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Marketing Presentations Go Virtual

Fight the high cost of gas and air travel with your own webinars.
November 17, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/198594

Don't let belt-tightening cripple your marketing ability. Despite spiraling gas prices and the rising cost of business air travel--not to mention the time-wasting lines and layovers--there is a new, low-cost way to connect with customers and prospects. You can go virtual in 2009 with a marketing tool that doesn't require plane travel or even a trip across town by replacing face-to-face presentations with webinars that let you reach prospects and customers without ever leaving your office.

There's no special conferencing equipment needed. Participants watch your webinar on their own computers, hear you live via telephone and ask questions online or by phone. And webinars are versatile marketing tools. For example, rather than fly to another city to make a presentation to a corporate prospect, you can design and present a webinar to his entire team. Looking for a smart way to promote your business and win new customers? Create and market a webinar that positions you as an expert and demonstrates your firm's abilities.

Webinars are also superior tools for communicating with an existing customer or client base and are a valuable tactic for fighting customer attrition and earning repeat sales. You could invite your customers to attend a webinar series that shows them how to use a new product or ways to make the most of new features or services. You'd become a valued vendor and have an ideal platform for upselling additional products or services.

To cut your business costs and use this new form of marketing to its best advantage, follow these tips:

You can use stories, anecdotes and even humor to make your presentation warm and compelling. And don't overlook the value of audience participation. If you have a small group, you can take questions live by telephone. Participants in larger groups can e-mail questions that you'll see on your message screen. You can answer questions following your presentation or at intervals throughout for a truly interactive webinar experience.

Contact marketing expert Kim T. Gordon, author of Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars: The Top 50 Ways to Grow Your Small Business, at smallbusinessnow.com. Her new e-book, Big Marketing Ideas for Small Budgets, is available exclusively from Entrepreneur at smallbizbooks.com.