A webinar, also known as a webcast, can be a very effective marketing tool to showcase your company’s expertise and authority. They are useful in generating high-quality leads and enhancing brand awareness. A webinar series is a set number of webinars that may span over a certain period of time that focus in on a variety of topics related, or tangentially related, to your company’s product and services. The benefit of a “series” versus a “one and done” webinar is that the reality is, your prospect and customers are busy and have varied degrees of interests. So, they may not be able to attend your first webinar and/or the topic may not directly interest them, however, in a series, there may be a time/date that works better for their schedule and/or a topic that more closely aligns with their interests.
Webinars are more cost effective for your customers and prospects to attend versus in-person events. In-person events sometimes require travel, lodging, conference fees and food costs. Webinars are the gift that keep on giving as well in terms of lead generation as well. Not only do you have the “live event”, but when done correctly, offering an “on-demand” version of the webinar also can drive leads for your business out into the future.
Here are 8 tips for your company to create a successful webinar series.
1. Choose your webinar platform
Most recently, CTG has had experience with Zoom and Brighttalk which are popular tools with enterprise technology vendors. There are many platforms out there to choose from depending on your budget and needs. Check out G2’s comparison of different webinar vendors and alternatives.
2. Choose the right day and time to host your webinar
We have seen Wednesdays and Thursdays typically yield the most registrants. We have witnessed a 9 AM PST / Noon EST start time during those days as they tend to appeal to the broadest audience assuming your target market is the entire United States. If your webinar is focused on a more regional patch then adjust accordingly.
3. Ensure your webinar can be heard and seen clearly
If you are the presenter or host, take the time to ensure you check and double check that you are going to be in a quiet spot with a solid internet connection for the live webinar. Some go so far to use a landline versus a cell phone or computer audio to ensure great audio quality. It also helps if you use headset headphones. If you are using video, make sure your video camera is working well and do a number of tests prior to the live event so there are no unforeseen issues.
4. Assume Murphy’s Law is alive and well and have a plan B and C
We have all heard the saying, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. As the webinar host, attempt to think of all the potential issues that could go wrong leading up to the event / during the event and have a plan to mitigate that risk if it does indeed present itself. One suggestion we recommend is to have a moderator for the webinar. In other words, it is risky to rely solely on one person (ex. the speaker) to deliver a fantastic webinar experience. The moderator can work as a team with the speaker on opening up the webinar, troubleshoot issues, answer the Q&A, etc.. If the moderator can take the load on these responsibilities, it allows the speaker to focus on delivering excellent content for your prospects and customers.
5. Set up a dry run with the webinar delivery team
A week or so prior to the live event, host a dry run to ensure everyone understands their roles, responsibilities and the equipment is working properly. From our experience, the speaker tends to either be a busy executive or a technical guru. Both of these speaker types have very demanding schedules, have done webinars before and may want to “push off” a dry run because he/she does not think it is necessary. To ensure success, you have to push back on this and find a time that works. Also ensure the speaker provides the presentation a few days before the live event as some webinar platforms prefer that the presentation is loaded into the platform itself prior the event itself. For your live event, it is important to engage your audience to hold their attention. We have seen the use of video, polls, eye popping visuals and entertaining speakers making this a reality. We all know no one wants to sit through a webinar where the presenter is reading a slew of text based PowerPoint slides. Finally, be sure to leave room for a healthy Q&A near the end. For example, 5 minutes of introductions, 25 minutes of content, 15 minutes of Q&A. And, if no brave soul steps up to ask a question, be sure to have a few questions “planted” that the speaker can address to keep the flow going.
6. Promote the webinar at least four weeks in advance of the live webinar date
It is best practice to have a landing page created with a summary of the topic, the list of the speakers, the date and time, and a clear call to action (CTA) for people to sign up to attend. The webinar can be promoted through a variety of channels: social media platforms, blogs, telemarketing and email blasts. Monitor the registration numbers on a weekly basis. As you could imagine, typically there will be a spike in registrations as you get within the week of the live event so plan your promotions accordingly. You have to assume a 50% no show rate. Webinar experts may weigh in and suggest that this number be higher or lower, but regardless, you have to assume not all who register will attend the live event. This is not a horrible thing as you still have the opportunity to follow up with this individual, send the on-demand version, etc. But, it is something to plan for. There are different strategies, tactics, products and services on the market that can help you gain a better registration and engagement rate for your webinars, contact CTG to learn more about what we have seen.
7. Follow up with attendees
Send an email to event attendees with an opinion poll of the webinar and the recording of the event. For those that did not attend, be sure to follow up with them as well with a “sorry we missed you” email that includes the recording. Depending on how aggressive you want to follow up, perhaps have your sales team reach out to the attendees and no-shows asking them how they liked the webinar or what prompted them to sign up for the webinar. It also is a great opportunity to promote the next webinar in the series.
8. Evaluate your efforts
In most webinar platforms, you can analyze registration and webinar performance. CTG also encourages your webinar delivery team to schedule a “post” meeting to discuss the webinar itself, what went right, what went wrong and how it can be improved for the next webinar in the series.
In summary, CTG has incorporated many of the above tips when managing and organizing webinars for our enterprise technology clients. As stated above, a webinar can be a very effective marketing tool to showcase your company’s expertise and authority. Webinars are the gift that keep on giving as well in terms of lead generation. Not only do you have the “live event”, but when done correctly, offering an “on-demand” version of the webinar also can drive leads for your business out into the future.
Need some help with your webinar process or don’t know where to get started? Contact us today to discuss.