Webinar Marketing for Financial Advisors: Which Format is Right for You?

With advances in technology and the growth of online video meeting platforms, the way businesses share information and educate clients has changed. That’s exactly why webinars have become so popular.

Webinars come in a variety of formats. Depending on your audience and your strengths and weaknesses, not every format will be a fit. While some financial advisors may thrive in a webinar where they are live and can improvise as needed, for others the structure of pre-recording their content may work better.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at live and pre-recorded webinar formats, and what to consider when choosing which one is right for you. This is important because before you step in front of a video camera, you should already have your overall strategy nailed down. 

Is Webinar Marketing Right for Your Financial Advisor Business? 

While popular, hosting webinars to build business isn’t right for everyone. 

Webinars offer your existing and potential clients great value and provide an opportunity to showcase your expertise. And there’s this compelling fact: 73% of the marketers polled said webinars are the best way to generate quality leads. Prospects who are considering working with you can get a feel for who you are and what you do in a low-pressure environment. This can be particularly helpful for warming up your cold leads or generating new ones, and accelerating the sales process. 

Webinars as a marketing channel are very cost-effective, especially when compared to in-person seminars. You don’t need to rent meeting space or travel to the seminar location. As long as you have a strong internet connection and can ensure there’s a reasonable-looking background, you can create a webinar.

The content you create for webinars can be repurposed into other content, which also saves money. You can edit your webinar into short, easily digestible videos to share on social media, or create an email series based on what you taught. Although it may seem that the cost of pre-recorded and live webinars should be similar, pre-recorded webinars can actually end up costing more due to production expenses. There is an expectation that pre-recorded webinars be more polished; therefore they are often heavily edited. Unless this is your area of expertise, you’ll need to hire someone to do it.

Now, let’s break down each format in more detail. 

Live Webinars

Cost

Depending on the platform you choose, your cost will vary. Options like Facebook Live, GoTo Webinar, YouTube or Zoom can start at zero cost and go up from there. For those newer to creating live webinar content, these are a great place to get started. Your overall cost will depend on exactly what’s involved but can you easily spend as little as $50. The higher the production value, the higher your overall price tag will be. 

Who’s Attending Live Webinars?

Live webinars are at the peak of popularity, but, having your expectations in check regarding attendance will help you be realistic with your goals. It’s estimated that 78% of webinars have 50 or fewer attendees. Additionally, 59% of registrations happen within the seven days before the webinar, so that week is critical in terms of your webinar marketing. 

Why Go Live? 

Live webinars give you a chance to interact with your audience in real-time. With good audience participation, you can have an engaging conversation that goes beyond the content they see on their screen. As a financial advisor, you know that offering an excellent client experience is part of creating loyal customers, and live webinars give you a platform to build relationships. 

Possible obstacles to creating great live webinar include getting interrupted by other people and pets in the home, finding a time that works for attendees in varying time zones, and the always present risk of technical problems. 

Creating Content 

To create engaging live webinar content, you can choose from several different formats including:

  • Single speaker presentations
  • Guest speaker presentations
  • How-to videos
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Interviews 
  • Information sessions

Evergreen/Pre-Recorded Webinars

Cost

Although it may seem that the cost of pre-recorded and live webinars should be similar, pre-recorded webinars can actually end up costing more due to production expenses.. There is an expectation that pre-recorded webinars be more polished, there for they are often often heavily edited. Unless this is your area of expertise you’ll need to hire someone to do it. 

Who’s Viewing Evergreen/Pre-Recorded Webinars? 

It’s estimated that approximately 28% of people prefer watching pre-recorded webinars. People looking for flexibility are attracted to pre-recorded webinars because they can watch at their leisure and aren’t bound to a specific day and time. 

Why Choose to Pre-Record?

Pre-recorded webinars are appealing because the pressure to perform is removed from the equation, but you still have a platform to inform and educate. You can edit out mistakes, re-record sections that aren’t to your liking, and add effects during post-production. For those who have trouble with public speaking, it’s the ideal scenario as you can go at your own pace. 

The main challenge of pre-recorded webinars is that you have to find ways to make the content as engaging as possible since you won’t be interacting with the audience. When hosting a live webinar you can “read the room” and adjust your pace or your tone, or mix up the content if you feel interest waning. You can also let the conversation evolve in different directions.  However, with a pre-recorded webinar, you have to catch and keep the audiences’ attention for the entire time, so if your content isn’t engaging enough, they may not stick around until the end. 

Creating Content for Pre-Recorded Webinars

The content for pre-recorded webinars needs to consider the lack of interaction between the host and the audience, so the types of content best suited for this are:

  • How-to demos;
  • Product and service demos; and
  • Expert trainings where no audience interaction is needed .

As a final note, if you are considering creating webinar content that’s evergreen, that means steering clear of anything that may become outdated quickly. Otherwise, you’ll need to have a plan in place to review the webinar regularly so it can be updated. 

Not Sure Where to Begin? A Marketing Professional Can Help

Much of the success of a webinar comes down to one key element: having great webinar content that’s valuable, engaging, and informative to your audience.For anyone who doesn’t create webinars on a regular basis, having a marketing professional to guide you can make a huge difference in how successful the webinar is. An expert who helps you formulate clear goals for your webinar and create a strategy to effectively produce and market it can help save you time and money while ensuring you get a good ROI on your efforts. 

Are you interested in leveraging webinars as part of your marketing strategy? 

Crystal Marketing Solutions offers solutions for financial professionals looking to craft a strategic roadmap by having a consistent marketing presence that attracts the right customers. Contact us to discuss your needs.

About the Author

Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is a creative marketer and results-oriented business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisers. At Crystal Marketing Solutions, she delivers exceptional insights for financial professionals enabling them to create a consistent marketing presence so they can focus on the things that matter most to them.