Webinar, which is short for Web-based seminar, is a presentation, lecture or a workshop that is conducted online. It allows a real-time communication between one or more participants. The information exchanged during the webinar is in the form of text-based messages, video, voice chat and slide show presentations.

Today webinars provide the opportunity for people all around the world to learn and communicate and the only requirement is to have Internet connection. They are valuable tools often used for education, training and business.

But how do they really work?

You learn about an upcoming webinar and you register for it. At the appointed day and time, you click on the sent link and you enter a virtual room where the webinar is held. Some webinars may include just a presentation with a voice behind, while others use a live video stream. A typical seminar lasts for an hour and it involves a conversation with the participants at the end where a ‘Questions and Answers’ section takes place.

What does a successful webinar include or a checklist of what you need?

There are a few important steps that you will need to follow in order to host a successful webinar:

1)      Where to host?

If you are a small business and you would like to organize a free webinar, the best option is to use a third party software or an already created platform for this purpose. It should include screen sharing or file sharing, audio and video options, Questions and Answers or a Chat window. The registration for it must be as simple as possible in order to make sure that your attendees will not give up because of that. Usually just a click on the link to the webinar, a name and an email address are enough.

2)      A marketing plan

During this step, you will need to consider ways of promoting the event – write an article in your blog, organize an email campaign, inform all your current clients and partners, spread the information throughout the social networks, etc. It is also important to consider how much time in advance you would like to start promoting. If you start too early, you will have enough time to popularize the event. But you risk people to forget about it at some point. While if you start promoting 1-2 weeks in advance you will have enough time to organize all the promoting activities and to add them to the participants’ calendars.

3)      A nice presentation

You have two options for presenting – to either share your desktop or to upload a slide show. You can focus on consistent and nice-looking designs and pictures corresponding to the content. Also, videos or polls will make the presentation look better and at the same time keep your audience involved.

4)      A follow up plan

The webinar marketing does not finish with the end of your webinar. Depending on your business goals you can after that follow up the attendees and send them the slides,. Also, the recording of the event or just information about your business, related to what you spoke about during the webinar.

Benefits of hosting a webinar

A good webinar will create loyal customers, will keep them involved in what you do. It will popularize your company’s name in and outside of the community. Webinars can be free or paid, but the most common business strategy is to make them free of charge in order to attract a greater audience. In this way, you use them as a marketing tool for generating new leads, boosting brand awareness and for SEO purposes. Such events will generate immediate feedback from the attendees and this will help businesses adapt easily to customers’ expectations.

Once you organize a webinar, you will receive the participants’ emails. You will have the option to create your own mailing list. It is later on you can follow up and use for marketing services.

We should never forget that webinars are a one-to-many approach. It makes it highly marketing effective. Also, provides the ability to reach a worldwide audience through only one presentation.

Reblogged from FlatRock Technology

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