Webinars are one of the most popular ways to deliver content online and connect with a global audience. When done right, webinars can build your brand, establish your authority in your industry and generate new leads. For a start, they allow you to educate audiences about topics related to your brand. In addition, webinars can also offer major lead generation benefits. Finally, they can be repurposed into blogs, videos, and other types of content.
You Can Use Webinars To:
- Reach people from anywhere in the world
- Interact with your audience
- Establish trust and position yourself as an industry leader
- Gain leads and conversions
- Gain new inspiration
Use the tips below to successfully plan a webinar.
How To Successfully Plan A Webinar
Know Your Attendees
Focus on our audience in order to successfully plan a webinar. Depending on the type of event, put yourself in their shoes and think about what you’d like to see. Think about what they need to make the most of the webinar. Consider the challenges are they facing, their goals etc. Addressing them will help you plan a webinar that’s laser-focused on improving your attendees’ lives. When you have that figured out, put the pieces together and start planning your event.
Be An Expert In Your Subject
To deliver a good session, master the topic you’re going to cover. Read and re-read the materials and double-check all the facts. Plan a webinar by collecting all the necessary sources to share them with your audience. Also, try not to provide any vague responses to questions you don’t know the answers to. Instead, double-check and follow up with the attendee after the webinar.
Choose a Topic of Interest
One of your goals is to demonstrate your authority as an information source. Hence, define a specific topic your audience will find interesting and which you can go into in great detail. This will help you plan a webinar more efficiently and make it easier to stay focused on a topic. Explore FAQ or poll your audience to find the topics they find interesting.
Check Google Analytics or research competition to find the topic that received the most attention. This will help you understand which topics your audience is interested in. Check if there is a particular question your audience frequently asks that you could address in a webinar. If you find suitable answers to these questions, you will find your topic for the upcoming webinar.
Set The Date and Time
Recent statistics suggest that the best days to host your webinars are Wednesdays and Thursdays. However, the best time to conduct your webinar depends on your target demographic. Use Google Analytics to locate world regions where most of your online traffic comes from. You can also ask your audience for the most convenient time for them to attend the webinar. Take the following into consideration:
- Time zones. Keep in mind that not everyone will be in your time zone. If you’re based on the West Coast, don’t start a webinar at 6 p.m. PT. This is probably too late for attendees living on the East Coast.
- Make it clear if your webinar will be recorded, In addition, state that by signing up someone will get that recording. That way you’ll increase conversions even when someone can’t attend live.
- Ensure all necessary parties are available and your date doesn’t clash with any other major calendar event.
- The duration. It’s important to accentuate whether it will last for 45 or 120 minutes. That way you will ensure your attendees will organize their time to stick to the end.
Prepare a Consistent Story
Plan a webinar by establishing a cohesive storyline to ensure consistency. Consequently, the information you’re planning to present will be easier for your audience to comprehend. Start with the basics and then continue to build on that knowledge already introduced to the audience. In addition, launch a quick poll to get an idea of how many attendees already know the basics.
Accordingly, be ready to make a quick overview if needed. Don’t forget to capture your audience’s attention immediately. Keep them around by getting straight to the point as soon as you can. Outline their pain points and make it clear you’ll solve them by the end of the webinar. Furthermore, list everything your audience is going to learn.
Write an Attention-Grabbing Title
Plan a webinar by coming up with the attention-grabbing title. Your webinar’s title is your first interaction with your audience. When they see it, they’ll decide whether to sign up. This means the first step toward crafting a magnetizing title is to know your audience and their pain points. Simply identify your audience’s problem and craft a title that promises to solve it. However, never be misleading and don’t make promises your webinar content can’t keep.
Think About Visual Branding
To keep an audience engaged, make your slide deck visually appealing and related to the topic you are discussing. For instance, make sure the copy adds to the presentation and reinforces what you are talking about. Stick to one color palette throughout the webinar deck. Be consistent and try to align everything with your brand’s visual tone.
Insert your logo where it makes sense, such as the opening animation or the main slides. Moreover, use fonts, colors, and other visual elements that match your brand’s overall style. These details are essential to creating a cohesive experience for your webinar attendees. In addition, they’ll make your brand more recognizable. Use your deck to strengthen and emphasize the points you intend to make in your script.
Back up your points with as much data and evidence as possible, and make it entertaining. When developing your slides, use keywords instead of paragraphs. In addition, use data visualizations rather than creating lists to iterate statistics. There are plenty of free and affordable online tools available such as Unsplash, Pexels, Canva, Visme and more.
Use Different Media Formats
As seen above, visuals play a significant role in your webinars. They keep people engaged and can be extremely informative. However, they must act as a method to enhance the topic and support the speaker. To keep audiences engaged during the event, consider using a variety of media types for your webinar.
For example, add a video or animation to further illustrate your points. Walk the attendees through the process in real-time to demonstrate how a product works. Mix your live video broadcast with pre-recorded videos, share your screen, use images and switch between different cameras. If you want to use live streaming software for creating impactful webinars, try ManyCam for free.
Have a Moderator or a Host
Having a moderator or host to present with the speaker can help the dynamic of the webinar. The moderator can manage the time, flow and audience questions, while you focus on the content. That person can help you with questions from the audience during the Q&A session. Besides moderating interactions with attendees, your support should be able to troubleshoot issues.
Choose the Right Speakers
Plan a webinar by choosing the right speakers. Consider including industry experts or thought leaders in your webinar. Leveraging experts will make your event more interesting for your audience. Ultimately, this could also help you gain more reach. However, make sure the speaker has the proper knowledge and experience to talk about the webinar topic.
You can either use speakers from within your company or industry experts or influencers. Either way, they should be credible and demonstrate authority. Hence, when selecting presenters for your webinar, ensure that they have mastered the topic. Finally, make sure they are comfortable talking on-camera.
Decide on Your Webinar Format
Before you start creating your slide deck, decide on the right format for your chosen topic. The complexity of your subject, and the availability of suitably qualified speakers, should inform your choice of format. Consider the following:
- Is there going to be more than one speaker?
- Will there be a discussion panel?
- Will there be interviews?
- Are audience members going to be participating?
- Will you be adding survey questions to the presentation?
Accordingly, choose a format that will best relay your message while engaging your audience. Once you know what topic you want to cover, break it down into more specific topics. Next, plan the webinar formats you’re going to use. Test different formats until you find the one that works best with your audience. Or you could have a mix of a single expert presenter and Q&A.
Single Speaker: It involves a single speaker communicating with the attendees and sharing their insights. The speaker will also demonstrate the contents of the webinar and answer all queries raised by the attendees. Accordingly, this type of webinar is recommended if you have a small audience.
Interview Format: A speaker is acting as an interviewer. He is usually asking predetermined questions to the Subject Matter Expert(s). This type of webinar can be very engaging to the audience, encouraging them to ask questions. Furthermore, having a popular influencer as a guest speaker is a great way to boost attendance and build your authority.
Moderated Panel Discussion: A panel webinar has several speakers who talk over a predetermined topic. It is recommended that a moderator facilitates this type of webinar. Just like a live panel, you could host a group of experts discussing a specific topic.
Q&A: A Q&A webinar is a great opportunity to maximize the engagement of attendees. This type of webinar allows the speaker to answer questions coming from the audience. Collecting the questions beforehand will ensure that you stay on schedule and review the questions coming from the audience.
Choose the Right Webinar Platform
Plan a webinar by choosing the right webinar platform. When choosing the platform for your webinar, check the following:
- Does it fit your budget?
- Does it include the features that you need, such as the ability to offer surveys?
- How many attendees does it allow?
- Can you record?
Determine the pros and cons of the top webinar tools on the market. Check the format as well as the intended number of speakers and participants. Take into account the cost and features you’ll want or require. Make sure to use software that can record your broadcast. That way you can send it to registrants after the webinar. Conduct thorough research to pick the platform that will serve your needs best.
Here are some of the webinar platforms:
Set Up the Right Equipment and Surroundings
Choosing the right equipment and surroundings will improve the webinar quality. Moreover, it will ensure a great experience for your audience. Hence, plan a webinar by setting the right surroundings. Consider a conference room or a non-distracting workspace free from background noise and interruptions. If you’re hosting your webinar from a home office, ensure that your surrounding won’t interfere.
Have a keep a backup laptop that’s fully charged, with all data copied and stored in it. This will ensure that everything goes smoothly in case of technical difficulties with your primary computer system. Moreover, avoid using the wireless internet when at all possible and test everything beforehand. Keep your space clean and turn off devices that could distract you or your audience during the webinar.
Promote Your Webinar
Plan a webinar by preparing your marketing strategy. To make sure your webinar gets maximum participation, promote it beforehand. Consider press releases, relevant hashtags, vlogs, blog posts and informative banners. Also, include newsletter emails, and social media posts to publicize the webinar.
Start by creating a landing page with detailed information. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action for people to sign up to attend the event. List the necessary details- webinar topic, FAQs, speaker names, date and time etc. Create a banner or advertisement on your website’s homepage to make visitors aware of the upcoming event. In addition, write a blog post to promote the webinar in advance.
Send multiple reminders emails showcasing the countdown to your event. On the day of the event, make sure to send emails with the direct link to your webinar. Consequently, a well-prepared promotion strategy can lead to more registrants for your next webinar.
Leverage The Power Of Hashtags
Promoting your webinar on social media is one of the best ways to boost attendance. Use this opportunity to leverage the power of hashtags. Create a dedicated and original hashtag to publicize the event. Furthermore, use it to interact with the attendees. For instance, create a community of people with something in common before the webinar.
During the webinar, encourage attendees to use your hashtag when asking questions or discussing the webinar. This strategy will increase the audience’s sense of involvement. Consequently, it will introduce more people to your brand. Finally, after the webinar, use the hashtag to follow up on unanswered questions and send additional information.
Practice Your Presentation
To successfully plan a webinar, practice your presentation a few times. Rehearse your script in order to inject proper tonality and personality in your words. Run a test webinar to ensure you find a comfortable pace for the session. Understand how much time you need to cover all the essential points and gain more confidence.
Make sure your sounds and slides are working well. If you have other presenters or co-hosts, invite them. That way everyone will get a chance to test things out. Fine-tune all the details and memorize what goes where and what you need to do. Address the common mistakes and make the necessary adjustments before going live.
Prepare a Script
Your script is essentially your roadmap to keep you on course. It will help you stay on topic, keep track of time and ensure you don’t leave anything out. This will also enable the speakers to have a clear understanding of deadlines for practice sessions. Create a list of the questions as they come in so you can keep them organized. Remember that your goal should be to convey your message as comprehensively as possible. Hence, don’t be afraid to elaborate if your audience requires additional clarification.
Test Your Gear
Don’t forget to check your equipment before the webinar. Run a test webinar including every single feature you wish to use. For instance, start with your audio and video recording equipment. Ask for someone’s opinion regarding your sound, video quality, or other elements that your audience will notice.
If you use a particular webinar platform, familiarize yourself with all the features it offers. On the day of the webinar, make sure that you’re prepared and all of your gear is working. In addition, check your internet connection. Switch to a wired connection of at least 3 MBPS upload speed, if possible.
Plan for Interaction
To make sure your audience pays attention up to the end of your webinar, encourage them to participate. Ask poll questions, provide challenges or launch a quiz during the webinar. Most webinar platforms provide a handful of interactive tools. These allow you to engage with your audience during the event. For example, some have a chat area where attendees can communicate freely. Thus, leverage these elements so your audience doesn’t feel like they’re passively listening to a speaker. Pre-determine these factors in advance to set your attendees up for a good experience.
Follow Up With Your Audience
Continue engaging your audience and follow up with your audience after the webinar. Include people who registered but didn’t show up, attendees who left the webinar early and people who converted. For example, email the participants a full recap blog post, SlideShare of the webinar, or link to the video recording. Send them an email thanking them and asking them to share their feedback and rate their experience.
Make sure to send a recording of the webinar to the people who were unable to attend. Following up will go a long way in encouraging the audience to attend future webinar events. Afterward, use their feedback to make adjustments and ensure that your future webinars are even more successful.
Include a Call to Action
After the webinar, make sure the audience knows what next step you want them to take. For example, provide links in the webinar and the follow-up email. Let them know they can download a whitepaper or sign up for a free trial. In addition, make sure your call to action is:
- Clear and easy to understand
- Easy to use and either time or money
- A great deal that they can’t get anywhere else
- Only available during the webinar promotion
- There to solve problems
Test Your Campaign Tracking
Webinars can be an excellent lead generation tool if you set them up properly. It’s important, therefore, to test your campaign tracking parameters ahead of time. Make yourself a checklist of the steps you need to accomplish. For example:
- How many people registered
- What were the top sources of registrations
- How many people attended
- How much time did they spend watching the webinar
Once you figure out the targeting and segmentation, you can focus on the logistical steps.
Document Your Webinar Process
Plan a webinar by planning to document your entire process. Doing so will streamline your webinar production in the future. Create an editorial calendar where topics, speakers, and dates are tracked and planned before the event. Also, make a list of every task for every stage of your webinar so nothing gets forgotten. You can use a project management tool to make sure everyone stays on time. In addition, make sure to keep separate records for different webinar formats.
Save Your Layout
Saving your webinar layout and the content you’ll use in advance is another way to prepare for a webinar. That way you don’t have to worry about:
- Uploading your presentation and other files like images, audio, or video before the event
- Searching last minute for videos on YouTube
- Creating surveys or call-to-action buttons
Save it before your webinar is live and keep all your content set up ready for the big day. This way, you’ll know precisely how things work and what to do at the different stages of the webinar. Consequently, you will be able to focus on your audience and presenting your content.
Webinars are a highly effective way to communicate in-depth information in an engaging format. Creating a webinar takes a lot of planning, coordination, and follow-through. From settling on a specified topic, finding an awesome speaker, to preparing for the live event.
For an effective webinar, you should always:
- Listen to your audience
- Outline your current strengths
- Practice your presentation
- Follow up with the attendees
- Repurpose your content
Adding webinars to your content marketing strategy can help you build brand awareness, authority and trust. It can help you position yourself as the industry’s thought leader and speed up the sales process. In addition, it can help you increase prospective and current client engagement and gain more clients. Use these tips to successfully plan a webinar and track your performance so you can improve accordingly.