There are two main types of webinars, and a third that is basically a combination of them. Let’s look at the differences between them:
Marketing webinars are designed to generate leads for new business, provide value to existing customers, drive traffic to your website and ultimately, increase your sales. Marketing webinars generally have a sales pitch included somewhere in the session.
Some marketing webinars are “fluffy” and by that I mean that they are full of hype, with no content. Really, they are not very effective. People today have very little tolerance for “fluff”. The best marketing webinars offer a sample of a product or service. Their approach is, “We’re going to give you this little slice of what we do for free today, so you can see the excellent quality that we offer. We’re confident that if you like what you see, you’ll want more.”
The most effective marketing webinars are rich in content. I would say that at a minimum, a marketing webinar should be at least 70% content. Some are as high as 95% content. That means that they include “how to” information, instructions and practical, useful information.
My recommendation to clients is not to include the sales pitch at the end of the webinar. Why? Because participants will realize that all the content that is valuable to them has been covered and they will leave the session. Instead, work in the sales pitch at the beginning or in the middle of the webinar, with a mere reminder at the end.
Marketing webinars are generally free.
E-learning or online training sessions
Want to know a secret? The same technology that is used for webinars is very similar to the technology used by the best universities around the world to offer online classes. The technology you choose may not have advanced features like online break-out rooms or quiz functions, but the basic platform will be very similar.
Professors of online university courses teach all kinds of courses online. Some universities offer entire degree programs online. E-learning is big business.
The difference between a marketing webinar and an e-learning session is simple. In a marketing webinar, you’re ultimately trying to sell a product. The e-learning session is the product.
E-learning sessions likely do not contain any sales pitch. They focus at least 99% on content. They may or may not contain an evaluation or a quiz at the end. The point of them is to teach the participants new information or new skills.
There is usually a fee for e-learning courses. What you’re paying for is the instructor’s expertise, the course content and the course materials.
These kinds of training sessions may be offered as individual online training workshops or part of a series or larger program.
If you want to be paid for your webinars, you’ll need to offer a well-prepared training class, complete with learning objectives, solid content and training materials.
These webinars are a combination of a marketing webinar and a training webinar. They are usually jam-packed with content and often include training materials, but the participants don’t pay for these sessions. Hybrid webinars may be offered by employers as part of a “lunch and learn” program or by an association as a value-added service for members.
The presenter may or may not be paid for their services. I have heard of presenters being paid as much as $1000 for a one-hour webinar, though payments of a few hundred dollars is more common. Some organizations don’t pay at all, but instead tell the presenter that they can offer their products or services during the webinar.
If you are approached by an organization to offer a webinar for them, ask in very clear terms whether you will be paid and if not, ask if you are allowed to make a pitch.
In general, there has to be something of value for both the participants and the presenter.
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