Guide: How to run a Webinar
Here at Attendease, we recently ran a webinar in partnership with Crawford Group to share more about ways to increase efficiencies when managing events. While planning the webinar, we saw a great opportunity to put together a guide to help other marketing professionals with the process of successfully planning and delivering a webinar. And we are proud to share this guide with you today!
Before getting ready to produce a webinar, you need to ask yourself if this is the right strategy at the right time. Are you able to make your subject engaging? Are you able to reach your desired audience? Are there enough people interested in hearing what you have to say? Is that group going to be good prospects for your business? Might it be best to produce a blog article or a white-paper instead? Examples of non-worthy webinar content might include minor product releases, news content (without a twist/opinion), broad themes with no real deliverables, or a dry sales pitch.
People will be sparing an hour of their busy schedules to watch your webinar, so make sure it’s worth it! When done right, webinars can be a powerful marketing strategy that can attract hundreds of new leads into your funnel. This is especially true for B2B companies. Here’s how to make sure your webinar achieves your strategic marketing objectives:
Choosing the topic to focus on will be the most important decision you will make. The topic you choose should be highly specific, so that you can go over it in great detail and provide concrete deliverables. Avoid topics that are too broad, as it will be harder to deliver real value to your audience, and difficult to entice them to sign up in the first place.
Once you know the content you will share, choose the best way to deliver your message. Here are a few popular formats for webinars:
- Presentation: discuss a specific niche topic, from a fresh perspective. People don’t want to hear more of the same. You should provide value by having a different point of view and showing different ways to do things and improve results.
- Panel: Select a panel of specialists to discuss a specific topic. You can get the audience involved by having a Q&A session at the end.
- How to/Tutorial: A walkthrough showing how to perform a specific task.
- Interview: Interviewing a specialist on a specific topic.
How To Select Speakers for Your Webinar
Good speaker selection can create a great deal of impact on whether or not your webinar will be successful. Look for experts in the field - professionals who are highly skilled, have enough experience, and are comfortable speaking in public (and in front of the camera).
It’s a good idea to have someone from your own company speaking, but it’s also a best practice to partner with other companies in the industry that are not direct competitors to you, complementing what you offer to your clients. This cross promotion strategy is a great way to reach new audiences too, as the company partnering with you will promote the webinar to their audience also. It’s a win-win!
Promoting your Webinar
- SEO: Make sure to optimize your webinar landing page for search engines by adding meta tags, headings, and image alt-tags. You may also generate blog content to promote the event and add links to the webinar page.
- Social Media: Create branded banners to share on all social media channels, including headers that can be used to promote the webinar in the week leading up to the event. Consider social advertising to reach new audiences. Lastly, don’t forget your personal social media accounts, especially LinkedIn. Share the event with your network and followers, who may include potential leads for your business!
- Email Marketing: Make sure to email your contacts list to spread the word! You may send a couple invitation emails and reminders as you get closer to the event. Make sure to have a dynamic email list, so you don’t send an invitation to users who have already signed up for the event.
- Online Advertising: If your budget allows, online advertising is a great strategy to create awareness around your webinar. Whether you are remarketing to users who visited your website in the past, or using a targeted Facebook audience, you can use online ads to your advantage.
- Other: Use your own website to promote the event. This may include updating the header banner on your homepage or adding a pop-up with a registration call-to-action.
Build your Slide Deck & Presentation Script
This is more straightforward, but here are a few tips to help you with your webinar presentation deck and script:
- When putting the deck together, focus on images, rather than heavy text, which makes a presentation dull and bland.
- Use as much data and evidence as possible, to backup your point of view.
- Use poll questions to engage the audience (this is also a great way to gather information about your audience).
- Have notes with the main points you will refer to on each slide to guide you during the presentation.
One of the most important things to consider is using a webinar platform that can support all your needs. That may start with understanding the number of attendees you are expecting, and the duration of the event. Some popular options include Adobe Connect, Zoom and GoToWebinar.
Going through a dry run will also help to see if there are any adjustments needed, including internet stability (cable connections are more stable preferred, compared to wireless), microphone, background noise, timing, notes about the presentation style of your speakers, and more.
Another great tip is to have one technical person available to help during the entire duration of the webinar, so you don’t need to do everything yourself. If anything goes wrong (and we hope it won’t!), someone should be doing that for you, while you can focus on interacting with the audience.
Make sure you have the computer batteries handy, and any other devices that you may need during the event. Turn off cellphones, remove landlines from your room, and anything else that may disrupt your webinar.
Other Considerations During and After the Webinar
- Social Streaming: You might take advantage of tools like YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram Live Stories and IGTV to stream part of your webinar and generate interest. Your followers may be interested in watching and tuning in later, or watching it on demand (make sure to share the links to register!).
- On Demand: Don’t forget to record your webinar so you can share it on demand after the live event is over. Using the Attendease landing page, you can still require a registration form to be completed in order to allow in demand webinar view, allowing you to continue to generate leads, even after the event is over. Don’t forget to update the landing page after the event is over, so it doesn’t look dated.
- Social Media: Make sure to have someone interacting with viewers live, using the event hashtag (and encourage viewers to use the hashtag!). This is a great way to create noise and keep the audience engaged.
- Share Slides: You may want to upload your slide deck into SlideShare, which can generate some extra organic traffic for you.
- Email Follow Up and Offers: As your final interaction with your audience, make sure to send an email follow up, including a link to watch the video on demand, and include an offer as a thank you for their time participating (increasing your chances to sign them up for a new deal).This is also an opportunity to make yourself available should they have any questions or would like to learn more about your company.
And that’s a wrap! Creating a webinar is a fantastic way to promote what you do and to create awareness about your company. Following a streamlined process and having the right tools in hand will help you succeed in this effort. If you manage multiple webinars, you may be interested in using Attendease to manage your events, as you can easily clone an event to create a new one in the future. Here's how you can take advantage of the Attendease platform for your next webinar.
How To Create a Webinar with Attendease
Creating an webinar with Attendease is a great way to start, as you can easily clone any webinar event and create a new one in the future, with minimal effort. That means you don’t need to create multiple websites, landing pages and registration forms, so you can focus on your webinar content and promotion, rather than setting it up. Here’s how easy it is to build a webinar using Attendease:
- Create your event settings (URL, date, time, etc.)
- Choose a website template for your website.
- Use our drag-and-drop functionality to build your webinar page, which includes a variety of content block options, such as images, videos, text, headings, and more.
- Build your registration form, with custom fields to gather all the information that you need from your registrants. You can also use global fields, so you can manage attendees across different events, online and offline.
- Setup any integrations you may wish to use. Attendease connects with HubSpot and Salesforce CRM, so your registrants’ information can go into your database. You may also integrate with Slack to receive notification whenever a new registration is made.
- Once the website is ready to go and the registration process is setup, you can start promoting your webinar. Use the email marketing functionality to email your contacts and segment lists based on users who have already registered for the event or not. You can also set up confirmation emails, email reminders, and follow up emails.
- After the event is over, update your landing page to support the on-demand option. New visitors may still register to watch it.
- Have another webinar coming up? Simply clone the website design and settings to build a new event. You just need to update the information, without having to build everything from scratch!
Ready to see it in action? Contact our team to book a demo and see for yourself how you can effortlessly manage a webinar using Attendease. Of course, in addition to webinars, you can also learn how to use Attendease to manage any event, regardless of size or type.