October 16, 2014
Webinars are informational seminars that are conducted over the internet. Webinars are an essential component of any organizations content marketing strategy - the practice of putting out useful, engaging content as part of a business’ overall strategy to increase brand awareness, bolster engagement with prospects and ultimately drive sales for its organization. Webinars are such a great way to promote an organization because they provide genuine value for the consumer while branding the organization as thought leaders in the process. Here are three methods you can use to market your association using webinars.
Webinars are great for recruiting new members to your association. I recently spoke to a trade association that hosts a free webinar every month for people who are looking to get into their industry. They use Google Ads to drive people to a page where they can sign up for the free webinar. During the webinar, they give valuable information to those looking to start a business in the industry they are in. As a result they become branded as experts in their industry, and on the topic at hand, to everyone on the call. At the end of the call, they offer membership to their association for those that want to continue their learning. Because the attendees have learned so much from the free webinar already, many of them choose to become members of the association. By giving value first, the association is able to recruit new members to their organization consistently and predictably. This is a brilliant way to promote one’s association, while simultaneously supporting membership and revenue goals.Because attendees learn so much from the free webinar, many of them choose to become association members”
Another way associations harness the power of webinars is in using them to continue to market to their current membership. This is important because the relationship the association has with its members needs to be continuously nurtured, just like any other relationship. After all, if the association is not serving its members, the members will look elsewhere for content and engagement. Keeping the association appealing, therefore, is a marketing activity. I spoke to an association that keeps their current members engaged by putting on webinars on more specific topics in their industry, like business operations. Sometimes they’ll choose a topic that piggybacks on a feature they had in their magazine that month. Other times they’ll feature a leader from their community that wants to speak that month. They do these member focused webinars every other month or so, and send out email blasts twice a month to promote it. These webinars are a true service that the association offers to their membership, and their members appreciate them very much. Additionally, the association will record the webinars, in many instances, and use the recordings to further promote their organization.
Another way to utilize the power of webinars is in creating buzz about a future event. Let’s say you have a live event coming up on increasing member engagement and you want to drive registrations for that event. One thing you can do is schedule a series of webinars on the topic you want to generate buzz for. As members receive notifications via email, social media and other channels about the upcoming events on the given topic, their minds begin to get primed about the importance of the topic. They begin to think, “Gee, I’m seeing this topic everywhere, maybe it’s important for our association too.” When the webinars are given, it’s noted that this topic will get a deep dive treatment over 2 days with a panel of industry experts at the next live event. Perhaps a discount is offered whereby those who are listening to the webinar can sign up immediately via a link to a registration page given through the webinar. You can create buzz for your upcoming event, prime its importance in the minds of your membership and support registrations for it using webinars in this way.
Webinars are a powerful tool associations can use to more effectively market their organization. These are three potent methods you can use to support your organization's goals using webinars. Keep this in mind the next time you and your board have a conversation around marketing your association.