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Using the right words in our communications and marketing matters. That also applies to webinars. What should we call them?
- Zoom Meetings
- Zoom Webinars
This topic bubbled up for me as many professionals around the globe are now working remote in their home office. Some are exposed to video conferencing for the first time. So far I’ve helped family members set-up Zoom and I’m seeing lots of discussion – usually positive – around the Zoom platform on social media.
According to the Hootsuite sentiment report, most Zoom mentions are considered neutral, while positive is a touch over negative. One tweet (pictured here) accounted for the negative spike shown below.
“It was attributed as negative sentiment but I’d argue that it’s a positive mention,” said Hootsuite’s Nick Martin.
(Keep in mind that not all of the tweets gathered by the report are referring to the video conferencing tool. Some are talking about zoom functions on a phone.) Breakdown here.
It even seems to me that Zoom has now facilitated:
- Happy hours
- Get togethers of friends
- Piano lessons
- Driver’s ed
And certainly webinars. So should we just call webinars Zoom Meetings or Sessions? My Twitter poll on the topic had mixed results. I would say it was leaning yes:
Of course, the assumption is here that you are using Zoom to conduct your webinars.
Google search trends are also confirming that Zoom Meetings has seen a dramatic spike in searches:
Searches for “webinars” had slightly increased and currently leveled back down to what it was before the recent ups and downs. Here’s how that looks when adding searches for “WebEx.” WebEx saw way more search volume than Zoom Meetings but has now dropped below Zoom Meetings.
What kind of webinars are we talking about here?
My definition of a webinar in your marketing is as follows: A webinar that shares valuable information for a company’s prospects and establishes the company and/or the speaker as the thought leader in the topic. Webinars need to offer value to the audience and then also the company. The value to the company gets delivered by building a relationship with the viewers, who then ultimately buy something from the company.
To convert webinar viewers to buying customers we must follow a process similar to this:
- Pick a topic that people might find interesting and that we have something to share about
- Promote the webinar well enough to draw the right size of attendance
- Have a plan for follow-up through email cadences and sales calls at the right time
- Further promotion of webinar on other channels
Tamara Burkett reminded us in this Business Storytelling Podcast episode that just 3 percent of your audience is ready to buy at any given time.
With that in mind, you have to get a decent number of relevant audience members to the webinar to have any chance at all to make a sale. Let’s put that into perspective:
100 relevance audience members = 3 people ready to buy. Of course, you still need to figure out what exactly they are ready to buy. And you’ll have to reach them still.
You can do that through great and relevant promotions and distribution strategies as well as organic social media outreach, which I discuss in this blog post.
How to setup Zoom
The book “Remote work for a better world” is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It gives a current overview of how you can setup Zoom.
Zoom Meetings as webinars
That’s where the Zoom verbiage might come in handy. For one, I don’t have the most positive association to the term “webinar” as a consumer. Many webinars out there are too long, happen at times I don’t have time, the sign-up process is terrible and sometimes the content is too sales-y.
If your audience has a similar negative association to the word webinar it might be worth try calling them something else. Rebranding works at times. I remember the internet company that changed names to shed the negative image of the original company.
Sculpt CEO Josh Krakauer and his team have used the term “Zoom Webinar” since they started hosting webinars.
”We originally started hosting webinars with Zoom because we were already customers and familiar with the features. We found most attendees were too,” he said. “Zoom has become synonymous with virtual meetings, so framing our webinars as ‘Zoom Webinars’ might make the event feel more familiar or accessible. Perhaps the real evidence of its ubiquity is the fact we barely thought about labeling the event as a Zoom Webinar. It just described what it was.”
Calling it a Zoom Webinar also helps users understand what platform they will need on their phones or computers. I already know what apps I have downloaded. That includes Zoom. No need to have to gamble whether or not a new download will work in time for a webinar start.
Zoom Meeting webinars can also easily be recorded, transcribed and uploaded to YouTube. Replays are available as well. You can offer an on-demand version of the webinar as well.
Can everyone use Zoom for webinars?
Yes, but look at the different licenses. Here’s the current offering of standard licenses:
But those are non-webinar packages. Though theoretically I could invite up to 100 participants to my 40-minute Zoom Meeting using the free version. Of course, there are some downfalls and those packages weren’t designed for webinars. For example, attendees can unmute themselves and just chime in.
Official Zoom webinar packages (add-ons) can be found here:
Pricing goes up with the number of participants. Use prior webinar attendance to pick a started package. If you reach 1,000 participants, that’s certainly a strong webinar program. It’s probably worth considering doing more than one webinar per month to justify the cost.
Just make sure that the sales team is on board with the number of leads a webinar is producing and there’s a plan to follow up.
Does everyone have positive experiences with Zoom?
Of course not. Some people are having problems with setup. I’ve seen some complaints of no response by Zoom to customer questions to complaints on Twitter as well. But in general, I’ve heard more positive than negative sentiment when it comes to Zoom.
Some of the negative experiences have come back to not having used it before, from my observation. Some of my tips can help here:
- If you use Outlook, download the Outlook plugin so you can schedule Zoom meetings from your calendar
- Always offer the call-in option when you set up a meeting. I often call into Zoom meetings via the phone to give the WiFi a break. Sometimes I call in from the phone and use a laptop or the mobile apps to view a presenter’s screen
- Consider having accounts for each employee. Sharing accounts – while cheaper – can be a mess. That especially holds true today when many – everyone at some companies – use Zoom for meetings.
Read next: Have you tried Zoom virtual backgrounds?
If we call our webinars Zoom Meetings what if we stop using Zoom?
Then just change the name to something else – the new system or just back to webinars.
Given the current popularity of Zoom I certainly think it’s okay to play with the wording and try calling webinars:
- Zoom Meetings
- Zoom Webinars
- Zoom Events
If it helps with attendance numbers, we know it worked and made a difference.
Need help with your webinar promotions strategy? Contact me here.