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Things to think about…when hosting a webinar

Webinars are growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why…

Research suggests that on average, webinars are attended by 148 people – and that accounts for about a third of the total number of people who registered. 

It’s a far more cost-effective way of getting in front of people when compared to big industry conferences, there’s a lot less noise from other competitors, and the outcome is the same – good quality conversations. In fact, 92% of webinar attendees actively want a live Q&A session at the end of a webinar.

This level of engagement means that 40% of webinar attendees convert to qualified leads for your pipeline. 

And of course, there’s the effect it has on positioning you as a leader within your industry.

But webinars aren’t easy to put together; like any good marketing campaign, they take time and effort to get right. Our template covers the key things you need to consider:

  1. Who are you talking to
  2. Plan for it as if you were the keynote speaker at a conference
  3. Decide on the format
  4. How will you host it?
  5. Where will you host it?
  6. Promote your webinar
  7. Measure your success
  8. What’s your call-to-action?
  9. Follow-up

Who are you talking to

A simple question, but one you need to ask since it determines the content and focus. For example, if you’re looking to upsell to current customers you could host a product demo, whereas prospects might want something broader about a particular topic in the industry. And a technical audience will require a greater level of detail, while someone in a functional business unit, such as HR, may want the content higher level but focused more on the impact on people.

Plan for it as if you were the keynote speaker at a conference

If you were getting up on the stage at your industry’s biggest conference, you wouldn’t dream of prepping your slides the night before and just ‘winging’ it on stage. Hosting a webinar requires the same level of effort to pull it together.

But unlike an event where you’re face-to-face with the audience, in a webinar it’s all about the content – so pitch it right and present it well. In particular, think about your slide deck – is it engaging and easy to follow?

And think about how you can draw the audience in more to make that connection – could you:

  • Include polls?
  • Ask questions?
  • Share a handout?
  • Link to further information?

Then decide how the content will be delivered. Are you enough for the audience to take sufficient value away? Or could you invite a guest speaker, such as an industry thought leader, customer, analyst or editor, to join you?

And practice, practice, practice…and then practice some more. You want your delivery to be flawless.

Decide on the format

  • One person presenting on a particular topic.
  • Assembling a panel of specialists to be interviewed by the host.
  • Interactive Q&A session with the audience.
  • A product demonstration.

How will you host it?

There are lots of platforms out there to help you share your webinar with the audience – some free, some paid for. When making your choice look at the features on offer and decide:

  • Does it meet your requirements?
  • Does it limit the number of attendees?
  • Can you record it?

Where will you host it?

There’s nothing worse than being on a webinar where the sound quality is awful – it’s so distracting. 

Find yourself a quiet room that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the office, and won’t see any interruptions from your children or pet dog. Turn off your phone and close down other applications on your laptop so you eliminate any notifications pinging in the background. And then record a test run – are there any unexpected noises? Do you sound like you’re talking in a tin can? Are you coming through loud and clear?

Promote your webinar

Some platform providers offer to promote your webinar for you, and others guarantee leads. That’s great, but consider this a bonus – don’t rely on it for your promotional efforts. 

Instead, treat it like any other campaign. Consider the tactics you can execute in the build up to the event, for example:

  • Email prospects and customers.
  • If you use partners, ask them to promote it to their database.
  • Make a banner about it on your homepage.
  • And then create a dedicated landing page on your website.
  • Write a series of blogs on the webinar content.
  • Talk about it on social media or boost posts on social media.
  • Run a pay-per-click campaign.
  • Feed it into your PR machine.

Measure your success 

Yes, you’re excited about the pipeline figures, where you can see the leads turning into MQLs, turning into SQLs and eventually clients. But where exactly did those leads come from? 

Setting up UTM tracking is easy and should be done for all elements of your campaign. With this data to hand, you can determine the promotional efforts that were most effective in driving sign-ups to your webinar. Now when you’re planning your next one, you know where to spend your efforts.

What’s your call-to-action?

All your marketing activities require a call-to-action (CTA), a webinar is no different. Whether it’s as simple as emailing you to request a copy of the slides, or a bigger commitment like booking a demo, don’t end your webinar without giving your audience a CTA.

Follow-up

After the webinar it’s good practice to follow-up to thank them for attending and give them something, for example, you could share a link to that blog series for more information.

And of course there will be the specific follow-up actions, like sending the slides across and booking demos with those people who followed through with your CTA.

But don’t forget the no-shows. They took the time to register in the first place, which means they must be interested in what you had to offer. So get in touch, and ask them if you can share a copy of the recorded webinar, or come to see them to deliver the content 1-to-1.

Getting started with Process Bliss – free template

Click on the link below to sign up for your 14-day trial, and we’ll populate your account with this template for free.

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