As a reader of this blog, you hear the TREW Crew talk often about the marketing funnel, from generating awareness and “getting found” at the top to nurturing your leads and creating opportunities for sales further down. At this point in the funnel, a key marketing tool small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are using is webinars and online events. Marketing webinars – one-to-many virtual events delivered online for marketing purposes – have leveled the playing field so that any business or organization can appear to be a market or thought-leader and expand their reach. A key reason for this shift is the underlying technology, which is low-cost, easy to use and widely accessible.
My name is Scott Serrano, Senior Software Sales Executive of Citrix Online Saas Solutions, and the TREW Crew asked if I’d share my knowledge via this guest blog post to help readers understand the best practices for executing a webinar and how they can leverage online meeting technology platforms, GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar, to effectively market their business online.
Webinars can be a robust and lively marketing tool that effectively showcases your expertise and drives further engagement with prospective customers. Attendees and businesses that host webinars love them because webinars are:
- Powerful in reaching and influencing hard-to-reach prospects or decision makers
- Interactive and social, like a real-world classroom where you can ask questions and chat with the speaker in the conference and outside the conference using social media
- Affordable to host and attend
- Effective at generating leads and qualified sales opportunities
- Re-used as other forms of content, such as blogs, white papers, podcasts, and an on-demand webinars
Want to host a webinar? Here are 10 best practices we share with our customers at Citrix to produce an online webinar event that engages your audience and compels them to take action.
- Think about what your customers and potential customers want to learn from you. What problems are keeping them up at night? How can you help them resolve those problems?
- Most webinars can be defined into two categories of content – inspirational and big thinking or tactical how-to. Consider starting with the broadly appealing topic to generate more awareness and leads, and then producing smaller more specific webinars after the first one that reviews how-to and implementation.
- Really think about your lead form, and use fields that will inform who the hottest leads are to pursue after your event.
- Show a compelling story. Create visual slides, with one idea per slide, using authentic imagery (not stock).
- Be a responsive moderator. Good webinars have a moderator who is energetic and pays attention to the feedback of the audience.
- Always schedule a rehearsal of the webinar before the date. Run through procedures and review the flow with all the speakers.
- Encourage attendees to interact with the speaker using the chat panel or to chat via social media with an event-specific hashtag.
- Record your event so you can reuse it as an on-demand webinar for those who couldn’t make the event. This way, it will continue to pay dividends for you by generating leads far into the future.
- Follow up promptly after the event, ideally within 24 hours, and include any promised additional content, copies of the presentation, and next steps. Have one primary call to action that moves them further down the funnel, and as a result, further identifies strong opportunities for sales to follow-up on.
- Use a reliable and easy-to-use technology platform to host your webinar event.
Finding the right webinar technology platform is extremely important in creating a successful online event. Citrix’s GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar is a leading platform, because it is:
- Easy to use, GoToMeeting Corporate enables salespeople to begin meeting with prospects and clients right away.
- Patented bandwidth-adaptive compression technology ensures exceptional performance and successful meetings over any Internet connection.
- All You Can Meet® pricing eliminates meeting duration limits and overage charges, encouraging salespeople to use the service as often as they’d like and increasing their productivity.
- Industry-standard security features are built in to ensure that confidential meeting information remains private.
In addition, GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar include a full array of functionality, with:
- HD Faces Video conferencing: Share up to 6 web cams along with your desktop
- One-click meetings: By simply clicking an icon, a salesperson can begin a meeting.
- Instantly change presenters: A salesperson can pass control to the prospect or another employee who can show what is on his or her screen.
- Easy integration: Meetings can be started, scheduled or joined through Microsoft® Outlook®, Microsoft Office®, IBM® Lotus Notes® or various instant-messaging applications.
- Shared mouse control: A prospect can be granted the right to take over the salesperson’s mouse on his or her desktop, enabling the prospect to experience a product firsthand.
TREW Marketing is a partner with Citrix GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. To learn more about how to incorporate webinars and video in your marketing mix, contact TREW Marketing today.
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