Webinars have become one of the most powerful tools for companies looking to create a trustworthy brand reputation, build credibility and establish themselves as experts in their field – while attracting customers at the same time. There has been a huge demand for businesses to start producing webinars as people are beginning to recognizing their benefits.
If you’ve decided to take on the challenge of hosting a webinar in order to drive sales, diversify your range of services and showcase your expertise on an international platform – you’re going to need a solid plan of action.
Follow these tips to ensure that you have a foolproof plan of action for your webinar.
The first point for you to consider is ‘what do you want to achieve through hosting your webinar’? If you do decide to host a webinar, you need to think about what you want your business to get out of this?
Nowadays, many businesses rely on self-promotion to generate a following online, generally this is not enough in order to be seen as an expert in your field. You can’t just tell people you’re an expert, you have to show them and that’s where webinars can help.
If you have prospective clients that are signing up to your webinars, use it as an opportunity to showcase your value. Once they trust your expertise and competence, they will be more likely to want to engage with you. Content marketing material such as webinars, generate three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing and costs 62% less, so webinars can be a powerful tool for sourcing new clients.
Webinars are also great for establishing trust between you and your viewers. Having face-to-face interactions, and engaging with your audience is far more personal than written correspondence. It provides you with an opportunity to develop a good relationship with your prospective and existing clients.
Another reason businesses use webinars is due to their potential for increased knowledge retention. Studies have shown that just 10% of information is retained by text as opposed to visual content, where 95% of content is retained by viewers. Webinars make for a more memorable experience for your viewers which is key in maintaining their attention and effectively engaging with your product/ services.
Feedback is a key feature for any business looking to improve their products, services and webinars. Interacting with your audience allows you to better understand the affordances and constraints of your services, source valuable information and ensure a helpful line of communication is maintained between you and your prospective clients.
Your next task involves choosing a topic for your webinar. Too often the decision making process revolves around – what do I want to say, rather than considering, what to they want to know? When deciding on your topic, you need to ask yourself: what is my area of expertise and what do people want to know about it? What is my most popular product/ service? What is my most interesting product/ service? What are the top 3 questions people ask me about your product?
When deciding on a structure for your webinar, you need something that will methodically carry you through your points. There are thousands of ways to effectively format a webinar layout, and it’s really up to you to decide how you would like to do that. However you decide to structure it, there are a few important points that you must have:
- You need to introduce yourself and any special guests at the begining, provide a very short statement about yourself and your professional qualifications.
- Provide an opening statement about why your topic should matter to your audience. Use statistics and case studies to provide evidence and really drive your points home.
- Summarize your main points and anything that you’d like your audience to remember from your presentation.
- Hold a Q&A session at the end where the audience has an opportunity to ask questions about things you might not have explained clearly, or a subject you might have missed.
- And finally, include a call-to-action at the end. You may want to sell another service, a book you’ve written or the next episode of your webinar series – either way, make it clear to the audience about why this additional content is so necessary for them to hear.
Once you’ve decided on a structure, you need to develop the content and think about how you can present it in the most interesting and engaging way possible:
CHOOSING A METHOD
There are a few different ways you can host your webinar, but remember, it’s important for you to choose the method that you feel most comfortable with and is most suitable for your topic.
- Webcams are great for conversational, casual and shorter webinars
- The presentation method is good for presenting more complex or lengthy topics as they are easier for audiences to follow.
- Screen sharing is good for a more demonstrational approach. For example, if you are showing your attendees how to navigate a computer program.
- Some webinar software will let you use a combination of methods to present your webinar. If you do decide to use a combination, make sure you are adding to it in a positive and purposeful way.
INTRODUCE A GUEST SPEAKER
Another tip for adding engagement is to consider introducing special guest speakers. Introducing a guest speaker is a great way to add value and interest to your webinar by providing another perspective on the topic.
SIMPLIFY YOUR CONTENT
Another important tip to remember when trying to create an interesting webinar is that if you flood your audience with information, ideas and concepts they will only retain a very small amount of what is being said, which means all of the effort you have put into the presentation is wasted. Your aim should always be to simplify. If you Simplify complex ideas, break them down, give it to them slowly, and check in with them to make sure they understand, the audience will have a far better understanding of the content and a more positive overall experience.
MARKETING & PROMOTION
Next, you need to think about how you’re going to promote your webinar and who is going to be interested.
Once you’ve decided on your topic, you need to advertise your webinar to the right people who may be interested. The larger the audience, the larger your income and so it really pays to get your marketing right. Promoting webinars is typically done in a number of ways:
- Email Marketing: you can send out an email to your existing client list to let them know about your upcoming webinar. Spend time crafting your emails so they sound like unmissable events.
- Social Media: social media is a great way to promote your webinar. On Facebook, you can create an event for your webinar, and invite your entire friend list. You can also create promotional advertisements and share them on Twitter and Instagram.
- You can use paid advertisements for your webinar through platforms such as Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising.
- Video Marketing: you could create a promo video for your webinar so viewers can get a comprehensive understanding about what you will be presenting, and highlight the points of interest to draw customers in.
For a small business looking to appeal to a large range of prospective clients, scheduling is key. If you’re talking to international group of people, or even a group of people from different states, time-zones are certainly something to consider. The more universal your scheduling is – the more attendees you’re likely to have. It’s also best practice to host your webinars throughout the working week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays in order to gain interest from as many people as possible. Ideal times to host a webinar are usually around midday between 12am and 2pm.