5 Ways Webinars Beat Meetings for Stronger Customer Relationships - GotoMeeting

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Webinars are a great lead generation tool. In fact, according to InsideSales, 77% of sales and marketing leaders rate webinars as a top lead generation method. But lead generation isn’t the only way to use webinars! Done right, they can help you keep new and existing customers happy and engaged.

Let’s take a look at why webinars work so well and explore some key formats that will enhance your relationships with customers.

Webinars just work

So, why are webinars so effective? A few reasons:

For one, they are super engaging with an average viewing time of 57 minutes, according to the Big Book of Webinar Stats. Nobody’s likely to spend that long reading your blog post or whitepaper. Jeff Molander of Make Social Media Sell says 94% of his webinar attendees watch to the end.

Webinars also offer visual contact, so it’s like having a face-to-face conversation. This is a huge selling point for marketers who’ve had to drop out or cancel in-person events due to COVID-19. With visuals, attendees can see and respond to non-verbal cues like facial expressions. That helps presenters make a personal, trusted connection with participants.

Nobody likes to watch one person talk for hours – remember those college lectures you slept through? Webinars work because they’re interactive. Q&A sessions, polls, visuals, and video help connect participants and presenters and keep everyone actively engaged.

Finally, because webinars are live, they help create a sense of urgency and scarcity, both of which are proven marketing tactics. Webinar participants know the drill. Turn up on time or you miss information. Stay to the end, or you might miss a special offer.

Finding customer-centric webinar topics

The only way to use webinars to effectively build customer relationships is to find a topic that really interests your audience. The key is to think about your audience first and your webinar goals second.

If you’re looking for a shortcut to finding webinar topics that work, try these strategies:

  • Check your website and blog analytics to find your most popular content
  • Look at blog and social comments to identify top challenges and concerns
  • Poll your social media followers to find out what they want to learn more about
  • Ask your sales or customer support team about common issues and pain points they hear from customers
  • On your webinar registration landing page, ask registrants to submit their own questions and topics for discussion

Webinar formats that encourage better customer engagement

Now, let’s look at some specific types of webinars you can use to build better relationships with your customers.

1. Onboarding webinars

Ever signed up for a product or service and then felt overwhelmed by what you needed to learn in order to start using it effectively?

That happens to people all the time and it’s one of the reasons why you could lose customers. If people don’t understand your product, and can’t get started quickly, they may leave forever. A well-timed onboarding webinar can help avoid this issue.

A good onboarding webinar helps people get familiar with products and services fast and helps set the tone for a healthy relationship. It showcases some of your company’s key features and how to get the most from them. If you have several types of customers, consider hosting a series of onboarding webinars focusing on different features.

2. Training webinars

While onboarding webinars help people get started, training webinars go one step further. They show people how to accomplish specific tasks to help their business.

Create training webinars based on the issues your customers have problems with, and you can’t go wrong. When you help your customers successfully move beyond the basics, they’re more likely to stick around.

3. “Ask Me Anything” webinars

Most webinars have interactive components including a question and answer session. But have you thought about a dedicated ask me anything (AMA) webinar?

AMAs were a hugely popular Reddit feature, and now they happen in webinars, too! AMAs give people the chance to ask their questions and get responses live, something we recently did with the GoToMeeting team!

While presenters have to stay on their toes, participants love them. They get to get to know the people behind the company, which builds trust. Plus, the questions they ask can help you decide on new product features to meet their needs.

Pro tip: To make things easier, get some questions in advance, so you don’t have dead air while people are getting started.

4. Product updates

Host regular webinars for your existing customers on what’s new with your product. These kinds of webinars give you the opportunity to generate excitement around new features and show how customers are benefitting from them. Make sure to demonstrate how to use new features and give customers a sneak peek of product updates to come.

If your customers keep learning something new and know that you have their interests at heart, they’ll feel the love, and stick around.

5. Online workshops, virtual conferences and more!

Online workshops or virtual conferences can help take your customer relationships to the next level. Host advanced training workshops or a virtual customer conference and invite industry leaders to talk about trends and provide inspirational wisdom. Your customers will love the access to quality training and speakers and in turn, that appreciation will drive customer retention and advocacy.

These five types of webinars help you nurture and guide customers from the day they start using your product, until they are old hands. Include some or all of them, and you’ll improve customer relationships, resulting in a more loyal customer base.

Ready for your close-up?

It’s showtime! Sign up for GoToWebinar  – you can even join the open beta for GoToStage.

Expertise and Best Practices for Embracing Virtual Events

New to webinars and virtual events? We’re here to help! Check out our remote work Resource Center with tips and tricks on how marketers can master the shift while still driving demand and engagement.