Getting More Revenue From Your Webinars

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You can't be too early in marketing your webinars and you almost can't be too late. According to ON24's 2017 Webinar Benchmarks Report, almost one in four registrants sign up for a webinar more than 15 days before the event. And about 25% of webinar registrants sign up on the day of. (31% register 1-7 days before, and 21% sign up 8-14 days out.) See the report here.

"The majority of post-live registrations happen the week after the live event, suggesting that they were interested in the live event, but missed it due to scheduling conflicts," the report says. "However, the long tail for on-demand registration highlights their power to pull in registrants for months."

Business Management Daily knows that a webinar still has value after its airing. They transcribe every webinar and then put it into a $49 executive summary that includes the Powerpoint. "We'll take out the 'urs' and 'ums,'" said publisher Adam Goldstein, "but still try to leave it a little raw... Content is a fixed cost so any time you can reuse, it benefits you and the speaker."

On Associations Now last week, Philip Forte, founder and CEO of Blue Sky eLearn, shared a few ways companies can generate new revenue from their webinars. (The first four are his.)

1. Make webinars a prerequisite to an in-person meeting. Take your traditional lecture-type sessions of a conference and package them as webinars instead. Then ask attendees to participate (and potentially purchase) these before the actual face-to-face meeting." We talked a couple weeks ago about attaching CE credits to surveys to get people to fill them out. Attaching webinars to CE credits—which some already do—or some other greater goal could work.

2. Take advantage of sponsorships. There are so many ways to appeal to potential sponsors, whether by acknowledging them briefly on the webinar or giving them a couple minutes to publicize their product or company. And it's important to mention that there's branding associated not only with the actual live event, but also the promotion of the event, Forte said. Modern Distribution Management (MDM) transitioned to sponsored-only "webcasts" around 2009 and, judging from the website, they continue to do about one every month. Sponsors—like Billtrust for the webcast March 13— co-brand the event and get all the leads. Attendance is free.

3. Market to non-subscribers and non-members. You can never tell what people will pay more for. Sometimes it's just in their budget to take webinars and not subscribe to a publication (where the webinars are included). Don't argue. Hopefully you can convince the attendees that membership/subscription is better for them in the long run.

4. Don't give up on those who didn't watch. About a third of all webinar attendees are only watching your webinars on-demand. So just because the webinar has taken place, you still need to be clear to your audience how they can view it. Maybe update an intro to it after the event.

And two more ways...

5. Sell in other forms. "We've learned this," said Goldstein. "We still do a healthy business with CDs. New laptops [often don't even have ports], but people buy CDs." He believes that in the HR space you can get certification credits for just buying a CD, so it may be like that in other areas as well.

6. Save money on the speaker and cross-promote anywhere you can—it's good for the speaker and good for you. "If you must pay a speaker, don't use your own money," Goldstein said. (He called it the OPM model—other people's money.) "Give them in-kind promotions, post their articles on your site and use them in social media. Promote their own webinar to your people on a royalty basis. Trade ad space. We'll put their products in our store. Monetize their participation."

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…