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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by C. C. Chapman, Ann Handley

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Chapter 12. If Webinars Are Awesome Marketing Tools, Why Do Most of Them Suck?

Webinar (n): A kind of online conference that each participant experiences remotely at his or her own computer, connected to other attendees and the event via the Internet. It is typically one-way, from the speaker to the audience, with limited audience interaction.

First off, we apologize for the slightly crude headline. But it's a headline writ in frustration.

Here's why: Webinars are a wonderfully robust and lively marketing tool and an effective way to reach your prospects or buyers. Or rather, they can be; a 2009 study by Business.com found that a whopping 67 percent of business leaders who rely on social media for business information seek out relevant podcasts or webinars.[27]

That stat screams opportunity. And at least some businesses are responding; research by Outsell shows that B2B companies plan to increase their spending to produce webinar-related content by 26 percent, according to its survey of more than 1,000 U.S. companies.[28]

Most Webinars Look Something Like This

Figure 12.1. Most Webinars Look Something Like This

So if webinars are so awesome, then why do many tragically underperform? Why is it that so many webinars remind us of the sad visage of the middle-aged former high school valedictorian, now tending customers and his broken dreams at his hometown gas station? (See Figure 12.1.)

Webinars, of course, are web-based seminars ...

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