Maybe you’ve hosted a webinar already, or maybe you haven’t. It could be that you already know a webinar isn’t exactly the right fit for your audience and you’ve been trying to figure out what you can do instead. Or if you have done a webinar, you could be looking at your post-webinar analytics and realizing that it wasn’t as effective as you were hoping it would be.
Whatever your reason, you’re looking for alternatives. That’s great—because alternatives to webinars do exist, and they are often every bit as effective!
Challenges of Webinar Format Launches
We’ve talked before about how valuable it can be to offer your followers a webinar (or even a series of webinars). It provides them with something of value, establishes you as a leader in your field, creates that know-like-trust factor, and builds community around your brand.
But in hyping up webinars, we’re always realistic about the fact that webinars do have some challenges—there are aspects to them that just don’t work for everyone. If they are done via live format, some people may have to miss them because of scheduling conflicts. Even if you record the webinar for people to watch on their own schedule, they might not do so because they can’t carve out a long period of time to give it their undivided attention.
There’s also the chance that some of your target audience may have other learning styles, and watching a video doesn’t let them retain information as much as reading or interactivity would.
Last but not least, webinars can get repetitive if they are the only way you’re trying to share knowledge with your audience. People like variety! Sometimes it’s easier to mix it up and do something a little bit different.
With all of this in mind, we’ve come up with three alternatives to webinar launches that you can try:
- Video trainings
- Email launches
- Challenge launches
3 Alternatives to Webinar Launches
Video trainings are pretty similar to webinars, except for one crucial difference: They’re much shorter. While a webinar could cover several talking points on a designated topic, a video training might simply dedicate one video to each talking point. Therefore, all it takes is a few minutes to watch. They’re easier for you as a creator to put together, and because of this, you can make more of them to test different variations.
The downside to video trainings is that they often don’t have the sense of urgency that a webinar does. Even though webinars require a lot more of a time commitment, people who are genuinely interested will make them a priority. With a short video training, even though it takes only a few minutes to watch, you really need to sell people on its value.
If you decide to go the video training route, we recommend using platforms like Vidalytics, Vimeo, or Loom to publish your video. You can also directly publish your video to your social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and (of course) YouTube.
Some people learn best through reading, and for those members of your audience, the most practical way of reaching them is an email launch. With this type of strategy, you’re sending a series of emails giving snippets of information every day. Because the emails are short, they’re easy to consume when your audience checks email every day—and because they are a series, each email can build on the information you gave the day before.
Email launches are great because everyone is checking their email already anyway. They can skim through your email while they’re bouncing around messages for work. And if there’s any information they want to recall later, it’s easy enough for them to go back and double-check their email—no need to watch a video all over again.
The big benefit in this case can also be a big drawback. People are already checking their email, so it should be easy enough for them to read yours, right? But some people don’t want even one more email—they feel as if they have enough in their inbox already! If you’re going to encourage them to subscribe, you have to make sure it’s something they’re really interested in.
If you like the idea of email launches, you want to get a platform that allows you to design, schedule, and send out emails. We recommend ConvertKit and Flodesk for all the features they offer as well as their usability. Deadline Funnel is a great tool for integrating a deadline to any offer you include as part of your email campaign, which will encourage your subscribers to act quickly.
Everyone loves a good challenge, right? It’s interactive. It gets you involved. You have to think and respond. So, it’s easy to see why a challenge launch is so popular. When you offer a challenge launch to your audience, you’re letting them participate in a structured challenge with tasks or assignments all built around information they’ll also be receiving.
When people know they have to apply information, they’re a lot more likely to retain it. When applying that information is a lot of fun, they’re more motivated. So, a challenge launch is a great way to get people excited about what you’re providing.
The only real downside to a challenge launch is that it needs to strike a delicate balance. If it’s too complicated, people will lose interest and won’t want to participate. But if it’s too easy, well… what’s the point? People won’t feel invested. You need to make sure you have a simple but exciting challenge, and keep it to a constrained period of time—usually one business week, Monday through Friday, is enough.
Depending on how you communicate the rules and requirements of the challenge to people, you can get away with using many of the same tools you would use for video trainings and email launches—it’s just about including interactive elements!
Mix-and-Match to Find the Best Format for Your Product
So, there you have it—three great alternatives to webinars.
But remember what we told you about variety. One of the reasons you might want alternatives to webinars is because people might get bored by too much of the same thing. You could easily run into the same problem if you stick to only one of these alternatives.
More importantly, you’re not going to know which one of these alternatives works best (or if webinars work better than all three alternatives) until you’ve tried them. If you want to find the best format for expanding brand awareness or promoting a product, your best option is to mix and match all of these different formats, paying close attention to which one brings you the most success.
Maybe in the future you’ll decide to focus on just the one that’s most effective. But for right now, why not go ahead and work with all of them. It’s nice to have alternatives, isn’t it?
At Till, we love webinars. We love video trainings, email launches, and challenge launches, too. That’s why we share information like this via our blog—because we know that other businesses out there will get excited about this insight and put it to good use.
But if you’re struggling to connect with your audience—or if you’re struggling to find the time you need to invest into marketing—maybe we can step in and help you out. Get in touch with us today, and let’s get a discovery call on the calendar!