Innovation is key to keeping any business profitable. One of the main drivers of innovation recently has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed the way we communicate with one another. It has also forced businesses and event organizers to re-evaluate how meetings and conferences take place.
These changes in how we interact have, among other things, led to an increase in the popularity of webinars - a seminar conducted over the web. While most people understand the benefits of webinars, choosing the right webinar hosting platforms seems to be complicated.
Luckily, hosting the perfect webinar actually requires very minimal effort. They are an affordable and effective way to reach your audience. Hosting a webinar is now more user-friendly than they have ever been.
We have put together a few tips on how to host the perfect webinar and provide your attendees with the best possible experience.
Webinars have been gaining momentum since 2015, and the current pandemic conditions have only increased their popularity. Companies like Microsoft have reported a 500% increase in the usage of Microsoft Teams. Zoom, too, has seen an increase, reporting a run-rate of 100 billion annual meeting minutes at the end of January, and have indicated a significant rise since then.
Webinars have always been a great way to interact with and educate audiences. They also remove the usual marketing overheads, and allow you to achieve one of the most valuable goals: to generate more leads.
Hosting a webinar give your guests a platform to understand the person behind the product or brand, and to engage with you on any questions that they may have. According to GoToWebinar, 73% of B2B marketers and sales leaders believe that webinars are an effective way to generate high-quality leads.
Additionally, 76% of the B2B buyers said that they had made their purchasing decision because of webinars. Having that time to really engage with the details of the product with you can be the extra push that the prospect needs to buy your product.
So what do you need to organize the perfect webinar to achieve the desired outcomes?
There are many different webinar hosting platforms available online. The ideal webinar hosting platform is easy to use for both the host and the participant. It should also be relatively affordable. Finally, it should be compatible with all devices and operating systems (iOS, Android, etc). These are a few webinar platforms that are available and some pros and cons for each of them:
Zoom offers a solution designed specifically for webinars: Zoom Webinar. Some of its features include the ability to share screens in high definition, and stable sound, video and streaming. It is worth noting that Zoom, as a company, is more focused on its meeting hosting division. This means that not much focus is given to developing advanced features for Zoom Webinar.
Lead information capturing: Zoom Webinar does not offer advanced marketing automation features. The platform does integrate with some of the most popular marketing, payment, and survey tools, including HubSpot and Marketo
Multi-platform integration: With Zoom Webinar, you are able to broadcast your webinars to other social media platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube. You can also engage your audience with polls, question and answer sessions and live chats.
Accessibility: You are able to provide captions for your audiences. This is especially important if you have guests that are hard of hearing or have muted their devices.
Price tag: You can buy the Zoom Webinar option for as little as $40 per month (100 attendees maximum). You also have the option to increase the number of attendees at an extra cost.
Target market: Zoom is ideal for businesses looking for video conferencing and webinar hosting solutions on one platform.
GoToWebinar is one of the most popular webinar hosting platforms. Marketers prefer this platform because it integrates easily with most CRM systems.
Audience engagement: With GoToWebinar, you are able to track your attendee data, create registration pages and send updates to all of your participants via email to alert them of any changes
Ease of use: It is easy to set up events and has all of the tools that you need to manage your webinar. It is also user-friendly for your participants, offering a quick and easy process for setting up.
Marketing ability: One of the limitations is that with basic packages, registration and update forms are not very customisable, which could mean that you are not able to market your brand on these crucial pages. More expensive packages do offer landing page customisation.
Price tag: On the downside, GoToWebinars is on the pricey side, with the lowest package costing you $89 per month (100 attendees maximum).
Target market: GoToWebinar is ideal for people who are only looking for a platform to host live webinars.
This is another one of the popular webinar hosting platforms because it has a feature called EasyCast. It allows you to stream your webinar across many platforms. This is especially important if you have a large following on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Audience engagement: With EasyWebinar, you can increase attendee engagement through a live chat feature. As the host, you are able to switch between sharing screens, your webcam feed, and any other screens by simply clicking a button.
Ease of use: Understanding how to use all the capabilities of the platform can prove to be an intimidating task, but once you have learnt how to use it, it can prove to be a powerful platform.
Marketing ability: At higher monthly subscription, EasyWebinar pages can be customised to your brand, increasing brand awareness.
Price tag: This platform is also slightly pricey, with the lowest package going to $78 per month (100 attendees maximum).
Target market: EasyWebinar works best for companies that run their business online.
This webinar hosting platform is used and trusted by large corporations such as Microsoft, the United Nations, and PBS.
Audience engagement: This platform has live chat and polling capabilities, allowing you to engage with your guests in real-time. This is the perfect way to answer any questions that participants may have and increase the chances of sign-ups for your product on the spot.
Ease of use: The downside of this platform is that it is very difficult to use. You may need to attend training sessions. It was primarily designed for use in large companies, so the more advanced packages can be significantly more expensive.
Marketing ability: BigMarker provides you with white label support. White labelling allows you to increase your brand value by customizing the webinar to emphasize your brand. This is a great feature because customization of every aspect of your landing page and webinar can really leave a lasting impression on your leads.
Price tag: BigMarker’s Starter Plan goes for $79 per month (100 attendees, no white labelling features).
Target market: BigMarker works best for companies that are looking for high-quality software. It is used by all types of companies and can be adapted for many uses ranging from education to marketing.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to generate and convert leads from your webinar is by using a landing page. An effective webinar landing page makes it easy for visitors to register, and find the important details of the event. Here are a few useful tips to create and optimize your webinar landing page:
People make the decision to stay on your website or move on in a very short space of time; 50 milliseconds to be exact. Before they read anything on your page, the landing page design needs to attract them. So, how do you make sure that your design is captivating?
Every part of your landing page; the logo, typeface, tone, brand name etc. needs to be representative of your brand. The colour scheme of the landing page should match the colours in your logo. The look and feel of the page should be reminiscent of your corporate image.
If your brand represents sophistication, the entire appearance of your landing page should do the same. Guests should be able to look at your landing page once and immediately recognize your brand, what you do and what it represents.
The same amount of care and attention should be given to the landing page as the home page. Make sure that the landing page promotes cognitive fluency and is easy for your guest to interpret. A study by Google showed that site visitors have a preference for websites that mimic similar features to other websites in the same industry.
The key is not to copy and paste from your competitors, but to look at the general placement of features such as the CTA and look at how you can incorporate that into your own landing page.
One of the ways that the brain stores memories and makes associations is by a process called priming. Priming is the brain’s ability to make an association with something based on a stimulus that it is presented with. A simple example of this is if you were to see the colour “green” and be asked to think about nature, there is a good chance that you would think about grass or
leaves on trees. So how is this relevant? The idea is that if you use the same keywords that you do in your search ads on your landing page, your lead is more likely to respond to your CTA. This is because they will get the sense that they are finding that they were looking for on your landing page from their search. Being consistent, from your keywords right through to the landing page is a neat psychological way of converting those leads.
Every tiny detail of your page is important. Something as simple as having buttons with round edges as opposed to sharp edges can be a determining factor, because our brains are programmed to stay away from sharp objects.
The placement of the button is important too. Buttons that are located above the fold have a higher click-through rate than buttons placed below the fold. The colours that you use for your buttons should be consistent with the scheme used on the rest of the landing page, but still eye-catching. Every single detail of the landing page is key to ensuring a conversion.
Webinars are brilliant marketing tools, because they offer many benefits, including:
Wider reach: Anyone from around the world can attend your webinar, as long as they have the necessary tools to do so.
Cost-effective: Webinars can be the cheapest way to interact with leads and address any questions that they may have. Having that personal space to engage with your audience can help you to understand your target audience better.
Long term content creation: BigMarker provides you with white label support. White labelling allows you to increase your brand value by customising the webinar to emphasise your brand. This is a great feature because customisation of every aspect of your landing page and webinar can really leave a lasting impression on your leads.
Increasing your brand value and awareness: Hosting regular webinars can increase your brand awareness. This is especially true if you use this platform to deliver other interesting content and not just sales pitches. Getting people interested in what you have to say is a quick way of getting them interested in your business.
Education more than presentation: Webinars are a great opportunity to provide your audience with valuable insight into your products and services. They could read about your product anywhere, but hearing the information directly from you is priceless. It is also a great opportunity to give them additional information that they might not find anywhere else, which is a great way to make them feel special and interested as your guests.
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