Webinars are a powerful form of content marketing. They can build your brand, help you generate tons of leads, establish your authority as an industry expert, and bring life into long-form static content.
The best performing webinars are those that provide new innovative insights on a niche topic in a way that highlights your company’s special expertise. By fostering educational discussions, they present a great opportunity to create a strong bond with your audience while nurturing them down the marketing funnel.
Webinars overcome time and geographic constraints, enabling your brand to reach people from anywhere across the world. They allow participants to effectively interact with your speakers and can be a huge source of inspiration for new and repurposed content.
In order to be effective, it’s essential that your online-led seminar is thoroughly planned. Not all webinars are created equally, so in this article, we will share our 8-step guide to creating a successful webinar that can give your content strategy a good boost.
1. Pick a Relevant Topic
Coming up with a webinar topic that can deliver value and drive traction may not always be easy, but don’t worry, we’re here to aid your brainstorming.
Prior to deciding anything, it is important that you set clear goals that you want your webinar to ultimately achieve. Are you looking for a better way to increase subscriptions? Do you want to educate your prospects and connect with them? Or you want to demonstrate new products /services and their features?
Once you’ve chosen your core goal (or goals), you can start thinking about ways to use the webinar format to achieve these effectively. You can have brainstorming sessions with your sales, customer success, and product and development teams, or reaching out to friends, colleagues, and target audience. Alternatively, you can explore popular blog posts, consider areas where your prospects aren’t getting enough information on or anticipate industry trends.
Whatever approach you decide to take, it’s important that it enables you to better understand the needs and the pain points of your customers, and gain a better idea of what exactly you can offer them to make their lives easier. Be creative, but concentrate on topics that are aligned with your business goals.
2. Choose the Right Format
After you’ve discovered what you aim to achieve with this webinar for your business, you can continue your planning by settling on the right format. There are a few different types to consider.
- Masterclass – This format is great for presenting content that is designed to educate your audience. Choose one or two expert speakers to offer your prospects the opportunity to learn a new skill, while introducing them to your business.
- Panel discussion – Hosting a live discussion between a group of industry experts can keep your audience hooked. Ensure that you have a moderator and that your panelists have a different set of skills and experience so they can engage your viewers with various insights.
- Chat show – This is a less formal approach and can be a fun way to offer in-depth insights from charismatic industry specialists. You would need a skilled presenter that is able to bring good energy and to keep things moving along, as well as industry experts as your guests. For a smoothly flowing conversation, make sure you have questions and talking points prepared.
- Coffee time talk – This type of webinar is usually in the form of a stripped-down, unscripted conversation on a selected topic between three or four specialists. Thanks to the casual and relaxed setting your audience can connect with your brand in a more authentic way.
- Interview style – If you want to create a real buzz and draw your audience in, then interviewing an influential guest who is a specialist in their field will do the trick. Make sure you pick an engaging and knowledgeable speaker and prepare a strong portfolio of questions to keep the conversation flowing well.
- Product demo – Using this format would allow you to show your audience how to use your product or service. Make sure you have a host who knows your product/service really well and is able to explain details clearly.
Your preferred choice would strongly depend on the complexity of your topic as well as on the availability of appropriately qualified speakers.
3. Plan Your Content
Creating engaging webinar content is crucial for ensuring maximum attention. This includes selecting an appropriate time and date, settling on a good attention-grabbing title, designing a powerful opening, and preparing a strong script.
There is a right time and place for everything including a webinar. Certain days and times of the week work better when trying to attract the largest audience possible.
There are several scheduling tips that can help boost webinar registrations. These include:
- Scheduling in the middle of the week, preferably Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.
- The best time sloth is between 11 AM and 2 PM. Make sure you take into account different time zones so that you can connect with people all over the world.
- Make sure you send out reminders and invites in a timely manner before the webinar scheduled date, and don’t forget to offer on-demand streaming.
The title of the webinar is the first impression your audience would have about your event and it could be the reason they sign up or not.
To craft the most magnetizing title it’s important that you know your audience and their needs and points of frustrations. To excite your audience remember to use clear straightforward language, add power-punching words that spark your audience’s imagination. However, don’t be misleading by making promises your webinar content won’t deliver on.
In addition to a great title, ensure that you give an engaging introduction that will encourage them to watch the entirety of it. Avoid jargon or banter. Get straight to the point. Outline your main points. List everything you are going to teach your audience. Show excitement and enthusiasm.
Last but not least, prepare a script that can act as your roadmap. Include concise and straight-to-the-point notes, and share them with your speakers and production team. You don’t have to prepare every single word that is going to be spoken as long as you know what points you need to emphasize and you’re able to convey your message as comprehensively as possible, all is good.
4. Pick the Speakers and the Support Team
Just like any other event, picking out the right people that will lead and support your webinar is crucial for ensuring its success. You can choose speakers from your company or ask industry experts or influencers to be your guests. The speaker must have adequate knowledge and experience so they can talk about the topics and provide valuable insights to your audience. They should be credible and authority.
When organizing your webinar you have to think about production, post-production and marketing. As an organizer you should work closely with your speakers and guide them along the process. It’s important to ensure that their content is well-structured, delivered within a specific time frame and backed up with engaging supporting materials like presentation slides, videos etc.
The people you collaborate with to prepare and deliver your webinar are essential for making it work. So make sure you have a crew you can depend on and that is flexible to adjust to any last-minute changes. Otherwise you risk compromising the quality of your event and disappointing your visitors.
5. Plan the Visuals
Webinar visuals should help strengthen and emphasize the points you want to make. They should be engaging and include key data and evidence. However, if the visuals are too distracting they might make it difficult for the audience to follow what the speaker is saying.
Here’s what to consider when preparing visuals for your webinar:
- Create a presentation template – This will help you combine different visual elements, while delivering a consistent content.
- Include summarized information – yоur slide content should directly link to your core message. Add only essential points and don’t overcrowd the slides with text.
- Tell your story with data – Add information to charts and graphs to highlight a trend, draw comparison, explain a process, etc. This will make complicated data easily digestible and will help your audience to understand it.
- Feature your logo – Include your brand’s distinguishing signs, such as, colors, fonts, and overall design in images. This will introduce and reinforce your presence and make your brand more memorable.
- Add interactive elements – If you use dynamic graphs, animated transitions between slides, embedded videos, and so on, make sure they work properly and load fast.
Keep in mind that your audience will be looking both at your speakers and your visuals. So, ensure that there is a balance between the two.
Another important thing regarding visuals is ensuring you have appropriate video and sound recording equipment, as well as a good Internet connection. Make sure that you know how to use your gear and all its useful features. By using equipment you’re familiar with you will be able to troubleshoot problems if any occur.
Always test your gear thoroughly before your webinar date. Also, make a quick tech-check 15 to 20 minutes before the actual start to be sure that everything works properly.
6. Select the Right Webinar Platform
There are so many webinar tools that you can use like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Livestorm. But when awaiting your options there are a few things to consider.
- Number of participants – Depending on whether your webinar is for internal or external use you have to be aware of the number of people you want to be able to accommodate. Free webinar tools can accommodate as many as 15 or 20 participants, while paid enterprise packages can allow over 1000 attendees.
- The cost of the tool – Some tools may charge per participant per minute, others can charge a flat monthly or yearly fee.
- The features you will need – Depending on what interactive elements you want to include in your webinar like a slideshow presentation, demonstration of a software, or a live-chat section, etc., it’s important that you make sure your tool can accommodate your needs.
- Ability to record your webinar – If you want to record your webinar make sure you know exactly how the tools work. There are platforms that only record the slides and the audio, so if you want to also have the screen sharing or live chat conversations you need to check in advance if that’s possible. Also, make sure to research for how long the recording will be stored. Some platforms may delete it after a month while others can save it until you delete it yourself.
7. Market Your Webinar Well
To gain traction and attract as many as possible you have to market your webinar well.
Start by creating a landing page specifically for your online event. This will help you drive registrations and enable you to provide the most important information about your webinar – the topic, the speakers, the time and date, and what your attendees will learn. Make it simple and use clear straightforward language.
To promote your webinar in advance write a blog post, where you share the most important details and include call-to-action links that lead to your landing page.
You can boast about it on social media by creating interactive experiences that engage your audience’s curiosity. For example, you can include a branded hashtag and start a game of guessing who the speakers will be.
Send emails to the contacts from your email database. Keep the message concise and add a call-to-action button that leads subscribers to the registration form. Make sure to send timely email reminders to those who have registered.
8. Keep the Webinar Magic Alive
Towards the end of your webinar tell your audience what is the next action you’d like them to take. For instance if you want them to sign up for a free trial or to download your presentation slides, provide links during the event and in a follow up email.
Make sure that what you’re offering is easy to use, but exclusive. It should be a great deal that your audience won’t find anywhere else, something that can solve their problems and it’s only available during the webinar promotion.
Another thing you can do to keep your webinar engagement going is to ask your audience what they would like to see in your next webinar. You can also prepare a survey with which to ask your audience about their favorite and least favorite parts from your event. Getting their feedback will help you improve and move forward.
It’s a good idea to repurpose your webinar content after the event has ended. You can start by following up with participants, including people who registered but didn’t attend, people who attended but left early, and people who were converted.
Finally track how your event performed. Check metrics like number of registries, the top sources of registrations, number of actual attendees, and time spent watching the webinar.
Now that you know what work needs to be done to create a successful webinar, we hope you’re ready to organize and schedule yours. It may seem as simple as inviting a few experts to speak in front of a camera, but there’s a lot more that goes into it.
Remember to plan carefully, collaborate with your team, and use the right tech. Victory loves preparation, so make sure you do yours.
Strive to provide engaging expert content that can truly educate. Make sure you listen to your audience’s needs and be creative while answering them.