A successful webinar is exciting. Webinars are the second most effective content marketing tactic (64%) and are an effective way to share information and reach a high number of audiences while keeping costs at bay.
With the ability to breathe new life into static content, they’re a high form of content marketing. But it also takes a successful plan to knock your presentation out of the park and ensure that your webinars don’t go unnoticed. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of must-dos for smooth sailing.
Being organized is very important when planning your webinars. You can begin by creating a guideline from the day you decide to host a webinar to post-webinar follow-up and promotion.
GoToMeeting has put together a great organizer and presenter checklist that we revert back to frequently each time we plan a webinar.
Being ahead of time is crucial so aim at finalizing the content a week or two before the presentation. Last-minute content changes are bound to happen leading up to your webinar and you don’t want to be scrambling to put together your presentation the night before. When would you find the time to practice?
If you’re a pro speaker or the top expert on your topic, you may be able to get away with winging a webinar every now and then. However, odds are if you’ve made it to this blog post then you’re probably getting started on your first or second webinar and need these tips. Here are a few ideas to ensure your practice makes perfect:
- Go through your presentation on your own, out loud, speaking clearly and slowly.
- Practice on the platform you’re presenting on and use the computer you’ll be using during the webinar.
- Don’t be afraid to hear constructive criticism. Invite someone else to take a look at your presentation or hear you recite a few parts of your webinar.
- Plan a few seed questions for the Q&A portion. We’re letting you in on a pretty important webinar secret. Have you ever been on a webinar that ended 20 minutes early (because the speaker probably flew through the slides a little faster than anticipated) and you get to the slide with the giant question mark … and then you hear crickets? Avoid that awkward silence by having a few seed questions to use as backup. You’ll quickly realize that after you get through the first “planned” question, real audience questions will start rolling in. Sometimes you just have to break the ice.
Nothing’s more disappointing than spending weeks preparing for a webinar to only have 2 guests show up. Avoid that from happening by planning your promotional strategy in advance and maximize its reach. Here’s what you can do:
- Start promoting at least 2 weeks in advance – this allows you enough time to schedule your social media posts.
- Choose the best days to host your webinars – Wednesdays and Thursdays are typically measuring the highest attendance.
- Add a webinar section to your website – this will need to be permanently updated with the upcoming webinar dates.
- Send emails – you send them manually from your inbox but we highly recommend automating your email flow using a marketing automation tool.
No amount of planning can make up for the unexpected. It’s likely that during the presentation something unexpected will arise but it’s important to just go with the flow. Try to keep in mind that if you make a mistake, get a little flustered or need to clear your throat, your attendees probably won’t even notice.
However, if something bigger happens (i.e. technical difficulties), it’s still ok. Be ready to expect the unexpected and learn from each mistake, it’ll help you relax and enjoy giving the presentation. You’re there to educate your audience, not be a perfectionist.
Webinars are a huge player in the content creation game. They give you access to basic attendee information immediately after registration, and your audience gets to know the company’s personality and tone (keep that in mind when presenting) without the commitment of a one-on-one call.
But once the presentation is over you don’t want your guests to forget about you. Use your marketing automation platform to go through the contact list and send a follow-up email.
Include a link to the recorded webinar (remember to record it!) and a brief thank you for attending. Set them up in a nurture campaign so they continue to get educational content and invitations to future webinars from you.
Ready for Your Next Webinar?
Hopefully, if you’ve enjoyed reading all of these tips. Webinars build trust by giving potential buyers a bit of insight into your personality. If you’re struggling to find a way to get more valuable leads and keep them moving through the funnel, webinars may just be your answer.