The advantages of webinars to prospective customers
An interactive, convenient way to discover new software
Webinars are a powerful and versatile method of sharing and gathering knowledge, providing a useful tool for anyone considering purchasing a new software.
In years gone by, gathering information about a product like accounting or expense management software in order to decide to decide whether or not to buy it, invariably meant having to do one of two things:
- Reading product or sales literature provided by the supplier: although a typically non-interactive process, such literature is a great way to discover essential feature or technical specifications. But it doesn’t allow you to put specific questions to the vendor, and any details which aren’t initially included will have to be sought independently
- Attending seminars and conferences: travelling to a trade show or conference to watch presentations, visit exhibitor stands and potentially interact with vendors or other people using the product. However, the time and cost of travel, and time spent away from the workplace would often deter people
In contrast, a webinar costs no money to attend, requires no travel time and is often interactive. It enables direct instruction and education, bolstered by two-way communication. Attendees can access a range of data in the form of media such as slides and videos, while tools such as chat boxes and Q & A sessions enable direct participation.
According to research, the industry which is most likely to make use of webinars is software and technology. 26% of companies utilize the technique as part of a knowledge sharing process aimed at potential purchasers of software, at existing users for training or updates, and for partners who may have complementary technologies.
Webinars are relevant, useful and even desirable at any stage in the product life-cycle:
- Pre-sale: to enable potential buyers to see key features in action, or learn about how the product will benefit them
- Product evaluation or trial: so potential customers can be shown how to get the most out of a trial or evaluation version of a product, and make sure it is correctly installed and deployed
- When the product is already in use: to help customers get the most out of the product, uncover key features and ensure that they know how to use it to its full potential
- When an update or upgrade is launched: to unveil new features, user interfaces and functions and ensure that they are fully understood by existing users
Another strong argument in favour of attending webinars is the sheer convenience of doing so.
According to the 2017 Webinar Benchmarks Report published by ON24 - which drew on analysis of 19,640 webinars, all attracting at least 100 attendees – the average viewing time of a webinar is 56 minutes.
That’s less than an hour out of a working day to access the most up to date information on a piece of software, and do so via a platform which suits the user and enables direct engagement.
If you happen to miss a webinar you have registered for, many companies make a recorded version available for download. This allows the would-be viewer to watch it in their own time.
Up to date information
According to the same ON24 report, the most popular communication tool used in webinars is the Q & A session, which is a feature of 82% of all webinars. The importance of the Q & A can’t be overstated. Unlike any other format – brochure, PowerPoint presentation, instructional video – the information contained in a webinar is being presented live or “as live”.
If you don’t find out what you intend to, you can ask. If some of the information provided raises questions about the way you’re using the product, you can ask. If the question doesn’t occur to you, there’s every chance another attendee will ask.
The presence of other attendees is another powerful argument in favour of webinars. By definition, the webinar is being followed by a selection of people in a similar position to you, using similar products. The chance to hear them share their insight represents a huge – perhaps even global – networking and information gathering opportunity that can be accessed from the comfort and convenience of your own desk.
Surveys are often conducted on the fly within a webinar, so the speaker can gauge the needs and requirements of the audience.
The interactive nature of a webinar means that it is responsive in its own right. A company which uses webinars as a communication tool is likely to adopt a responsive standpoint in general.
The information gathered from each webinar – often in the form of direct surveys which form part of the webinar itself – will be used to inform the next webinar, and so on.
By attending webinars, you’ll be in the company of others whose requirements reflect your own, and who have similar motivations.
Equisys make use of webinars for all the reasons outlined above – not just with our software users but also for communicating with partners.
Companies who may be considering the purchase of a product such as Zetadocs want to learn as much about it as possible before making a purchase and can benefit from seeing specialized product versions or benefits.
Organisations who have recently purchased Zetadocs can learn how to make use of it in practice and view the features that other customers like them are using. Those already using Zetadocs in their business can ensure they are making full use of the software’s rich range of features.
We run our webinars in slots designed to be conveniently timed for users, and in short bursts rather than long drawn out one-way presentations.
Webinars represent a convenient, easy and painless way for users to gather information both before they buy and after installation, ensuring they know how to make best use of our software, no matter what their needs or whatever their questions.
Check out some of our webinar recordings by clicking here.