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How to Host Webinars on a Small Marketing Budget

how-to-host-webinars
Shifat Jaman


7 mins

Webinars have proven to be a lucrative marketing strategy for small businesses and sales teams in large enterprises. The interactive nature and personal touch of live webinars make webinars a perfect strategy for selling high-ticket B2B products or courses.

In this guide, you'll learn that you don't actually need to subscribe to an expensive webinar platform, which has tons of bells and whistles. Actually, you can build most of the webinar funnel using WordPress and its plugins.

What's a Real Example of a Webinar Return on Investment?

Here's an example of a successful webinar event. Shauna created her first-ever webinar event. She invited 255 people by email to attend her event. 55 of them signed up and 35 actually attended.

That may not seem like a lot at first. However, the online course and mentorship program she was selling was quite expensive. The webinar attendees were already interested in the topic and she had a full hour to explain and prove the value.

The result was over $2170.75 in sales for a single webinar.

To calculate the ROI of this event, we'll also have to take the expenses into account. She used Zoom Webinars to host the event and ConvertKit for the emails. Let's analyze the costs:

  • Zoom Profession + Webinars Add-on: $40 + $14.99 = $54.99 / month
  • ConvertKit Creator package with email sequences: $29 / month
  • Dropbox for storing and sharing the webinar recording (2 GB): Free

So, the ROI of this particular webinar would be $2170.75 / ($54.99 + $29) = 2485%

That's an insane return on investment. And the costs are actually monthly, while the revenue is per event.

However, such sales revenue can only be achieved when the webinar host is an expert on the topic and has an email list to promote the webinar. This is an important point to make you realize the potential of webinars.

If you're just starting out with hosting webinars, you might not be an expert or have a dedicated mailing list yet. That's why it's safe to start with a cheap webinar platform first to keep your expenses low. Or better yet – use free WordPress plugins to build most of the webinar funnel. Perhaps even take it a step further and integrate your online course into WordPress altogether.

How to Host Webinars Cheap by using WordPress?

When we're considering hosting webinars in general, we'll have to take a look at the most critical marketing and CRO features of webinar platforms. Here's an example of a basic webinar funnel:

Conversion-Optimized Registration Page

It's entirely possible to create your own webinar registration page using WordPress. Just create a new page, which includes:

  • Your webinar title and an attractive description
  • Author image and bio to create credibility
  • Webinar registration form

While the first two can be built entirely on WordPress, the webinar registration form has to send information to the webinar platform to manage attendee accesses.

However, you can use a cheaper webinar platform that just gives you a code snippet for the registration form, which you can inject on your WordPress page.

Another way is building your own registration form natively on WordPress and sending the registration data to the webinar platform using Zapier. However, since you'd have to pay for a Zapier subscription, it's not recommended, unless you're already using it in your business.

If you're not using WordPress, you can use landing page builders to create the registration page. If the landing page is well designed, mobile responsive, and optimized for registrations, it will score you more webinar registrants, which could turn into sales.

Thank-You Page and "Add to Calendar" Feature

A thank-you page is a simple confirmation page that lets the registrant know that they've been registered for the webinar. The main call-to-action on this page should be to make sure the attendee notes down the webinar date and time, to maximize their attendance rate. It's a good practice to use the "Add to Calendar" call to actions, follow this guide to install it on WordPress.

Automatic Email Reminders Before the Webinar

To maximize your webinar attendance rate, it's a good practice to send email reminders 1 day and 1 hour before the webinar starts. If you're storing the webinar registration data on your side, you can use the Email Subscribers WordPress plugin to send out the reminder emails.

All you have to do is schedule the reminder email to launch at x hours before the webinar starting time. 

Webinar Room with Presentation Tools and Audience Interactions

The webinar room is the most important step of your webinar funnel, because that's where you'd be presenting your content, interacting with your audience and ultimately making the sale.

That's why this is the hardest step and it's best left for the webinar platform to handle. When choosing the webinar platform, you can ignore all the features that WordPress and its plugins can handle, but you can't ignore the webinar room. To ensure your webinar quality and maximize your sales, make sure the webinar platform has at least:

  • Screen Sharing Feature
  • Audience Q&A feature
  • Integrated Sales Offers

An excellent lightweight webinar platform that enables this is LiveWebinar. It's one of the cheapest webinar platforms out there for $14.99 / month. It includes live webinars for up to 100 attendees and automated webinars. The registration page design options are very limited, but we don't care about that, since we're using WordPress for the webinar funnel pages anyway.

Webinar Post-Event Page & Follow-up Emails

After the webinar has ended, it's a good idea to redirect all your attendees straight to your product sales page. That way you can give a final nudge to make your attendees buy your product.

Alternatively, you can redirect them to a survey page, where you're asking for feedback about your webinar. You don't need a webinar platform for that. You can just use Google Forms or TypeForms.

Some attendees definitely need some more time to consider your offer. Use the same WordPress plugin that we've discussed regarding sending reminder emails to send additional emails after the webinar event has ended. Schedule them 24 or 48 hours after the webinar.

Leverage Your Webinar Recording for Video Marketing

For your most successful webinars, it's a good idea to export your recording, edit it and use it for video marketing. The idea would be to create snackable 2-8-minute video clips out of your webinar recording to attract more leads. Expert marketers even find other articles and webinar videos in their niche, curate that content for new blog posts or videos for their blog or video marketing.

Your audience likes to discover new and insightful content in their industry. Gather expert opinions and ideas in your niche, present them alongside with your webinar video and you'll also be seen as an industry expert.

To leverage your webinar recording to boost your future webinars, you could create a "teaser video" on your webinar registration page. This way your attendees will get a real taste of what you're actually going to talk about during the webinar. 

Read more about 16 creative ideas for video marketing for small businesses.

Key Takeaways & Next Steps

If you're looking for an affordable way to experiment and try out selling courses, products or services by hosting webinars, then focus on the webinar room features. The presentation tools and the audience interaction features during the live webinar can make or break your webinar strategy.

The webinar registration pages, the follow-up pages and even the automated emails can be set up using WordPress and its plugins. But the webinar experience itself – the audio/video quality, the tools you have to deliver and high-quality presentation, the connection you're making with your audience and the way you interact with them are the most influential factors in their purchase decision.

Wrapping Up

To summarize, look at the webinar software pricing and choose an affordable one. But don't compromise on the live webinar room features. Hope you guys like the content. Don't forget to share your valuable opiniion about the blog in the comment section below. 

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