We’ve discussed how one of the central tenets of inbound marketing is to attract leads by providing genuinely useful and interesting information on your website – enter content marketing. Maybe you’ve started developing topic clusters for your blogs that address the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the buyer’s journey. Your social media game is on point, sharing both your own content, personal observations and related industry news. Perhaps you’ve cranked out an e-book or case study — and it’s getting some views.
But still, something’s missing. You feel like you’re not able to really connect with your leads, or that no matter how you try, you can’t quite get the full picture across through the written word alone.
Many managed IT service providers and VARs are operating in very competitive markets, making differentiation a key driver of conversion. The smart ones know they are not just selling products and services but solutions. And the really clever ones?
They know they are selling a relationship. And that’s hard to sell sight unseen.
Enter the Webinar
Despite what you might think, webinars are cost-effective to create and broadcast. And they provide you with an excellent channel to demonstrate your expertise, insight, and yes, personality. But what exactly is one?
A webinar is a live, virtual event that is executed online. It is an educational or instructive session that includes audio and visual communication between a speaker and attendees. Webinar software enables the sharing of slides and interactive participation through chat boxes and Q&A features.
It's a great way for people to learn about a topic from experts (i.e. you) without the investments in time or travel required to attend a conference or live event.
And the best part? You certainly already have the material to create one. In fact, a bare bones webinar can be as simple as a prepared slide deck with your experts providing insight and commentary via a voice over.
Three Reasons Webinars are a Great Marketing Tool for MSPs
When you’re looking to boost your inbound sales, it’s important to make use of different channels for different purposes. The in-depth, interactive nature of webinars make them a valuable tool for conversion.
And a big part of that is because they allow customers to see (or hear) you in your element. They give you an opportunity to share insights, observations, anecdotes, and expertise in a way that often just doesn’t come across in writing.
1: Demonstrate Thought Leadership through Education
Webinars provide you with a non-invasive way to discuss industry trends with customers and leads. For example, you could discuss recent cybersecurity developments such as ransomware or phishing and provide tips on attendees can take to keep themselves (and their organizations) safe.
And complex topics like compliance and legislation can give you an opportunity to frame requirements in practical terms and the steps you (as an MSP) are taking to keep your clients up to date and compliant.
2: Train Customers on New Tools & Procedures
The live, visual nature of screen sharing means it’s easy to set up a 30 minute demo to address frequently asked questions or cover new features provided by software – for example, setting up access to user groups in SharePoint, or navigating a web portal, or dealing with major software or operating system updates.
This kind of event can not only reduce the workload on your support team by reducing the number of related tickets (help us help you!), but also impress prospects by showing them the level of care and support you provide to your existing clients.
3: Promote New Services
Webinars can give you a good platform to introduce and promote new service offerings, and is a great way to get prospects into the pipeline without the pressure of a sales call. This kind of webinar is a great way for prospects to learn more about you while you show off your expertise and insight.
Some examples could be how you’ve started tools like knowbe4 to conduct phishing tests in your client’s organization, tackling the human error and education side of cybersecurity. Or maybe you’ve invested in a private Tier III data center that meets the stringent regulatory and compliance requirements of your client’s industries.
Promote, Promote, Promote! (And Then Save for Re-Use)
Once you’ve settled on a webinar, it’s important to attract interest through effective promotion – and a tweet or email a few days in advance is not enough. For more impact, it’s helpful to have a good screenshot of the webinar slide deck and some key takeaway points, anecdotes or facts. Compare
“Join us on June 24 for our cybersecurity webinar where we discuss how to keep your business safe”
“On June 24th we’re hosting a live webinar to discuss the rise of workplace phishing, and why conventional security measures are generally powerless against this human-dependent attack.”
Which of these two stands out to you?
Set up email sequences that invite, and remind your leads and customers to register, put a pop-up or other visible hook on your website to entice further registration, and share on social media ahead of and up to the broadcast date.
And once you're done, get the most out of your time and effort by recording the webinar and uploading it to your website. This is now a key resource you can refer people to, use to attract more people to your website, and put in the hands of your sales team to demonstrate your value.
You Know, We're Pretty Good With Webinars...
If you're looking to host a webinar as part of your inbound marketing strategy, get in touch with us! Or, maybe you'd like to see us putting this into practice by viewing one of our own archived webinars?
If not, we've still got a whole lot more resources for VARs and MSPs looking to increase their revenue through innovative sales and marketing.