Creating a successful webinar starts with knowing your audience. Like many marketing activities the success of your webinar hinges on knowing who your audience is. In its basic form the right content needs to be delivered to the right audience at the right time. Easier said than done… Below you will find ten tips to creating a successful webinar.
If you’re pondering the idea of creating your first webinar, and are just not convinced, check out my recent article on how webinars are delivering high quality leads.
1) Knowing Your Audience
Can’t stress this webinar tip enough, the nine recommendations listed below are indeed just as important, although if you nail all the other tips perfectly right and you don’t know your audience… having a successful webinar experience will be extremely challenging.
So who are you looking to target for your next webinar? There’s no need to target everyone all at once, personally I prefer quality over quantity. Segmenting your audience will allow you to deliver on ensuring the attendees receive high quality information that is tailored to their needs. Ultimately, increasing both the attendee and registration rate.
2) Choosing the Right Topic & Title
Choosing the right webinar topic that resonates best with your target market, while legitimately solving their problem or challenge will yield you large returns in the near future. This level of customer engagement will help grow your leads from cold to warm, along with attracting new leads that are looking for the same or similar solution.
You can't have a great webinar without a great title. Remember, the title will be utilized in all of your pre and post promotional efforts. It's the first piece of content that will lead to a registering for your webinar (don’t underestimate this important tip). As a result, your title has to deliver on what you will be focusing on, while making it very easy for your audience to understand whats in it for them. Think of it as a time share opportunity, potential customers are giving you 60 minutes of their time, what are you giving them in return (hopefully not a chance to win an iPad)?
3) Create a Great Webinar Landing Page
A landing page hosted on your website is crucial in improving the number and quality of your webinar registrations! Again, you want to reach the right people and have as many of those individuals attend. When creating a landing page I think of the following elements, as I know this landing page will also be utilized in all of my promotional efforts;
- Speaker: Who are they (title) and what is their experience? The attendee is going to gauge the perceived value of your webinar based on the speaker. On that point, please do not choose your sales manager… more on this topic below.
- Brief overview of the webinar: Include a short paragraph introducing the webinar.
- Include key learning points: Give me some meat and potatoes!
- Include an offering: This is not a mandatory activity but I'm testing it out and the right offering can help create increased interest and/or increased conversions to a qualified lead. If you're a marketing consultant maybe you want to provide a free website SEO review! Applicable only for those who attended the live webinar (maybe include a full report and a 60 minute call with an SEO specialist). In the end I try to choose something of high perceived value. Providing a chance to win an iPad just tells me the audience is interested in a free iPad… Hey who wouldn't want a free iPad.
- Update your landing page: Include a copy of the PDF slides and live webinar within 24 hours! You also have the option to utilize a gated content strategy, requiring contact information in return for viewing the document. The key here is that your webinar will have legs and live on to be viewed by many more potential customers. Both organically and potentially through paid advertising.
Remember, this is the page where all of your marketing efforts will be directing traffic to. You got me there with your great title and marketing efforts, now it's time to close the deal ad make sure I register.
4) Choosing the Right Speaker
Previously, I mentioned not choosing someone from the sales staff to present the webinar. This yields the impression that the webinar itself will be a 60 minute sales pitch. We are building a relationship with the audience… your organization is the number one resource of high quality information within its industry. For me the company that comes to mind when being customer focused, and they do this extremely well, is HubSpot. They have published so many great posts for free that when they require my contact information in return for a 20 page whitepaper on how to leverage your social media platforms, I gladly give it. If their free content is great, imagine the quality of their content when they want something in return. This takes time to perfect, and it starts with giving first, not selling.
5) Promoting the Webinar
Whether you choose to partner with a publication or host your own webinar, planning a promotional strategy well in advance is a must. Increasing visibility will lend the webinar to increased registrations and potentially more leads (who doesn’t want more leads). Here are some of the tactics I've used when promoting a webinar.
- Email campaign: It is important to email your list of contacts advising them that you will be conducting a webinar. It’s an opportunity for you to move cold leads to warm leads and warm leads to customers. Generally speaking I try to send one e-mail 4-6 weeks before the webinar takes place, then 1-2 weeks prior, and finally the morning of (it's surprising how many people register the day of).
- Social media: Keep your followers informed on what your up to, they may share your webinar with like minded people. When it comes to social media I do recommend taking a look at a paid strategy, such as targeting certain roles on LinkedIn.
- Utilizing third party contact lists: You can utilize the contact lists of those publications that include your target market. Depending on the publication and the web traffic they receive, there may be creative opportunities to promote your webinar within their promotional activities at a favorable ROI.
- AdWords: You also have the opportunity to advertise your webinar to those that are searching for a similar solution.
6) Engage Your Audience During the Webinar
Ensuring your audience is engaged during the presentation is vital! It goes without saying that the quality of your presentation will aid in reducing the drop out rate. One tip that I have found very interesting is utilizing poll questions to better understand your audiences needs. If the poll question will give you some insight into what your potential customers are thinking, you can slightly alter the presentation on the spot to meet their needs. Just a quick warning, this really depends on how comfortable your speaker is, a dynamic speaker who fully understands the topic at hand will be able to adjust along the way.
An interesting poll question I encountered recently during a webinar was; “which one of my topics are you most interested in”, and it listed the webinar agenda. It was interesting because as a speaker you are able to please the majority of people by ensuring you tackle the topic they are most interested in. At the same time those that vote for the less popular items on the agenda forgive you for not going in depth on their topic of interest as it wasn’t the popular choice.
7) Self Hosted vs Sponsored or Joint Hosted
There is nothing wrong with self hosting your webinar. It will yield you full control from a marketing and software (such as gotomeetings) standpoint. Partnering with a publication is a great option as well; you will have access to the publications contact list, their promotional strategy, their marketing team, software and more.
8) Using the Right Equipment
This is where you should agree on the things that matter most to your business when conducting a webinar. Here are some of the topics you should consider; connectivity, audience size, network security, compatibility, download requirements, the available data and more.
9) Which Day of the Week & What Time
When it comes to the day and time of the week I’m usually choosing between Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, at 11AM or 2PM depending on the time zone I am conducting the webinar in. All in all you want to take the following into consideration when choosing a day and time.
- Is your product seasonal? Is there a time of the year when your customers are preparing, looking for a solution to be purchased? You want to try to time your webinar with your products/service buying cycle.
- Holiday seasons will yield less attention. For example conducting a job site safety seminar during construction holidays won’t yield a positive ROI.
- Mondays are used to catch up and Fridays employees tend to be less focused, as a result I try to stay away from these days when conducting B2B webinars.
10) Following Up
Simply said, this is a must! Why did you do all this work in the first place… Reaching out to your customers and thanking those that attended helps keep the conversation going. In a separate e-mail, to those that couldn't make it, you should invite them to visit the recorded version that can be found on your landing page (it's important that you tailor your emails). If you are working with a CRM tool and lead nurturing program, you may want to keep track of these newly acquired customers and see how they turn into potential customers as time progresses. This data may provide you with a winning formula for future marketing activities.
I hope you enjoyed reading the above ten tips to creating a successful webinar. It’s important to remember that as I’m writing this blog the above tactics are evolving, not too mention there are so many points that weren’t discussed. So it's always good to do your due diligence and research what would be best for your business and target market, no one formula will work for all organizations. And the last thing I will leave you with is to never stop testing, if you have an idea test it out…
Leave a comment below and let everyone know your favorite tips to creating a successful webinar.