RUNNING WEBINARS TO PROMOTE ENGINEERING PRODUCTS
21st May, 2020
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"Everybody is stuck at home, right? So now must be the perfect time to get those webinars we've been talking about up and running? It's just a matter of bashing out an invite and then doing a PowerPoint online somewhere! Get it going," said the CEO of every engineering company, everywhere.
"Erm, OK, well, definitely, great idea, let's work on a plan..." whimpered the marketing person, knowing full well that said webinar could take weeks of work to get up and running.
"No? I'll just get started now then, in that case..." she sobbed as the words 'the CEO of every engineering company, everywhere has left the call,' flashed up on her screen; Teams, Zoom, Whereby and WhatsApp, all dying simultaneously as the same scenario was enacted in back-bedroom offices across the UK.
They might be tough to organise, but webinars are an important part of technical marketing and PR, all they need is time and planning. At Stone Junction, we've found that three or four different kinds of content have proven particularly popular recently and I thought you might like to hear about them.
Seminars for product marketing or training
When someone signs up for a webinar, their commitment is minimal. They know they are only giving you an hour of their time. They know they can leave the webinar, most likely without offending anyone, and they know that if they are busy on the day, they don't have to turn up.
It's a virtual event, so they don't need to feel guilty, safe in the knowledge that there isn't room somewhere, empty but for a table of vol au vents and a group of people let down by no-shows.
Partly because of this minimal commitment, direct product marketing works in webinars. It doesn't need a pretext. You don't have to add the words, 'Industry 4.0' or 'collaborative' to the start of your webinar description; people will come along just to see how your widgets work. You are offering them a bitesize introduction to a technology they might need to buy, so why wouldn't; they want to attend?
A good example of this in practice is a webinar Stone Junction is running for one of our clients on Tuesday, May 26. It's promoting a product called the Inspekto S70, which is an autonomous machine vision system for parts inspection, that can be installed by a QA manager, without expert help, and costs just €14,700. You can sign up here — hundreds of other people already have.
See, it works huh? And one thing that makes it work even better is turning your webinar into a collaborative session with a customer, presenting a case study or use case. This is what I would call social evidence if I were a marketing numpty. Which I am...
Round table and panel discussions
Just because straight product marketing is very effective, it doesn't mean that your customers don't also want to understand the currency of the debate, and chew over its implications for the wider world of automation and engineering.
Round tables and panel discussion, as well as unbiased and product free seminars, are also a big attractive — especially if your business fits nicely into a popular theme in the arena you work in. For example, additive manufacturing for those of you in the production sector for instance or mass customisation for designers.
A good way of thinking about it is by considering the two methodologies as if they were part of a printed trade magazine. You remember those right? You used to get them in your office? You remember the office? You do?
Round tables and panel discussions are like the features you pore over during your coffee break, while product marketing webinars are the pages full of widgets at the back. Case studies are, well, case studies and product launches and announcements are the news section. You even have the Q&A section to fill the role of a letters page.
Want to read more? Of course, you do! Follow this link to Connectivity Magazine to read the full article.
Richard Stone is the founder of Stone Junction, a specialist technical PR agency delivering international and digital PR and marketing services for scientific, engineering and technology companies. He loves vol au vents and the Science Museum and was just kidding earlier. He's even sad that Vineopolis is shut.
If you are as well, or you want to discuss building webinars into your technical PR and marketing campaign, or would like to get involved in The Rascal Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org. He loves a chat.