Have you ever been ready for your webinar, but then suddenly, the host goes down an hour before the scheduled start time? If you have, then you know that’s not a good feeling. It’s not something you expect, but you should be ready just in case.
The following 9 tips to a successful webinar will help you avoid panic if one of the many things do go wrong either before or after your webinar begins.
Why Webinars Are Important
More marketers are using webinars as part of their content marketing strategy. Studies show more than 60% have used at least one webinar to attract an audience.
Webinars allow high-quality leads to be obtained; it increases brand awareness and helps people learn about your products or services. Also, they are a cost-effective method of reaching your goals compared to in-person events where you would have to rent a venue.
Webinars can help build trust and relationships between existing and potential customers. Follow these 9 tips, and your next webinar can be flawless too.
Use a Trusted Webinar Platform
Possibly the most important factor is to choose a platform that is trusted and has a reputable history. You don’t want to select a platform if there’s a bunch of negative reviews saying it crashed.
If you do your research and pick a platform that is reputable, it will make things easier. Also, the registration process is simple and often provides multiple ways to sign up. For instance, you may get viewers on their mobile devices or computer or through an app.
Other things to check for are limitations, such as a maximum attendee limit. Some webinar platforms are cluttered with advertisements that can distract your viewers. You want to consider these factors when choosing the webinar platform.
Sage Marketing uses GoToWebinar as we find it’s the best platform for our needs. It allows us to manage registrations, deliver quality webinars, and send reminders. Alternative hosting platforms with positive feedback include AnyMeeting and Adobe Connect.
Equipment is important for a successful webinar. Poor equipment or not having the proper setup increases the risk of something going wrong.
Rather than using built-in microphones in a monitor or laptop, you should get a quality microphone that at least offers noise canceling. The best option would be a headset as they are designed for providing clear audio.
Having a second computer set up and ready to go is a good idea in case something were to happen with the main computer or laptop. If you use a laptop, a spare battery is important. You may estimate an hour for the webinar, but you should assign time for questions too. Technical difficulties can increase the time too.
Do not depend on a digital slideshow presentation; print it out too. If the slideshow has issues from the clicker or software, you have a backup plan. Simply switch out for the old school presentation.
Just having the proper equipment will greatly increase your chances of having a smooth and successful webinar. Quality shows professionalism and builds trust.
Choosing The Time
Another important part is choosing when you schedule the webinar. You want to be sure that your main focus is on the target audience. Consider their lifestyle and determine what part of the week they have the most free time? Also, what part of the day would be best?
Your target audience demographics is always where you want to focus. However, according to polls by WhatCounts, Wednesday and Thursday seem to be the best days of the week to have a hosted webinar. The reason is, people use Monday and Friday to play catchup with workloads, and they want to relax with friends or family on the weekend.
Another way to help select time is Google Analytics; this will let you know where your target audience is mainly located by region. This helps you choose the best time of day. Time zones make a big difference!
For instance, if your audience is international, it could be 5pm for you and 2am for them. Find the best time for your target audience, and host your webinar around that. Even if it’s 2 am your time, that maybe what it takes.
Of course, nothing is set in stone, and you can experiment with different days and times to narrow down what works the best for you and your company. Learn what increases your attendance rates and how you can improve areas that hindered it.
Would you check out something you are not interested in? Neither would your audience. You need to choose a topic that will be interesting for your target audience to make them want to watch.
For the best results, find a single topic that can be covered, something people often question or ask about relevant to what you’re providing. You want to avoid a broad idea because it can lead to not covering a specific area in enough detail, and attendees tend to prefer more specific topics.
Those that join your webinar want value for their time. This can be learning more about a product or service, how to be successful in a certain industry, etc. Whatever you choose, it needs to provide a clear message and offer advice or tips they can use.
Visual aids will help increase topic interests too. You want to have a visually appealing presentation prepared. For this, you want to include quality images, a different slide for each data point covered. This can be used as a reference back for the audience and helps keep their interests.
Without promoting the webinar, no one will know about it. You will want to begin promoting early to give people time to plan and clear their schedule to attend.
The first thing to do is to create a custom landing page for marketing the webinar. The design should be engaging for the user, highlighting the topic, date, time, and speakers. Finally, include a call-to-action for visitors to sign up for the webinar.
Other ways of promoting include social media platforms. Share a post using relative hashtags and links to your landing page. Other ideas include creating a brief video to share explaining the webinar, so people know what to expect when joining. You can also create a blog post about your upcoming webinar.
After people sign up for the webinar through your landing page, set up email reminders a few days before and again on the day of the webinar. Include a link to the webinar directly, making it easy for people to join.
You will want to remember to leave time for audience engagement. This can be done in several ways during your webinar.
Take time after every few slides to allow the audience questions or feedback. This allows them to engage and feel a part of the webinar while gaining valuable feedback on what can be improved on future webinars.
Leave time at the end of your webinar to cover additional questions. A general rule is to double the time of the webinar to give plenty of time. It is better than not scheduling enough time to cover everything.
You will find these things will get easier to remember and do the more you do them. The first few webinars may be stressful, but they get easier when you know what to do, how to promote, and what to expect (or not expect).
Your script should be rehearsed days before the webinar is scheduled so you’re familiar with it and know what order things are in. Test all of the equipment and get things set up and ready. Doing this ahead of time gives you plenty of notice if something isn’t right.
After you have finished, request feedback, so you know how to adjust things for future webinar success. If you have people that registered but did not attend, send a recording to the email address used for joining. Life happens, and they may not have had time to join the live webinar but still be interested in the content.
To encourage feedback, you can offer highlights or freebies in return for the ratings.
After everything is done, it is time for you to evaluate the webinar data. How effective was it in reaching your goal? Did it have the outcome you desired? Could the results have been better?
You can evaluate various areas, such as feedback, to learn how to improve. The platform you selected may offer various metrics that can be used to determine how successful the webinar was, as well.