Last year I read an article about the 10 best reasons for using webinars, by Agnes Jozwiak, Marketing Director at ClickMeeting. She brought up some very valid reasons for using webinars as shown below.

1. Most Cost-Effective Marketing Tool

When it comes to using the best kind of marketing techniques in the most cost-effective way, webinars trump them all. Of course, webinars arenít free to host and it takes time and planning to present high-quality content. However, you are able to reach a worldwide audience and interact with your customers on a very personal level. That is not possible with email marketing, or through your website blog.

2. Webinars Are Convenient And Flexible

Webinars are also extremely convenient because they can be watched by anyone with an internet connection, no matter where they may be in the world. Both you and your audience can attend the online event in a place that is most convenient, be that an office, home, or even hotel room. This allows marketers tremendous opportunities in reaching a global scale.

They are also flexible enough to be used by any kind of business. For example, webinars can be used to boost sales, educate staff or customers, demonstrate new products, or reward loyal customers, just to name a few.

3. Establish Your Authority

It is a known fact that authority sells and in 2017, consumers will be looking to authority sites, trusted brands, and industry leaders when making decisions on purchasing products. Webinars give you the chance to establish your authority in your niche. For example, you get to demonstrate your products in real-time, answer questions from attendees, and explain the benefits of your product.

4. Great Brand Building Tool

Your brand is what sets your business apart from your competitors and brands sell. Regularly hosting webinars is a fantastic way to build your brand. In 2017, marketers that have weak brands or no brands at all will find it difficult to sell their products. You can use webinars to showcase a visual image of your brand, establish your unique selling proposition, and promote your product directly to your customers.

5. Excellent Platform For Training And Education

One of the unique methods of using webinars for online marketing is their great potential to be used as educational and training tools. More and more consumers do research on products and want to know how products work before they buy them. You can use webinars to highlight and educate them on the benefits of your product.

In addition, the fact that webinars can be recorded for future use means that they are great training tools. This can save a company time when training new staff or rolling out new policies and workplace procedures.

6. Webinars Can Be Repackaged

Any webinar can be repackaged and redistributed in many ways. For example, you could split your webinar into shorter videos and upload them to video sharing sites. Alternatively, you could use each video as a topic for a series of blog posts. You can also use the content and slides to create an eBook. All these ways of repackaging a webinar can help increase your digital footprint and boost referrals back to your website.

7. Video Marketing

The growth of video marketing is phenomenal and 2017 will see an upsurge in marketers using video marketing. In fact, itís predicted that almost 75% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. Having plenty of video-rich content will be more and more important for any website. The fact that webinars are a rich source of video material will help to boost your marketing strategy. Other research shows that even having the word “video” in an email subject or blog post can greatly boost click-through rates.

8. See Your Customer Base Grow

Webinars are also a great way to increase your customer base and expand your email-marketing list. Every attendee who signs up for your webinar has to leave his or her email address. You can then use this information to send out post-webinar emails, marketing emails, and invitations for future webinars.

9. Strengthen Customer Relationships

In 2017, there will be an increase in consumers making purchasing decisions based on relationships they have with companies. In fact, relationship marketing has seen a huge growth spurt as consumers are tired of deceptive selling practices and lean towards favoring brands they trust.

Webinars are great ways to forge strong relationships with your customers from the very start. For example, where else can customers ask you questions about your products, see live demonstrations, and receive special offers?

You can also use webinars to strengthen already existing relationships by offering exclusive demonstrations and access to “customer only” webinars.

10. Boosts Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is seen as one of the principal ways to reach and engage with new customers on a regular basis. Webinars can boost your social media marketing campaigns and social media can be leveraged promote your webinars.

For example, you can use slides and other visuals from your webinar to post your social media news feed. Alternatively, you could make a short video to promote your webinar. If it’s visually appealing and entertaining, others are sure to repost it and help promote your webinar even more.

These are all great reasons to use webinars. However, Agnes left out the “How To” part of the equation. What she missed was the how to do this efficiently and which webinar platforms to use. I give you my 3 best webinar platforms that I have found over the last 5 years of using webinars as my primary way to make money online.

Here are my favorite webinar platforms

1. WebinarHD

This is the “New Kid on the Block” as far as webinar platforms. However they incorporated the 3 most important things that video marketers use webinars, that is instant webinars, live shows on FB and YouTube, and mastermind screen sharing calls. Plus they added a very cool feature that you only get with high end studio platforms – Dynamic Layouts and speaker switching. Plus it is a 1 time purchase price versus a monthly subscription. If you're just getting started or need to do live interviews, this is the perfect choice.

2. GotoWebinar

This is the “Big Daddy” of webinars. Platform is very stable and can hold thousands on the call with virtually no downtime. It also integrates seamlessly with the most popular lead forms and autoresponders. If you have  a very large audience, this is my recommendation.

3. Zoom

If you want an easy coaching or face to face style online meeting, that is both quick to setup and FREE. Then Zoom is your tool. Very stable platform with excellent webcam integrations and audio. It's limited on the free version for the number of visitors. However, for a one on one coaching call with webcams on both participants and screen recording capabilities, this is a good choice.

There are definitely others out there that you could consider, like Demio, Gotomeeting, and even Skype. However, the 3 I listed above are ones that I have personally tested and had great results.

So the takeaway on this post is the why and how to get started with webinars.