Free Webinars: Are They Still An Effective Sales Tool in Our Current Economy
What’s not to like about free webinars? The word ‘free’ is often enough to turn heads by itself. Pairing it with an opportunity to learn from an established expert in a field makes it a no-brainer. When it comes to marketing strategies, free webinars dominate. Statista reported that 89% of marketers said webinars outperformed other channels when it came to creating qualified leads. At the same time, 78% of these respondents attributed their lower cost per lead to webinars.
What Are Webinars?
Aptly named, webinars are web-based seminars. They are events hosted by a company or organization that are made available for online viewing. During the event, a speaker (or group of speakers) shares their knowledge on the topic via presentations, videos or other media. The topic is usually related to the products and services offered by the sponsoring company.
So, why are webinars popular? The short answer is that they are highly informative! Even if they are oversaturated with company promotions, audiences get to learn something. At the very least, they associate the topic with the company’s products. This gives the company a tremendous advantage when the time comes for buyers to make their purchasing decisions. As webinars are highly visual, audiences also grasp the information faster.
Free Webinars Dominated During the Pandemic
Before 2020, webinars were already a popular means to generate interest. In addition to attracting enthusiasts, webinars help companies establish thought leadership and heighten a brand’s visibility.
When the pandemic caused businesses to temporarily shut down their stores, the usual sales and marketing programs had to follow suit. This means conventions, trade shows, face-to-face client calls and pitches and event sponsorships came to a standstill. Thankfully, webinars (especially free ones) helped keep brands afloat long enough for the economy to reopen. They filled the void dug by seemingly endless lockdowns and helped satiate consumers’ appetite for content.
Ever Heard of a Webinar Sales Funnel?
Webinars are a great way to generate leads. The people who tune in to specific webinars are either newly immersed or already invested in the subject matter. This means that the majority are likely still in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. By being present during this crucial stage via a webinar, companies instantly get a leg up over the competition. Furthermore, webinars help increase the rate of conversions. Hosting or sponsoring a presentation on a subject implies certain expertise and involvement in the topic. In both cases, who do you think webinar attendees will turn to first when they are ready to invest?
The webinar sales funnel is a great way to position a brand so that attendees can easily buy your product or make use of your service. It does so by setting the foundation for webinar attendees to take the natural course of action to becoming paid customers. To do so, marketers should lay out the webinar sales funnel accordingly:
The webinar sales funnel will need attendees to convert into leads. This will require promoting the event as extensively as possible to generate buzz. The more people attending, the bigger the chances of landing some leads and converting them to customers.
Once people start confirming their attendance at the event, it’s time to start contacting them. Give them a heads up about the upcoming event and how registered participants can enjoy special perks or VIP status for the company’s products and services—exclusive to those attending!
Once the seminar is underway, attendees should have access to a special link that leads them to a sales page. There, they can benefit from special rates or gain access to exclusive items or promos. The trick is making it very easy for participants to make a purchase, especially since the webinar content is fresh in their minds.
This final stage is to show appreciation—not just for any sales orders—but for participating in the free webinar entirely. This works to affirm either the creation of a special relationship with a new customer or reaffirm the bond with an existing one.
Webinars Increase Brand Awareness
With proper execution, free webinars can immensely increase brand awareness. In addition to establishing authority, webinars also place the company in a prime position to take orders while the subject is relevant.
The webinar also provides your company’s products with a natural springboard for promotion. During demonstrations, the presenter can use the product as an example and showcase how it can solve the customers’ problems. This can convince the audience to purchase the product or at least to seek more information from the company. Either way, this pushes the buyer into the next stage of their journey.
In addition, webinars also create more opportunities when companies turn them into lead magnets. Outside of the actual webinar, companies can continue promoting their brand by producing additional resources or information. This new content should continue to attract new leads or provide further learning to existing customers. Doing so ensures that your webinars and other content will continue to stay relevant and informative to your audience.
You Get to Sell, Without Selling Too Hard
Another benefit of free webinars is that they don’t try too hard to advertise a company’s offerings. A webinar presents an organic scenario that allows for product demonstrations or discussions about its features and benefits. This is because webinars focus on topics that solve existing problems.
By focusing more on the part where customer problems are solved, companies can avoid hard-selling their products. However, this entails ensuring the brand delivers on the promise of solving the problem as shown in the webinar.
Innovate Your Sales Process With The Right Tools
Planned and executed properly, free webinars provide an engaging and cost-effective way of drawing leads and converting them into loyal customers. When creating webinar presentations, the medium is often as critical as the message itself.
Companies intent on developing highly-engaging presentations should consider creating them with Ingage. This cloud-based software creates compelling, interactive presentations that stand out from run-of-the-mill slideshow applications. Ingage doesn’t just help its users create highly interactive presentations, the software also makes it easier to share presentations among team members and target audiences. In addition, Ingage also has powerful analytic features that help identify which parts of the presentation stand out and which ones need more work.
Learn more about how Ingage can help create better webinar presentations. Contact us for a free demo so you can experience the Ingage advantage for yourself!