For every business, it’s all about educating and providing customers and prospects an exceptional service or product. It’s about showcasing your offering in a way that speaks their language, bringing to their attention that what you’ve got is what they want. How does a business stick out from the clutter? The key is to engage your audience.
Use video to add to the overall experience of connection. When a video conferencing platform is utilized for online meetings, you’ll see firsthand how engagement goes up.
If you want to truly connect with your audience, extend your reach, and direct your messaging, start creating and hosting online events like webinars, teleseminars, and webcasts. Sound like a tall order? It doesn’t have to be, especially with two-way group communication software that comes loaded with state-of-the-art features.
Let’s break down a few basics. We’ll cover exactly what a webinar is and why it should be added to your marketing mix, plus how to choose a webinar service provider and more.
A Crash Course On Webinars
A webinar (a portmanteau of “web” and “seminar”) is the online equivalent of a workshop, speaking event, or presentation created to live and breathe online using video conferencing software.
For a webinar to leave a lasting impression (and ultimately sell or convert), its two primary purposes are to 1) engage and 2) educate. A webinar is typically business-oriented as its primary function is to provide knowledge, explore ideas, sell a product, and share concepts with an online community – globally.
Webinars done well will work to serve as a vehicle for building brand recognition and authority while tightening customer relationships. Furthermore, they can be used to launch a new product, break down how a product works, position you as an expert in the field, and so much more.
Plus, they have the capacity to keep your audience engaged and informed and work to provide you with measurable results. Sounds pretty good, right?
As mentioned before, audience attention is illusive. It can be fickle, and wax and wane at the drop of a buzzword or curve of a trend. Before jumping into selecting a webinar provider, first determine what you want to get out of your webinars.
By establishing your webinar goals, you’re creating a rough blueprint of the objectives and ROI you want to achieve. For your webinar to really hit home, determine what your goals are. Here are a few for inspiration:
Goal 1: Build Brand Awareness
Is the purpose of your webinar to reach into new markets; provide new messaging or reinvigorate old messaging?
Goal 2: Recruit Talent
HR professionals, are you reaching out overseas in search of broadening the talent pool? Are you in need of a way to record videos for training orientation?
Goal 3: Connect With Clients
Is your webinar meant to strengthen the ties with current and prospective clients; provide more face to face time for better feedback, conversation, and cooperation?
Goal 4: Sharpen Skill Sets
Are you looking to add to your team’s skill set through tutorials, lectures, online courses, and collaboration with others?
Goal 5: Encourage Thought-Leadership
Do you want to promote ideas and influence to showcase expertise or ongoing involvement in a specific niche; present a point of view; build credibility or engage a following?
Clarify your goals and you’ll be able to align your values with the features of your webinar provider’s software. Together, you can establish tighter connections that ultimately lead to bigger returns. A happy union with your video conferencing platform will pave the way for a more interactive communication and marketing strategy that engages and educates.
Popping The Question(s)
But first, what should you be on the lookout for when it comes to deciding on a video conferencing platform? What features and benefits are going to make you and your business shine?
Think of your communication platform as your partner in crime without the delinquency. It’s a partnership that will shape the future of your business’ communication strategy. Together, you can create a symbiotic relationship that values communication and continuously crafts the swift delivery of properly communicated educational and engaging messages. Consider the following questions as you consider the platform you choose to work alongside:
- “What are the real costs involved?”
Video conferencing solutions are typically offered in different tiers. Comb through each offering to see which features and benefits make the most sense for you and what you wish to accomplish. You can also ask a sales rep if your needs are out of scope and you require a made-to-order solution.
- “How complicated is the setup? Onboarding?”
Choose video conferencing that comes with zero downloads and is browser-based. This ensures accessibility for a large audience, and cuts down costs related to heavy equipment, third-party setup, and lost time getting everyone on the same page.
- “What features does it come with?”
After you’ve spent a little time getting a deeper understanding of which goals you want to tick off your list, choose the video conferencing software that comes with what you need. Some might be premium upgrades, while others are default, but knowing which ones will align with your purpose will help you create the best outcome possible. Consider Meeting Recording, AI Transcription, Online Whiteboard, Custom Hold Music, Screen Sharing, and more!
- “Is the platform available on mobile? How user-friendly is it?”
Multi-device accessibility means anyone from anywhere can access and view your webinar. The same goes for you too! You can set up your iPhone or Android and go live (or record!) wherever there’s an internet connection. You don’t have to be strapped down to your desktop in an office. You can be “free-range” with your webinar!
- “What are the security features?”
Find out what security options are in place to ensure your data and privacy remain safe. If for example, you have a guest speaker, it might be worth taking into consideration who has access to which features, like recording or moderator controls. Furthermore, a feature like Meeting Lock ensures your webinar prevents unwanted visitors from joining and acts as another layer of protection.
- “What kind of technical support is offered?”
Technology is fast and convenient, but it can also be a little tricky. Hiccups are bound to happen and when they do, you want to know you have direct access to someone who can help. Does the video conferencing provider offer in-house or outsourced support? How do you reach out for help? What is the turnaround time?
- “Are there custom branding opportunities?”
The option to modify and add your company’s branding provides your audience with a polished and professional appearance. Showing off your business’ insignia and colors will help you stand out and make you memorable.
- “Can I access my webinars after?”
Once your webinar is over that shouldn’t be the end of its existence. Ensure a recording feature is available so you can record now to watch later. This is especially helpful for replays, sending out in emails, and creating evergreen content down the line.
- “What unique features are included? How is your product different from the competition?”
Asking this question will open up the dialogue to get a really honest answer from the sales team. This one is a bit of a wild card!
Keep This One Thing In Mind
Searching for the webinar and video conferencing software that complements your business is absolutely worthwhile but can prove to be a challenging pursuit. The marketing jungle is dense so let the following question be your guiding star while navigating:
The technology you’re considering, does it come with the tools that make you feel supported through all three phases – before, during, and after – of putting out a quality webinar for your audience?
This question is bolstered with 3 supporting ideas:
Idea #1: Leave A Good First Impression
Kick off the webinar with a strong impression. After all, you don’t really get a second chance! First impressions are hard to displace, so right off the bat, ensure you’re performing at your best.
Be on the lookout for video conferencing software that comes with:
- A customized virtual meeting environment where your logo and brand standards can be added or modified.
- An online meeting room for participants to gather and feel invited.
- Zero-download, browser-based technology that makes meetings run efficiently and smoothly
Idea #2: Get Intimate And Interactive
While hosting a seminar, remember that it is not a presentation. You don’t have to run through it or read off the screen. In fact, take advantage of the platform’s tools to add dynamic and interactive elements that will capture your audience’s attention.
Break down and breathe life into ideas with an online whiteboard where you can draw, drag and drop images and videos, and use colors and shapes to express an idea.
Share your screen to really “show” instead of “tell” when you’re highlighting an especially important theory or discussing an opinion with your captive audience.
Try running a Q&A, selecting someone to be in the hot seat, or asking participants to weigh in on an idea. Also, don’t forget to show off your brand’s personality.
Idea #3: It Really Starts At The End
Drawing your audience into your story is only the beginning. Once you’ve shed light on your message, it’s now about prompting your attendees to take action and do something with the message about your product or service. If you recorded the session, go back to see how it went and how you feel about your delivery. What can you do better next time? How did your audience respond based on their body language, facial reactions, or feedback?
Send out a follow-up email to check-in, or ask for feedback.
How To Capture Your Audience’s Attention During A Webinar
As mentioned, an engaged audience is a captivate audience. When you command attention, you’re able to target your message with a webinar that is received and acknowledged. Use your video conferencing software to add depth and dimension to shape the delivery of what you want to convey.
Implement the following attention-grabbing techniques to target your audience and deepen the meaning.
- Slides That Get Straight To The Point
Drill down your message to its core and use short, catchy, and easily digestible content throughout your webinar. Less is more when you’re writing it out and designing visuals that will be seen. Bear in mind that rapid change (one point per slide) gets absorbed more quickly instead of a wall of text on a single slide.
- A Strong Narrative
Employ the structure of a strong story: Start with a snappy headline and design your information to include a beginning, a middle, and an end. Your content should tell a story and present a problem and a solution. Woo your audience by getting them emotionally invested.
- Speak Your Audience’s Language
Ensure the material you’re presenting is catered to them. Use the appropriate language, and industry-centric examples. Avoid difficult terms and be sure to add a sprinkle of novelty that keeps your webinar fresh!
- Present The Significance
The thought “What’s in it for me?” will be at the top of mind awareness of your audience. Set this up early in the webinar and continue to drill it in throughout your delivery. For example, “If problem A were to arise, product X would be able to solve it by…”
- Design It For Humans
You are not speaking to robots. Present high-quality content that is real, conversational, and relevant. Use visual elements and bring in videos, quotes, or anything that helps support your point. Bring in your own experience and use personal anecdotes if you need to really connect on a human level.
- Flaunt Your Personality
Employ humor to break the ice and get the ball rolling. Enthusiasm, a sunny disposition, and a good joke can all work together to add life to your webinar and make everyone feel at ease.
- Get Intimate With Your Technology
Knowing the features of the video conferencing software will give you the upper hand on navigating your audience. Curate an exceptional experience for them by knowing the short cuts, practicing video conferencing etiquette, getting a good grasp on moderator controls, and using popular features like screen sharing, transcription and meeting recordings to your advantage.
Let Callbridge make your business flourish with a video conferencing platform equipped with the tools you need to design and create hardworking webinars that cater to your audience. Launch your product, generate awareness, and above all, educate and engage onlookers with well-thought-out webinars that intrigue, delight and sell!