Webinars - here's why they should be a powerful part of your consultancy's marketing toolkit
We've been holding webinars for several years as part of our PR agency's business development. They're not particularly sophisticated, but we get good feedback and people come back for more (and recommend them to their colleagues too).
Some people prefer to hold seminars instead - but it shouldn't be a choice between seminars and webinars: seminars are great too and we do them as well.
But webinars have their own purposes and strengths, which is why we recommend them as part of almost everyone's marketing programme. We typically get 20-40 attendees, and occassionally 50+ so they work out very cost-effectively, especially as we charge a bit for the tickets too.
1 - Webinars reach the people that seminars cannot reach:
People are busy. They are unlikely to travel a great distance to attend all but the most important seminars. So how do you hold seminars for people who aren't close to your office (especially people who are overseas)? A webinar is great for reaching people who aren't based close to your office.
2 - Webinars can be easily recorded and shared later:
Recording seminars is hard work. It is a difficult environment for all but the most professional of film producers, and the sort of pace that works well face-to-face may not work well as a recording. Lots of expensive editing is often required.
By contrast, webinars are, by their nature, designed for a situation where there is little scope for interaction. The pace is usually pretty fast, and they are easy to record and edit. You can stick them on your website or provide links to people afterwards - making them an enduring asset.
This is particularly useful where the theme is an instructional one. So rather than go through it lots of times, just do it the once!
3 - Webinars are cheap to host!
Two people and mic is all you need
This clearly isn't a reason to do a webinar... but it certainly makes them attractive, particularly if you are unsure of the interest in your proposed subject.
With holding seminars, you have to pay for the room (unless it is done at your office) and catering . On top of that there are costs around projectors etc. You may well also find a lot of drop-outs on the day (so you are paying for people who don't show).
By contrast, with a webinar, all you need is a decent mic, a reliable broadband connection and a computer (we find having one with two screens makes life a lot easier). On top of that are the webinar hosting fees, which are in the £50 per month region. So it is all pretty low cost. I frequently present mine from home - and when we have a guest presenter they are often at home too.
So as a way of nurturing your leads and generating a few contacts too, it can be pretty cost-effective (providing you promote it well and get a decent attendance).
4 - Promoting a webinar = promoting your expertise
There's nothing worse than getting lots of emails from a potential supplier talking about how wonderful they are... indeed for most management consultants writing such emails is a pretty grim task too.
Much better to send emails with something useful - including invites to relevant webinars. Whether people sign up or not, they'll strongly associate you with the subject...and won't feel you've bombarded them with unwanted spam.
5 - They identify warm prospects interested in the areas where you have expertise
Overall, if you look at converting your consultancy's mainling subscribers and contacts into clients as a process, webinars fill really useful roles in your "sales funnel".
Like seminars, only interested people will register for them (allowing a targeted phone call afterwards to progress the relationship, now you know it is a subject of interest to them).
So including them in your marketing programme as a regular feature (not an occasional one-off) will ensure you get a flow of reasonably-warm leads for following up by phone.
Still unsure? Click here to have a look at our webinars, register for one and see how you could use these to help your management or technology consultancy grow.