Modern marketers have so many marketing tactics and tools to choose from, that picking the right mix for your organisation can be difficult. Do you opt for the latest trends, or is your business just not ready for it? Do you go for proven tactics, or are they obsolete? Do you continue with the tactics you’ve always implemented and stick with what you know, or do you stick your head out and try something new?
Webinars are amongst the marketing tactics that have been around for almost 20 years now. For those who have never tried running a marketing webinar before, it might feel like it’s too late now. Perhaps you’ve built up a perception or opinion, which you’re just not comfortable to change – at least not without good reason. That’s ok, after all your decisions should be based on facts. Not myths.
We have debunked 10 Webinar Myths to help you make up your mind about whether you want to give webinars a try. If you feel that your mind has been sufficiently changed, or your intrigue roused, why not ask for a demo of the world’s leading webinar platform.
Myth #1 - Webinars are difficult to setup
You’d have been right about 10 years ago! Goodness, you needed an IT person to set up webinars and a deep knowledge of HTML to make it look good. But the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) also introduced more user-friendly setup options and interfaces. As a result, the leading webinar platforms have invested heavily into UI and UX and you can now setup a great looking webinar in minutes without ever having to write a single line of code.
Myth #2 - Webinars are expensive
Webinar solutions are available for pretty much any budget. The main point is how you evaluate the cost. If you can attribute, analyse and assess the ROI from your webinars, you are also able to justify a certain budget. If you spend – say – £500 on a webinar and you get a return of £50,000 in revenue, that’s a great ROI. But, if you spend – say – £50 on a webinar and can’t measure ROI at all, then even that £50 is badly spent.
So, the cost myth is more about the ROI than the spend. If you have good attribution, then a good webinar platform will only add value to that – because it integrates well. At that point, a webinar could cost £2,000 and still be great value, if you can gauge the likely funnel and revenue the leads you’ll generate will create. The key point is this: don’t let cost sway your opinion until you know how much you’ll get in return.
Myth #3 - Webinars don’t generate many leads
First, you need to put this myth into context, i.e. which marketing tactic are you comparing webinars to? Compare apples with apples. That means, you need to evaluate your long-form content, for example whitepapers, to your webinars and apply the same promotional cycle. Also, compare webinars to assets that require registration. There is no point comparing 30 webinar registrations to 3000 YouTube views. YouTube videos require no registration and as a result offer no prospect insight or lead generation.
Then you need to evaluate quantity versus quality before you can assess whether webinars generate less leads – or indeed revenue – than other marketing tactics. Here’s what we know from experience:
- Webinars generate more highly qualified leads, because webinars have many more touchpoints built in than any other marketing tactic or asset
- Webinars are more engaging and therefore have a strong appeal to audiences
- There is no intrinsic reason why webinars are less likely to be consumed than, say, whitepapers, eBooks, or other long-form content
Myth #4 - Webinars are too long
We’ve all heard this – people get bored listening to someone drone on for 60 or more minutes on a webinar and leave half way through. If your content or speaker sucks, then this may well happen. That doesn’t mean the webinar format itself is the problem. There is no law to say webinars have to be 60 minutes long. Make them 20 minutes long, if you have 20 minutes’ worth of cracking and highly engaging content.
Also consider how long it takes for a prospect to read your 4000 word whitepaper. You may argue that prospects can read those at any time. It’s the same for your webinars. After your webinars were live, they continue to be available on-demand. The best webinar platforms ensure the features and functionality of on-demand webinars are identical to the live version. So your audience can view them whenever they please.
Myth #5 - Webinar audio and video quality is bad
There are bad drivers in the world. And there are bad car manufacturers in the world. That doesn’t mean all cars handle badly. Evaluating and picking a good webinar platform is important, and so is following the advice and best practices of your webinar provider. You can sign up for the best webinar platform in the world and still get bad audio or video quality, if the webinar organiser or presenter doesn’t follow the platform’s setup or usage advice.
So much so, we’ve written about improving audio webinars in a blog post and even discussed how to improve webinar audio quality in detail in this webinar.
And while we are used to having an internet or data connection in most places, corporate networks and certain geographical regions are outside of the webinar organiser’s control. This means that webinars viewed in geographical locations with lower connectivity than the UK – for example, southern Africa, southern America and certain parts of Asia – may result in a lower quality experience. The best webinar platforms hedge against this with the use of multiple CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), which improve the streaming quality.
Myth #6 - Webinars require software installation
Some webinar platforms may require organisers or users to install software or plugins, in which case you will probably want to remove them from your shortlist. But the leading webinar platforms, including the one provided by 24/7 Webcasting are browser based and allow organisers and attendees to access webinars without installations or plugins. This applies also to mobile devices.
Myth #7 - Webinars are no longer relevant
In our whitepaper Is it time you fell in love with webinars (again) we highlight the rise in popularity of webinars. In fact, Google Trends shows that in 2008 webinars overtook whitepapers as the more popular search term.
In addition, webinars are the only modern marketing tactic that was conceived with the internet in mind. All other assets that warrant registration existed before the web (e.g. whitepapers). As a result, good webinar platforms natively integrates with marketing automation and CRM tools to close the lead generation and nurturing loop. Along with a high level of analytics for lead qualification, webinars have never been more relevant to marketers than they are today.
Myth #8 - Webinars are unpopular with audiences
The world’s leading webinar provider saw its webinar output rocket by 50% in one year (2014-15) and while we are waiting for new numbers to be released for 2015-16, we are expecting another big step.
Along with the trend info from Google (see point 7), improved UI and UX, as well as the rise in new webinar providers and resellers, everything points towards a highly competitive and growing market. All in all, there is no market without an audience, so the myth that audiences don’t like webinars is difficult to uphold.
Myth #9 - Webinar platforms are all the same
There is no doubt that market leaders are emulated by emerging players and as the sector matures certain features begin to look the same. However, a detailed evaluation of webinar vendors – especially of the DNA and underlying technology – will easily show up vast differences. It’s easy to build an attractive facia, but to build a truly high-performance webinar platform requires time, investment and experience.
When evaluating a webinar platform, ask detailed technical questions in addition to your commercial questions. You don’t have to be a technical whizz to determine whether an answer makes common sense. Use your intuition, if you don’t have a technical person to hand to help interpret information provided by the vendor. We have also written a step by step guide on how to get the most from a webinar trial. Following this process will allow you to better assess and compare a webinar platform and its capabilities.
Myth #10 - Webinars don’t fit into a marketing strategy
This myth is usually based on a lack of insight into webinar capabilities. At the core are two aspects that make webinars a perfect addition to your marketing strategy: 1. Good webinar technology will natively and seamlessly integrate with your marketing automation and CRM systems. 2. Webinars are true powerhouses when it comes to creating multiple pieces of content from the original webinar. Together, these two aspects form a solid foundation for lead generation and lead qualification. For B2B organisations, these aspects form the core of a marketing strategy.
Get in touch today for a free demo of the webinar platform hailed as “The best webinar platform for marketers” by Forrester Research. Call us on UK 0207 1939 748 / US 302-261-5178 or sign up here for a 14-day free webinar trial.