How to monetize your webinars: 5 proven methods

5 min read
December 8, 2020

Webinars are perfect for nurturing your potential customers and generating more leads for your business. The year 2020 saw a surge of webinars, video conferences and other virtual events, and this trend won’t disappear overnight. Hosting a webinar will remain a very effective approach to generating leads and increasing revenue. But before we talk more about how to monetize a webinar, here are a couple of important things you should keep in mind. Failing to apply them will significantly reduce your chances of your webinar turning into a smash success.

Understand your audience

Before even thinking about hosting a webinar, and about the choice of topic, it’s necessary to know exactly who your true audience is. This will greatly determine the success of your online event.

First of all, you should learn as much as you can about what interests your audience. Run surveys, share polls on your social media channels, encourage them to answer in the comment section.

This will allow you to know what people want to hear about, and also – what they don’t want to hear about. The information you acquire will help you focus on the best content for potential customers.

Generate demand for the topic

Another very important aspect of hosting a webinar is – generating demand for it. A big problem is that many people still don’t know exactly what demand generation is.

Without getting into too much detail, demand generation is essentially raising awareness about your business and/or your product or service. Every successful marketing strategy should do this, either via your business’ email list, social media, blog, etc.

Basically, your ideal customers should learn more about what you do, what you offer and how exactly you can help them. In order to do this, you can share case studies, ebooks, infographics, blog posts, social media posts, discuss in-depth in your podcast (or a podcast guest episode), videos, etc.

Once you have enough demand for what you offer, inviting people to attend your webinar will most likely be much easier. This way, you won’t have to convince them about your brand, services, etc. – because they already know enough to make it to the next stage. Compare these two instances:

  1. The audience doesn’t know enough about the topic, and case number.
  2. The audience knows a lot about the topic.

Chances are, the latter is more likely to drive people to attend your webinar.

Promote on multiple channels

Without promoting your webinar, you won’t reach enough people (or the right people) for your virtual event. Use every communication channel available, with your true audience in mind. If your potential attendees are among your social media followers, then double down on your social media presence. This is where aforementioned demand generation enters the scene.

On the other hand, if you have a large email list, and your main audience consists of your email subscribers, then focus on promoting the webinar via newsletter or email sequence. Talk about the topic and the subject matter, and be sure to mention the date and time of the webinar.

And now, let’s discuss the best ways to monetize your virtual event.

1. Require a webinar registration fee

This is one of the simplest methods for monetizations, although it has its limitations. It’s best to use it only if you are completely certain that:

  1. You have a solid audience to begin with,
  2. you have created strong demand for your product/service, and,
  3. the proposed fee is reasonable (if the price is too high, many prospects will opt out).

Also, if you decide to go for the paid webinar option, make sure that the ticket purchase process is extremely simple. Include links in your social media posts, newsletter, etc. if possible, offer several payment options. The decisive factor, however, is your offer.

If people are to attend and pay for your webinar, they need to know exactly what you will talk about and how they can benefit. Come up with a winning offer, and the registration will go more smoothly. This type of webinar is especially good for one-time virtual events, such as lectures and workshops.

2. Offer your subscription

These webinars can be very useful for SaaS and similar types of businesses. If you already have a subscription plan integrated with your business, there may be no need to ask for a webinar fee – in fact, it may prove counterproductive, because your audience might feel you’re only interested in bare profit. Remember, customers are there because they believe you can provide value for them, not the other way around.

This option is very effective if you want to discuss your business model, payment options, subscription plans, etc. Of course, this should be mentioned in the latter part of the webinar, so come up with an interesting topic to discuss. The webinar can prove a good entry point for everything that awaits the attendees – once they pick a subscription plan. So, be sure to explain your subscription plan in detail, stressing out the benefits for each of them.

3. Host your product demo

Oftentimes, free webinars can perform a lot better than paid ones. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the audience for a registration fee, another option is to host a demo webinar for your product or service.

Basically, here you will describe your product or service in greater detail, addressing your audience’s pain points, maybe showing it in use, like in a virtual sales pitch.

The good thing about product demo webinars is that they put attendees “in the front seat”, since they can experience your product/service firsthand.The audience can literally learn everything about your offer and decide whether or not to go with the purchase.

One thing you should pay special attention to is the length of these types of webinars, especially. They shouldn’t be too long, because the audience might lose attention. On the other hand, you should talk about the pricing options and selling before the last quarter of the presentation.

If you start discussing the price early on, it might come across as too rude and off-putting. Therefore, dedicate the first three quarters of the product demo to stressing out its benefits and features, leaving the price talk for the last section.

4. Include paid bonus material

People love freebies, and chances are they will be more interested in what you have to offer – once they first get a freebie, as a token of good will. Therefore, a good way to monetize your webinar is to set up a two-step event.

In the first half (which would be the actual webinar), you will offer free registration and attendance. As a second half, you will include bonus materials that require a subscription fee or registration (it can be another webinar, textbook, audio resources, etc.).

If the attendees become interested in what they learn from the webinar, they will be more likely to purchase the bonus material(s). You can use the webinar only as a “teaser”, showing just a slice of what awaits those who make the purchase.

5. Sell your business course

There are two ways you can approach this monetization method. First, you can treat the webinar as the first lecture or session of your business course. Second, you can set it up as the introductory lecture, as an overview for the entire course. If you go with option number one, remember that you’d still need to have a short introduction, so that the audience isn’t confused.

The main difference between this webinar type and product demo is that this model isn’t restricted to talking only about a specific product or service. You can include much more than that: talk about the entire scope of your services, create tutorials, training sessions, FAQ sessions, progress evaluations, etc.

This is a perfect method for educational purposes and all businesses that are focused on selling courses. A good practice is to include a breakdown of the entire course, lecture by lecture, and maybe even offer a freebie in the form of an ebook or a brochure.

Get Email Notifications