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2021: The year of… really, another webinar?

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Webinars and other “virtual events” were a novelty at the beginning of the pandemic, but fatigue from long hours spent in front of the computer is taking a toll. After nearly a year of virtual overload, can we still say webinars are an effective marketing strategy? You’re darn right, we can. Let me explain.

All-You-Can-Eat Content Buffet

The benefits of hosting a webinar are not confined to what occurs on the day of the event. A recorded webinar can be broken down and repurposed into a variety of valuable content. Here are a few ideas:

FAQs

Questions answered by speakers are collected by moderators and turned into an audience-tested FAQ page for your website.

Podcasts

Audio transcription of the event can be edited into a podcast and shared on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and other podcast hosting websites.

Repurposed Slides

Slide shows from the event can be extracted and uploaded to a presentation sharing platform such as SlideShare.

Video Clips

The video recording of the webinar can be offered as an on-demand product or cut up into bite-size segments to be shared on your website, email campaigns, newsletters, social media posts and video sharing platforms.

Infographics

Statistics shared during the event can be pulled from the transcription and made into an infographic.

Blog Posts and eBooks

Presentation content can be used to generate topics for blog posts and eBooks. 

Event Trailer

Video of the event can be broken down into its best moments and used to create a trailer for the webinar, which is useful when attracting attendees and speakers for future events.

A Pandemic Reality Check

Webinars are not just treasure troves of content creation possibilities. When it comes to bringing large groups of people together, they are likely to be our only option for most of this year. Vaccine distribution began in the U.S. last December, but it is predicted that we will not have a meaningful portion of the population vaccinated until next fall or winter. While it’s possible that things will move more quickly, we must prepare for another year of pandemic precautions, including meeting virtually.

The Evolving Event Landscape

As we move forward into 2021, it’s vital to pay attention to the way the event industry will change for good — pandemic or not. Webinars and virtual events started to gain popularity in the last few years as a natural result of technological progression, but 2020 demonstrated an aggressive saturation of this market. Events previously held in person were forced online to try to stay afloat as the industry faltered, with 43% of companies moving all events online. Even after the dangers of COVID-19 have passed, 79% say they expect to include virtual aspects at in-person events from now on. The ability to create an effective virtual experience will be an essential skill for businesses looking to make an impact, attract new customers and get noticed among a sea of competition. Companies will have to choose — up their virtual game, or get left in the dust.

Getting Friendly

To meet the needs of webinar attendees in 2021, we must provide relief from the widespread social isolation that currently characterizes our population. With the lack of in-person events to attend, webinars and other digital consumables must not only deliver great content, but need to provide a deeply human and participatory experience to break through the screen and reach people in this unique time. In a virtual event scenario, this means providing space for attendees to engage with the speakers and each other. Some ways to offer this include ensuring there is adequate time allotted for Q&A sessions between speakers, coaching speakers on pacing and encouraging them to use breakout rooms where participants can discuss topics amongst themselves, and enlisting a moderator for chat rooms to make sure attendee questions and concerns are being addressed in a personal way.

Be A Part of The Conversation

The webinar continues to be a relevant marketing tool into 2021 and beyond, but it must adapt to the not-quite-post-pandemic environment by delivering a message: we are all in this together.

If you want top-quality content tailored to this new world, you can trust our team of experts at Content Matterz to take you there.

To dive deeper into predicted marketing trends for 2021, download this study by Deloitte Insights.