Webinars are an incredibly effective tool for your digital marketing strategy. They can help you generate leads, build brand recognition, and ensure loyalty through demonstrations, expanded content, and the sharing of expertise.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 58% of marketers use webinars to promote their business. And they produce results! ReadyTalk reports that up to 40% of those who attend a webinar become qualified leads.
But, putting on an engaging and successful webinar takes time and planning. While you don’t want to overthink it and pass up the opportunity because it seems intimidating, you should approach your webinars with a formula. Here is a simple checklist that can help you organize a successful webinar.
1. Determine Your Objective
This should always be your starting point. Think about “why” you want to have a webinar. Is your goal to educate current customers, generate leads, or position yourself as an authority in your field? Once you’ve defined your goal, this can help drive some of the other decisions about your audience and the topics you will cover.
2. Identify Your Audience
Your target audience will be closely tied to the “why” of your webinar. If you are hoping to generate leads, your target audience will be much different than if your goal was to increase brand loyalty. With current customers, you might include some information that they probably already know about your products, including some terminology. When creating a webinar for lead generation, your aim should be more to build trust and provide inspiration rather than showing off product features.
3. Select Your Topic
As you move down this checklist, it should be easier to follow your webinar planning roadmap. Once you know your goal and have identified your audience, coming up with a well-defined topic won’t be difficult. After you’ve chosen your topic, ensure that you stick to it as closely as possible. Telling customers that your webinar is about one thing and then veering off course will be a turnoff. If you think of something else to say, make a note to create some additional content.
4. Choose Your Technology
Unless you already have something in mind, you’ll want to review the different webinar software options available. Compare the features of each one and select a provider that meets your needs and budget. Some of the common platforms include GoToWebinar, Adobe Connect, and ClickMeeting. Make sure that the one you choose will support the number of attendees you plan for your event, any screen sharing options, and audience interaction.
5. Pick Your Experts
Your next step is to choose who is going to be your main presenter or your panel of experts for your webinar. Even if you are going to be the person giving the presentation, it’s a good idea to get some help putting together your webinar. You can also mix things up during the presentation by having interviews and Q&A sessions with different authorities on a topic. Finally, pick a speaker who is enthusiastic about the subject so their message will be more engaging for the audience.
6. Get It On the Calendar
Now that you’ve done some of the heavy lifting for your upcoming webinar, it’s time to choose a date and time. If this will be a global event, choose a time that will accommodate the most people. Also, publicize your webinar well in advance, so you have plenty of time to promote it.
7. Create the Content
The content for your webinar isn’t something you want to leave to the last minute. Your presentation should be as structured as possible so that it creates the most value for your audience. Begin with an outline of the main points you want to make and build your content around those. Make sure you complement your copy and rhetoric with plenty of compelling images and even videos to keep the topic interesting and relatable.
8. Set Up Registration
Going back to the technology platform you’ve chosen for your webinar, figure how to set up registration for the event. This will give you an idea of how many people plan to attend the live webinar. Registrations also provide you with customer information that you can use to foster leads.
9. Promote Your Event
Your next step is to figure out how to reach your target audience and get them registered for your webinar. If you are hosting a webinar for current customers, you can send them an email invitation. But, there are plenty of other ways to get eyes and ears on your content.
Promoting your webinar on social media is incredibly effective. In addition to posting on your social media accounts, you can also use paid ads on social media to reach a broader audience.
10. Rehearse the Webinar
Before the day of the big event, ensure you've done a few test runs. Not only do you want to test your technology but also rehearse the timing of your content delivery. How long should your webinar be? Most online seminars fall in the range of 60 minutes, but some can go a bit longer. The important thing is that you cover the stated topic and leave some time at the end for questions and answers.
11. Hold Your Event
On the day before and of your event, make sure you send out reminders to registered participants. People get busy and will appreciate the prompt. Also, have someone standing by that can help you deal with any technical issues so you or your presenters can concentrate on delivering an amazing presentation.
12. Gather Feedback and Evaluate
To ensure you are getting the most return on your investment, it’s vital that you evaluate your efforts and results. Ask attendees to provide feedback and use this information to improve your marketing strategy going forward. Provided your webinar was successful, you can use the recording of the event to continue generating leads or building your brand.
Thinking about using webinars for your virtual marketing strategy? Contact us to learn how Connection Model’s results-driven solutions can help!
Written By: David Carpenter