Generating leads is a key to successful sales and marketing programs. When a prospect willingly provides you with their contact information, they are expressing an interest in what you have to offer. Leads can be converted into sales if you take the time to build a relationship with them.
In the past, leads were slowly collected through cold calling, networking and even (gasp) purchasing lists. The Internet has opened the door for lead generation to occur faster through virtual online connections.
So what is a surefire way to collect quality leads? I recommend webinars.
Webinars provide an easy way to generate a vibrant list of leads for your sales and marketing team. In fact, more than 60 percent of marketers use webinars as part of their strategy. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
Using webinars to provide free content to people who want to learn more about a particular topic opens the door to connect with prospects around the globe. This interactive, engaging content establishes your brand as a thought leader and expert. Webinars also provide the opportunity to interact and build connections with your targeted audience.
So how do you use webinars to generate leads?
Provide Valuable Information. When someone signs up for your webinar, they are giving a strong indication that they are interested in the what you’re offering. It may begin with interest about the content of the webinar. But you can nurture a relationship with that lead over time when you consistently provide them valuable content that meets their needs and wants.
Providing insightful content online is the name of the game these days. If you consistently do it right, you’re sure to build positive awareness for your brand.
Creating webinars is one way to provide content that draws people to you time and time again. They are easy to produce and cost effective as the content can be replayed and repurposed for a long time.
While there are several types of webinars, there are only a handful that I recommend delivering. I need to touch on a few things before I tell you which ones I have seen used to successfully build brand awareness.
Don’t be a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. If you’re like me, you’ve signed up for many webinars that you think are going to provide great content. Once you invest the time to log in and listen, you see that the presenter is only there to sell you on how wonderful they are and the products they sell.
Always Be Truthful. If you’re going to sell something on your webinar, be upfront about it from the beginning. “Join me to learn XYZ tips and receive a special offer to subscribe to my XYZ course.”
If you consistently follow those principles while providing insightful content your target audience needs and wants, you’re sure to build positive awareness for your brand.
Let’s look at the four types of webinars I recommend.
Everywhere you look, it seems like someone is offering a free webinar to help you. They want to educate you or give you something to solve a problem you have been experiencing. Sadly, it is typical for those offering a webinar to use the old carrot trick—where they dangle some “freebie” in front of you to compel you to sign up. Once they get you there—the “free” info you receive is sorely lacking, and the sales pitch is overwhelming.
Using webinars for selling is very popular. An online search for any product or solution quickly pulls up a list of webinars addressing (and selling) whatever your heart desires. In fact, if you Google “webinars for selling,” you’ll find 962,00 results telling you how to make money with webinars.
To most people, the prospect of using a webinar to make money sounds great. But I know that there is much more value that can be given and earned from NOT selling using a webinar.
Here are the four reasons NOT to use a webinar to sell:
In today’s online society, companies of all sizes use webinars to educate, inform, instruct and sell. These online seminars or meetings are typically live and used by sales and marketing teams. Recordings of the sessions offer reusable content with many marketing options. A quick online can quickly reveal free and paid webinars about virtually any type of content.
Some presenters do require registrants to pay for webinars. While it is possible to monetize your sessions, it might prove to be a daunting task to get people to put skin in the game; especially when you’re just starting to market yourself, your product or your brand. Like most things in life, people expect more in return when they have to pay.
If you’re just beginning to evaluate whether or not to add webinars to your marketing regime, you’ll want to start by getting a handle on the ins and outs of hosting free webinars. Use the time to build your brand and determine what your audience needs and wants.