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Social Media Alone Is Not Enough

What do you do once you connect with someone on Twitter? How do you take your relationships further than Facebook? Does your Google Plus group have a compelling reason for members to stay active?

The solution to all these challenges is the same: live online meetings and webinars. According to the 2013 MarketingSherpa SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey, Webinars are the most effective content method bar none.

Whether your goals are lead generation, community building, or higher brand visibility, it should be obvious that live webinars are essential to enhancing your success. They are the clear next step for taking your social media relationships from just chatting to substance.

Content Marketing: 2014 is the Year of Video

Content marketing in 2014 has been declared "the Year of Video". Infographics rule because "65 percent of us are visual learners, according to the Social Science Research Network." With webinars, marketers can combine infographics, slideshares, powerpoint, and live human interactions for one of the most compelling forms of all visual entertainment.

Not convinced yet? Check out Hubspot's 19 Fascinating Statistics That Make the Case for Using Visual Content in Your Marketing including:

  • Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts. (Source: SEOmoz)
  • Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

Vloggers covering everything from how to sell on eBay to total silliness are growing audiences because of their videos. Every webinar a business records can be made available to increase visibility and enhance credibility. One of the fastest, easiest ways to generate videos is by recording your live webinars.

Amazing Capabilities of Webinars

Few realize how far webinar technology has come. Today some platforms such as ClickMeeting can provide translation into 52 languages on the fly. Instead of participants struggling to understand English, they can listen in their native language. During the live event they can see both the original and translated version in real time. This feature can increase revenue for any company wishing to expand internationally.

Mobile Optimization is Essential

Whichever webinar solution you choose, it must support all mobile devices using any OS and browser on any provider. Doing so will greatly increase attendance and ensure primary participants aren't left out of important meetings. Immediately test any solution across your entire organization before getting locked into a long term contract. While most solutions now claim they are mobile ready, there is a disparity in mobile quality.

Note that while mobile users may be able to attend, do not assume that the webinar can be run from mobile. Managing the webinar may require a desktop, depending upon which solution you choose. Be sure to ask.

Managing Webinars

How webinars are managed varies greatly between solutions. Some require separate webinar and meeting solutions, with a meeting providing two way communications by default and a webinar being a presentation. Webinars control how and when attendees can interact.

When evaulating solutions, ask how many presenters can be in control and whether they must be in the same location. Find out what devices, operating system, and browsers are supported for management and also for attendees. Some platforms do not permit Linux users to attend and others allow them to attend, but not control the meeting or webinar.

Tips for Entertaining Webinars

We've all seen truly boring presentations. There is a reason some YouTube channels take off and others don't. That reason is personality. The best presenters are entertaining and fun. If that isn't you, at least don't drone on. Use these tips from Guy Kawasaki:

Click on Guy's tips above for 13 Ways to Rock Your Webinars and Hangouts. Every business needs to get on the webinar bandwagon. Invite your followers from every social platform to meet you live on video. Record and share those videos and start building your visual following today.

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