The webinar has become the most powerful form of online marketing for small business. One of the leaders in the field of online conferencing, GVO Conference, now offers state-of-the-art webinar facilities for the cost of a burger (per month).
The benefits of conducting a webinar
Why would you use a webinar? Well, the benefits speak for themselves. I have seeen many benefits through participating in numerous webinars and running my own in the area of social media marketing. Through a webinar, you can:
- use visual aids – slides, photos and video (…and Squidoo lenses as I have done)
- build trust as participants get to hear your voice and see you
- easily explain complex ideas
- demonstrate products or services
- quickly build awareness and credibility
- interact with your audience via voice and text chat
- reach a wider audience (even global)
- achieve a sales conversion rate of 4 to 10 times that of other marketing methods.
Webinars make you and your expertise visible and engender personal relationships with your existing and potential customers.
What would you use a webinar for?
Well, you are really only limited by your imagination here. The webinar is such a flexible format that you can use it for many marketing endeavors. Here are some applications:
- launch a new product or service
- promote other products to existing customers
- introduce your product and services to potential customers
- provide ongoing training for customers
- conduct meetings or training for geographically dispersed staff
- develop product ideas with your customers or staff
- conduct surveys or obtain feedback from customers
- extend your customer base beyond your limited geographical area.
A webinar is a flexible medium if you purchase the right facilities at the outset. I have used four different webinar platforms and have found the GVO Conference facility to be the best in terms of cost and features.
Features of the webinar facility from GVO Conference
Online conference facilities vary widely. GVO Conference provides the most comprehensive facilities at the cheapest price. Here are some of the features of this webinar platform:
- auto-display of conference room when participants click on the link provided by you
- slide presentations such as Powerpoint
- video streaming
- electronic whiteboard
- inbuilt (text) chat room
- voice chat via headsets
- no dial in required (so no phone costs for participants)
- display browser results
- record webinar (video and audio).
The last time I checked, you could get access to a 50 person conference room with GVO Conference for under $10 per month with no limit on the number of webinars you run.
How to use a webinar for promotion of a product or service
Professional Internet marketers increasingly use webinars for the launch of new products/services or re-launch of rejuvenated products/services.
The most common approach uses the following steps:
- create a webpage with a sign-up form for the webinar
- advertise the web page and send an invite via email to your mailing list
- capture the email address of participants via the web form
- offer valuable information during the webinar that is relevant to the new product/service (teaser information)
- explain that there is a lot more to the problem/solution than can be covered in the webinar
- introduce new product/service as a solution to customers’ problems/issues/needs
- offer the new product/service at a discount for webinar participants (via a special participant-only webpage)
- follow-up participants via the email addresses captured during the sign-up phase (and extend the discount period if desired).
The webinar is a very powerful form of online marketing for small business as it builds trust, credibility and understanding while extending the reach of small business to a global audience.