Your guide to utilize webinars to educate and engage with your audience
The current global situation has forced businesses to find an alternative for seminars and offline workshops – webinars. A webinar is similar to a seminar, but you don’t need to show up somewhere; all you need is good Wi-Fi and an electronic device: a tablet, a laptop or a smartphone.
Webinars can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses to utilize in order to build a connection with their audience and educate them too. However, as there is a growing interest in them, you’ll notice that many businesses have already started holding webinars. So, how can your business outshine the competition? How could you create informative, appealing webinars to assist your audience and business? We’ll tackle these pointers below.
Should you start doing webinars?
Webinars have been flooding the internet recently as different industries and businesses try adjusting to this new culture. The question is: do I need to start investing in them to uplift my business? Below are some of the reasons why we think you should:
1. Generate leads
Webinars can be an excellent source for leads, as you choose a topic that resonates with your audience to highlight a certain product or service which you offer. Unlike seminars, webinars can help you reach a broader segment as well as attendees online creating a great opportunity for social media sharing.
If you record your webinar sessions, you can then upload them to your website, YouTube channel or blog and use them on your social media channels to open the doors for more engagement and to generate more quality leads.
2. Build connections and engage with your customers
Practically speaking, meeting your customers in person can help strengthen your relationship and connection with them. However, live webinars can also to help create a certain exclusivity and add a competitive edge.
At the end of your webinar, you can dedicate time for questions and interactions with your audience. Depending on the tool you use to host your sessions, you can ask the attendees to ask questions in the chat box, or to create a survey at the end or even a form on which they can submit their feedback. The more interactive your webinar is, the greater the impact of your message will be.
That said, providing a recorded version after the event and making it available to those who couldn’t make the session will also help build that relationship with customers as well as creating a second wave of leads.
3. Cost effective
When you’re planning a seminar or an offline workshop, you need to take into consideration the associated costs, such as: booking a venue, sound and light system, coffee breaks and the logistics. Your attendees will also need to either travel or commute to the location, which would consume both time and money.
Due to the online nature of webinars, this eliminates the need to travel, and it’s much easier and cheaper to plan one.
How can you outshine the others?
Are you planning your first webinar? Here are the steps that you need to take:
- Choose the right topic.
- Create intriguing content.
- The logistics.
- Spread the word.
- Don’t forget to follow up.
- Choose the right topic
The first step is to choose an interesting topic so that your audience would want to tune in specifically to hear you. This is a good chance for you to show off your expertise in your industry and share some tips and advice to help your audience.
From introducing a new product to highlight certain features in your service, or providing tips on a certain topic, there are endless formats for your webinar’s content.
One of the best ways to decide on the topic or content is to ask your audience, or to monitor the frequently asked questions that you receive on social and create your content accordingly.
Let’s say you’re a marketing specialist and you’ve been receiving several questions about SEO and keywords – you can prepare a webinar to give tips to digital marketing specialists.
Overall, your webinar should provide value to your audience. Think about your company as a whole and your unique value proposition.
- Create intriguing content
Once you know the topic you want to present on, you’ll have to decide what type of webinar you want to host. Below are some formats options:
- PowerPoint presentation
- Keynote speech
- Live panel Q&A
When building successful webinar content, it comes down to providing what your customers need by answering their questions and addressing their concerns.
So, let’s say you’re creating a PowerPoint deck: don’t include the full script of your webinar. Instead, include the main points or topics that you’ll address along with images and videos to support your content.
If you’re hosting a discussion style webinar, plan out your speakers, gather audience questions, and prepare any other questions you might have so you can prioritize your time during the webinar.
- The logistics
Now that you’ve chosen the topic and created an outline for your content, it’s time to start planning the logistics for your webinar.
- The tool or platform: There are many webinar services you can use to create your webinar, like Zoom or Eventtus. When you’re researching a tool to use, consider your objectives. How many people do you think will attend? How much does it cost? Can it handle video chatting or Q&A webinars? The right tool for you will depend on the overall objectives of your webinar.
- Select the right day and time: You’ll want to consider the right date and time for the session, this depends on where your audience lives. Use tools like Google Analytics to see where people are, so you can choose a convenient day and time zone.
Spread the word
Now that you’ve done the backend work, it’s time to ensure that people know about your webinar and are excited to attend. You have to build excitement and encourage engagement once the webinar goes live. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Run social media ads to create a hype and conversation around the webinar. It’s important to use your own follower base to get people interested, like in the below example:
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- Create a landing page where people can sign up and then distribute that link in several ways.
- Email marketing can be a powerful tool, so consider sending a newsletter to announce the webinar’s date and time along with the sign-up form.
- When people sign up, you’ll want to remind them leading up to the day. Remember to send out reminder emails the day before and day-of the live event to ensure a high live attendance rate. You can also send them the webinar link about an hour before so it’s top of mind and they don’t have to go looking for the link in their registration email.
Don’t forget to follow up
Once the webinar is done, this doesn’t mean that your job is done too.
You need to follow up with the attendees, as you don’t want people to leave your webinar and never think of you again. That’s why you’ll want to send them a thank you email and gather feedback from attendees so you can plan better webinars in the future.
Additionally, attendees generally like to have a recording, so you can send them a link to the recording afterwards so they don’t have to take notes during the webinar. This also means you can send it to registrants who wanted to attend but weren’t able to.
Are you inspired to start planning your own webinars?
From discussion panels to weekly live demos, webinars are a dynamic and effective way to move your leads and audience down the funnel from awareness to closed deal and beyond. They aren’t just an effective marketing tool – they’re also effective sales tools.
Putting the extra effort in will go a long way toward making sure the webinar is a success from both a sales and marketing standpoint.
Image by: GoDaddy