Posted on November 22, 2013 by Webfor Introduction: As this is my first official blog post for digital marketing agency Webfor, I wanted to take a quick second to introduce myself. Connect with me at http://about.me/edbisquera. Now, on to my first post! 🙂 Educational Presentations Are A Trending Marketing Tactic Live events, seminars, and webinars, a trending content online marketing tactic, can help you add value to your brand, educate your audience, and create a lasting, positive impression of your business. According to recent research by The Content Marketing Institute, the content marketing tactic of Webinars/Webcasts is being used by B2B businesses (59%), behind in-person events (69%), Social Media (87%), eNewsletters (78%) and blogs (77%). While they are still a bit behind the other tactics, webinars are quickly becoming a tactic that many businesses are continually looking at adding to their arsenal of marketing tools. Whether you’re presenting a live seminar or over the computer via a webinar, there are a number of steps you can take when creating a presentation that increases your conversions. Step 1 – Create/Use a Formula or Methodology Whether you hire an expert to assist you in crafting your webinar or do it yourself when creating webinars, you’ll want to adapt the following model to suit the needs of your individual business. By creating your own webinar “map” or template, you will be able to structure a visual experience that achieves your goals in an interactive, engaging way for your target audiences. Your style, approach, your offer and information (like research data and case studies) in your presentation may likely going to change over time. But the core “map” or “template” of a successful webinar that converts viewers into action takers, will often remain the same. At a minimum, you will need to create a set of checklists to cover each stage in the creation of your webinar, from initial planning to keeping in touch with attendees after the webinar concludes: Pre-Launch/Invite Email Sequence – How many to send, what they say, date/time. Tracking and Analytics – Offer links, conversion metrics, etc. The Actual Presentation – Very similar to a sales presentation in person, this is the meat and potatoes of your Webinar. Use the Webinar Presentation Guide as a template. Replay Email Sequence – How many emails do you need?, Will your offer expire? What is your deadline? (ALWAYS HAVE A DEADLINE TO YOUR OFFER!) Ethical Bribe Email Sequence – This is a great way to follow up with prospects and segment your list. If you are offering a free download (premium offer download), you can include it in your promotional follow up. Step 2 – Capture Your Attendees Contact Info and Details This is pretty basic – you’ll want to create a form and integrate your follow-up CRM system and/or Webinar registration system to capture your attendees contact details. Keep in mind, if you are working with a co-presentation sponsors aka Joint Venture Partner to drive signups and attendees, you’ll want to be cognizant of creating content that brings value to this shared audience and avoid looking salesy or spammy to them. Any material that appears too pushy or promotional without a payoff to users, could offend members of this list and/or the JV Partner. Regardless of how you are driving traffic for attendee signups, you’ll want to capture the necessary contact details, tag them (for list segmentation) and follow up with them accordingly. Step 3 – Build Value During The Presentation No one wants to be watching a presentation that is one giant sales pitch; you’ll want to give valuable, educational content first, before your offer. You need to share information that helps your attendees achieve some sort of result or gives them a way to solve a problem with solutions that they can try themselves. Not everyone buys something the first time you make an offer. Attendees may stay on your follow-up campaign and purchase your services or product, up to 6 months to 1 year from your initial webinar presentation. By building value and sharing educational, useable content during the presentation, it will build your credibility, creating trust and likeability in your company’s future offers. Step 4 – Track and Review Your Numbers Keep detailed statistics and metrics. You should be tracking a list of key metrics, including: Clicks vs Registrations Registrants vs Live Attendees (aka “The Show Up Rate”) Drop Outs (if possible with your Webinar system, track when they leave) Bribe Clicks vs Bribe Downloads Offer Clicks vs Offer Purchases Live Attendees (at the CTA) vs Purchases (Attendee Conversions) Replay Views or Clicks Vs Puchases Replay Statistics (views, length of views, etc) Step 5 – Using Bonuses and Ethical Bribes We tend to think of bribes as negative, manipulative tactics. However, if your attendees benefit from value obtained through a chosen action, such as leaving their email address or phone number, the negativity disappears and all that is left is a boon to your business. The proper use of bonuses will increase conversion rates. Ethical bribes can offer you a chance, in some cases, at a second or third attempt at your offer, continuing to build trust in your brand while increasing conversions. A very powerful marketing tactic at this step is to use the removal or expiration of a bonus (creates urgency factor). The human brain has a powerful and uncontrollable fear of loss (thank you Robert Cialdini for revealing how this works.) The ethical bribes offer another shot at capturing a lead and further segmentation. When presenting the ethical bribe, you have the option to survey prospect before or after download. In some cases you can even grab full address and phone numbers using a multi-form process. This helps some industries capture a higher quality lead for follow up. Step 6 – Be as Detailed As Possible When It’s Needed Never assume people know things just because you think it’s common knowledge. You know your industry better than anyone, but your attendees aren’t necessarily as fluent. Typically your audience knows less than you may think, so you need to prepare your presentation and speak at an approachably novice level. This is especially true when selling services or products dealing with complex subjects, such as in the real estate, finance, technical or engineering industries. The most satisfied attendees will come away feeling like they have truly understood a valuable new concept and you don’t want to present too many in one single presentation. Keep it to one or two main concepts that you focus in on, during your presentation. One way to prepare for your presentation, is to survey attendees prior to your webinar to determine their level of knowledge. If you do this properly, with no more than 4-5 questions, many prospects will likely complete the survey. If you find that getting feedback is difficult, try using the ethical bribe option (bonus, ebook, contest to win a prize or other premium offer) in exchange for taking the survey. Step 7 – Create a Compelling Call To Action This is where the magic happens and all this hard work turns into many sales and customers. Your offer should be so compelling, that attendees are motivated enough to fill out the form and buy what you’re selling, no matter what the conditions. Here are a few bullet points to consider that increase the likelihood your prospect will take you up on your offer: Create an amazingly strong guarantee Add social proof: Testimonials, case studies. Reasons to buy now/sign up now: Give examples of how they can use the service/product, who it is for and who it’s not for. By doing so, they can pre-qualify themselves during the sales process, saving both yourself and them wasting time through the sales process. Offer Support and Access: Give your email, phone number and whatever else they would need to help them purchase or get help. Create Urgency and Scarcity: Build the fear of losing/missing out with phrases like “bonus expires tonight”, “price increases in 2 days”, and “limited to first 10 who signup/buy.” Give a clear explanation how to order/buy or take the next step. A very successful and powerful call-to-action formula that works over the phone, face-to-face and on webinars is: Here is what I have (Your Offer) Here is what it will do for you (The Benefit) Here is what you will need to do next (How To Order/Buy) There you have it! Seven simple steps to help you creating webinars that convert attendees/prospects and build up your email list so you can follow up and generate a greater customer conversion rate. Follow this seven-step system and your business will be bursting at the seams with more prospects and customers than you’ll know what to do with! Please feel free to share this across the social networks on Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Facebook, if you found this blog post informative and useful. How are you using presentations (seminars, webinars, events, etc) in the marketing of your business? What has worked for you and what do you find your biggest challenge? Additional resources: http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeconnect/2013/09/webinars-place-in-the-b2b-marketing-mix.html http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/how-hubspot-drew-25000-signups http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2272468/only-16-percent-of-b2b-consumers-prefer-live-webinars Example B2B Webinars http://www.forrester.com//events?N=10006+5025 – Forrester’s cray cray about webinars!