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For today’s businesses, displaying your organizational authority is crucial to success. Whether it’s McDonald’s with fast food burgers, Chevrolet with cars and trucks, or Walmart for everything else, the message you put out there is seemingly as important as the services you provide. For small businesses, this becomes even more crucial. For example, if you run a hardware store, you likely can’t compete with the prices of the big box stores, but you can bring to the table something of greater value to the consumer: your knowledge.
In the past, companies would have seminars to introduce new concepts to anyone that had a vested interest, or to present their consumer base a new set of practices. These seminars were great marketing tools for companies to show the consumer that they, in fact, know about the products or services they were selling. As a result, they were great ways to build organic traffic into their stores. This is a classic example of how word of mouth is the best form of marketing.
Cut to today, people are busy, and with social media being what it is, it was inevitable that companies would have to start coming to the consumer, rather than having the consumer come to them. Nowadays, the webinar (obviously taken from the root words web and seminar) has allowed the modern business to interact with would-be customers over the Internet. The webinar is set up much like the seminar with a presentation or course followed by a full question and answers section.
A webinar can be an hour or two, it can be a half-hour, it can be five. There really isn’t any set amount of time, but you have to remember that even if you are constantly at the computer, some of the people you are trying to reach aren’t. Also, no matter how valuable you think the information you have packed into your five-hour webinar is, it doesn’t take much for people, interested or not, to be distracted away from what you are saying. In fact, that brings up one of the main benefits of the webinar, the ability for the user to listen at their leisure. So while you may hold an event at 7 PM on a Wednesday, you can distribute the webinar for anyone to download or stream for as long as you’d like. It’s best practice to keep it between one and two hours, and don’t waste your listener’s time with fluff. If someone gets bored with one of your webinars, the chances decrease substantially that they will ever go to another.
Along with their platform for distributing your company’s knowledge and authority in your industry, webinars have shown to be one of the best ways to close new customers. In fact, Buzzsumo has stated that nearly one-fifth of their webinar attendees turn into paying customers.
The technology used to conduct a webinar is readily available. There are literally dozens of free and paid applications designed to let you conduct webinars. Some of these include GoToWebinar, AnyMeeting, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft’s Skype platform. If you are curious about what it takes for you to educate potential and current customers with a webinar, contact NTConnections’s professional IT staff at (703) 288-9767.