Webinars Grow as Marketing Tool
The growth of online video has been well publicized this year. Consumers are viewing everything from video ads to TV shows on their PCs and mobile devices. Now, BtoB marketers are trying to improve their webinars by using video to reach a wider audience.
Charlotte Woolard, writing for BtoBOnline, recently highlighted this trend. An early 2010 report by Forrester Research found that up to half of businesses planned to increase their investment in webinars. And Tom Harper, president of NetWorld Alliance, says “[d]emand has steadily increased because of the quality of the results.” White papers have long been a staple of educational marketing on various business media websites. But media shops now say that webinars can give marketers a better way to connect with potential clients through audio, video clips, social media, and slides. After an industry slowdown during 2009, several media companies in this space say that business has improved this year.
Some industry experts believe webinars are an intermediate step to developing complete virtual events. But for the most part, as technology makes it possible to merge video and online conferencing, marketers see the webinar as one more tool to use in reaching out to potential customers. Either way, more media companies are moving from a ‘printcentric’ mindset to one that incorporates new technology, including webinars.
Woolard writes, “[w]hile the medium itself is evolving, the core drivers remain the same.” BtoB marketers are looking for the best way to generate leads and build sales. As Matt Bovell writes for eLearn Magazine, three factors contribute to a high-quality webinar: “technology, content, and style.” As long as marketers stay focused on those factors, webinars can succeed as a marketing tool.[Sources: Woolard, Charlotte. Leading the way. BtoBOnline.com. 8 Oct. 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2010; Bovell, Matt. “That Was a Bad Webinar, Wonder Why?” eLearn Magazine. 7 Ju. 2009. Web. 29 Oct. 2010]