Webinars are one of the most effective marketing tools if they are done in the right way. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you pay close attention to all the steps required to create a webinar that works. Doing so means that you can reap the rewards of your efforts by meeting your goals.
These goals can be anything from increasing awareness of your brand to growing your customer base. Let’s examine the steps that you need to take to create your webinar and achieve your goals.
Step 1: Decide on your goals and audience
Before you begin to create a webinar, you need to understand what your goals are. For instance, you may have a goal of making people more aware of your brand. When you are deciding on your goals, you should start by considering your business’s overall goals.
Then, you need to identify which of these goals you can work towards using webinar marketing. Once you have done this you can start to determine the individual goals for each webinar.
You also need to understand your audience to create content that is likely to appeal to them and keep them engaged. Completing this preparation helps you attract people who are likely to be interested in your brand and what it offers.
Step 2: Choose a topic that engages your audience while achieving your goals
Once you know your audience, you can make sure that your webinar covers a topic that provides them with some value. Choosing the right topic makes it more likely that people will attend your webinar and that audience members are more likely to engage with your brand after the webinar is over.
For instance, if your business is in the online marketing industry, you may want to create a webinar about the importance of display marketing and how it works. This type of content would appeal to business owners who have limited marketing knowledge. They can learn from the content and are also more likely to approach you for help with their marketing in the future as they have already seen an example of your expertise.
Step 3: Select the best date and time for your webinar
There is no point in investing time and effort in creating an amazing webinar if no-one watches it. So, you need to make sure that you schedule your event at a time that optimizes your audience participation possibilities.
Remember to consider factors such as the time zones that your audience is in and what times of day they are most likely to be otherwise occupied. You are never going to be able to please everyone, but you can choose a time when most people are likely to be available.
When you choose this time, it helps to know that US audiences tend to prefer time slots in the middle of the day, whereas audiences in Europe tend to prefer a slightly earlier start. You should also think about what day of the week most of your audience is more receptive. Generally, webinars are best received on the second and penultimate days of the working week.
Step 4: Decide on the format and speakers for your webinar
These considerations are part of one step because they are partly dependent on each other. For instance, you may choose to have a sole presenter format or decide that a Q&A format with a panel is the best option. There are several different options when it comes to the format of a webinar. Four of the most popular are:
- Panel discussion. This involves a panel of experts discussing a certain topic. You can also include questions from the audience as part of the event.
- Case study. This can be a great way of bringing your brand to life. There are lots of different ways that you can bring a case study to life. One of the most effective is interviewing a client as part of the webinar and asking them about their experience.
- Expert debate. For this type of webinar, you need to line up some experts who are willing to have an open debate on a particular subject. It’s an interesting way of grabbing the attention of an audience.
- Online conference. Recently, there are has been a limited opportunity to host real world conferences. So, hosting a virtual event by webinar makes a lot of sense. It allows potential customers to interact with your brand and have their questions answered.
Obviously, the speakers that you choose must suit the format that you decide on. You should also make sure that your speakers are comfortable in front of an audience and that they fully understand the topic.
Step 5: Find a reliable webinar platform that has the required features
Once you know about your audience and the webinar format that you want, you can choose a webinar platform that provides the features you need.
Make sure that you choose a platform that accommodates your audience’s size and the number of speakers you have chosen. You should also look for other features that help to make your webinar more effective.
For instance, reputable webinar platforms like MyOwnConference allow you to interact with your audience using features like screen sharing and a chat facility.
They also allow you to record your webinars so that people who are unable to attend live can watch them later. When you use MyOwnConference, you can also customize your webinar to reflect your own branding. This helps your audience to associate your webinar content with your brand.
Step 6: Create your webinar content
At this point, you can start to create your webinar content, with your audience, aims and the features of your chosen webinar platform in mind. There are several factors that you should pay close attention to including:
- Creating a slide deck that emphasizes what you have to say and that is not too wordy and distracting. Use images and graphics instead of endless blocks of text. You should always remember that you must keep your audience engaged so your slides’ content should be there to support hosts and presenters and not the other way around.
- Writing a script that is strong, passionate, and engaging. If you do not take the time to produce a interesting and relevant script, your audience is likely to switch off. The content of the script should be clear and concise. However, the speaker also needs to come across as approachable and personable.
- Using audience interaction to improve the effectiveness of your webinar. This can include features such as chat or poll questions. Doing this helps to keep the audience engaged with your webinar as they feel involved. It also helps to provide you with valuable insights as you can see first-hand the audience’s opinion of your content and your brand.
Step 7: Promote your event
Do not forget to put as much effort into promoting your webinar as you do into creating it. This is the only way that you will get the audience numbers you are aiming for. You should start your promotional activity at least seven days before the webinar is due to take place. This makes it more likely that your prospective audience members will not have other events booked in their diaries.
You can choose different promotion tools to advertise your event, depending on which is more likely to reach people. For instance, you can send an email invitation to people on your email lists. You can also advertise the event on your social media platforms and/or work with trusted partners who are happy to advertise for you.
Step 8: Have a practice run
It’s important to have a practice run of your webinar before the day of the event. This helps you to iron out any problems. For instance, you can identify any Internet connection issues and ascertain if you need to use an external microphone to optimize audio quality.
The practice run also allows you to make sure that you are comfortable using the software and enables you to set the room up in a way that looks good on camera and optimizes light use.
It’s a good idea to have your practice run at least a few days ahead of the planned date for your webinar. Doing this gives you the opportunity to identify any weaknesses in the script or slides and make necessary amendments.
Step 9: Host your webinar
Even if your practice run goes well, you should still be prepared for problems on the day of the webinar. For example, it helps to have access to a back-up laptop and have a plan B if a speaker is unavailable at the last minute. You may also want to have a technical expert on hand to help, to take some of the pressure off your shoulders.
Make sure that you are available well before the start of the webinar. This gives you the time to make any necessary adjustments to the room and to test the equipment to make sure that it’s working as it should. In order to make sure that you have this time, you should prepare for the day in advance.
For instance, you need to plan what you are going to wear and check for any travel disruption that may increase your travel time to the location from where you are due to host the webinar.
Step 10: Follow up with attendees
Hosting the webinar is not the end of the story. You should follow up with attendees afterward. The best time to do this is within 24 hours so that the webinar is still fresh in their minds.
You can ask for feedback and check if they have any questions. One of the best ways to do this is to send a follow-up email the day after the webinar. You may want to include a feedback form as part of this email.
Doing this keeps the audience engaged with your brand and can help you secure potential leads without seeming to be too sales oriented. With this in mind, do not forget to take the opportunity to create an ongoing relationship with potential leads. For instance, you may want to provide them with a schedule for future webinars that you are planning to host.
Step 11: Allow people to watch a recording of your webinar
Not everyone will be able to attend your webinar live. So, it makes sense to record the event so that a wider audience can see it after the original date. You can send a link to the recording to attendees and those who could not attend but were invited. You should also make it easy to view your recorded webinar content from your website.
Taking these steps helps you create a webinar that meets your aims and engages your audience. This, in turn, can help you to raise awareness of your brand and secure new leads.