December 10th, 2018

How to Leverage Webinars in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

This is a guest post from Emma Knightly, a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Digital Marketing Institute

There is no longer any doubt over the commercial benefit of creating great content for your audience. Great content builds your brand, builds trust, a following, a community, and ultimately increases leads, sales, and revenue. But the type of content you include in your content strategy is even more important than ever – including a video marketing strategy that is integrated into your overall content strategy. According to one study, consumers prefer to watch and listen, rather than read, with video traffic accounting for more than 80% of all traffic across the internet, and 55% of people watching at least one video every single day.

And while webinars have often been seen as an entirely separate category, they have always been video content, making it vitally important for marketers to leverage webinars as an overall part of their digital marketing strategy. 

Harnessing the Power of Webinars

This presents an amazing opportunity for those who truly know how to harness the power of imagery. This is why more content marketers than ever are turning to hybrid options and creating webinars to educate, inform and claim their position as thought leaders in their respective marketplace.

Webinars That Help, First and Foremost

In order to create a webinar of your own, you need to determine your unique selling proposition and focus more on helping your prospects rather than selling to them (there is a time and place for webinars that are more down the funnel, that still educate, but also sell the value of your product or service directly to your leads). You need to dissect your message very carefully and do a considerable amount of research so that you can present valuable information to your prospects as you 'sweeten them' strategically.

Convincing Authority

In other words, you must avoid the hard sell at the outset and ensure that you deliver on your promise, which should be to help them with whatever problem they have in relation to your niche. When you do this correctly, you will convince them that you not only understand what issues they are dealing with but have a solution and your answer is better than anybody else’s.

How to Engage

As you put together your webinar content, you will need to introduce an initial hook to keep them dialed into the rest of your presentation – a unique tip, a new piece of research – something they didn’t know before they pressed play. If they are suitably impressed with your opening delivery, then they are more likely to stay for the rest of your webinar and be equally as interested at the end. You should also tease and deliver some additional 'gold' at the end of the webinar, to further cement your authority and build up towards your invaluable offer or ultimate message to keep your engagement metrics strong to the end.

Avoid the Hard Sell

Don’t be tempted to rush the process and introduce a sales pitch too early. Consumers are attuned to the hard sell and will almost certainly click away to somewhere else. Remember, you need to earn their trust first and will do this by giving a lot of information and value for free. When you do this, they will marvel at your knowledge base and be grateful for your generosity, while being curious about what else you have up your sleeve.

Advance Promotion

Of course, you need to get as many people as possible to view your webinar if you are to weave your magic and achieve your ultimate goal. In order to do this, you need to create some advanced promotion – promote to your existing audience via your newsletter and website, advertise on related niche sites, on social channels and also perhaps on AdWords. Draw attention to your upcoming presentation, by staging a Facebook “live” session for group members or people who like your page. Offer them an incentive to view your webinar at the appointed time and consider how you are going to package it to achieve the highest attendance.

You may decide to stage a webinar live on a given date or time, but remember that this may cut down on your potential audience, especially if you have international reach. Alternatively, you should always record it and make it available on demand, which could fit in much more effectively with your prospects’ schedule.

Leveraging the Material

You certainly need to put a lot of effort into quality content. After you finish the webinar, leverage the content in other ways to get the most from your time.

For example, you can:

  • Get it transcribed and use various snippets as part of a social media campaign to draw attention
  • Create blog posts that focus and elaborate on key sections
  • Convert the webinar into a slideshow presentation and share on Slideshare
  • Post prominent links to the webinar on all of your web properties
  • Investigate co-promotional opportunities with joint-venture partners for additional exposure
  • Share and promote your video on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Check out this guide from the Digital Marketing Institute for more ways to promote your webinar content effectively.

To Sell, or Not to Sell?

Some people think that you must always include a sales pitch as part of any online strategy, but this is not necessarily the case. After all, your overriding goal should be to convince others that you are an authority on your topic, fully understand their problem and can deliver a product or service to help them. This is what it all boils down to in the end, and so long as your prospects have the means to get in touch, you may choose to create a webinar that is purely factual with no hard sell at all.

About the author

Emma Knightly is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Digital Marketing Institute. The DMI offers marketing education and certification to over 20,000 marketing professionals worldwide and assists businesses in educating staff to achieve smooth digital transformation. Enrolling now at https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com