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Veteran Internet marketers, do you recall the bad old days of setting up conference calls and teleseminars to promote your latest products and services?
Setting up enough phone lines (trunks and bridges, anyone?), manually contacting your warm list to get them to your call, then frantically following up with e-mails to ensure your investment was not in vain?
All for a purely voice presentation (no visuals) that you knew listeners would regularly tune out from?
The Dawning of the Webinar Era
Fortunately, thanks to internet technology, traditional teleconferences are giving way to modern, flexible web-driven seminars (“webinars”) that better hold your prospects’ attention and make for a better all-round experience.
At the forefront of this webinar revolution is Citrix Online’s GoToWebinar (GTW), an extension of its popular GoToMeeting software.
GTW builds on GoToMeeting’s reputation for ease of use and optimal information exchange. Set-up is relatively simple, even though you need to download the GoToMeeting software and have Java installed on your personal device. Its web-based instructions and video tutorials are easy to follow, allowing you and your audience to fully appreciate the webinar experience, thanks to many special features:
A. Presenter Features:
- Form-based, full-service registration.
- Customizing branding (i.e. hosted registration pages, professional-looking e-mail invitations)
- Practice sessions for yourself, co-hosts, guest speakers, etc.
- Various audio options (e.g. VoIP, toll-free telephone lines).
- Real-time screen sharing.
- Optional toll-free service.
B. Attendee Features:
- Self-serve registration on web-based forms.
- Reminder e-mails.
- Calendar integration via Microsoft Outlook.
- Various audio participation options (i.e. live or recorded for later use)
and much, much, more…
High Definition Videoconferencing
An increasingly popular feature is Citrix’s high definition (HD) video conferencing option, HDFaces that allows presenters to further engage their audience and stand out from the crowd. For example, you can share your screen with up to six presenters/panelists simultaneously, and perform real-time product and service demonstrations.
HDFaces (currently free with Citrix’s one-hundred attendee plan) also makes employees, suppliers, and others feel part of the action when major corporate decisions are announced.
Thanks to HDFaces, GoToMeeting/GTW won at least five (5) industry-level awards in 2012 alone, including the prestigious Edison Gold Award in the Business/Communications category.
Is GTW really for me?
GTW has posted a number of video testimonials from a variety of business professionals, some of which may resonate with your own experience and needs.
Starting at $79 USD per month (Annual plan), GoToWebinar is well within reach for most businesses, including the stereotypical “solopreneur” working out of his basement! However, if you are skeptical about whether it can respond to your present needs, Citrix offers a 30-day free trial, which includes:
- Unlimited online webinars, each with up to 100 attendees.
- Audio via telephone and/or microphone and speakers.
- Free product training and 24/7 support.
- Instant meetings with GoToMeeting.
That should be enough enticement to get your fingers dirty (or have someone get their fingers dirty with the software on your behalf, LOL!).
GTW gives internet marketers the power to create instant products, i.e. the webinars themselves! Just imagine, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, and actual demonstrations during one session can be sold alone or as part of a greater offer over and over again.
And yes, prospects can now attend GTW webinars on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices (N.B. As of this writing, still awaiting news about Blackberry 10 compatibility).
Webinars are one of the best tools for evening the playing field for small-to-medium sized businesses. GTW is an established product you can have confidence in. It offers both PC and Mac support, and in response to some earlier criticism, has recently revamped its webinar mobility.
Still think that GTW is only meant for blue-chip, global corporations? In the Internet Age, every company is a global company, and your ability to reach prospects and customers is no longer limited by geography. It only makes sense to be fully equipped to compete.
Citrix and the GoToWebinar brand are not the only game in town, but it is among the few online service options that can cater to a wide array of business and marketing needs. It is the logical step-up from GoToMeeting, and can be a vital piece of your customer-oriented internet marketing toolkit in the years to come.
If using webinars as a sales vehicle, training mechanism, or marketing tool isn’t already a part of your marketing mix I highly recommend trying out GoToWebinar and seeing how easy it is to add this powerful tool to your business.