Thanks to advancements in broadband speeds video-conferencing services, previously untapped production capabilities are now being realized for how they can support high-quality webinars.
Where early webinars caused despair—notorious for their low production values, boring ‘death by PowerPoint’ formats, little to no interaction, and awkward technical mishaps, today's webinars can easily be expertly produced, highly engaging and well-integrated into marketing campaigns.
- Don’t assume that you need to hire an outside firm to put on a rave-worthy webinar. Many of the companies producing these are simply making smart use of available technology and planning with the same rigor as they would with a live event.
Modern video-conferencing systems like BlueJeans have all the security features and ‘smart meeting’ capabilities – like moderator controls, whiteboarding, analytics and Dolby noise cancellation – that you need to run a professional, high-quality webinar. If you’re still in pre-Covid mode, only using video-conferencing to make low-cost audio calls, it’s either time to modernize or get more out of your existing system.
- Webinars will never be a permanent substitute for making personal human connections. However, webinars offer several other unique benefits in their own right. The most obvious is that they allow you to attract delegates from all over the world, live or on playback. People who habitually can’t attend events due to budget and travel restraints get to engage with your brand. But webinars provide even more subtle and interesting accessibility benefits.
For example, your sales process might depend upon persuading influencers in specialist roles like software developers, who might not attend the kind of live events you normally run. With a webinar, you can cater to a much wider range of personas, and even run breakout sessions for people with special interests.
- An equally important benefit is that webinars allow you to cater to different personality types. Introverted people can get intimidated by live events, especially when it comes to asking questions in a large presentation room. In a webinar, anyone can post a question in a chat window without feeling exposed.
- Perhaps the biggest barrier to marketing teams running their own webinars is fear of failure. Many have been quite understandably scarred by bad experiences from the old days of webinars. But fear will only hold you back. Having the right tools, confidence and preparation are all you need to execute a successful webinar today.
- Measurement is key. Another great advantage of webinars is the ability to measure key performance indicators. The BlueJeans Command Center, for example, provides live service intelligence and centralized meeting management so you can monitor stats like how many people attended, from which locations, for how long, what questions were asked, what meeting content was shared, and other key information.
Webinars are more than a stand-alone marketing program – they’re a chance for businesses to open their (virtual) doors to a much wider community. Whether it’s a first touchpoint to educate new prospects or part of a mid-funnel ABM campaign, webinars are a critical business driver that establish trust and chemistry throughout the buying cycle.
But their ability to cater to more people, more roles and more personality types doesn’t mean you should replace all live events with webinars. Instead, webinars should complement and integrate with your live event program so that you gain maximum reach and widen your circle of influence.
Throughout 2020, webinars have taken center-stage as an essential part of the marketing mix. And as you start to build your demand strategy in a post-Covid world, it will be critical to rethink how and where webinars will make the most impact to your bottom line.
For more tips, check out the BlueJeans Virtual Event Engagement Guide, which contains a few fundamental strategies, tactics, and checklists to help facilitate audience interaction and meet business goals.
*Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Marketing Week and has been republished with permission.