Webinars: Gaining Traction With Your Advertisers and Your Audience
Bringing together hundreds or even thousands of people with the click of a mouse, webinars have emerged as a mainstay on the publishing landscape. With their inherent ability to deliver strong content to a digital audience in a digestible and well-received format, webinars are proving their worth as a strong and steady revenue stream for many publishers. Originally begun as experiments for a few publications, webinars are now spreading through the business-to-business world like wildfire, and are fast becoming critical elements of publishing operations.
Web-based Seminars Provide New Revenue Streams
As they move further into the digital world, more magazine publishers are discovering that webinars offer excellent revenue opportunities through sponsorships and advertisements. While sponsorships are sometimes sold individually, they are more frequently sold as part of print/Web packages. As opposed to print display ads where advertisers often seek branding opportunities, webinar sponsors are attracted to qualified lead generation where demographic and contact information from registrants are typically passed on to the sponsor.
“The sponsor’s goal in a webinar is to be put in front of high-qualified individuals, and the true value to [the sponsor] is what kind of information you are giving them. They want to walk away with high-quality leads,” says Richard Rist, CEO and founder of Intellor Group Inc., a Gaithersburg, Md.-based provider of webinar and multimedia services.
Amy Bills is the senior manager of field marketing for Bulldog Solutions, an Austin, Texas-based lead-generation management and optimization company that provides lead-generation webinars. She says that, in recent years, advertising money and interest has started shifting toward a lead-generation model. Branding in print is still a priority, but Bills says that online advertising is growing rapidly as a result of its measurability.
Marketing departments are now being held to the same set of standards as finance and purchasing departments, says Bills. “When you’re doing something on a Web site or through an e-mail or a webinar, it is more measurable. That is way more important now because [chief marketing officers] are facing a lot more pressure to show what they got for their spend,” she says.