The word “webinar” is on everyone’s lips. You come across this term again and again, but what exactly does it mean? What are the specific advantages of a webinar? Should your company also try a webinar?
Exactly these questions will be clarified below, so stay tuned! First, the term webinar is defined again and the objectives of such an event are illustrated. The advantages and challenges of a webinar are then explained and applied to your company in concrete terms. We cannot take the decision regarding a webinar away from you, but you will learn everything you need to know to have a good basis for your decision as to whether you should take this step.
What is a webinar?
The word is made up of two words: Web and seminar. Everyone can imagine what a seminar is. A group of usually fifty people meet in a seminar room. In a cozy atmosphere, the latest knowledge is shared and exchanged in this small circle. Finally, an expert takes to the stage and presents his latest findings. After a round of applause for a good presentation, the room is opened up for questions and there is an opportunity to ask the expert your own questions directly. After that, there are ways to stay in touch or buy a corresponding product.
A webinar is nothing else, except that the seminar room is on the Internet. In contrast to the mass media, a small group meets exclusively here. An expert presentation takes place on the selected meeting platform. But the most important thing is that there is still a direct exchange on the topic.
The aim of a webinar
Webinars can be used in a variety of ways. It is possible to acquire new customers through webinars. However, the format is better suited to maintaining and expanding existing customer relationships. Because a customer relationship also needs to be nurtured! It is important to keep your customers up to date and inform them about new products or values. This makes the webinar an ideal addition to the other areas of your video marketing.
Webinars can also be used for internal training. For example, the meeting platform “Click Meeting” published that a quarter of the webinars that took place with its program were internal training sessions. Think about the areas in which your company could benefit from internal training. It can be a great relief for individual employees if their colleagues are also trained and can take on tasks.
The major advantages of a webinar
Anyone who has ever organized a seminar on site knows how complicated it is just to find a suitable room. During the current pandemic, there are also many complicated hygiene requirements. And all for just 50 people! This means that the seminars have to be repeated often in order to cover a nationwide customer base. However, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to meet in one place due to the growing number of international relationships.
The webinar offers the perfect solution for this. Up to 1000 people can meet in a digital seminar room without much effort. Thanks to the constant further development of online tools, interaction is possible in a wide variety of ways. For example, surveys can be conducted among participants in real time in order to better respond to their needs. In addition, the reaction of the audience can also be perceived through participation via video.
Of course, there are thousands of videos on any topic on the web these days. But when it comes to very specialized expert knowledge, you won’t find it there. In addition, with constantly available videos, the flow of information is only directed in one direction and live interaction is not possible. The more complex and specialized the topics are, the more important direct queries are. This enables a webinar in which questions can be asked in the live chat and answered directly. Furthermore, a question-and-answer session is an essential part of a webinar, in which participants can explain their specific situations and get advice from the expert.
In practical terms, the advantage of offering webinars from any location is that participants are spared travel costs and possibly also accommodation costs. As a result, the inhibition threshold to participate in webinars instead of local seminars is much lower. The reach of a webinar is therefore significantly greater and even possible at international level.
Challenges with webinars
You can imagine that webinars also have their disadvantages. But there is a solution for every problem. On the one hand, the Internet is now so flooded with offers and webinars that it is difficult to stand out at all. It is therefore particularly important at the beginning that you address your existing customer base and inform them directly about your webinar and offer them added value. You can use mailings or your social media channels for this. More than with conventional seminars, the invitation must be very attractive. Give a concrete incentive and clear promises about what the webinar participants will learn and what concrete benefits this will have on your customers’ businesses.
Attention is also a major topic during the webinar. In an on-site seminar, it is rare for participants to leave the room out of boredom, but this can quickly happen in a webinar. In the first five minutes of a webinar in particular, the audience decides what attitude they will adopt in the digital seminar room. Whether he leaves five other websites open or focuses entirely on the webinar depends a lot on your entry point. In the worst case, the participant even decides to leave the meeting after the first few minutes.
Therefore, pick up your audience in their everyday lives at the beginning and show very specifically the added value of the webinar for the participant’s life. Only then should the actual knowledge and the latest findings be imparted.
In any case, use as many interaction tools as possible to actively integrate the participants. There are now a lot of different survey tools, such as Sli.do, and Mentimeter, which should be used during the presentation. Open questions can be asked there, where the audience can answer in a few words. Or a word cloud with synonyms can be created in real time to determine what webinar visitors understand by a term. It is also possible to specify several possible answers and show the most frequently chosen answer in the presentation.
Also remember to ask your participants to write questions in the chat at the beginning of the webinar, which can be answered again and again after an information block. It often makes sense for one of your employees to pre-sort the questions and then put them to the speaker. Also announce a detailed question-and-answer session at the end of the webinar so that the audience is more attentive and thinks about specific questions during the presentation.
Another option that works well in certain webinars is the integration of call-to-action buttons. These can be embedded directly in the presentation or placed as a link in the chat. This means that potential customers can be forwarded directly to the landing page, making it very easy for them to purchase the product or service. Special discount campaigns can also be set up exclusively for webinar participants.
Finally, it is also possible to download the handout of the lecture with a simple click so that the participants can look up what they have learned again and again.
Let’s get started with your webinar!
You have now learned that a webinar is nothing more than a seminar in a digital room. But the webinar does have some advantages! It is much easier to implement and you can reach many more people. Compared to the video, the webinar offers direct contact with the expert. However, the biggest challenge is to keep the audience’s attention. Some important interaction tools help here.
Now it’s up to you whether you start a webinar!