Natasha Geraghty-Medved is Acteva’s marketing specialist. She has six years of event marketing management and social media marketing experience.

Webinars (web seminars) have gained in popularity, more often than not, because they are inexpensive or sometimes free, depending on the tool. However, they take the same amount of effort to organize as any corporate event.

Like other online content, the question comes to: How do I make money from it? While not all events or online content will have fees associated with participating, some may, and it's particularly valuable for organizations that may provide trainings or other certifications and can do so using online methods. 

There are multiple ways to monetize online content; not everything will work for your organization or your users. Below suggests ten ways to monetize webinars and highlights the best practices for hosting webinars.

  1. Your content needs to be stellar. It helps to have a well-known speaker or a hot topic.
  2. Schedule the webinar thoughtfully.
    1. Do NOT schedule it when people are having fun (holidays) or on their personal time (dinner or weekends). The same goes for Monday or Friday, when they are coming back from or getting ready to leave early for a vacation.
    2. Do schedule it during the middle of the week and work day; when in all probability the attendees will have the time.
    3. Do NOT schedule it for more than an hour. People lack attention span and time.
  3. Offer incentives to people buying tickets or spreading the word.
    1. 2 for 1, free white paper, or enter them for the raffle. 
    2. If they refer a friend they can get their webinar discount or make it free if a specific number of their friends register.
    3. If you have a webinar series offer attendees the option to buy in a bundle.
    4. Allow people to have group discounts or offer time-based ticket discounts.
  4. Allow attendees to promote the event to their network on social media for you.
    1. Hold a contest per reposting or re-tweeting your event.
  5. For paid webinars, make payment a prerequisite for attendees to access to the webinar.
    1. Allow attendees to have access to the recorded webinar at their convenience.
    2. Give them access to the presentation slides and any whitepapers or case studies referenced in the webinar.
  6. Use the webinar's recording to continue your return on investment by posting it in a pay-per-view mode on your website. If a visitor wants to view the content, they will have to pay to gain access.
    1. Just make sure that once they pay to view it, they can view it again without cost.
  7. If your webinar addresses a specific product that you are an affiliate of, allow people to buy it by clicking the URL you provide them!
    1. Offer those attending the webinar a discount code, should they decide to purchase.
  8. When giving a webinar, if your product is applicable, ensure that you offer a demo. Let your audience type in "I'd like one!" Find out which participants are interested in further engagement.
    1. This can be a great place to use polling, learn about your audience, their needs, and increases audience engagement.
  9. Finish the webinar with a case study verses a pitch; it is softer and more effective.
  10. Follow up immediately (in 90 minutes) with clear "call-to-actions" steering your audience towards what you want them to do next.
    1. Make sure your staff is fully aware of the webinar, its intended audience, and message. The more knowledgeable they are, the smoother the transition.
    2. Having your webinar integrate with your CRM platform allows for a quicker follow up call to further engage your users.