Small businesses are flocking to audio and Web conferencing for many reasons and they are all about money. Choosing audio and Web conferencing over traditional methods helps small businesses by helping them save money and more of it. Here’s how:
Audio and Web conferencing services let small businesspeople cut out travel expenses. In some cases, they can do away with travel altogether. There is no reason to spend hundred on air fare and hotel rooms when the same tasks can be accomplished right from your office computer.
The old adage, “time is money,” has never been more true. Technology has saved us time in so many ways. Audio and Web conferencing is just another example of how technology allows us to do more. Time spent traveling is unfruitful and wasteful. That time can be better used to develop closer client relationships, provide better customer service to existing customers and develop more leads.
Printed Marketing Materials
There is no longer a need to create expensive marketing pamphlets and proposals. PowerPoint presentations are much cheaper to produce and can be presented via Web conferencing. Marketing this way saves trees and saves your budget.
Shorter Sales Cycles
Audio and Web conferencing shortens the sales cycle dramatically. Deals that once took several phone calls, letters and visits to accomplish can now be completed in one fell swoop through Web conferencing. Salespeople can instantly show prospects a product demonstration, invite decision makers into the conference and close the deal on the spot. All the extra time can be used to general more leads, contact more prospects and close more sales.
Some small businesses are actually using Web conferencing itself to make money. They hold educational webinars for paying participants. Webinars can also be used to create leads by attracting the type of customer a salesperson is seeking. The relationships developed from these events can create more leads and develop more sales.
Web Conferencing is a diverse tool that allows professionals an affordable way to create webinars for marketing purposes. The only real difference between web conferencing and a webinars is the number of attendees and the level of interaction between the moderator and participants. You can create webinars for up to 500 people with your web conferencing provider.
In a webinar, you arrange the meeting through an email campaign to prospects in your email list. You can use the promotion of your webinar to attract more visitors to your email list through a combination of PPC, article marketing and social media.
To connect users with the webinar, you send an email with a registration link and then send a second email with a link to the conference just before you begin. Webinars that provide free information of interest to your market segment are the most effective way to creating a solid bond of trust between you and your email list. This trust will make it easier to market your products to those individuals later.
It is a good idea to include a question and answer session or instant messaging service with your webinar so you can get feedback from your audience. It will also help you solidify your social connection with the webinar attendees. By recording the webinar, you create a presentation that you can leave on your website to attract even more visitors.
After a webinar, follow-through is vital. Be sure to send “thank you” notes to attendees and “sorry we missed you” notes to registrants who did not make it. You can use this opportunity to communicate with the registrants and build relationships. Be sure to offer a link for those who missed the webinar to watch it later.
Webinars generate highly qualified leads and can be used to educate or up sell current customers. You can arrange webinars easily and affordably with your web conferencing provider. Here is how you can prepare your marketing webinar to ensure it works for you.
The first step is to define your objectives. Are you looking to generate new leads, solidify client relationships, up sell or educate? Each of these objectives requires a different strategy in your presentation and in the promotion of your webinar event.
Attend your email campaigns carefully. Test different subject lines. Be sure the message is personalized with a “from” field indicating an actual person in your company and a use greeting that addresses the recipient personally. Try out long and short copy and see what works best.
If you are seeking new leads, focus on educational content for those considering the purchase of a similar product. Webinars that explain benefits and features as they relate to any popular topic are highly effective. If you are working with existing leads, “how-to” webinars work well for increasing awareness of other related products or peripherals.
Next, plan your content and timeline. You should begin marketing for your webinar as soon as you start planning the content. Expect a lead-time of three to six months in preparing for your webinar. Spend that time making your presentation clear, engaging and useful. See if you can acquire a high-profile speaker for the event. During the preparation period, use PPC campaigns, email, article marketing and social media to promote the event.
You can maximize webinar attendance by timing the event properly. Tuesday and Thursday mornings are ideal, since many are at their PCs checking email at those times. Even a well-timed webinar may only get a turnout with half the registered users. Be sure you send a reminder before the webinar and follow up with those who missed the webinar, giving them a chance to view a recording. Also, do not forget to thank those who did show and make them a special offer on your product.
Web conferencing provides an interactive meeting via the web between multiple attendees. These attendees can be in the same building at different desktops, or anywhere across the globe. Web conferencing provides features that make it easy for attendees to interact, share data and even share desktops.
During a web conference, attendees will share information, make plans and suggestion, put forth arguments, brainstorm solutions and finally reach a decision. Web conferences have a motive and a purpose of accomplishment for those attending.
Web seminars, or webinars, are very similar to web conferences but they have less interaction between attendees and often have more attendees than a web conference. A web conferencing provider can host web conferences and webinars affordably and effectively. Both are excellent tools for training within your organization.
Which platform you choose will depend primarily upon the level of expertise of the class attendees. When training new employees, web conferencing is more effective because it allows for more feedback and questions from the audience. Desktop sharing makes it easy to show new employees how to accomplish specific tasks in real time and it gives them an opportunity to try it out themselves with an instructor standing by in real time.
Webinars are better for more seasoned employees who can attend the webinar or watch it later when they have time. This type of webinar often covers subtle changes in workflows or other topics with which the employee is already familiar.
Web conferencing has many advantages, but it also has many pitfalls. Just like in-person meetings, there are some rules of etiquette that must be followed and other behaviors to avoid.
What you Should Do
Be sure to prepare your presentation well in advance of the conference time. This allows you to take the time to edit out any errors and ensure all the information necessary is included. Email necessary materials to attendees or post them online where they can be accessed easily before the presentation. Give attendees a day or two to read and absorb the material before the conference.
Being late to a web conference is just as embarrassing and unprofessional as showing up late to a face-to-face meeting. Show the attendees that they matter to you by arriving a few minutes early. You should already be on the line when attendees begin calling in.
Just as you would not want to hold an office meeting in a noisy cafeteria, avoid holding a web conference in your noisy living room. Be sure you have a separate room in your home where background noise is at a minimum.
What Not to Do
Try not to squirm around in your chair during the meeting, especially if it is made of leather. Your agitation and restlessness will be heard by others and may be distracting. Be still and keep a calm demeanor throughout the presentation, setting the tone for everyone else.
You would never go to a meeting chewing gum or eating, so don't do it in a web conference. While a glass of water is fine for keeping your throat moist, do not pop open soda cans or let yourself be heard snapping gum.
Avoid the temptation to make attendees "hold" during a meeting. Be well prepared in advance and there will be no reason to disrupt the conversation. By avoiding the use of hold, you are making the web conference as close to an in-office meeting as possible.
While web conferencing offers great benefits for long distance meetings, it is important to follow the rules of etiquette. By doing so, you take best advantage of this time and money saving technology.
Create Opportunity with Web Conferencing
Offering a free service is a great way to attract targeted
leads to your business. Webinars and
free education classes can be formulated to target the audience you need to
tell about your product. You can conduct such webinars and training sessions
affordably by using web conferencing.
Demonstrate your Product
You may simply want to show customers how your product can
improve their lives or solve a problem. You can demonstrate your product in a
free webinar and direct them to your landing page after the presentation.
Pitch your Product
In business-to-business applications, webinars let you
actively display the benefits of your product and answer questions in real time
on a simple and easy to use platform. Leads will respond to your presentation
and ask questions. This kind of client interaction provides valuable feedback
and new ideas on how to market your product.
Generate Leads and Traffic
Such free webinars are also great traffic generators for
blogs and other websites. By offering the free course in exchange for user
emails, you begin to build a highly targeted email list with which you can
build trust and later market your product.
Affordable Marketing Strategy
Webinars are much more affordable that PPC marketing in most
cases. Rates are incredibly low and a simply fifteen minute presentation may be
all you need to attract leads and traffic.
It is vital that your presentation be well thought out and
be presented flawlessly. This is when you will want to be sure you use a
service with 24/7 customer service available to help should any problems arise.
By combining your message with a webinar service with good
customer support, you create a marketing tool for your business that attracts
targeted leads, generates traffic and can ultimately lead to more sales.