Are webinars with low attendance worth it?

If you have a B2B technology company and use a webinar program to educate and build trust at scale with your leads, you'll make prospects more likely to trust you and accelerate more of those leads into sales qualified and eventually sales opportunities and paying customers.

Are You Asking the Right Questions About the Value of Webinars?

There's a good chance you're thinking about scaling your webinar program. Still, early on, one of the questions that many people have about when they're just getting going with webinars is, does it pay to host webinars when there are relatively few people showing up? And it depends. 


Suppose even one or two or three of those showing up are great prospects for your company. And you've had no other way to be able to break through from lead to getting a meeting book with them. It can be a fantastic use of your time. 


Low Attendance Webinars Don't Have the Same Negative Social Proof Problem as Offline Events

See, the key thing that usually messes a lot of people up when they're just getting started with webinars is when you host an offline webinar, like a seminar that's held in the room, private room at a restaurant or a hotel or a conference center or something like that. 


However, what's different about a webinar is your webinar capacity of maybe a hundred, and you thought you would have 30 people showing up. But the five people that are at your webinar have no idea that they are the only five people that are there.


The only way they learn is if you decide to tell them that, or you decide to tank your performance by letting that get in your head. I call that the empty restaurant, waitress, waiter self-fulfilling syndrome. What does that mean? 


Avoid the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I go into my favorite fast-casual restaurant. I go into my favorite table service restaurant.


And it's three o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. It's really too late for lunch, and it's too early for dinner. And because of that, there's like nobody there. 


And because of that, the server is not really happy that they're not going to be making very much in tips because I'm sitting at their only table right now.


So they have two choices. They can either suck it up, provide fantastic service and get a 50% dip, or they can act like a dork, be annoyed that they're not going to make a lot of tips and provide crappy service and, roll the dice and probably not get much of a tip. 


Go Forth to Educate and Build Trust with Your Webinar Program Investment

So that's the deal when it comes to your webinars. It's super important that even when you have low attendance, don't let that mess with your psyche, and you still try to do an amazing job educating and building trust with scale smiling, putting on great content.


Getting them to learn, getting your points across, still going ahead with asking them if they have questions where possible putting up surveys, maybe you decide you don't want to share the survey results, the polling results, polling question results, because it's a relatively small number of people. 


But early on, when you're just getting started with webinars, there's nothing wrong, and it's actually a pretty good idea to keep it. Moving forward with those webinars, even when you have low attendance numbers, especially when there are some great fit prospects in the audience. 


It's not uncommon to find that five people attended. And two people raised their hands and said, now I'm ready to talk to you for sales or have your demo.


Entirely possible. It happens all the time. Plus, on top of that, when you're producing a webinar where you're recording, and you're planning on leveraging that recording in a lot of different ways, post-event, it's still many times make sense to do it just for nothing else than getting the recording because you can market the recording later.

The Long-Tail Payback from Webinars

You can repurpose the recording in many different ways, between chopping it up in smaller videos, creating social images, blogs, and it can power your search engine optimization. It can power your email marketing. It can power your social media. So does it pay to do webinars that have low attendance?


Absolutely positively, yes. I've had tremendous success over my career, holding relatively small events.


And remember, with webinars, your attendees have no idea whether there are five people in the room or 500 people in the room, do a great job for them. Teach them. Be their subject matter expert, open their eyes to insight, introduce them to points of view that they may not have even thought of.


Have you experimented with a consistent webinar program investment? Were you initially spooked out because of relatively low attendance numbers? Did you stick with it to get positive results? Let me know in the comments below.

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