10 steps for creating a perfect webinar
They create bonds with the audience, build your authority as an expert, as well as generate valuable leads and boost sales. Undoubtedly, webinars are powerful tools to promote your business. Get the most out of running an online seminar by following these 10 easy steps!
#1 Set your goals
First, think about the main reasons why you’re running a webinar – is it lead conversion, establishing your position in the industry or maybe growing your mailing list?
Write down your goals and keep them in mind while developing the webinar’s strategy and choosing the perfect formula for your online seminar.
#2 Follow the plan
Aware of your goals? Great! Now you should transfer them into an easy to follow, step by step plan of your webinar, as well as the schedule of the project.
While making your to-do-list, try to be as specific as possible and avoid using too broad terms as “Asking X to be a guest speaker”. Instead, slice the cake by breaking your task into little steps – e.g. “A. Google X’s contact details. B. Send an invitation e-mail.”
This method will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and will enable you to track your project’s progress more effectively.
#3 Hit the perfect time
Timing is everything! Especially when you’re running a webinar with attendees spread all over the world.
Here are some key factors you should consider while picking the date and time of your seminar – time zones, national holidays and the working style of your target audience.
Midweek may be the optimal time for hosting a webinar –Wednesdays and Thursdays have the highest attendance rates, while unsurprisingly Saturday and Sunday seminars are on the opposite side.
Not sure what time would be the most suitable for your audience? Simply ask the participants in a poll and let them pick up a date that will not interfere with their daily schedule. If you’re looking for a less direct way to match the time with your audience preferences, use your Google Analytics data – the activity peaks on your website might lead you to the perfect time for hosting your webinar.
#4 Open for new audiences
How to make your webinar reach high attendance rates? Apart from inviting your core target, people that already appear on your e-mail list and are familiar with your company, broaden the audience. Reaching out to people that have never heard of you and convincing them of your webinar has unique values might be worth a try! It only requires the right type of promotion...
#5 Spread the news
Behind every successful webinar there is a well-thought out promotion strategy.
Plan a promotion campaign, including specific targeting and segmentation, which will help you reach the preferable audience. Start implementing your promotion strategy at least 2 weeks before the event. The earlier you begin, the more opportunities you will have to grab the recipients attention and build anticipation for your seminar.
Create a user-friendly landing page and make sure that signing up for your webinar is effortless. Run social media and email campaigns in which you remind users to sign up and highlight the benefits of attending your webinar.
Before promoting your event, don’t forget to set campaign tracking parameters which will measure the effectiveness of your promotional activities and help improve them in the future.
#6 Stick to the script
Want to run your webinar like a pro? Even if you’re 100% prepared and passionate about the topic, write down a script, which shortly speaking is a detailed scenario that will organize your pitch, keep you on track and prevent from repeating information. The webinar’s script is a compass that will guide you through your presentation and may also serve as “a cheat sheet” on which you can rely in emergency situations.
#7 Be technically ready
And we mean it! As the webinar’s host you don’t want to worry about any technical issues. Prepare the right software and hardware, especially focusing on the quality of audio and video to bring your audience a truly live experience. If you’re in the speaker’s role, think of providing yourself technical support. The presence of an assistant may save your webinar from a technological disaster and keep your mind free from wondering if your laptop will run out of power.
#8 Engage your audience
How to engage your audience and keep them focused to the very end of your webinar? Simply by interacting with them! Let your guests express their thoughts, doubts and ask them to share their experience during a question & answer session. You may also encourage attendees to be active on your social media canals, run a poll or start a group chat.
Moreover, rethink the way you present the data – you may need to master your slide deck. Instead of boring, static Power Point presentations, take your slides to a new level by enriching them with animated pictures or charts.
#9 Practise making it (almost) perfect
When it comes to live events such as webinars, rehearsals are a real must.
Before the final day, preform your pitch and test the equipment at least once. Even after practicing your speech several times, keep in mind that there will always be things beyond your control, but you can overcome any obstacles by staying calm and keeping a positive mindset.
#10. Follow up afterwards
The best way to improve the quality of your next online seminar is asking your attendees for feedback. Thank them for joining the lecture and ask about their experiences from the webinar. Examine if they found the content useful, what topic they’d want to discuss during the next session and who should be the next speaker. Add a special thank you bonus to your follow up mailing list – share a recording of the latest webinar or an exclusive interview with one of the lecturers.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid of criticism – the most successful companies are open for all kinds of feedback, even the negative one. Try to step into your recipient’s shoes, because knowing his point of view gives you the opportunity of providing even better services in the future.