If you are looking for a way to bring your prospective clients to one place, demonstrate your solutions as well as educate and create valuable connections, then webinars are a great tool you should add to your marketing tactics. Webinars are interactive, multidirectional online meetings or presentations that take place in real time. They are a wonderful way to build trust through live interactions and have the potential to establish significant business opportunities. Let’s take a look at some best practices that can help elevate the webinar experience for your audience.
Tell a good story
First things first. When do you do a webinar? A webinar topic should revolve around a pain point you have identified among your audience and your solution to it. Some popular webinar suggestions include: examining of a niche topic from a fresh angle, panel discussion of a timely, news-based issue in your industry, an interview with an industry thought leader, and “how-to” tutorials among others.1
Make your webinar standout
Whatever topic you choose, you should match the presentation format to the topic. For example, having a person who is not an expert host the webinar plays well when introducing a new topic or concept. The non-expert host can introduce the topic specialists and ask the type of questions the audience may be too embarrassed to ask. It puts everyone on the same level and creates an atmosphere that “we are all here to learn,” so that non experts are not alienated. That being said, make sure to know your audience and assure that if it is a highly expert audience, you must guarantee the webinar provides valuable information. Consider a co-presenter. This will help you by doubling the value to your audience as well as free you up in case there are any technical difficulties you need to handle in real time.
Support your speaker with great slides. You don’t have to use PowerPoint. Some alternatives such as Prezi are incredibly visually stimulating and easy to follow. Within the presentation, you can incorporate testimonials as a way to demonstrate solutions that work with companies similar to the ones in your audience. By using 5-10 testimonials with results interspersed throughout the webinar you can establish your authority. Testimonials that include a client addressing your company’s representatives by name are especially effective and should be chosen over ones that do not.
You can also add fun elements to gamify the webinar experience and at the same time keep your audience's attention. For example, you can tell your audience there will be a trivia game at the end based on the content. The fastest person to answer correctly all questions will be the winner. There are some great apps such as Crowdpurr or Kahoot that can make these trivia game experiences work seamlessly
Keep in mind to leave a few minutes at the end for taking questions. Remember to prepare a few made up questions along with made up names, in case there are no live questions. Always do a test run with the software equipment to see everything works properly. On the day of the webinar, it is advisable to have someone technical on staff who can quickly mitigate technical issues.
Get the word out
Are you going to reach out to your existing email list or are you looking to expand it? Promoting your webinar can be done very effectively through email invites. When promoting your webinar, consider already providing value with the email invite. An example of this can be offering a downloadable cheat sheet with best practices, which later will be discussed at length along with a case study during the webinar. Hinting at the takeaways participants will get from the webinar is a great way to increase registrations.
If you have put a lot of time and effort into your webinar, you might be starting to think about scaling it. Scaling webinars is often a challenge. If you are working with partners, there is a way. You can use automation to promote your webinars with landing pages and email campaigns at local and channel partner levels. This is made possible through software companies such as MindMatrix that specialize in webinar syndication. You can customize your webinars for your channel partners/sales teams, so that the partners send the webinars to your prospects on behalf of your partners and salespeople using the appropriate branding.
If you record your webinar, you can further utilize it on additional channels. Bite-sized content videos work very well on social media platforms. By editing your webinar into short segments, you can provide your followers with focused content. Capitalize on this with a strong call to action related to each post to drive engagement.
1 How to Do a Webinar Your Audience Will Love/Wordstream