Benefits of Webinars

With marketing budgets stretched further each year to accommodate the growing number of marketing platforms, your business may be looking for a method to reach your targeted audience all while promoting your brand and showing off your professional expertise.  Online advertising, SEO marketing, social networking, and print design are just a few of the marketing strategies that your company may be utilizing.  But have you considered webinars?  Webinars just might be a low cost option that can be very advantageous to your growing business.   Let’s take a look at what a webinar is and how it may benefit your company.

What is a webinar?

A webinar (A webcast or web seminar) is an online event that is hosted by an organization/company and broadcast to a select group of individuals through their computers via the Internet. A webinar, is a way for businesses to project a message to a large or small audience, without asking guests to spend time and money traveling to a physical location. Webinars can be used in a variety of different ways. From hosting online conferences, seminars and lectures to sales and marketing presentations, businesses in every industry can benefit from this dynamic way of communication.

Benefits

  1. Building Relationships – One of the best ways to spread word about your product or services is by building relationships with current consumers who will spread the word for you.  By interacting with your audience during a webinar, your credibility and connection builds faster and deeper than through text or online content.
  2. Showcase an expertise – When you engage in a webinar on a topic that you are extremely well-versed and knowledgeable, you are able to prove that you are an industry leader.  Webinars allow a business to build-up their image as experts in their field and show they are the “go-to” guys for industry related issues.
  3. Capture sales leads –Hosting an online webinar is a great opportunity for marketing or sales teams to gather leads. During sign-up, businesses can make it a requirement for attendees to register. The information gathered from the registration can then be turned over to the sales team as warm leads to follow-up on.
  4. Promote a product – Webinars are the perfect platform to sell and promote products such as books and videos. During the webinar, the speaker can reference clips from a video or pages from a book they are trying to promote. At the end of the seminar the audience can be directed to a purchase page or be given more information on how they can obtain the product.
  5. Affordability – Besides the fact that there are no travel costs involved with attending a Webinar, the price of attending a webinar is typically much lower than other training options. Additionally, multiple participants can train together by viewing the webinar at a single location and therefore pay for only one connection.

Common Social Media Mistakes

Over the past months we have covered many helpful tips on “what to do” on your social media sites.  What often is missed by many companies is what NOT to do on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or other social media platforms.  Many common tactics are ineffective at best, and can be damaging to your brand at their worst. Let’s examine these common mistakes so that your business can avoid mistakes that could damage your brand name.

  • Not Having a Strategy – Take the time required to consider what you want to accomplish with social media and how you’re going to get there, rather than going in blind. Do you want to make personal connections to consumers?  Then maybe introduce staff members and show a human face to your company.  Do you want to show off your expertise?  Post videos that can help clients or consumers gain valuable knowledge. Do you want to attract new clients?  Start programs where you share and  spread the word.
  • Using Social Media to Advertise Constantly – Most people use social media as a casual, fun way to pass the time or gather information.  No one likes to read posts that are constantly selling a product or service. It is ok to occasionally mention a big sale or new product, but do not post regularly about deals.
  • Interaction Mistakes – Whether you’re manually updating your social media accounts or automating posts, you should always be interacting with your social media fans. After all, what’s the point of making a post or asking a question if you’re not going to respond to any questions or comments? Respond with a human voice to Facebook comments, Twitter tweets and Instagram comments because conversation is the backbone of social media. This includes responding to negative comments in positive and calm ways.
  • Posting Mistakes – Making a spelling or typo mistake isn’t a big deal, but if your post is riddled with misspellings, your audience may think you’re unprofessional. Also, don’t alienate audiences by using irrelevant hashtags.  Keep in mind, also that most people will decide within the first few words if the post is worth reading all the way through. Keeping your content short, interesting and to the point will compel readers to return to your page.

Common Online Marketing Mistakes

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”
-Ben Franklin

Mistakes happen in every business.  Most business mistakes can fly under the radar, but online marketing mistakes have the potential to bloom into a public relations mess.  Building your business reputation both online and off is critical to your success.  Let’s look at some reputation-wrecking mistakes your business could be making.

  • Hard selling – Hard selling usually intimidates and it can scare customers away. To avoid turning off your audience many experts suggest following the 4-1-1 Rule.  For every, tweet, email, or FB post that is self serving – repost/tweet other businesses  content and then add four pieces of helpful content that can aid your customers.
  • Responding to Online Reviews – Whether your reviews of products or services are on Yelp, Google or directly on your website, be sure to respond appropriately to every review.  If there is a real issue, address it quickly and in a calm manner.  Hate and anger can just fan the flames as well as make you look bad to others considering doing business with your company.
  • Choosing Sides – They say not to talk about politics or religion at the dinner table.  The same goes for online marketing.  If you take a side in an election or political topic you risk alienating half of your customers. In the words of Nancy Reagan, “Just Say No!”
  • Blatant Mistakes on your website – Spelling errors, typos, and blurry pictures are glaring errors that make your business look unprofessional.  Having an editor or at least an employee check all content that goes up will help make a great impression.
  • No Social Media Strategy – According to Bell Online,  if you are engaging on social media without a strategy, you are most likely wasting time, energy and valuable budget on the wrong social channels or approach best suited to your target audiences. This is where a highly researched strategy comes into play and it’s a must-have, regardless of your target audiences.

The Importance of Finding Your Business Niche

One of the first steps in defining a marketing strategy is to identify a target audience.  Who is the main group who will be buying your product or using your services?  Defining your niche market and establishing a clear picture of whom it is they are marketing to is critical in the overall health of your business. Defining your niche does not narrow your sales or cut into profit margins, rather, it helps define your client base. Let’s examine the importance of identifying your niche in business and how this can be done successfully.

What is a niche?

According to Entrepreneur, a niche is defining “with whom you want to do business.”   Be as specific as you can: Identify the geographical range and the types of businesses or customers you want your business to target. If you don’t know whom you want to do business with, you can’t make contact. These days, the trend is toward smaller niches. Also a niche is NOT a field of business.  For example,  retail clothing business is not a niche but a field. A more specific niche may be “maternity clothes for executive women.” Unlike conglomerates that target the masses, niche businesses cater to highly defined markets that are often over-looked, undeserved or disenfranchised by larger competitors.

How do you find your niche?  Here are some tips to help focus in on a niche audience.

  • Be Clear about What you Have to Offer – what do you sell or what service do you provide?  Who can benefit from your product/service?
  • Don’t Become a Jack of All Trades – Decide what you specialize in and do it well. In fact do it so well that you become an authority on your service/product.
  • Find an underrepresented market – Many markets become over saturated with small businesses or start ups eager to get in on the action. But for a business niche to really stand out, it should be underserved or even neglected.
  • Look for Growth potential – Is the market you’re targeting likely to grow? Capacity for development and growth means your niche is more likely to support the development and growth of your business.