer you can use webinars to teach people how to use the different features and attributes to take better pictures and include a few of your photos throughout. Asserting yourself as an expert can help you become more credible and trustworthy to potential prospects and can also help build your brand. Tip: people don’t want to hear you blab on an on about your products. Use your best judgment to find the right mix of product information and educational content that will satisfy your audience without sounding like a sales pitch.

8. Interactivity. Because they use a combination of voice and chat applications, the audience can ask questions or add comments at any point in the discussion. As the event organizer, you can and should ask questions and gather insight from the audience to keep the dialogue open.

9. Allow you to repurpose content. Most companies already have white papers, e-books, product information guides, blog posts, etc. In many cases this information is interesting and relevant and can be used to educate customers about your products and services; however, it is probably buried on your website or collecting dust somewhere. By using a webinar, you can showcase this information in a new way.

10. Timeliness. Compared to planning, organizing and running traditional events, hosting a webinar takes much less time to prepare for. You can eliminate the time spent on arranging logistical details, preparing print materials, working with various suppliers, staffing the event, and so on.

Since 2003, Bizlaunch has helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow their business by providing free webinars, seminars, training and advice.

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