How to get started with running a marketing webinar

…..And why you cannot afford not to be running one!

This week I am please to include a guest blog by Virginie Chasseriau from A Cup of Learning.

Everyone loves webinars! They are time-saving, cost-effective and easy to connect to! All you need is an Internet connection and that’s it.

Nowadays, 2,000 million people a month are connected to Facebook, 328 million a month to Twitter, 700 million a month to Instagram and 467 million users on LinkedIn (source: © Statista 2017). How many are your prospects? 20%? 10 %? Even 1%?

# your prospects Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn
20% 400,000,000 65,600,000 140,000,000 93,400,000
10% 200,000,000 32,800,000 70,000,000 46,700,000
1% 20,000,000 3,280,000 7,000,000 4,670,000

Social media have removed all barriers and it’s never been so easy to connect. Today, the power lies with technology. How well do you know it? How well do you use it? Website, emails, marketing campaign are powerful tools to raise awareness about your product or service. But how do you engage the discussion with your prospects? To stand out from the crowd, to be noticed among such a busy environment, a marketing webinar is the mean to use.

A webinar is a seminar over the web. With a webinar, you engage in a conversation with prospects. You give them valuable information and they can react, ask questions and get an answer. A webinar is a cost-effective and time saving mean to engage a conversation with prospects in order to convert them as customers.

Is a webinar for you?

Yes, if:

  • You sell a product or a service
  • You are passionate about your business and you are an inexhaustible source of information
  • You want to grow your business without compromising time with friends and family

No, if:

  • You are too specialized and only targeting a “niche” community (but is it really a narrow local niche?…)
  • You target an older generation not used to technology

Running a marketing webinar is not costly (only a monthly fee for the webinar platform is required) and therefore your product does not have to be expensive to be worth a webinar. With the potential to target thousands of people, there is a multiplicative factor to generate a big return on investment. And it is also the opportunity to develop subscriptions and loyalty programs. As you engage the conversation with your customers, you want to create that special relationship with them.

What do you need to get started?

A little bit of gut and:

  1. An appealing landing page with an easy registration process. 60% of people interested in a webinar give up on the registration page as it is too complicated or too long.
  2. A structured engaging presentation to deliver a crystal-clear message and, at the same time, engage a conversation with participants. Engaging means that participants are physically doing something to eradicate all distractions around them. Distractions that could stop them from listening to you.
  3. A webinar platform: there are several platforms and you should choose yours based on your budget and expectations. And, regardless of your choice, it is important to get familiar with your platform before delivering a live webinar. Technology is not always our best friend so make sure you know:
    1. How to get your microphone on
    2. How to mute the audience
    3. How to use tools such as chat area, video, polls, sharing screen…

If technology is not your thing, or if you do not have time, it may be a clever idea to work with a webinar producer. A webinar producer removes all the hassle before, during and after the webinar, so that you can only focus on what you do best: talking about your product or service, talking about your passion.

Furthermore, a webinar producer will:

  • set-up the platform to fit your needs,
  • introduce the webinar and polls,
  • manage any technical issues (such as if participants cannot hear you, cannot log-in) or manage questions that could be answered without asking the presenter (e.g. When will the recording be made available?),
  • keep participants active.

A webinar will save you time in marketing… really?

Even if webinar platforms are more and more powerful with a broad range of possibilities, there are still a lot of human participation needed to prepare a webinar. You’ll need time to structure your message and build a presentation, to design a landing page, to learn how to use the webinar platform and to rehearse.

But, once this is done, you can deliver your webinar many times over. Since webinars can be recorded, they can be easily integrated to your marketing strategy. And you can still reach people who have registered but haven’t turned up.

Once your webinar is ready, there will be no more preparation, saving you time to spend for what really matters to you: children, husband, spouse, family, friends, your hobby… Everything is allowed!

 

Author: Virginie Chasseriau from A Cup of Learning.

Virginie is an experimented trainer who has worked for 15 years in a Corporate environment. She has extensive experience in delivering webinars and implementing blended learning strategies. With her company, A Cup of Learning, Virginie supports self-employed and small businesses to develop and run engaging marketing webinars that convert.

Like her Facebook page to be kept posted with webinars and training programs.

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How to Prepare Your Business For GDPR

As we enter the last 7 months of countdown, more and more businesses are starting to worry about GDPR. At first, it was only the finance and IT industry that were wringing their hands, but soon business owners realised everyone would be affected by the new regulation. By now most business owners worth their salt have heard about the new GDPR. The savvy ones might have even started putting measures in place to get ready for it. But most of those are “big businesses”. You know, the ones who have infinite resources and entire departments dedicated to compliance and regulation. But that leaves the smaller businesses somewhat flustered and unsure of what to do. But never fear, Little Acorn are here to provide some more general guidance on the issue of GDPR.

What Is GDPR?

But first, what is this big bad acronym that has business owners rushing around like ants? GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations, and it’s essentially the EU’s answer to the Data Protection Act. However, unlike previous EU directives (which countries can choose to implement or not, and how), this is a regulation. This means it will apply to all EU countries in the same way. It also reaches outside of the EU to any organisation that handles EU citizen data, regardless of their location in the world. The regulation is already in place – we are partway through a transition period that allowed businesses to get their house in order before the regulation comes into effect on the 25 of May 2018.

The aim of the regulation is to unify and standardise data protection policies, shoring up weak spots and creating a strong base for personal data protection. The regulation provides a single set of rules for all member states to follow (including mandatory security notifications, new rules around user consent, a clearer definition of what could be personal data and greater rights for people to access and request deletion of the information companies hold on them). A special council will be created to oversee sanctions and provide guidance.

The Brexit Question

I feel I need a small note here. Before you ask, yes, UK businesses will still have to comply even if Brexit goes ahead. Not only will be still be handling EU citizen data (and therefore still subject to GDPR), but the government have also confirmed that they will be passing GDPR into UK law if we do leave. So, no matter what happens, you still need to prepare.

Areas of Your Business Affected by GDPR

The mistake a lot of businesses are making is assuming that GDPR will only really affect the IT department. And while it might be true that IT will certainly be hit hardest, that doesn’t mean the rest of the business is off the hook. In fact, there are 5 key areas of every business that will be impacted by GDPR:

Legal – One of the most important areas to be affected is the legal department (if you have one). There are many different changes that will need to be made to contracts, terms and conditions, policy documents throughout the business to ensure the consent rules are being met. This also means that the legal department will have to review and possible renegotiate contracts to meet this requirement.

Finance – GDPR will hugely influence the way accounting and financial processes function within your business. Huge amounts of confidential data pass through this department every day, so you need to be sure all your systems and policies are bulletproof. Because of the volume of data at risk, GDPR will impose heavy penalties on businesses that fail to guard their financial data adequately.

Sales & Marketing – Sales and marketing departments are the front line when it comes to dealing with customer data. They are usually responsible for the collection of data, so the consent rules need to be carefully followed. Sales and marketing need to make sure that their teams are addressing customers who have opted in or given their direct consent to receive it.

HR – GDPR will not only impact the way the business works, but it will also improve the rights of all employees too, giving them increased safety, security and control over their personal data. Everyone in the HR department needs to be updating contracts, ensuring that everyone understands their new rights and implementing them.

IT – And of course, the IT department are the first line of defence for all this data. The IT department is the foundation for the GDPR framework, which is why IT departments are currently running around like mad trying to get the systems updated and everything ready.

At Little Acorn Marketing, we are working with businesses in the Thames Valley to help them get ready for GDPR. Sure, we might not be able to help with the in-depth technical IT issues, but we can help review and improve your sales and marketing policies. Whether you just need a few tweaks or to redesign a new strategy to stay complaint, we are here to help. For more information, just get in touch today.