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Webinars are truly a great marketing strategy for generating leads for your business. However, that's certainly not the only measure of their effectiveness.

Webinars are an excellent platform to communicate and interact with your customers, and they can be your secret weapon for building great customer relationships.

People attend a webinar because they believe the experience will be valuable to them. The value you provide through your webinars via actionable insights and takeaways that viewers won't find anywhere else will help you build great customer relationships.

Here we'll look at how to build those relationships by using webinars to engage and train your audiences.

1. Engagement

If you've organized any webinars, you know the amount of effort required to get people to attend them. It often takes numerous rounds of promotional emails and follow-ups to secure registrations. But all of your effort will be wasted if the attendees are not adequately engaged throughout the webinar.

Engagement is truly the key to making your webinar successful. If your attendees are engaged, they are more likely to retain the information you've shared. They will also have a positive experience, and so they will be interested in attending future webinars, too.

So how do you increase engagement?

Q&A sessions are a great way to build relationships with your attendees. In these sessions, you are able to help your customers by sharing useful information and also answering their questions.

Because webinars are usually conducted by an expert in the field, that gives your customers greater confidence in your answers. It also shows them you genuinely care about their needs.

Of course, they can get help from your customer support team. But if you're spending time and effort to organize a webinar to help them, it makes customers feel special. That helps boost loyalty and build relationships.

ON24 conducted a study that analyzed more than 16,000 webinars across 1,000+ companies. The study found that the most popular attendee engagement tool is Q&A sessions, which appeared in 82% of the analyzed webinars.

Providing attendees a list of resources they can download is also a great way to build relationships. The same ON24 study found that 66% of the analyzed webinars provided resource lists, and 31% engaged on social channels.

Image via ON24

2. Training

Another great way of using webinars to build long-term relationships and customer loyalty is to conduct training sessions. When customers purchase products that are fairly new to them, they often like to get training on how to use the products effectively.

That is especially true for technical and B2B products. Suppose a company purchases a new recruitment software or platform for its human resources team. The company would definitely want its team to attend training sessions.

Pre-recorded tutorials are helpful, but they do not allow users of your product to interact with you live and get help. Using webinars to train your customers on your product's features or on best-practices for using it can be more beneficial to them.

That gesture proves you do not forget about them as soon as the sale is over.

Here are some tips for providing a training program via webinars.

Create a calendar

It is a good practice to have a training-webinar calendar in place for your customers. You can choose to conduct sessions monthly or weekly, based on your convenience and the availability of resources.

The calendar should mention the topics that are going to be covered in each of the sessions, which will help your customers decide which ones to attend. Make sure you send them the calendar every month, along with links to register for the sessions.

Include activities

When you conduct training webinars, make them interactive. That may mean including Q&A sessions, but it's more important that they also include some hands-on activity for your attendees.

Think of this type of webinar as a workshop during which attendees can put their skills and knowledge about your products into practice. That will make these sessions truly valuable to your customers while helping you build great relationships.

Also, provide the attendees an exercise at the end of the webinar. Its focus should be to encourage them to use the product more. You can provide additional motivation to your audiences by asking them to share their learning progress.

Many webinar providers offer whiteboard, screen-sharing, and audio and video modes to make the training more effective.

Gather feedback

Another important parameter in training webinars is attendee feedback. Send them a survey asking how effective the training was, and include questions about what they feel you can do better.

Webinar platforms such as ClickMeeting include features that allow audience engagement through polls and surveys. Use the feedback to make your training webinars more informative and useful to your customers. If attendees don't get sufficient value, they won't be motivated to continue attending future webinars. You will therefore have wasted your resources and possibly undermined your customers' success with your product.

Use videos

Videos are a great tool that can make your training webinars more interactive and meaningful. Video clips, streaming, or screen sharing can make the training more appealing and intuitive. The ON24 study reported a gradual increase in the use of videos in webinars over the years:

Image via ON24

Final Thoughts

Show your gratitude to your customers at the end of the webinar. Thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend.

Encourage them to participate in a feedback survey to share their thoughts.

Send them a recording of the webinar; it's a great way to enhance your relationship and allow them to rewatch any parts they may have missed or may want to better understand.

Continue reading "How to Use Webinars to Build Good Customer Relationships" ... Read the full article

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image of Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers, and A-list celebrities.

Linkedin: Shane Barker

Twitter: @shane_barker

Google+: Shane Barker

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