Today’s guest post is from Roger Courville, Chief Aha! Guy at www.TheVirtualPresenter.com. In September he’ll celebrate his 15-year anniversary in the web conferencing industry, probably with something exciting like a taking a nap.
In multiple surveys over the last several years, given by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, asked marketers to rank their confidence in various tactics. Most of the time, webinars and webcasts rank just behind in-person events.
What none of their surveys asked, however, was “Why?”
Four reasons webinars are so uniquely powerful
1. The power of real-time
Human beings connect with real humans. It’s why we like in-person events so much. In the absence of being there, the next best thing is dialogue…not just talking AT your audience, but WITH them. It’s not that you can’t pursue and have an authentic “voice” in writing. You can. But real voices and faces are unbeatable. Especially if you add the power of responsiveness.
2. The power of responsive richness
Great presentations are experiences, and I think this is why video is highly rated as a tactic. But take it one step further…now that this is in real-time, a presenter can respond dynamically to the needs of the audience.
Example: In a recent webinar I mentioned an awesome-but-lesser-known book, and multiple questions came in asking me to repeat it. Seeing an opportunity to be helpful (the essence of content marketing!), I dropped out of full-screen PowerPoint mode an switched to using desktop-sharing, “took” the audience to Amazon.com to show them the book, and then copied the link and pasted it into “chat to all.”
3. The power of trust
Unlike whitepapers or infographics or blog posts, webinars and webcasts have a lifecycle. Even if a prospect hasn’t opted into your list, they’ve agreed to a set of communications for a webinar. Done well, you can use the anticipation of something cool, the built-in deadline, the real-time human interaction of the live event, and the follow up emails to as multiple opportunities to build trust. How might that pay off? See the next point.
4. The power of data
The lifecycle of a webinar also creates multiple opportunities to gather data and qualify leads. We’ll talk more about this in blog posts to come, but the gist of it is this: Instead of a registration page being a one-and-done activity (which you can’t do with a whitepaper), there are multiple opportunities to deepen your understanding of a prospect so you can follow up in a more targeted and appropriate way.
The bottom line
Webinars aren’t hard, but they are different….which is exactly why they stand out relative to other content marketing tactics. If you’re not experiencing what you want out of them, dive a little more deeply (or work with someone who can help you). The power is yours for the taking.