Business owners have been taught over many years to do our marketing webinars in a certain way. But these strategies don’t work or make sense anymore. Instead of continuing to do the same things over and over again because they worked years ago, agile business owners have to dig in and evaluate if we should be using this tactic any longer.
Things change all the time, especially in the digital industry, and we need to make sure that we keep up. Also, there are things that never really worked that well that we haven’t changed. Here we look at some of the big problems with marketing webinars and look at some alternative solutions that work.
What Is a Marketing Webinar?
A webinar in an event in which you communicate with a group of people about your area of expertise. That concept is fantastic and will always be useful! But what doesn’t work so well is some of the historic content that we’ve been told to teach and how they’re structured.
People have been taught to teach, teach, teach. We’ve said this many times and we’ll keep saying it: People don’t get jazzed about teaching. (Read more in our post, “Teaching Doesn’t Get People to Buy—Here’s What Does.”) You’ll see people dropping off after sitting for up to an hour or longer. People aren’t engaged when they sit learning as it’s a passive activity. At the end of an hour of learning, they’re going to be exhausted. They’re not going to be like, “Yeah, I’m bought in.” They’re going to be thinking, “Okay, I learned a lot. Now let me go take a nap.”
Learning doesn’t increase energy—it decreases energy. And it’s not a bad thing. Learning is obviously very important, but fundamentally, it’s an activity that drains energy. It takes brain power, and so it doesn’t get people amped up and like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to buy.” It doesn’t have people dying to learn more.
The Problem With the Content of Marketing Webinars
The problem is when we structure our webinars around teaching, we’re not inspiring people. We’re not getting them excited. We’re taking that energy and we’re bringing it down.
The place for teaching is within the course after people purchase or within your program. Once they’re in there, then we all have structures in place to help people get through it. We have the Facebook groups to reach out with like-minded people. We have accountability to help people get through because the learning is not the easy part.
It’s a different point in the user journey. Before they are bought in is when they need to get excited to actually be bought in. And once they’re bought in, then they’re ready to do the learning and dig in and say, “Okay, I purchased this and I’m going to make progress and I need to take action on these things, and to do that, I need to learn.” But before that, that’s not the mind space that someone’s in. They need to be bought in first. They need to be excited. And if they’re already learning, then they might actually find out they don’t need to get into the full program.
This is the concept of little wins. We were taught to give potential customers a little win, and then they’re going to want a bigger win. And that’s almost never true. It’s either one of two things. Someone gets a little win, and they go, “Oh, okay, this is enough,” not even considering what that big win could mean for them. They’re happy with this little win, and so they don’t purchase.
Or they get the little win and then they go, “I think I got this. I think I can figure out the rest of this on my own. I don’t need to buy their program.“ Giving people a little win doesn’t get them excited for a big win because we’ve taught them something, and so they think they know enough. What we need to be doing is giving them a little bit of insight into the possibility or talking about the transformation they could experience but also making it clear to them how much they don’t know.
Unless we make it clear to them how much they don’t know, a lot of people will think, “Yeah, I can probably figure it out.” When in reality we know there’s so much more that you have no idea about!
But it’s not going to be little wins that get people excited—it’s going to be breakthroughs. And that’s something we talk about a lot with our students in the Circuit Sales System. We call them paradigm shifts. They’re about changing the way that people look at things, the accepted tenets or concepts that everybody says is the truth but you know that it’s not the truth, and it’s often things that have been holding them back. Opening their eyes to what has been holding them back is what gets people excited.
It’s not learning that gets people excited to take the next step. It’s breakthroughs that get people excited to take that next step—helping them understand what they don’t know, helping them understand what you can help them learn, that you can get them to that transformation.
This idea of just teach, just teach, teach, teach…give away your best stuff…is easy because we know we’re experts, right? But just because it’s easy for us doesn’t mean it’s the best way to get people to want that transformation and to want to purchase from us.
It’s the difference between teaching them very tactical concepts versus more inspiring and getting them to think bigger and understand the value of your program. Because if you’re teaching them tactical ideas, they can see the step-by-step path versus if you’re teaching them something inspirational and aspirational, it’s so much more. It opens their minds to the bigger world out there and the bigger possibilities for them.
The Problem With the Structure of Marketing Webinars
The way that we’ve been taught to structure webinars basically penalizes people for having lives. You know, the classic, “Okay, I’m doing a webinar Tuesday at seven o’clock. You have to be there live. It’s going to be so exciting.”
There are so many times when people sign up for webinars, fully intending to be there, then life gets in the way. Especially when it’s an evening webinar. But evenings in most people’s households are crazy, right? Or think about middle of the day. Your audience may be working. There are also multiple time zones to consider.
Requiring people to show up live makes it very difficult because it segments your group into who’s actually available to do it during that time. People could sign up very much intending to be there, but life gets in the way and they just can’t. We’re forcing people to operate on our schedules instead of their schedules. We’re forcing people to do things when it works for us, not when it works for them.
You could offer replays, but there’s a very good chance that this just sits in someone’s inbox. Even if they do click and open that email and decide to sit down and watch the replay, there’s no incentive to do it right as the replay comes. And maybe they start it and stop it and maybe they forget to come back to it and they don’t watch the full thing. They might get just a snippet of your message.
Even if they are opening it after the fact, again, that energy level is decreasing. That motivation, that excitement—it’s all declining. That timeline is still burning up as the days and hours pass. It’s just not as exciting, obviously. It’s not as energizing and motivational.
People are most excited about you and most motivated when they first encounter you, when they first opt in for your list, when they first find you on social. At any point after, because motivation is a chemical state, excitement is a chemical state, it decreases. So, the longer that they have to wait to get your offer, your solution, the more that that energy decreases.
What about just-in-time webinars? They’re bogus. When you tell people, “Oh, just your luck! In 15 minutes, there’s a webinar starting,” obviously, that’s not live. People see that it’s a gimmick, that it’s disingenuous, and it doesn’t help build trust in you or your brand.
Again, 10 years ago when the digital industry was just getting started, it was new and it was exciting, and people didn’t know what a webinar was going to entail, and so they would make more time. There were also fewer webinars.
Some Solutions to the Outdated Marketing Webinar
It worked a lot better back then because it was fresh and new. Anything that’s fresh and new is going to work for a while. However, today it’s a very different place than it was 10, even five, years ago. We work with students who used to launch once a month. We work with students who used to launch or do a webinar once a week, and they would have trouble getting people to show up, because again, we’re forcing them on our timelines, not on theirs. And the world is busier now than it has ever been. We need to make it easier for people to consume our messages, not harder, and that’s another huge problem with webinars.
We talk about how running our own business means having the freedom to make our own schedules. So, why wouldn’t we want our customers to have that freedom? Often some element of what we offer is to have more time, more freedom. And so to start off our relationship with those customers with something that doesn’t offer them more freedom and doesn’t allow them to do it on their schedule and their timeline feels very antithetical to what we’re trying to achieve.
We’re not saying just give them your training and let them watch it whenever until the end of time whenever it’s convenient for them. Because, as we know, people don’t take action unless they have a deadline. But you can make these two things work together. You can let things be convenient for people, but you can also give them a reasonable deadline in which to consume your content.
We’re not saying that webinars as a concept are terrible. But the concept of having a group conversation and sharing your message in that kind of way via video is very valid and it works exceedingly well when it’s done right. What we would suggest is looking at what you’re currently doing from the perspective of your target audience. Is it something that is easy for them to consume? Is it something that is exciting and inspiring for them to consume? Or is it something that’s actually hard for them to consume? Or is it something draining for them to consume?
You have the opportunity to make changes and make your sales system more effective! Click here to read more about our innovative Circuit Sales System.
In this episode of Energize Your Online Business podcast, Nicki and Kate discuss the downside of these outdated webinar practices and explore tactics that are more effective and actually yield results! Check it out now.
What has been your experience using marketing webinars? Tell us in the comments below!