Social media masterclass: webinars

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Webinars have become one of the best tools when it comes to generating leads, educating customers and finding prospects. This is a great tool for small business owners to incorporate in their marketing strategy.

So, what makes a successful webinar? For webinar audiences, success is defined by the value of the content and the quality of the experience. For webinar producers, success might be defined by the number of attendees, their level of engagement, length of attendance and the quality of the leads.

Let’s look at four of the most common webinar mistakes.

Mistake #1: Leaving your audience out of the conversation
Forrester recently noted that interactive content can help marketers generate, prioritise, and deliver high-quality leads, yet a majority of marketers are not taking advantage of these capabilities. Webinars offer a significant opportunity for marketers to directly interact with their audience, gain customers insights and direct feedback. We must start thinking about webinars as a platform for marketers to engage their customers at scale.

Solution: Make your webinar a two-way conversation via a live Q&A; polling to let presenters directly engage with viewers; social media tools for viewers to share directly from your console; group chat; and finally group collaboration and idea generation for audiences to vote, rank and comment on, keeping the conversation flowing throughout the presentation.

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Mistake #2: Selling, not helping
No one wants to be pitched. Audiences come to your webinars to get answers to pressing problems and to consider new ideas. If you are leading them into a sales pitch, you are missing a valuable opportunity to establish credibility and earn trust.

Solution: Centre the conversation around customer pain points. You know the trick: attract an audience with the promise of addressing a specific business problem but then give that problem only surface-level treatment before jumping into a product pitch. This backfires every time with attendees dropping off fast, and deleting future promotional emails.

Mistake #3 Not having an on-demand strategy
We are undergoing a major change in the way audiences take in content. ON24’s most recent benchmark report revealed that nearly one in three webinar registrants are attending webinars on demand. There are two trends driving the increase in on-demand viewing:

1) Mobility is changing the way people absorb webinar content
2) The increasingly global nature of business means international audiences are viewing your webinar content

Solution: Get the most out of your on-demand content with fully interactive webinars that feel as though they’re live, including polls, Q&A, and social sharing. Videos, PDFs and podcasts are also interactive, so you can obtain more information about viewers than just who clicked. Be sure to also personalise and recommend specific content to targeted buyer personas for more effective micro-campaigns.

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Mistake #4: Not measuring engagement
Many businesses fall into the bad habit of taking all leads from a webinar and dumping them into the CRM system, handing them over to the sales department without any pre-qualification. This means that your sales team will have to work their way through a lot of dead ends, while hot leads may be cooling off in the pile.

Solution: Engage with webinar platforms that allow you to collect data. The average viewing time of a webinar is over 50 minutes, while the average engagement with an email is only eight seconds, meaning webinars provide an incredible opportunity to gain invaluable data around how your customers are engaging with your brand like no other platform.

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Social media masterclass: videos

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