A Short Guide to Creating an Engaging Webinar
Sharing knowledge is a standard marketing move, allowing you to not only increase the engagement of your clients, but also to present yourself as an expert. What's more, according to My Own Conference data, more than 40% of companies preparing webinars notice that they have helped the customer service department by using such events to share information concerning their products and services.
However, it’s important to remember that preparing a good webinar is also a big challenge. It is important to prepare it in such a way that after taking part in one, participants will be excited about the idea of watching the next one.
So how can you achieve this? Here are some tips for staging successful webinars that keep attendees coming back!
A short webinar definition
Webinars are a great tool that, apart from sharing knowledge, have several basic goals:
- Building a relationship with your clients
- Showing you as an expert
- Creating sales opportunities
It’s a good idea to think about which of these might be more important than the others as you plan your webinar.
If you want to create a sales opportunity, make sure your product and its function are well presented; if you want to present yourself as an expert, try to make your knowledge unique and specialized; while wanting to build relationships with customers, it is worth giving them the opportunity to ask questions during/after webinar.
Setting one of these goals will allow you to more effectively measure your webinar’s effects, not only by the number of participants or the number of asked questions, but, for example, by the number of people among the participants of the webinar who later made a purchase, contact with the company etc.
Time to start working!
Once you have set your webinar goals, it's time to start working on the event itself.
To make your work much easier, we have prepared a short step by step guide on how to dive into this topic.
Step 1. Choose the webinar’s subject - by getting into the client's shoes
Think about the topics than can be really useful to your clients. Remember the benefits that your webinar can bring to your company – and choose one of the types suggested below:
- Webinars on the use of your tool/service can be useful for clients, especially when you present interesting tricks and possibilities as well as new features.
- Webinars about other topics related to the chosen industry. They increase customer knowledge and show you as a market expert.
Depending on the chosen topic, find people from your team who will lead the event. Remember that even the best industry expert may not feel comfortable in this form of customer contact. Choose the speakers wisely (and inform about them in further webinar communication).
Step 2. An excellent title
How do you attract participants to a webinar? By using a good title, of course!
Below are some nice ideas for creating a really engaging title:
- "X ways to ..." - This title seems communicates organization and subconsciously promises a list of benefits.
- "How to do ... with ...?" - A title in the form of a question makes readers subconsciously want to know the answer. You can enrich it with a non-obvious statement, which in addition will be able to intrigue users, e.g. "How can you solve your two biggest industry problems using smartphone?"
- "Tricks/ways to..." - This suggests exclusive knowledge that you want to share. It can be an incentive for the user to get to know specific cases, full of practical knowledge and market tips.
Step 3. Just in time
Finally, it's time to choose the perfect date!
According to Go To Webinar statistics, most users participate in webinars that take place between 10 and 11 am (53%). As for the days of the week, Wednesday and Thursday are the most popular (52%).
TIP: remember that people can log into your webinar from different places in the world - so make it easier for them and enter the event time in several time zones.
Step 4. We are pleased to invite you to... - all you need to know about the invitation issue
Traditionally, you can send an invitation by email to your clients and partners using email.
Most subscriptions to webinars come from email campaigns (57%), which shows the high efficiency of this channel.
However, if you want to promote it more widely, think about a more extensive internet campaign.
Social media is the perfect solution in this case.
An invitation prepared in the form of a banner, interactive graphics, infographics or more engaging video, can be promoted among a properly targeted group of Facebook users, as well as among those who follow your fan page.
Remember to emphasize the most important information and benefits resulting from participation in the webinar - highlight them in the prepared message - they are your bargaining chip (as far as you know, the language of benefits always works well in marketing communications).
In addition to the registration form itself, try to attach a link allowing users to add the event to their calendar. In this way they will be able to receive an additional notification reminding them that the event will start soon.
Step 5. Notifications
Even the most loyal fans of your webinars can forget about the event. Notifications can come to the rescue in this situation.
Set an automatic email reminder that will be sent 10-15 minutes before the webinar so that users can easily join the event.
Step 6. Presentation
Less is more - Information must be gathered into visually pleasing slides that will help you to share what is most important. Be aware that you can't give the impression of reading slides. Emphasize the most important sentences and statements that the user must remember.
Additionally, you can build audience engagement by differentiating the materials you use, such as screen sharing, using a white page where you can draw, or presenting video materials.
Take care of the visual side of the presentation and add some stats and tables to attract attention with "hard data".
Step 7. The webinar itself
You can record the webinar and broadcast it later, which may help you to avoid problems related to broadcast breaks, mistakes, stress or technical issues. You can also add effects to your recording, like zooming in appropriate places or animations. This way, the recording will be both professional and persuasive.
In other situations, you will be in the position of hosting a live webinar, which is obviously necessary if you want to answer participants' questions in real time. Here’s a checklist to help:
- Check the speakers and microphone to make sure everything works properly.
- If you're in the middle of connecting with someone from a different location, it's a good idea to do a connection test to make sure you can hear each other.
- If you want to show a tool/websites/movie, prepare links in tabs in advance, or save them on the desktop to make sure that you will not have to waste time live to find these materials.
- Check the chat where users can ask questions to ensure that everything works as it should.
- Use two computers if you can. Use one to connect to as a speaker and the other to turn on the preview of the normal user view. Thanks to this, you'll be able to see what users are currently seeing and be sure they can hear you.
- Wait a few minutes for the webinar to start. Users often need a moment to log in and join an event, so it's good if you give them that chance. You can say hello at the schedules start and ask for two minutes of patience so that new users can join. You can also devote this time to a short introduction to keep everyone occupied while others finish joining.
- Be sure to inform your listeners how long the webinar will take so that they can prepare for it and budget their time accordingly. Have a watch in front of you to control the presentation time.
- Remember the purpose of your webinar. If it is sale or to encourage contact with the company - leave a few minutes to share contact information at the end.
- Set aside time for asking questions after the webinar. Thanks to this, you will avoid digression and getting off-topic during the presentation.
Step 8. Q&A session
A catchy option is to combine previously recorded webinars with some interactive elements. Thanks to the fact that during the webinar users will be able to ask questions and get answers at the end of the event will be an additional incentive for them to take part live, rather than listen to it later.
If difficult questions arise, do not avoid them. If you do not know the answer at the moment say that the answer will be sent to an e-mail address after the webinar when you have a chance to look into the matter.
If there are too many questions and you do not have enough time, answer some of them and send the remaining answers to the others in bulk by email after the webinar or individually to specific people.
Step 9. Feedback
After the webinar, be sure to collect feedback. A short survey will allow you to get fresh information from participants. Don’t ask too many questions since users will not have time to answer them or will skip some. Form short and specific questions.
A survey displayed immediately after the event is a better idea than sending it by email sometime later.
Also, remember to send a presentation and the whole recording to the participants after the webinar. They will appreciate this gesture and will gladly return to the materials prepared later.
Sometimes you can face the dilemma or having to choose between organizing a webinar for customers or for the general public.
Internal or external webinar?
It all depends on the content you want to present. If you sell an exclusive tool or service, create content just for customers to increase their engagement and share news about using your services. However, if our goal is to reach as many people as possible, bet on an external webinar with open subscriptions.
Remember that your competitors may also be among your webinar audience. Therefore, if the content you produce will reveal too many details, you can always prepare such webinars only for a chosen audience including clients and partners, creating more exclusive content available only for a selected group.
A badly conducted and prepared webinar will not only harm your reputation, but it may discourage users from signing up for future events.
That is why it is so important to prepare well for such an event and to do it professionally. Speed is not what counts here, but accuracy and precision.
I hope that my guide will help you to consider the most important information and prepare many interesting events for your clients and partners!