A webinar has become one of the best ways to reach a bigger audience and market, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing has become ubiquitous. A large section of the workforce is changing the way they work online. Companies are forced to change and adapt their business strategy and marketing plan in short notice. In the middle of uncertainties in the way we work and interact, the benefits of a webinar can present a new opportunity. A webinar can be a great way to generate new revenue streams or reach more potential customers.
Webinar (a combination of the words “web” and “seminar”) is a workshop, lecture, or presentation that is hosted through an online medium. Often business-related, these sessions can be utilized to share knowledge, ideas, and updates with people from all around the world. The purpose of the webinar can also be leveraged to build and nurture relationships, build authority around a brand, or demonstrate a product. This can also help companies in building their credibility as well as trust among their audience and existing customers. Here are several tips that you can follow to optimize your webinar and reach a greater audience.
Know your purpose
Companies use webinars for all kinds of purposes. A webinar can be used to show a new product, leverage brand awareness, educate audiences with valuable, unique, and interesting information, or engage audiences including clients and potential clients that would generate new leads for companies.
Get to know the audience
Do research first to know more about the audience including their interest, problems, and preferences. Put your head into the audiences’ shoes and ask how we can use a webinar to help and solve their problems.
Choose the right topic, time, and resource
First, choose a topic that can attract a large audience. A good topic can engage your audience throughout the webinar. Second, plan and decide the most suitable time to organize a webinar. Choosing the right day and time plays an important role in gaining more audience. To come up with the best time, you have to experiment with different days and time, compare attendees rate, conversion rate, and schedule your time accordingly. The third point is to pick webinar resources that you’re comfortable with. Options include GoToWebinar, Zoom, Webex, etc.
Establish an informative landing page
Create a landing page that highlights the important information on your webinar. The page should create urgency with a call-to-action button such as “Book Your Seat Now”, “Reserve Your Seat Now”, “Save My Spot”, or others to persuade visitors to sign up. Avoid adding too many details on your landing page, and highlight important features like the topic of the webinar, speaker profile, the date and time, and benefits or key takeaways of your webinar.
Promote, promote, promote!
Depending on the topic and speaker(s), there are a few different ways this could be done. For example, if your webinar is quite general, just a simple online ad could get you the audience that you’re looking for. But if you’re using your webinar for a live demo of your latest product, email campaigns would be a much better bet. In terms of timing, start about four weeks before the webinar – not too far away from the event to be irrelevant, but not too close that people will feel as though they’re too late.
And no matter the topic, promote your webinar on social media. Choose a hashtag for your webinar and promote it everywhere, update the image of your banner, post on different types of groups while still avoiding spam. You can also promote your webinar on different online forums or communities. Furthermore, if you have the budget, you can opt for a paid advertisement through Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, or Linkedin Ads.
Set-up the presentation deck
The presentation deck plays an important role, as it will show important information to the audience before the webinar and also makes a good impression through its design. You need to be as insightful as possible when creating the deck. The basic outline that you’ll need in your deck is agenda, short profile, “the problem” slide, how to approach “the problem” slide, supporting data slides, actionable advice next step slide, and your offered solution.
Send a reminder email to audiences
Sending a reminder email will not only remind your attendees about the date and time of the webinar but will also re-establish the value you were building with them at the time of registration. Send reminders two weeks and one week in advance of your webinar. Add value to your email by mentioning what benefits they will get after attending your webinar.
Rehearse your webinar
It’s always a good idea to rehearse the technicals of the webinar with software that you will be using. You have to make sure on how to toggle between slides and screen sharing, how to mute or unmute participants, how to access questions or comments, and how to run instant polls. Familiarize yourself with the platform and adjust the default settings as you see fit.
Handle audiences participation
Another essential element that’s worth planning is how you’ll handle audience participation. Depending on the number of attendees, you may ask them to “raise their hand” if they have a question, type their questions into the comment box, or use a separate Q&A feature. Make sure you’re being explicit with the rules at the start of the webinar and remind people periodically throughout, to avoid confusion. If the number of attendees is quite large, you may want to have another person who can help you dig through questions and manage your attendees, so you can focus on delivering the webinar.
Attend other webinars
Attending other webinars could inspire ideas you may not have had before. Find a few webinars with experienced hosts and observe how they are organizing it. Pay attention to the ways they interact with their audience, the way they frame their questions, and even the way their webinar’s landing page is laid out. Find positive qualities from them that you can implement in your webinar.
It’s not an easy job to convince an audience to attend your webinar. However, with the right strategies, you can build the first step of your success.