How to use a Webinar as a powerful marketing tool

It's time to start taking webinars seriously for your small business marketing.

For many businesses, webinars are their most powerful marketing channel, surpassing email campaigns, newsletters and other digital media. The secret for success is in how you use this platform. Read on to learn how we've used webinars for marketing and business growth.

1. Add value to your brand.

Leverage your in-house expertise to distinguish your business leadership. A great webinar supports all of the information your company is already sharing, but adds depth to a particular area. Boost engagement by adding digital media such as images, videos, presentations, and screen sharing.

2. Educate and inform your audience; share your voice.

Today's audience doesn't want to read and who can blame them. We want you to show us how to do something and show us quickly and concisely. Don't waste our time.  If you offer downloads or other resources for clients, create a webinar to show them how to use it.   Show what your product or services can do and why your audience can’t live without them. Once you learn the webinar platform, it will become as easy to set up and get started as a conference call.

3. Create a library or resource center for clients.

As you build your library of webinars, use them to create a valuable resource center for your clients. Your resource center should also include all the other complimentary downloads and tools you offer. If you focus on content and provide really great information, consider using the webinars as part of your ‘member-only' benefits.  Whatever webinar you’re creating, it’s worth recording it. The company InTouch uses webinars and was able to show that 300% to 500% more people watch a recorded webinar than attend a live one. Most channels provide analytics tools that show you who has watched the webinar and how often.

4. Interview an expert.

A great way to attract a bigger and broader audience is to interview someone well-known and respected in your industry. Plan and prepare for the interview, make it easy for them to participate, and promote their participation on all your marketing channels.

5. Fill the client funnel with a Program Preview.

If you have a mastermind program, or higher priced program, use a webinar to give prospects a preview. Generate marketing leads with a successful orientation webinar. Offer something of value for attending. You’ll attract those people who are most interested in the subject matter which should shorten your sales cycle.

6. Feature a customer.

If you have a customer who has experienced great results using your product and service, host a webinar with them as a live case study. Highlight their business, and expand on the challenges that you helped them overcome. Let them shine, and then bask in their glory.

7. Create a Paid Program.

Webinars are a great way to deliver virtual education. They can be set up as visual and interactive as your mind allows. The most popular webinar platforms offer the option to switch from video, to screen sharing, to your webcam, allowing for entertaining interaction with your audience.  Webinars allow you to professionally deliver content and coach and interact with your participants. Webinar recordings can be hosted on a secure program site, and supplemented with audio recordings, PDFs and worksheets.

8.  Use webinars for your Opt-in.

Why not give a better incentive to your target audience?  If your strategic plan calls for increasing leads and subscribers, create a valuable webinar that your members can access as their opt-in.  Use it to supplement the material you already offer, such as eBooks and other downloads. Here's how myMarketing Cafe uses this strategy. When visitors click on our Marketing Plan tab, they can watch the small business marketing webinar recording, and download the supporting marketing toolkit and other materials that all integrate with the webinar. The offer is much more meaningful than any of the items separately.

Now that I've got you thinking about it, join me in the comments and share your ideas for webinars. Or give me a call and let's get you started using this valuable marketing tool.

Jo Lynn Deal is an integrated marketing communications strategist and founder of myMarketing Cafe, and welcomes you to connect.  She has been featured in Social Media Today, Spin Sucks, PR News, Project Eve, The Business Journal, and The ExaminerA version of this post appeared first at www.mymarketingcafe.com.