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How to run a customer webinar

Webinars are a great marketing tool to reach a wider audience. Use them to educate people about your products. They usually run for around 30 minutes. These are a great opportunity to offer tips and other information people want to know on a particular topic. Let people know about a new feature or demonstrate your products. It is also a great way to introduce yourself to your customers. Personalise your business.

It is a convenient way to establish your brand and company as a thought leader in its field. Webinars can also drive revenue.

There is a lot of interest in webinars but few are using them. While it seems like an easy thing to do, when you get into it, it is complicated and takes a lot of planning. You need to decide what webinar platform to use, what information to share and get people to attend.

Webinar platforms

There are a lot of webinar platforms to choose from. Sit down and list what functions you need from a webinar platform. Things like:

  • campaign tracking
  • a content library for uploading and sharing content
  • the limitation of how many people can be hosts or speakers at any one time (some allow for only one host or speaker to have access rights at a time)
  • capacity for attendees
  • consider how interactive the webinar software allows you to be with your audience
  • understand how each platform measures audience engagement
  • ability to track audience behaviour
  • recording, editing and viewing functionalities
  • live streaming functions
  • access for mobile devices
  • check the registration functionality meets your needs
  • the ability to add your branding and being able to customise the platform to reflect your brand
  • a free trial service and advanced training.

Plan your content

When mapping out content for a webinar program, look at your marketing plan. Consider what is already in place and how webinar programs can support and enhance the marketing strategy. Look at what you are trying to achieve, the actions already taken and their effectiveness so far.

Having the right topic will encourage people to register for your webinar and people will actually turn up.

Selecting the right topic

Your webinar should solve a common problem people have. Consider the things that challenge people in relation to your organisations area of expertise. Keep these in mind when brainstorming webinar ideas.

Keep each webinar specific. Talk about only one element of a bigger issue. This will give in depth information to your audience. And it will attract people interested in learning the specifics of that topic.

Create a great presentation

Create professional slides to illustrate your points. Do not have too much text on each slide and refrain from reading word for word from each slide. Try to spend no more the 60 seconds talking on each one. Keep it moving to keep your audiences attention.

Remember to keep the quality of information high. The general rule is 80/20 – 80 percent high quality content to 20 percent marketing content. Your slides are to support what you have to say. And, do not forget to hit the record button so you have a copy to send out to customers who could not make it.

Promoting webinars

Once you have your content planned and set a time and date, start promoting your webinar. Consider where the majority of your audience is in relation to your location when scheduling your webinar. Hold webinars for maximum attendance from your target audience. For those who cannot attend you can record the webinar and send them a copy.

Email and organic social media like Twitter and Facebook are among the most effective channels for promoting webinars. Promotion needs to start at least 2 weeks before the scheduled date. Send out a personal invitation, and two follow-up reminders. Create a post for your company blog. Talk about it in your newsletter. Use social media posts to drive last minute registrations.

Offer tangible benefits for participating

Offer something in return for audience participation. Make sure it is of real value. People who take the time to attend and take part in a webinar are likely to be a good customer over the long term. Offer a discount, of say 30 percent, off of their next purchase from your company.

It takes time and commitment from your audience to attend your webinar. This deserves rewarding.



Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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