Q&A: what if our webinars don’t have “offers?”

In a recent webinar I was speaking to a marketing audience about producing marketing webinars and the following question came in from Paula M.:

What if you work for a large organization like ours and use webinars to communicate messages and don’t have offers?

Paula, you don’t mention the type of audience or messages you’re speaking about, but let me make an educated guess that these are employees (versus the marketing audience we were generally speaking to for the DMA).

Let me be gentle with this next comment, but the truth is every one of us has “offers,” even if we don’t call it that.

Let me explain.

Unless 100% of your communication is compulsory (mandatory attendance), you have an audience who will engage more – or less – depending on how much they see relevance to their own wants and needs.  In the words I used in the webinar, “what’s in it for me?”

Here’s an example of a mundane scenario that could benefit by thinking this way:

Imagine you’re doing a training session rolling out a new medical benefits program.  What’s the typical presentation?  Data, data, data, data.  And what’s a common response.  Ho hum, and can I just know where to find the information when I need to find the information.

Now imagine delivering the communication in terms of benefits to the employee…not just the facts, but the “what’s in it for me?”

Rather than an invitation reading “medical benefits training” (the “what”), it might say something like “Learn three new ways to save time and money with the new benefits system” (the “why”).

And what about the content?  Might the employees give you more attention in you pointing out how much faster the new online reporting system or the places they can save money on (fill in the blank) with the new policy than a bunch of facts that might get lost in the busyness of life?

Let me be really clear…I’m NOT saying we abandon all facts, figures, and procedures.  What I AM saying is that people don’t need more noise in their lives, and what they pay attention to are things of self-interest.

So… what’s the offer?  Data?  Or a way to experience personal benefit?  (That’s a rhetorical question, BTW ;).  AND…if this is true for internal audiences (employees), how much more true is it true for external audiences?

An offer is others-centric.  What are you going to help them get?

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