This question always creates a colourful debate between Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Client Servicing teams!
Normally, the real answer is a balance of all the above departments working together.
The same can be said when you create a webinar.
Your goal may not be solely to generate revenue, however, the outcome may indeed turn out that way.
Commercial Reasons For Webinars
The main commercial reasons for creating a webinar may be several of the following, though this list is by no means exhaustive:
To drive traffic to your website -You post an eye-catching presentation with some interesting content. Visitors view it, enjoy the experience, then click through to your website to discover more, generating increased traffic. There, they learn more about your business and in the process, become a prospective client.
Brand building - You conduct an online event that outlines to the world who you are, what you do, what you look like and where you’re going. Numerous people attend the event and share it with many others who likewise do the same. Thus, you start to increase brand awareness.
Share sales presentations in a seminar-style format - Webinars enable you to present sales information in an engaging seminar-style format, that can be replayed, On Demand. Your prospects attend the presentation and decide to contact you, post-event, to find out more about your products/services. This format is a professional way to present both yourself and your products/services.
Following, Meeting, Networking, Polling & Promoting - Holding an online event enables you to capture attendees contact details to follow-up on leads. Once you obtain this, you can ask them relevant questions and get feedback from them on what they saw and heard.
Noncommercial Reasons For Webinars
However, there are numerous other ways in which webinars (that haven’t been specifically created for revenue purposes!) can work for your business.
Thought leadership - Your company may host a webinar on a particular area of scientific research and invite key speakers to contribute. Hosting an event with influential presenters can demonstrate to the attendees that you are an innovative company within the industry who promotes innovation moving forward.
Live interviews - These can take many forms. For example; A CEO being interviewed by employees about the way they see the business moving. This may include a detailed Q&A on technical product development plans to be used internally or for existing clients. A webinar enables the interview to be available live streamed worldwide and On Demand for those unable to attend the initial screening.
Interactive Training - A business can use online events to deliver training presentations to clients worldwide, simultaneously. The attendees have the opportunity to ask questions and gain advice on any topics they don’t understand or ask for clarification. The training will, by its nature, be bespoke and interactive.
Problem Solving - Online presentations are a great forum for discussing problems when there are a number of attendees, spread across many locations or offices. The instantaneous nature of a webinar encourages the audience to discuss problems as the arise and share similar experiences and solutions.
Only For Profit, Or Not?
The question posed after considering both sides is; "Should we only create webinars for revenue purposes?"
Both sides of the argument demonstrate all we would associate with good business practice, but not necessarily all directly associated with revenue.
It could be argued, however, that all good business practice does indeed equate directly with increased earnings.
Think about it:
Companies associated with thought leadership are more likely to be successful
Happy clients are more likely to renew services and look to you for additional products when they require them
Employees who are well trained and well informed are more productive
Happy clients are more likely to renew services and look to you for additional products when they require them.
All of these points, however non-profit their origins may be, if successful, result in revenue benefits for companies. Thus, the virtuous circle is closed and the revenue will follow!