As Internet technology advances, so do customer expectations.
At one time, a website announcement was an eyebrow-raising boast that both impressed and bored in equal measure.
Now, your customers EXPECT a website. And a blog. Some high-quality screenshots. A full set of lawyer-approved terms and conditions. Video introductions featuring professional animation or Hollywood-quality special effects. Live customer chat. Overnight shipping.
And you’d better have a webinar presentation showing me how to use your product, why it’s important, and closing with an epic special offer, or I’m going to tell all my Internet buddies that your company sucks!
No point getting stressed over it. Business has always been this way.
“So what if you have freshly baked artisan bread. It better be gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, nut free, and sugar free, or I’m going to tell my followers that you have NOTHING!”
Toughen up, embrace the madness, and find a way to get ahead of the curve.
Webinars Are the Gold Standard
One of the upsides of technological advancement in cyberspace is that everything is becoming a little bit cheaper. Hardware, server space, and broadband connections are all falling in cost, making it more affordable, even for small businesses, to harness the latest technology.
Webinars, for example, used to cost thousands per year, but are now available for just a few hundred if you shop around (or just go with WebinarJam, which is already one of the most inexpensive yet feature-rich webinar hosts in the world). And the technology has advanced to the point where even the most jaded of Internet users can’t NOT be impressed.
Webinars are now common enough that there is an expectation that a forward-thinking business should be using them. Video demonstrations are all well and good, and have their place, but a live presentation that allows interaction between audience and presenter is where you should be aiming.
And if your webinar presentation includes a special offer for your product or service, it reassures your prospects that they’re seeing the latest and best prices and bundles.
Post-purchase webinars are also a great way to over-deliver and keep your customers loyal and content.
But if conducting regular webinars is a surefire way to satisfy the choosiest of customers, how do you exceed their expectations?
NEW Webinar Technology Impresses
Some of the older webinar products on the market are sorely lacking in modern features (yet, bizarrely, are often among the most expensive), often little better than a SKYPE call with a chat room and a screen-share add-on.
If you’ve not looked into webinar technology for a while, you’ll be amazed at some of the new features on the market.
Critically… so will your customers!
Here are just a few of the webinar features that are available (and affordable), right now…
** I don’t want to mention WebinarJam too often and make this article sound like an advertorial. So, I’ll say this only once… All of the following features are available to WebinarJam customers as standard. There ARE other suppliers that offer some of these options but expect to pay them a lot more for the privilege.**
Video Injections: You can make your webinar mirror television-style presentations by switching between your live video stream and pre-recorded video showing, perhaps, product demonstrations or testimonials. What better way to keep the attention of your audience and give your presentation a dynamic, professional feel?
Captioning: Any comment or question typed into the Live Chat by an audience member can be selected and added to the bottom of your video stream as a large caption. Alternatively, you can type and add a message of your choosing. This feature also mirrors television-style presentation and allows you to highlight the topic under discussion or emphasize important information.
Picture-in-Picture: Whether you’re displaying your presentation slides or streaming a live screen-share, this tool keeps your live video stream in view in a small box in one corner of the display. This is great for maintaining audience contact and adding a dash of flair to your webinar (impressing your customers is a de facto method for exceeding expectations).
Whiteboard Tool: Write, draw, or add shapes, directly onto your webinar stream. One minute you’re annotating your slides, the next minute you’re throwing up a plain background and writing out your key bullet points in real time, the next minute you’re drawing a comedy moustache on your co-presenter!
Six Simultaneous Presenters: Gather six presenters in – if required – six different locations and stream them simultaneously in one webinar. FORGET one main presenter and five grainy thumbnails, the technology is now sufficiently-advanced to give each presenter an EQUAL share of the screen while maintaining audio/video sync.
Don’t fear change or the need to develop your marketing and customer interactions in line with new technology. Embrace it and prove that you have what it takes by going even further than your customer imagines to be possible.
The worst that can happen is that it takes you a few tries to master the new technology and no one is going to care if you make the odd slip-up. Everyone loves blooper-reels, so just laugh along and get on with it.
In fact, producing something that is less than perfection makes you more relatable and it’s more likely that you’ll earn the trust of your audience.
Get ahead of the curve. Take a good look at the tech that’s out there and start using it today.
For some current examples of what webinar technology can accomplish, watch this short video.