Ever since COVID-19 grappled the world, humans have come to realize that they are more flexible than they think. As we make our way to a new normal, discussions around the possibilities of a permanent work-from-home, telecommuting, and virtual world has sparked debate across industries. While most analysts feel that permanent work from home is still years away from us, companies have already started assessing its benefits. Saving office space and rent, employees’ time, and money from back and forth commute are just some of the benefits of this buzz. However, many businesses also fear losing touch with their consumers, clients, and other stakeholders. To overcome this issue during the lockdown, many have resorted to social media channels to continually keep their clients engaged with the latest trends within a company. Some have gone further and tried to break traditional processes. One such is tapping the benefits of webinars to reach masses.
Conducting webinars have been a common practice among businesses across the globe. While most of these were mainly used for internal purposes, we now see a surge in live, external webinars irrespective of business type, origin, or service provided during COVID-19 lockdown. There are several reasons why webinars are relevant for every business in these turbulent times.
1. Delivering value and expertise
Every business has its own Unique Selling Point (USP), a business model, and a valuable talent pipeline. The concept of learning communities and knowledge sharing is only growing in the 21st century. It is essential to stay relevant in this continuously evolving world. All of this starts with value sharing that your business has accumulated over the years. Doing so will also help your business earn credibility amongst industry-experts, end-users, and other relevant stakeholders.
Trello, for instance, provides webinar series not only to market their product and inform the audience about its use, but they fully utilize their strength by sharing tips and other reliable content around productivity.
2. Build long-lasting relationships
Businesses thrive for good, long-lasting professional relationships. Every engagement touchpoint is seen as an opportunity to lock a business deal. To make this possible, employees should try to reach out to as many people as possible to foster meaningful connections.
3. Build an online presence
The advantages of an online presence have surfaced ever since the world went into lockdown. Brick and mortar businesses have also turned to online channels to prevent their businesses from going bankrupt. While every company has its unique way of engaging with the customer base, Intercom is brilliantly partnering with influencers and thought leaders to broaden their reach.
4. Idea generation
Most businesses struggle with innovation, and they often fail to tap all channels for idea generation. New insights, user experiences can help a company find a new product, revenue stream, or strategies to improve the existing product line.
Two giants, Intel and G.E, formed a joint venture around assisted care, and they needed thought leadership to create a new product. They resorted to webinars to understand the potential technology use, brand marketing, and seek a better understanding of their audience.
Brick and mortar companies are often caught up in traditional marketing strategies, which puts stress on their resources and revenue model. Webinars offer a unique way to market your product and get the word out while delivering value. If utilized to the fullest, such channels of marketing can help you reach a bigger audience residing in different parts of the world.
Kissmetric makes effective use of marketing webinars to support each stage of the customer journey. Kissmetrics offers helpful marketing advice tied more directly to using Kissmetrics’ platform.
6. Seek collaborations
A multi-stakeholder partnership not only drives new results for a business metric but also adds uniqueness to the entire process. The world has evolved into a globalized hub, and to maximize utility, it is best for all to play with their strengths and expertise. In a not so perfect world, we often face the problem of information failure in finding the right business partners. Webinars can be a powerful tool to the rescue here. Its reach will get the word out to places beyond physical reach. Tech companies have been able to significantly reduce their costs by outsourcing major development work to developers in India and other Asian countries.
IDEO.org has been working in Pakistan and other developing countries on financial inclusion for the past two years. Towards the end of the project, they not only engaged User Experience researchers and designers from different countries but also made effective use of webinars to disseminate their report findings to a general audience.
7. Speed up sales
We have established so far, webinars are one of the fastest and quickest ways to engage customers. A significant outcome of this engagement is a rapid increase in sales, which many businesses have realized over time. The Friedman Group, a retail consulting and training company, used a webinar to help it close a million-dollar deal. In an attempt to go beyond traditional channels, the group utilized its thought leadership and landed a million-dollar deal with Big-box retailers.
8. Keep up with the growing industry
Irrespective of the industry your business is a part of, it is essential more than ever for businesses to keep abreast of cutting edge innovation in the industry. It is necessary to put yourself out there in the market and use all avenues from top to bottom and bottoms-up approach to learning what is out there.
9. Multiple outreach channels
While webinars are mostly carried out in live sessions, several companies have started recording these sessions and made them available on-demand. This landing page on the website generates leads for the business, offers multiple learning channels for customers about the company, and the content itself. The on-demand section usually requires a user to fill a form that gives new data points. Hubspot is an excellent example of maximizing value from each webinar ever hosted. It is found that over 73% of professionals prefer on-demand videos over live videos.
10. Research and Development
Research and Development usually comprise a massive portion of company budgets. Innovative strategies to extend R&D efforts can significantly reduce costs and boost revenue in real-time. Webinars are a great way to continue these efforts, heavily engaging your users and other industry experts to learn best practices, and evolving cutting-edge innovation in the industry.