The world of marketing is a rather strange beast. For centuries business owners around the world have utilized many different marketing methods to pull in potential customers. Between them all, there seems to be a common component missing throughout, and that’s the education about your product, service or trade.
Being an expert
Teaching and sharing knowledge is the future of marketing. It allows us as business owners to play the role of “expert in our field” and helps us proceed towards a sale at the same time. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that people buy from people they know, like and trust. What does that mean? It means that we should be teaching our customers, building relationships and offering them valuable tools, info, and experiences with our brands. This pulls people into our circles, creates a following, and ultimately positions them towards the sale that we’re aimed towards.
Sharing Our Knowledge
So how do we position ourselves as an “expert in our field”? We do so by teaching and sharing with our customers. When you teach people, It becomes so much more valuable for you and your business as they begin to develop a much higher level of trust. This is at the fundamental core of building trust with your customers. For example, if you own a restaurant, teach people about eating healthy. Blog about what it’s like to own a restaurant. Give away free recipes for amazing dishes. Offer cooking tips and new dinner ideas.
You can do this through several different marketing outlets including:
- Email Newsletters
- Facebook Posts
- SMS Marketing Campaings
- Twitter Posts
- Blog Articles
- Pinterest Boards
The possibilities are endless and should be geared specifically towards your target audience. The important thing is that these all position you and your business as subject matter experts and builds an amazing amount of rapport at the same time.
Forgetting Your Competition
Traditionally, some businesses are rather nervous about teaching and sharing for fear that they’ll be giving away secrets to their competitors. The reality is that you can’t really worry about them. They’re not going away, and they’re too busy to be watching your every step. You should be aware of them but cannot be discouraged about progression for fear that they’ll steal your ideas and secrets.
Teaching and sharing breaks down that invisible barrier that stands between the salesperson and the customer, allowing the connection with your customers to grow stronger than ever before. Not only does it position you and your company as the expert, but it helps you establish a long lasting relationship with your customers. This automatically earns their trust and will bring can them into your circle on a more permanent basis.
You will find that adding a solid layer of education as a core component of your marketing mix will greatly increase your company’s number of followers and overall level of trust with each of them. When that level of trust reaches a certain point, not only will you earn that sale you’re looking for but will have gained a new lifelong customer in the process.
Matt Baglia is the CEO of SlickText.com, a leader in the SMS marketing industry. They provide businesses and organizations all over the United States with an easy and affordable platform for sending targeted, opt-in text message marketing.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Author: Innovation Excellence
The UC Berkeley Startup Competition proudly welcomed Guy Kawasaki to the Haas School of Business. Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures, explained the top ten mistakes that entrepreneurs make. His talk covered all stages of a startup from inception to exit.
Social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn always rank well for businesses. The content you are posting on your social media networks also has an impact on your overall ranking strategy. Your individual activity on social media networks and how it relates to your website ranking is referred to as “social signals.”
What can be confusing is understanding the impact of an individual post to your website ranking. While speaking at the social and search conference Pubcon in New Orleans this week several industry experts established some guidelines for improving your social signals.
Don’t write boring content. Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, gave this simple advice. She said take an extra two minutes to purposely improve every piece of content you are going to publish. This goes for tweets, posts, blogs and any other content. Too often businesses are in such a hurry to get content out they are missing the opportunity to create better content that has a higher chance of getting shared or engaged with.
Shares on Facebook matter most. Alison Zarrella, author of The Facebook Marketing Book, shared that on Facebook shares are best, followed by comments and lastly likes. She recommends that you avoid over publishing promotional offers and links to your website. When you are going to publish a promotional offer try to add in valuable content to your user base. Create content to accompany your offer that would be easy to share. If the content will make the user look informed or funny they are more likely to share it with their friends.
How people search is changing. Even though we cannot easily measure direct effects of posting on social media to your overall website ranking everything is moving toward social signals. This makes sense since the search engines are attempting to deliver search results that matter most to the users. Justin Sanger, former CEO of Local Search, explained that marketers need to stop building links and start focusing on the fact that search engines are trying to mimic human behavior. If you want to go to restaurant and your friend gives you a suggestion you are likely to go there. So obviously getting networks of people to talk about you will eventually dominate search results. And this is best accomplished on social media networks.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.
Author: Bryson Meunier
Clearly I’ve broken my own resolution when it comes to not talking about responsive Web design, as I’ve done so for the past two months. This month, I’m taking a break so I can focus on resolution #1: giving more tactical advice on how to do mobile SEO well. Today’s column will focus on mobile SEO tips for m-commerce and retail — the topic of a webinar I’m doing this month for Mobile Commerce Daily.
Tip #1: Make Pages Accessible To Mobile Searchers
This tip may seem like a no-brainer in a world where at least 25% of all search traffic comes from mobile devices and 90% of consumers use multiple screens sequentially before making a conversion; but unfortunately, many have still failed to get with the program.
In Q2 2011, PureOxygen Mobile did a study of the top 75 retail brands in the 2012 IR 300 and found that only 19% of them served mobile content to smartphones. Even worse — more than 30% of them redirected all mobile traffic to the site’s home page.
You can do better. Yes, providing unique mobile content can be a key differentiator for your business (depending on your users); but, you have to crawl before you can walk.
Serving mobile users the same information and services as those using desktop computers or tablet devices (a concept known as “One Web“) is important; it creates a consistent brand message and ensures that searchers who find a page on your site will be able to find some equivalent version of that page on a mobile device.
Responsive Web design and adaptive content are popular solutions, but they are not the only ones. Platforms like Moovweb, for example, unify content across all versions of a site, while allowing for a more customized mobile experience.
Apps have seen a resurgence in popularity recently (see Flurry and Nielsen’s study on time spent in apps); but, if you don’t have an accessible mobile site first, then you’re not going to be visible in Google search for most queries. Having an app is great, but not at the cost of sacrificing valuable mobile Web traffic.
If you’re a retailer, and you still serve desktop pages to mobile users or only have a mobile app, you may not be in business for long. Remember, we live in a world where more than 25% of total search traffic comes from mobile devices, and mobile devices are one of many that consumers use before making a conversion.
Tip #2: Be Careful When Selecting Mobile Platforms
Long-time readers of my column should know that I don’t often recommend the platforms that so many large brands select to make their content mobile-friendly. These platforms are often cheap, and you get what you pay for. (See the problems Staples and Mercedes had with their mobile sites, for example.)
Many of these platforms create duplicate content and/or have major search usability issues that prevent them from being indexed in search results.
Some platforms are better than others, of course. When looking for a partner to help take your site mobile, make sure they can answer “yes” to the following questions. If they can’t, look elsewhere:
- Does your platform add tracking parameters to the URL or host the site in two places, which might create duplicate content issues?
- If dynamic serving is used, can you serve the vary HTTP header to Googlebot? And if mobile URLs are used, can you implement switchboard tags with the platform?
- Does the platform allow you to make content changes for each device, based on keyword research?
Tip #3: Foreground Local Information If Applicable
Not all m-commerce providers have a local presence; but, if you do, you should know that mobile searchers often want information on local stores.
Retail searchers are more likely to be looking for local information, according to Google, who said the single most important retail task for mobile users is getting directions to or operating hours for a local store.
In fact, if we look at a large retailer like Sports Authority — which I think does a good job of aligning search intent with content — you can see that the searches with a high mobile volume are largely location searches.
Searches for Sports Authority locations index high on mobile devices.
By making it easy for all searchers to find a location near them, Sports Authority is also making it as easy as possible for mobile searchers to find what they’re most likely to be looking for.
The first thing mobile visitors to m.sportsauthority.com see is the store locator.
All retailers with a local presence should take note.
Tip #4: Regardless Of Mobile Configuration Strategy, Follow Google’s Guidelines
This is applicable to everyone, but especially to complex retail sites that may be using multiple platforms to provide content: follow Google’s guidelines for smartphone and/or feature phone sites. There are a few complex e-commerce sites that are responsive, like Curry’s (UK retailer), but most of them are not.
In fact, of the 11 retailers in the SEMRush top 100 sites, none of them are responsive. Eight of them actually use mobile URLs, and one uses dynamic serving. I don’t know whether responsive design makes sense for their users and their business (it may not), but if they do want to create a dedicated mobile site, they should at least implement bidirectional annotations. As of this writing, none of them have.
Naturally, these sites wouldn’t be among the top 100 if they were bad at SEO — but think about how much better they could be doing if they helped Google properly recognize and distribute their mobile content. It’s really not that difficult, as Google has detailed instructions on how to implement. Recently, Google even published a list of common mistakes in smartphone sites, complete with tips on how to avoid these errors.
Tip #5: Make Price Comparison & Buying Easy On Mobile Devices
As a new homeowner, I’ve recently found myself shopping quite a bit on my smartphone, including what’s known as “showrooming,” or using a mobile device in-store to find the best price and compare features. And, I’m not alone on this — according to a recent Harris Poll, 43% of Americans engage in showrooming. Google has said that on average 2% of mobile searchers search in-store, but that figure doubles in the Shopping category.
Some businesses, like Sears, are actually encouraging showrooming on their mobile sites by providing mobile searchers with a price scanner which allows them to compare prices of items they’re looking at to items for sale at Sears.
Sears’ mobile site includes a price scanner so that shoppers can easily compare prices in-store.
Amazon also has an app that works similarly, but I like the fact that this functionality is available on a website so that it can be linked to and shared. All link equity eventually helps the main domain become more visible in search.
Following the above five tips will make life easier for mobile searchers and ultimately ensure your success as a marketer doing retail or mobile commerce optimization.
Next month, I’ll be resolution-friendly once again, talking case studies that demonstrate mobile SEO success. If you have a great one, reach out, and I may publish it with your permission.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
Author: Chris Peters and Kami Griffiths on January 31, 2012
Tips for organizing and producing online seminars for your non-profit organization
Nonprofits use webinars for a variety of purposes, including software training, sharing information about a new product or service, or promoting a program. Moreover, new online tools are making it easy for any organization to host a webinar, even with limited technology expertise. Below, we’ll outline some of the major steps you can take to plan quality, affordable webinars at your nonprofit.
1. Ask yourself (and others) whether a webinar is the right tool for your needs.
Webinar software can be a powerful training and outreach tool, but, like all technologies, the decision to use it should be subordinate to your strategic objectives and the needs of your audience. While webinars work well for some topics, they’re not suited to every training need.
When determining whether a webinar is the best medium for your needs, consider your audience, the subject matter, and the time you’ll need to cover your topic. If you’re addressing a small, internal audience of colleagues about a new organizational goal, for example, a webinar may be a less appropriate option than it would be for, say, a training seminar for a large audience of clients and funders. Likewise, a daylong course on effective interpersonal communication might not translate well to an online seminar. Most online audiences tend to lose interest after about two hours, so organize your topics and information so they can adequately be covered given this time constraint, or break your curriculum into chunks of two hours or less. When you’re breaking a large topic into smaller chunks, leave at least 15 to 30 minutes between sections. However, if your audience is busy, or if they’re unaccustomed to online learning, it’s usually best to leave a day or more between sections. In other words, few of us can spare more than two hours a day for training, and even that is difficult to manage.
When evaluating whether a webinar meets your needs, you may also wish to solicit the feedback of subject-matter experts and webinar tool experts, other nonprofits in your field that have conducted their own webinars, and even the audience you plan to address. Informal conversations, formal interviews, and surveys and polls can all help you assess whether a webinar is the right medium for your — and your audience’s — needs.
2. Recruit speakers and a support team.
Once you’ve decided that a webinar is the right tool for you, you’ll need to assemble a team of staff members or volunteers to help you run it. In general, there are threemain players in a webinar: the organizer/facilitator, the presenter or presenters, and assistants. You might fill all three of these roles yourself, you might assign them to three different people, or you might need more than three. Bear in mind, though, that while some presenters can handle all of these roles on their own, we only recommend the going-solo approach for an experienced trainer addressing a small audience. In most cases, you should at the very least divide up the organizer and presenter roles, and for large, complex webinars you’ll often need one or more assistants.
Organizer/facilitator. The organizer is the person responsible for developing the webinar topic, locating a speaker, marketing the event, setting up the registration, and communicating with participants. The organizer usually participates in the webinar itself by introducing speakers, interviewing the subject matter experts, moderating audience questions, and encouraging audience participation. The organizer also monitors the overall situation and helps to troubleshoot logistical and technical problems. In other words, the organizer does most of the hard work, and most of the steps outlined in this article. Time commitment: roughly 10 to 20 hours per webinar.
Presenter(s) (also known as subject matter experts). Ideally, presenters should concentrate their efforts on preparing their demonstration and their PowerPoint slides. During the webinar, their main focus should be the presentation itself, as well as fielding questions from the audience. Worrying about the webinar software, event registration, troubleshooting, and other logistical details detracts from the presenters’ ability to give an engaging presentation. In certain formats (a panel discussion, for example), you might have more than one presenter. Time commitment: four to six hours per hour of webinar.
Assistants. Experienced organizers often produce webinars without any assistance, but there are at least three scenarios where you should consider asking for help: When you or your audience is unfamiliar with webinars and webinar tools; when you plan to play a large role in the conversation (either as an interviewer or participant); and when you expect a large audience. Assistants can help by answering questions that the organizer and the presenter don’t have time for. Often, assistants focus entirely on answering technical and logistical questions (“I can’t hear the audio,” for example). In this case, you can recruit and train the assistant yourself, and anyone moderately tech-savvy can do a good job. However, for webinars where you expect a large audience and where you anticipate more audience questions than the presenter alone can answer in the time allotted, you may need an assistant who understands the subject at hand to help with answering chat questions. (An alternate approach would be to refer all unanswered questions to an online forum where the presenter can respond at a more leisurely pace.) Time commitment: one to two hours per hour of webinar.
3. Determine the format.
A webinar can be structured in a variety of formats to suit different purposes. Below are some popular formats you might consider:
|One Speaker||A single presenter speaks, demonstrates, and answers questions from the audience.||Fewer people to coordinate and train on the Webinar tool.||A lone presenter is more likely to become the authority at the “front of the room,” which might make some in the audience reluctant to participate and ask questions.|
|Interview Style||Interviewer asks a set of predetermined questions.||
|Moderated Panel Discussion||Multiple people on the line at the same time, with a moderator facilitating the discussion.||Offers a variety of voices and perspectives.||
|Interactive||Audience members participate fully via instructor-led exercises and facilitated conversations.||If done well, participants receive a deeper understanding of the topic because they’re fully engaged in the dialog and the exercises.||Can only accommodate a small group. Requires a very skilled, experienced teacher/facilitator.|
4. Plan your visuals.
Since webinars rely on audio and visuals to get the message across, both should be engaging. Plain slides with a lot of text don’t work as well as interesting visuals that illustrate the topic being discussed.
Some visuals you may wish to include with your presentation are:
- An introductory slide reminding your audience how to log in to the audio and what time the webinar will begin.
- A slide introducing each presenter, including job title, affiliation, and a photograph if available.
- A quick overview of the webinar agenda and the topics to be covered.
- Screen grabs of websites or tools you will be discussing. If possible, try to show the sites and tools in action (rather than just the image stills) for a more dynamic experience. Most webinar tools allow you to share your desktop, displaying in real time your interaction with programs and websites.
5. Pick a tool.
There are dozens of web conferencing tools out there, offering a variety of features tailored to different needs. Idealware’s article A Few Good Online Conferencing Tools offers a roundup of affordable software options. In TechSoup’s webinar Getting to Know Online Conferencing Tools, Idealware founder Laura Quinn describes how online conferencing tools work, how you can use them to help your organization, and the variety of software options available. Eligible and qualified nonprofits and libraries can request donations of ReadyTalk and GoToWebinar fromCitrix Online through TechSoup.
Pay close attention to this decision and give yourself some time to try out various web conferencing platforms. Once you get started with a particular webinar tool, it’s hard to switch to a new tool. There are several reasons for this: You and your colleagues have learned to use the software, your regular participants are familiar with this tool, and you’ve already paid for a subscription to this program (unless you’re using a free tool).
When weighing your software options, here are a few questions to ask:
How many people will the tool accommodate?
Most tools and pricing plans set a cap on the number of participants. Once you reach that number, new participants find themselves locked out or the tool lets them in and charges you a fee for each person above the cap. For free and low-cost web conferencing packages, the cap is often as low as 15 or 20 participants. Other plans top out at 50 or 100, while enterprise-level packages allow as many as 1,000 participants per webinar.
How much does it cost?
While some packages are free, other vendors charge for web conferencing and audio separately, some charge per participant per minute, and others charge a flat fee per month or per year. When you add in the fees for hosting recorded webinars and the cost of a toll-free phone bridge (when applicable), the pricing schemes can be complicated.
Which features will you need?
Do you want to just show a presentation or demonstrate how to use a specific piece of software? Would you like your participants to be able to take control of your desktop? Do you want a live video feed of the speakers? Make sure you choose a tool that allows you to do what you want.
How is audio handled?
Some products offer integrated, web-streaming audio, which allows participants to listen to the presentation through their computer speakers or their computer headsets. With this arrangement, if participants plan to talk, they’ll need a microphone for their computer or a headset with a built-in microphone. If they work in close proximity to their colleagues, they will also need computer headphones or a computer headset to avoid bothering their neighbors. A headset with microphone that plugs in via USB or standard audio ports is well-suited to this type of webinar and costs between $20 and $40.
Other webinar platforms require that participants and presenters dial in to a special phone number, often referred to as a phone bridge. You usually have two options for this: a toll number, in which case the participants have to pay the fees charged by their long-distance or cell phone provider; and a toll-free number, in which case you or your organization will pay five to ten cents per minute for each participant. If you absorb the costs of these calls, be aware that they can add up quickly during webinars with a high turnout. For example, 53 people participating in a 60-minute webinar at six cents per minute would cost a total of $191.
Finally, many webinar platforms offer you both web-streaming audio and phone-bridge options. You can choose to enable one or the other, or both. Enabling both types of audio gives you and your audience some flexibility in the event of a technical problem.
Do you want to record the webinars and make them available for later viewing?
If so, ask how the software handles recording and whether the vendor charges extra to make that recording available on the Web. Most vendors charge for the Web hosting, rather than the recording feature itself, but you should always check to be certain. Monthly hosting fees can be as high as $15 per month per recorded hour. If you feel the fees are excessive, you can download the recording and make it available yourself, but serving or streaming the recording from inside your network might put a strain on your bandwidth or your technical expertise.
When evaluating software, you will also want to ask what exactly gets recorded. Some tools, for example, only show the slides along with audio, but don’t record the chat conversation or the desktop sharing. Vendors also vary in terms of how long they save the recording. Some delete it after a month, while others save it until you delete it yourself.
6. Create an agenda.
About three or four weeks before your webinar, hold a conference call with the speaker or speakers and determine what questions you’ll ask and the order in which the speakers will present. If you are using a format that enables visuals, ask each speaker to furnish the graphics and images to accompany his or her section of the presentation well ahead of time. (If speakers are demonstrating software, only a few slides will be necessary, as most of the webinar will likely be spent on the application itself.) You may also want to ask speakers to send a photograph and brief biographical description that you can use for registration and outreach.
Follow up this initial call with an email containing notes from your discussion. These notes may include:
- A list of topics and questions you came up with during the conference call.
- Deadlines for materials. If your presenter plans to use PowerPoint slides or other visual aids, ask her to send you the graphics and visuals at least two or three days before the run-through so you have time to proofread and merge her materials with your own. For example, you may have a PowerPoint template you use for all presentations and webinars. You may have introduction and conclusion slides you want to add. And, of course, you should double-check each slide for typos.
- An agenda with the order of the speakers and the duration of each segment. For example, the agenda for a moderated panel discussion about two different blog platforms with a nonprofit blogger and a tech author might appear as follows:
11:00 Moderator introduces speakers and provides an overview of the tools being discussed.
11:05 Moderator talks to blogger.
11:15 Moderator talks to tech author.
11:30 Blogger demonstrates tools.
11:40 Moderator opens questions to audience.
11:55 Moderator gives a brief description of your organization and its work.
11:58 Moderator wraps up webinar, thanks participants, and tells audience where they can go for more information.
7. Schedule a dry run.
A few days before your webinar, you should schedule at least one 30- to 60-minute run-through with all participants to work out any unresolved questions or technical issues.
Your dry run should cover the following:
An introduction to the participants. If speakers haven’t met during the initial call, this would be a good time to introduce the people who will be present during the webinar, both online and behind the scenes. Make sure the participants know whom they should turn to if they have questions during the webinar — and how they can reach them.
An introduction to the webinar tool and its features. Discuss how to use the tool, what features are available to the presenters, and where participants can go to get extra practice in using the tool on their own before the event.
An equipment check. This is a good time to ensure that all of your presenters’ operating systems, web browsers, headsets, and other equipment are compatible with the web conferencing tool. Fortunately, most webinar tools let presenters and participants test their computer for compatibility before the event itself. You can usually do that by directing them to a web page where they can launch a wizard that tests for the necessary components and plug-ins. Be sure to include instructions for this with your registration information. While you can’t force attendees to check their computers, follow up with your presenter to ensure that she has all of the downloads and plug-ins she needs.
A review of your agenda and visuals. Go over the agenda and move through the presentation to ensure that slides are in the right order and that speakers know where they come in. Before the run-through, compile your presenters’ visuals and load them into the conferencing tool. This will help presenters understand what the attendees will see, as the presenters’ view is different from the attendees’ view.
A dry run is also a great opportunity to generate enthusiasm for the upcoming event and rally your presenters.
8. Reserve your equipment and space.
By and large, the webinar tool you choose will determine the type of equipment you’ll need to run it. In general, you will want to have the following:
- Headsets. The organizer and all presenters will need headsets — telephone headsets if your webinar tool uses a phone bridge, or computer headsets if your tool uses integrated web audio. Technically, you can use the telephone handset if your webinar package has a phone bridge, but it’s distracting and tiring to lift a phone to your ear for an hour or more, especially when you’re using a mouse and keyboard. Never present a webinar using a speakerphone. Even in a quiet location the audio quality is often poor, and in noisier spots a speakerphone will pick up background noise.
- A power cord if you’re using a laptop, as a backup for your battery.
- A network cable to connect you directly to the network if you aren’t using a wireless connection.
Regardless of the equipment you use, you will need a quiet space in which to conduct your webinar. In addition to using a headset, you should reserve a conference room or place where there won’t be background noise or interruptions. In addition to keeping out background office noise, you’ll also want a space secluded from outside distractions, such as construction noise or sirens.
9. Set up a system for registering attendees and determine your price structure.
Before you begin marketing your webinar, determine what tool you will use to register attendees. Some online conferencing programs, such as ReadyTalk, offer built-in registration tools. Signing up participants using free event-registration tools is another option, but bear in mind that free tools frequently lack the advanced features that you’ll want if you manage a lot of events.
Choosing an event-registration tool is a good time to make a decision on whether you will charge for your webinar — and if so, how much. While most fee-based webinars are offered in the $25 to $40 range, others can be priced at upwards of $200 per attendee.
Keep in mind that while organizations that invest significant time and energy into a regular series of high-quality webinars might recoup some of their costs by charging attendees, nonprofits that only produce a few webinars a year may drive away potential participants with a fee, not to mention creating extra work for themselves for very little profit. On the other hand, charging a modest fee ($5 to $20) to recoup the cost of your time and expenses might be acceptable, depending on your audience. As you assess your audience’s needs (see Step 1), you can determine whether they are likely to pay for the type of webinars you’ll be offering. If you’re unsure, you can always ask for an optional donation until you get a better sense of your audience and their willingness to pay.
If you plan to charge a fee that your audience will see as significant (for example, more than $25), make sure most or all of the following are true:
- You have a wealth of hands-on experience, an especially deep knowledge of the subject, or some other attribute that makes your advice especially valuable to potential participants. Do some Web searches on your topic. If you find a lot of high-quality, user-friendly resources that contain the same information you plan to present, think twice about charging for your webinar.
- You have a lot of experience with training in general and online communication in particular. Keep in mind that participants have higher expectations when they pay; the more money you charge, the greater the expectation that you will deliver an engaging, well-produced webinar.
- You have the capacity to collect payments easily using a tool like PayPal.
- You plan to conduct webinars on a regular basis.
One advantage of charging for your webinar is that it provides an incentive for participants to show up. If everyone pays beforehand, you’ll have fewer no-shows. With free webinars, you can expect that roughly 50 percent of the people who sign up will fail to attend.
It is important to get the word out far and wide about your upcoming webinar, especially if you’re planning to charge for it. You will want to begin sending out information two to three weeks before the event. Create an engaging, succinct description and convey clearly whom the webinar is for— for example, beginners or advanced, accidental techie or executive director.
Good places to advertise your event include your web site, online event calendars such as Upcoming.com, relevant listservs, newsletters (online and printed), Twitter channels, Facebook groups, local events for nonprofits, and web pages that promote nonprofit webinars. Don’t forget, too, to promote future online seminars at the end of current webinars.
For more information on TechSoup’s free technology webinars for nonprofits and links to previously recorded presentations, visit our TechSoup Talks page.