The information age has brought us a lot of new things that many businesses take for granted and never utilize the full benefits of. Just like what Facebook and smart-phones have done for the individual staying in touch and voicing their opinions; webinars offer a wide range of benefits that the modern business can and should be taking advantage of.
But a lot of these benefits that come attached to regularly hosting webinars aren't entirely obvious at first...
Hosting a modern webinar is actually a fantastic way to generate content for your company's online presence. This may come as a bit of a surprise as generally people think of webinars as more or less showing a power-point presentation to a kajillion people. But they're actually much more than that.
Modern webinar hosting software packages almost all come with a record feature. This not only obviously gives you the benefit of highly valuable video content that can be shared around or referenced where necessary, but it's also great for later converting into blog posts, Q&A content, and much more. If you're hosting webinars regularly, you're going to see compounding benefits as well. Yes you'll be engaging your audience every time you host one - but you'll also be generating material for future audiences.
Webinar attendees provide information to attend your webinar. You can also have virtually unlimited attendees at a single webinar. From a bare-minimum standpoint, that's like collecting a bunch of business cards.
But it's much more than that. Webinars themselves provide the benefit of almost filtering out, or building up a lead. Since they were interested in attending your webinar in the first place, you’ll know they’re a qualified lead. They were seeking the benefit of your webinar first; this means they're interested in what you have to offer.
Also the kind of information you receive from your participants through your webinar software can be very valuable. It may be that you can collect potential leads' job titles, responses to any polls or Q&A's you used in your webinar - and much more intimate data than simply a name and email address.
Every time you host a webinar, depending on what software you use, you may be engaging every participant with your brand tens or even hundreds of times. That's a subliminal benefit that you receive from regularly hosting webinars - but it ensures that your brand is the first brand that comes to mind when your audience even thinks of your business category.
These are people who may be interested in your product genre - which is probably why they'd be willing to attend in the first place - but it gives you the opportunity to steer their interest in your industry directly to an interest in you.
That's one crucial benefit that hosting your own webinar will have over a 30 second spot in a networking event, or showing up at a convention with all the other brands present.
Webinars can have a more significant benefit to your bottom line and overall success than any other form of marketing available - and they do this while being highly cost efficient.
To organize and host a successful webinar, you don't need much more than a list of invitees, a webcam, some scripted content that you want to share with said audience, and a broadband connection to stream high-quality footage directly to your audience. Many professional software packages do all of this right out of the box for you and are very affordable.
Compared to the cost of just a plane ticket to attend a convention, you could potentially host one or two webinars per month for a year. Keep in mind that a single webinar has benefits that are favorably comparable to attending a convention or some other networking event.
The biggest benefit to webinars belongs to the audience. That's because the way content is explained in a webinar is really much, much more intimate than it could ever conceivably be in other kinds of presentations.
Webinars function almost like a personal tutoring session with feedback, questions, and engagement that your audience can give you - and all of this happens with arbitrarily large audiences all at once. This is what makes webinars unique forms of media. Instead of generating content that hopefully appeals to your audience enough to fill their interest about your industry; webinars come with the built-in benefit of your audience being able to fill their own interests, and steer you in the right direction. The teaching goes both ways. Having that intimate engagement enables both you and your audience to grow in your understandings of one another, and it has the unique benefit of building a relationship that isn't conceivable to build through any other far-reaching medium.
Webinars are already a big part of the future of how markets flow. You can always give it a shot for yourself; there’s plenty of companies out there that give extensive free trials for even really professional-grade webinar software. Digital Samba makes one called OnSync that comes with a ton of features in their trial that can give you a perspective on what professional software will look and feel like when organizing and hosting webinars and online meetings.