Businesses striving to stand out online and generate more traffic to their websites should create rich media in a number of formats. Videos and images are great for SEO, but they also help to attract and retain a new audience. One of these formats of rich media that is growing in popularity is webinars. “Webinars,” as you can tell from the name, are seminars that are held online. Experts in their fields will host either a live video session or record a video of them teaching their audience a relevant concept.

There are a number of reasons why this method works:

  1. Videos tend to do really well in the Google search results.
  2. Webinars are low cost with a high return rate.
  3. Audiences love to see humanity come through your content – appearing human is effortless in a video!
  4. It gives potential customers a taste of your company and its services before committing or spending money.
  5. There are no geographical restrictions as anyone with an Internet connection can access your webinar.
  6. Webinars establish the expertise of your business and its employees with little difficulty.
  7. They are convenient for both you and your audience.
  8. It’s a free way to promote your product.
  9. You can gather contact information as a simple way to collect new sales leads.
  10. The technology is really easy to use!

How to Create a Webinar

First off, you need to decide how a webinar fits your needs. Figure out an objective for your webinar as well as the style and tone that best fits your marketing strategy.

Then you need to pick a format for your webinar. The most popular and easiest format is having one person expound upon a relevant topic, preferably with some visuals. You can also decide on an interview format, a panel that answers questions, or an interactive format that requires a participating audience.

Set up an agenda and plan your visuals. Visuals can be very simple, such as a whiteboard to draw on, or more complicated – it all depends on how much work you are willing to put into it.

When it comes to actually recording and broadcasting the webinar, things become a little more complex. You can hire a service that will do the hard work for you, but that can get expensive. However, Google Hangouts is the perfect venue for free webinar hosting. You can create an event using your Google+ account, publicize it, then start a hangout at the appropriate time.

Google Hangouts also offers a Q&A feature, allowing your audience to ask you questions and you to answer them in real time. After your hangout is done, you can download the replay video to your computer to edit or use YouTube’s services to edit your video. With your video now on YouTube, you can publicize the location to continue getting views. Embed the video into one of your blog posts to bring traffic through that source as well.

For more information on the benefits of having a Google+ account for your business, check out this blog post, “Is Google+ 2014’s New “It” Social Media?”

Sources:

Shields, Leslie. “Marketing with Webinars: 10 Key Benefits.” http://www.imcusa.org/news/71941/Marketing-with-Webinars-10-Key-Benefits.htm. (19 March 2014).

Hitz, Shelley. “How to Host a Live Webinar for FREE Using Google+ Hangouts.” http://www.trainingauthors.com/how-to-host-a-live-webinar-for-free-using-google-hangouts/. (19 March 2014).