I like to equate videos with having your very own TV station. Video done correctly, can convey a message that is short, to the point and very succinct.
As is true with most of our world, people are bombarded with messages from every which way they turn. Therefore, our videos that are used to attract clients, need to be short (we recommend at maximum 90 seconds), to the point, and conveying only one key thought.
One effective way to create videos is to create our videos in the manner we discussed in an earlier lesson…using the 10 x 10 x 4 method…meaning 10 frequently asked questions, 10 should ask questions and the 4 with a bit about who you are, what you do and who is your ideal client.
Another ideal way to use video to promote your business is to craft your story…telling it in bite site pieces in a way that will attract people to want to continue on to the next video.
This year has been called “The Year of Video Marketing,” as businesses find new, inventive ways to use the medium to reach customers. Videos stand out on social media, giving customers a quick overview of a product without overwhelming them with text. In less than thirty seconds, a customer can get the information he needs about a business through a short, visually-appealing video.
Thanks to developments in tech tools, it’s easier than ever to create a fun video at little to no cost. Businesses can use their own smartphone cameras or sign up for a service that creates animated explainer videos. (Video Scribe)
It is very important to carefully craft a strategy for your video-marketing activities to maximize your reach. Here are five things your video marketing strategy should include.
- Publishing Schedule
Just as you time your tweets and Facebook posts to run consistently, your video marketing plan should have legs, as well. Instead of posting one video about a new product, think of your campaign in terms of a series. What type of story can you tell that will allow you to post it in multiple parts over the course of several weeks?
Once you’ve determined the content of your videos, set up a schedule. Space the videos out evenly, timing them to lead up to a big product launch or event. Continue to strategize new video campaigns that can keep your brand fresh in customers’ minds long after that big date.
- Short-Form Video’s
Social media has revolutionized the way online users communicate with each other, with short, concise statements trumping longer forms of content. Micro-video apps shorten videos to less than ten seconds, making them ideal for sharing on sites like Twitter and Instagram. In this format, customers can quickly view a message as they scroll through their social media feeds. Brands can quickly send a message that will be seen by a larger audience, especially on Vine and Facebook, where they automatically play as a user scrolls past.
“With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing,” says Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom. “And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.”
- Tutorials and Tips
One way to connect with customers is by posting tutorials relevant to your line of work. While it may seem as though you will be giving away your secrets, you’ll actually establish yourself as a subject matter expert, leading viewers to want to learn more about your business. A salon could offer styling tips, for instance, and a marketing firm could do a series on building your brand using the latest social media site.
Tutorials also provide built-in series potential. Rarely will you post just one how-to video. Provided your tips are useful, you’ll likely find customers keep coming back to see the next video in the series.
- Customer-Generated Content
An even better way to connect with customers is to put them behind the camera. User-generated content is more likely to generate a response than company-generated content. Instead of spending hours coming up with a script and producing a powerful video, invite your customers to create one of their own. Offer a prize for the best video showcasing customer use of your product and you’ll likely get an overwhelming response.
The best thing about customer-generated content is that it will show other people’s passion for your product. When potential customers see that, they’ll want to know what all the excitement is about and possibly give your product a try.
- Call to Action
Here we are, back to what we spoke about last week…Lead Generation….and creating a Call to Action, that invites them to leave their contact info…to get something of value that we have to offer.
One mistake many marketers make is in creating a great video without attaching a call to action. Customers may enjoy your message, but if they have no idea what to do after watching it, your hard work will have been for nothing.
The call to action can be something simple, like a coupon code for use on your website. For local customers, attach an offer of a discount for any customer who mentions the video in your store. For online businesses, it could be a free report, an eBook, a more extensive video on the topic you just spoke about. Either way, just a few words at the end of your video could lead to a conversion that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
Video marketing is a great way for brands to stand out from the many text-based marketing efforts being launched each day. When conducted correctly, a video marketing campaign can help your brand reach new consumers and turn them into loyal customers.
Types of Videos
Perhaps you just really do not like to see yourself on video. Yes we are all extremely critical of ourselves and while I would like to highly recommend that you “get over it.” We are always way more critical of ourselves than we need to be and typically people who are interested in what you have to offer them, are not looking at YOU, they are listening for the message.
I would also suggest there are other things you can do.
There are the explainer videos…like what video scribe offers…where the the images you upload are drawn out as you speak…and typically will show a hand writing the words.
There are also the videos that are like what I have been using for this course…done in powerpoint, using images that apply and then recording the voice.
The fast one is, as mentioned earlier is using your smartphone…and recording and then it directly to YouTube/Facebook/Twitter…etc.
Where video is like your own TV station, podcasting is your own radio station. For some, podcasting is the more viable tool…because they allow for an opportunity to give a much more indepth message to your prospects and clients.
Many call it their university and listen to podcasts in their cars and while exercising or cleaning house.
Podcasting is a free service that allows Internet users to pull audio files (typically MP3s) from a podcasting Web site to listen to on their computers or personal digital audio players. The term comes from a combination of the words iPod (a personal digital audio player made by Apple) and broadcasting.
Distributing audio or video files over the Internet has taken hold. It actually has done more than taken hold — it’s taken off! Podcasting allows for the distribution of information in the form of audio and video to an audience when they want it, where they want it and how they want it.
Podcasting can be described as “push” audio content. The “push” is to a targeted audience or an “on-demand” audience; those who want it. Another way to describe podcasting is that it is essentially downloaded audio files intended for listening on the move. Podcasts show up (pushed) when new content is produced. If you’re a subscriber, you get the podcast right then. All you need is an iPod (or MP3 player of any kind) for listening, thus the word podcasting.
It was considered revolutionary when listeners were able to take their music to the beach or the park or in their car, but that typically meant listening to whatever the radio stations were playing. Now, with podcasting, listeners can choose the programs they want to download from the Internet and listen whenever they want.
People are adding podcasts to blogs and websites daily. Businesses are using them for general communication and training. They can be listened to in a car, in an airport, in the park or wherever it’s convenient for the listener.
Just like written communication of any type, or even electronic communication, content is king in podcasts. In the business world, no one really wants to hear their boss preach to them for 20 minutes a week in a podcast. Straight presentation can be long, monotonous and an inconvenience to a listener, regardless of corporate directives.
Content has to be crafted with the listener in mind — not only their interests but their listening habits. It’s a known fact that a listener’s patience is less with recorded content than it is with live content.
To create valuable podcast content, think like a radio producer. Radio producers are always aware that a listener can switch stations at any moment for many reasons. That’s why they concentrate on the entertainment value of programming, instantly and frequently. Listeners are usually alone when listening and can change stations or turn the program off when not fulfilled, entertained, or informed. The radio producer has to provide value. Value is what the audience will listen to, re-listen to and listen to with a desire for more or the next program (podcast).
Here are a few podcasting pointers:
Provide information of value. Value can come in the form of education, information, inspiration, motivation and entertainment. Don’t just broadcast commercials.
Conversations work. This can be accomplished by having someone interview you or by participating in a panel discussion. One-person podcasts are less dynamic by definition. Dynamic content sells.
Remember the 3 Ps of podcasting: promote, promote, promote. Encourage subscribers, sign-ups and raving fans with automatic and periodic updates. Post your podcast availability on your website (with a live link), mention it in your email signature and enlist in podcast directories, including iTunes and podcast.net.
Podcasting is another marketing tool to add to your arsenal. Market it, just like a product, a person, a service, a company, etc.
Every marketing program uses a variety of content formats to build awareness, share information, and nurture leads. Webinars continue to be a favorite among marketers because they are cost-effective, convenient, and measurable.
Successful webinars require planning and promotion but the effort is worth it. In addition to generating leads, a strong webinar helps establish authority and thought leadership— particularly when it focuses on issues and problem solving rather than product sales.
Of course, the way you present the issues sets up the logical, but low-key suggestion that your product or service offers a solution. You just don’t want to beat the audience over the head with it. Most of us resent a full court press, but can tolerate a light sponsorship message when the webinar topic is one that we are particularly interested in. Webinars are a terrific way to connect with customers and prospects and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on specific topics.
In terms of using webinars as lead generation, one of the reasons this strategy is successful is that the audience self-selects from a pool of qualified and targeted prospects. Finding the right audience is as important as identifying interesting webinar topics. Also, webinars can be used at different stages of the lead nurturing process to move your prospects closer to a sale. Because they are usually recorded and archived on a website, webinars can continue to generate leads long past the live event
Dull webinars are deadly. You want to avoid an audio-visual “Death by PowerPoint” webinar by making it engaging and interactive. In addition to having several different speakers engage in conversation around a topic, it’s helpful to use instant polls, question and answer segments, and even social media sharing to keep audiences interested.
The goal of marketing is to support and help drive sales. But the arm-twisting sales strategies of yesterday are ineffective with today’s consumers. Today’s consumers are receptive to issues-based content marketing. Companies that provide valuable content to their audiences to help them research or solve real problems are viewed more as a consultant than a vendor.
Successful webinars are:
- Built around issues not products
Thoughtful, well-planned webinars help create conversations about the real world issues your product or service solves. They are important components of your content marketing program.
- Doing webinars is a great way to build your mailing list!
- Often webinars can generate money easily & quickly, while educating, informing, and adding value to your prospects!
- Webinars convert much better than websites or online sales letters! It is typical to close 10% of your attendees with a well crafted webinar.
- They cost next to nothing to run (no hosting, no website necessary, just a $99/month gotowebinar.com subscription)
- Webinars give you massive leverage! (You can talk to hundreds of prospects at the same time!)
- You can do webinars from home, or from anywhere in the world, from your laptop!
- You don’t even need a website, a product, or even a mailing list to make money thanks to webinars!
- They help you build your relationship with your clients and prospects!
- They work in ANY market!
- If you’ve built a mailing list of prospects and clients, promoting a webinar to them can be a very lucrative way of monetizing your list of subscribers or your social media lists of followers and fans!
- You can earn passive income from your webinar replays (recordings of your webinars that play over and over again forever, generating sales!)
We encourage to explore doing joint venture webinars…where you team up with someone who has the same type of client base that you are looking for…you cross promote for a win/win solution.
Webinars are hot stuff these days. Everywhere you turn, you’re probably seeing invitations for free webinars, Google Hangouts, and live online summits.
But you’re having trouble picturing how webinars could actually help your business.
If you’re a coach, consultant, author, therapist, blogger, or other small business owner, you need practical, real ways to use webinars to:
- Grow your list
- Get your message out to the world
- Increase your authority in your niche
- Connect with your audience members
- Drive traffic to your website
- Sell products and services
If you’re getting stuck when you sit down to brainstorm ways to use webinars, the following information will be a HUGE kick-start for you.
Here’s a list of 41 specific and practical ways you can use webinars to grow your list, connect with your audience, and make money:
How to Use Webinars to Market Your Business and Grow Your Email List
1. Make your webinar slides into visual badges for Pinterest and Facebook. Visual marketing is HUGE right now, so if you’ve got great slides, make them into cool, shareable graphics you can use on social media.
2. Pull quotes from you and your webinar co-presenters and make them into attractive quote badges. People LOVE quotes, so make sure you take inspiring and interesting quotes from your webinars and make them into promotional materials for social media.
3. Offer free, open, pitch-free question and answer sessions as a promotional tool for your business. Once a month, hold an open Q and A webinar where you just show up and answer as many questions as you can in an hour. People need to sign up (via email) to get the webinar login details, so this is a great list-building strategy.
4. Use webinars (either live or automated) as a way to entice people to sign up when you’re running Facebook or other online advertisements. Studies have shown that Facebook Ads will be considerably more effective if you drive your advertising traffic toward a free incentive (like a free report or webinar).
5. Create online summits or virtual conferences using webinars. You can attract tons of subscribers by hosting an online summit (which is really just an extended webinar where you invite special guests to come in and speak to your audience). Your special guests will often help you promote the event, so you can potentially reach thousands of additional potential subscribers.
6. Turn webinar presentations into slide decks to publish on slideshare. (www.slideshare.com) SlideShare is one of the world’s most underutilized sources of traffic. You can easily turn your webinar slides into slide decks to share on SlideShare.
7. Approach experts in your niche (or other influencers with similar communities to yours) to do webinars for their audiences. You’ll get in front of their audiences when they send out promotional emails for the webinars. Depending on the arrangement you have with your co-presenter, you can often add the your webinar participants to your email list. Make sure you’re clear on the arrangement with your co-presenter before you do your webinar.
8. Ask another expert to do a live webinar for YOUR audience. Having new and interesting guests on your webinars will often draw significantly more webinar participants.
9. Upload some of your webinars to YouTube and include links back to your site and your email opt-in page. You can give away some of your content on YouTube or Vimeo – just make sure you always include strong calls to action, to prompt people to sign up for your list.
10. Create a pinboard on Pinterest that features all of your recorded webinars (or invitations to join your live ones). Video content is allowed on Pinterest boards, but hardly anyone uses it – so be one of the unique pinners who includes video, and pin the webinars you upload to YouTube on your Pinterest boards.
11. Turn your webinar content into free videos to give away during launches. You can record any webinar, no matter what platform you’re using, and use it as a free giveaway next time you run a launch.
12. Build authority by doing regular webinars (either promotional or pitch-free). The more high-quality content you give away, the more authority and respect you’ll build.
13. Listen to your participants’ feedback and questions during your webinars – the feedback you get will probably be more candid and honest than what you could gather during a formal survey of your audience.
14. Get ideas for new blog posts, podcast episodes, products and services. Take your audience questions and feedback and turn them into ideas for new content for your business. If you see particular questions come up over and over again, you might consider creating a special product or service to address that need.
15. See who your true fans are. A friend of mine has two people who show up for every single webinar she hosts. If they’re not on a webinar, it probably means they are bleeding from the head. These people also happen to be two of her very best clients. If people shows up for your live training webinars over and over again, that means they are VERY warm leads for you, and it’s probably a good idea to touch base with them to find out how you can help them.
16. Ask questions during webinar sign-up. You can often customize the sign-up forms for your webinars, so you can ask specific questions in those fields. Is there something about your audience you really want to know? Create a question on your sign-up form and ask them. One tried-and-true question that works in all situations is, “What is your biggest problem with [YOUR TOPIC]?”
17. Create unstoppable sales copy by discovering your potential customer’s objections. When you’re selling products, one of your main jobs is to get people over the objections that come up for them during your sales process. You’re probably going to see certain objections or issues coming up over and over again during your webinars, and you can use those exact phrases to create powerfully compelling, persuasive sales copy.
18. Utilize the “Meet and Greet”. Before the webinar officially starts, you can chat with your audience, ask them questions, and warm them up a bit before you start your presentation. I like to ask people where they’re calling from, and what they’re looking to learn on the webinar. It’s also a great way to show people how use the chat or question box on your webinar software.
19. Create a bond by telling stories. Webinars are an intimate form of communication, whether you’re using them as a promotional tool or to deliver paid content. You can intensify that bond (and keep people engaged) by telling stories on your webinars. At the beginning of promotional webinars, it’s always a good idea to tell people a little bit about who you are and what your story is, to help them understand you and trust you. You can also use case studies, testimonials or example stories during your regular presentation to keep people interested and engaged.
20. Host customer-only webinars to provide new information about current products, or give special sneak peeks of upcoming additions to your product line. Offering special programs like this builds customer confidence and helps your clients learn to use your products better, which increases their chances of becoming repeat customers (or staying with your continuity or membership program).
21. Pull back the curtain and offer your webinar participants a glimpse at what happens behind-the-scenes in your business or industry. Giving people a look at what goes on behind closed doors lets people know your story and makes them feel like they’re part of a special, insider community.
22. Offer the content from your webinars as a regular audio or video podcast. Podcasts are hot right now, and they can be fantastic marketing tools. You can take your webinar content and offer it as a regular podcast.
23. Use webinars during your onboarding process. You can host a live monthly webinar for new clients, where you can tell people what they can expect from working with you and let them ask questions.
24. Offer webinars as content upgrades. Need free giveaways and incentives for your website? Live and recorded webinars make great free “bribes” on your blog. At the end of a blog post, you can include a button your readers can click to sign up for a targeted webinar that is relevant to the content they just finished reading.
25. Host free promotional webinars that include a pitch for your product or service. Promotional webinars are a phenomenally effective marketing tool, when used correctly. Just make sure not to make the entire webinar a giant sales pitch – respect your audience, and give away top-quality content, then offer a relevant and targeted sales pitch at the end.
26. Include webinar question and answer sessions or other discussions as part of a membership site. If you’ve got a continuity program or ongoing membership site, you can include live weekly or monthly question and answer webinars with you or other experts as part of the paid program. Authority membership program features weekly Question and Answer sessions with a rotating cast of influential experts, and it’s a huge selling point for this (paid) online community.
27. Use a webinar to create digital products to sell (like ebooks, recorded workshops, and video series). Package up a webinar (or series of webinars) as a product. If you’re not sure how to create a product for your business, this is a quick and easy way to get started.
28. Run a short or long-term mastermind or coaching group from a webinar platform. You can gather your mastermind together in a regular webinar discussion group. Use webinars to gather mastermind members together in one virtual place, even when those members are scattered all over the world!
29. Get sponsors for your regular webinars, especially when you start attracting large audiences. Once you reach a certain attendance level, you can actively recruit sponsors for your webinar and make money directly from sponsored ads or announcements during your event.
30. Market affiliate products on your webinars. I recently attended a outstanding webinar, to talk about optimizing your website for maximum subscriber sign-ups. During the webinar, the presenter gave tons of ideas for turning your visitors into subscribers (with LeadPages or without) and at the end of the webinar there was a sales pitch for LeadPages. Anne received an affiliate commission for all the sales they made during the webinar.
31. Need bonuses for your online products? You’ve seen all those online programs that have a big list of “bonus” content you can get for buying the product. You can easily use recorded or live webinars as those bonuses when you’re launching your paid products or programs. Bonus note – you can use some webinars as bonuses for multiple products, as long as they are a good fit for that content!
32. Use an automated webinar service (like Stealth Seminars and Evergreen Business Systems) to sell products during automated webinars. You can run high quality automated, pre-recorded webinars that feature great content and include a pitch at the end. Automated webinars can turn into a source of ongoing, passive income if they’re done well and you promote them regularly. You simply record your webinar once, upload it, and make sales on an ongoing basis.
33. Become a webinar moderator or manager. If you love running webinars, help other people do it! Hire yourself out as a regular webinar community manager or moderator.
34. Host a live webinar during a product launch, offering some sort of special deal on your product or program. When you’re doing a product launch, you need to do everything you can to draw attention to your launch. Launch-week webinars can be a great way to give people an introduction to your teaching style, give them free content, and sell products or programs.
35. Remember those online summits we mentioned during #3, above? You can give away your seminar content for free if people attend live, and also offer them a package of all the recordings of the presentations for a reasonable fee.
36. Use your webcam to teach a paid class in which you need to demonstrate something live – like cooking, flower arrangement, bike repair or archery. You can keep the camera on you during the webinar, and teach anything you want!
37. Use webinars to conduct live makeovers or critiques of things like wardrobes (if you’re a personal stylist), websites (if you’re a designer) or rooms in houses (if you’re a professional organizer).
38. Use webinars to help you promote your live events and conferences. If you’ve got an in-person event or conference coming up, you can host webinars with your conference speakers to increase buzz and make more ticket sales.
39. Make money with your co-presented webinars. Remember those joint ventures we mentioned in #7 and #8, above? You can also sell products on those webinars, and split the profits with your co-presenter.
40. Launch your book with a webinar. Offer a special webinar during your book launch week, and do a virtual reading. Offer giveaways and prizes to build buzz and encourage people to attend and invite their friends.
41. Offer a weekly webinar to sell membership or continuity programs. Podcasting expert John Lee Dumas offers a free webinar-based workshop every week for anyone interested in started a podcast, and makes sales of his Podcaster’s Paradise program every time he does it.
Webinars are a highly effective (and fun!) content marketing tool
Businesses in all kinds of industries and niches (including B2B and B2C businesses) are discovering that webinars are an effective way to build relationships with their prospects and market their products and services.
I’ve just showed you over 40 creative and fun ideas to integrate webinars into your business model.
Want to know what to do now? Block out 30 minutes, set a timer, and sit down with a blank sheet of paper. Then make a list of all the ways you can use webinars to build your list and make YOUR business more profitable in 2015. If you get stuck, return to this post and look for more inspiration.
Once you’ve got a list of webinar ideas for your business, pick one. Choose an idea that you’re excited about. You don’t have to start at the top, with the most ambitious webinar idea on the list, either. Start simple.
After you’ve chosen an idea, run with it. Get it scheduled some time in the next two weeks. Set a date and start promoting your new webinar. You can use tools like GotoWebinar or Google Hangouts to run your first webinar event.
And above all – have fun with it! Webinars are a great way to talk with your audience, so enjoy your first event, even if you only get one participant.
I started with one attendee at my first webinar, and now I regularly get over 400 participants every time I do a webinar event.
Your job with webinars is to start small, and grow!
Your readers, clients and customers will thank you for it – and so will your bottom line.