Old Dog, New Tricks: How Today’s Webinars Supercharge Club Marketing

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Today’s webinar platforms give health clubs and wellness businesses new paths to new customers and revenues, deeper engagement, and broader geographic reach.

What to expect from Webinar 2.0 providers

Platforms like BigMarker, ON24 and others have moved far beyond old-school web conferencing providers like GoToMeeting and WebEx.

These new platforms integrate no-download browser-based web-conferencing with email marketing automation, video streaming, participant billing capabilities and more — key features when web-conferencing is an integral part of the growth plan for your business.

Thanks to extremely affordable SaaS pricing models, their customers range from PBS, Panasonic, the United Nations, Hootsuite, and other names you’d recognize to much smaller businesses determined to grow.

Historically, features like these didn’t exist in a single integrated solution at an affordable price — or they were only available from sketchy “passive income” entrepreneurs who often greatly exaggerated their platforms’ features and capabilities and frequently demanded a cut of your revenue as payment for the nonexistent value provided by their “marketing engine.”

When comparing Webinar 2.0 platforms, you’ll typically find important and impressively user-friendly capabilities like these:

  • Mobile-friendly (very important!), and no download required for participants
  • Your branding and ability to host from your webiste, without paying an upcharge
  • Enterprise-quality web conferencing — that means reliable, no-latency, high-quality video and audio, “five 9’s” downtime and no serious or recurring visual or audio glitches
  • The ability to playback videos within your webinar
  • Bill webinar participants, WITHOUT forced revenue-sharing, typically through Stripe, eliminating the need to mess around with merchant accounts
  • Enroll participants in a series and automatically continue their registration as new sessions are added — ideal for health and wellness, because sequenced experiences — think weight loss, meditation, chronic disease management and stress management programs — are foundational in our industry
  • “Like-live” playback of recorded webinars
  • Seamless follow-on sales of the recorded webinar or other related products or services
  • Integration to your existing CRM tools like Salesforce and lots of popular third-party platforms and apps like Mailchimp

The bottom line: these platforms take webinars to an entirely new level.

Which of these Webinar 2.0 strategies can benefit your health club?

Sales & Marketing — Customer & Revenue Growth

“Your program sounds great but…does it work? Will I fit in? Do you really ‘get’ me?”

An invitation to a webinar is a great, low-pressure “next step” to offer a potential member or client. And it’s cost effective. “Like live” capabilities let you record webinars focused on topics that drive your sales and marketing process forward.

For example, potential members who’re very interested in the programs you offer — but still worried that they might not fit in, or that you might not “get” them — respond well to a new take on testimonials. Set up an online panel discussion among several of your clients moderated by one of  your health coaches on a topic like “Dodging Diabetes: Real Stories from Real People.” That’s a topic that gracefully underscores the fact that 1) you have happy clients and 20 you know how to help people prevent diabetes.

Deliver the webinar live once and record it, then simply schedule “like live” playback on, say, every third Thursday. Makes it easy for anyone in your business to offer a graceful next step to a prospect!

“Announcing Our Brand-New….”

Launch events aren’t just for companies like Apple or Tesla. If you’re rolling out an important new program or service, put together a web event to announce it.

Tease the upcoming big announcement through all your normal marketing channels — stream it live on the big day — and then use the recorded version to promote your new program via paid social advertising on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, organic social media on Facebook and Instagram, email marketing and more.

Customer Engagement & Loyalty

New Member or Client Onboarding

Pre-recorded webinars are a great onboarding tool. Show members exactly how to use their cards for 24-hour access, to access lockers and check in on each machine.

Do you offer a great lineup of group fitness or other healthy lifestyle classes? Use a webinar to quickly preview all the choices, introduce the instructors, and encourage participation.

Program Delivery

For programs delivered strictly online, web conferencing and webinars are obviously a critical component — far more effective than audio or email alone.

What’s often overlooked, however, is how web conferencing can amplify the reach of programs which are primarily delivered face-to-face.

For example, successful healthy lifestyle programs almost always include class components. Is it really the best use of your program leader’s time to stand at the front of a classroom delivering healthy lifestyle lectures to a room of participants?

What if you instead provided short, fun prerecorded webinars for participants to watch before the in-person sessions, freeing the face-to-face meetings for lots of discussion and interaction?

Most programs also include some kind of peer support component, often moderated by a health and wellness professional.

However, face-to-face peer support sessions often aren’t convenient for everyone — especially if participants also had to attend classes face-to-face. How about a webinar-based approach to your weekly peer support meetings? It’s easy to hand off control to different discussion leaders and open up the discussion for participation by everyone. Include polls, surveys, quizzes and other online features to up the “fun” factor, get new insights, and keep people’s attention.

Operations

Employee Training

For clubs with multiple locations, live and prerecorded webinars offer a great way to streamline everything from recruiting to training on emergency procedures, sexual harassment prevention and more.

For example, if you want to make sure job candidates get the full story on your company’s history, benefits packages and future direction, just have your CEO record a web presentation that HR can share with every candidate.