Are you accustomed to doing webinars for your MSP? If so, I have something to say to you that you might not want to hear:
Stop doing them. I repeat: STOP doing webinars.
Now, allow me to explain.
But first, let’s go over the definition of a webinar.
What Is a Webinar?
A webinar is an educational presentation released live online. Webinars may be internal (for instance, only available within an organization’s private network) or public (available to anyone via YouTube or Facebook, for example).
Webinars have been around for many years, but they’ve become more popular than ever over the past year. With pandemic-related work-from-home orders affecting nearly everyone, many organizations have found it beneficial to release live educational presentations. In normal times, these would have otherwise been live in-office or made into seminars/conferences.
“What’s the Big Deal With Webinars? Why Do I Have to Stop Doing Them?”
We’re not saying that you absolutely have to stop doing any form of live video streaming. What we’re saying is that you need to change with the times and start rebranding your video content.
Believe us when we say that your audience is “webinar-ed out.”
For instance, when is the last time you were truly happy with your attendance count during a webinar? Even if you initially received a lot of registrations, did everyone show up when it came time to go live? How many arrived at the start of the webinar? How many stayed until the very end?
If you happen to be one of those super-webinar pros who consistently get upwards of 50 or more audience members with every webinar you create, bravo to you! However, keep in mind that this is not the norm. Furthermore, there is a better solution.
What Should You Do Instead of Webinars?
When I say that webinars are no longer a good idea for MSP marketing strategies, I’m not saying that live video is altogether a bad idea.
In fact, video is the marketing strategy of the future. If you’re not doing video, your marketing strategy already needs work.
What I’m suggesting is that you transition to a new form of live video streaming: LinkedIn Live.
Why Is LinkedIn Live Streaming Better Than Webinars?
LinkedIn Live launched in 2017, and since that time, it has become one of the most popular forms of online streaming for business professionals. It allows you to broadcast directly to all of the business relationships you have on LinkedIn. Audience members can comment instantly, and you can reply instantly as well. The service can be used on either your MSP account or your personal account.
According to the LinkedIn Live site, “LinkedIn Live videos get, on average: 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than native video produced by the same broadcasters.”
How to Start Using LinkedIn Live Streaming
To begin using LinkedIn Live, simply head to the main LinkedIn Live Video page. You’ll need to apply to begin live streaming, but most consistent and professional users will be eligible.
Here are a few other tips to get you started:
1. Make sure your content is platform-specific. In other words, don’t put the same content on LinkedIn that you would on Facebook or YouTube. This is because the audience won’t necessarily be the same, and users will become uninterested if you’re fixing another audience’s pain points without addressing theirs.
2. Stay professional. LinkedIn is not Facebook or YouTube. It’s a space that focuses on professional relationships, so keep things specific to the platform. If you have more of a “fun” or non-professional topic to focus on, feel free to do so on another platform. In fact, I encourage this! YouTube, especially, is great, and Zoom can be used to create your video.
Still Stuck on Webinars? Ok … But Heed These 3 Warnings
1. Don’t use Microsoft Teams.
It’s understandable that you want to support a product that you sell. However, Teams lacks the capabilities to create a high-end video.
2. Don’t ignore those watching.
Like live streams, webinars work best when they are interactive. To keep your audience engaged in your webinar, watch your comments. If you get a question, respond. If you see some newcomers join, welcome them.
Ask questions. If you don’t Otherwise, why would anyone bother to tune in live? Instead, they’d just watch the recorded version.
3. Keep things short and to the point.
I know you feel inclined to do at least a few minutes of management and announcement at the beginning of each webinar. I know you want to promote your brand and get more people to sign up for your emails. But now is not the time.
People lead busy lives, and they didn’t come to your webinar to listen to ten minutes of a housekeeping to-do list and advertisements. Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. If you must include housekeeping tasks and a bit of promotion, keep it painless – 30 seconds at most.
Then, launch into the meat of your content. Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t waste people’s time with extraneous information. Get to the heart of what you want to say in your webinar, and say it.
With these three things being said, we want to reiterate again: #dontusewebinars. You’ll be much better off transitioning your video output to LinkedIn Live Streaming.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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