Golden tips for running webinars [20+ expert comments]
How to run a successful webinar? What to do to attract your target group, keep them engaged during the webinar and interact with your brand further? We’ve asked people who breathe webinars: and here’s what they told us.
I’ve participated in webinars on regular basis, both as a host and as a guest, for many years now but the number (and frequency) of my appearances increased significantly in the COVID-19 era. From my personal experience I can think of 3 crucial tips I’d like all webinar organizers to have in mind in order to provide the best experience for everyone:
- make the registration process as easy as possible and remember that 2 clicks is one too much;
- do follow up with all registrants in a form of a simple thank you email and include a link to the recording;
- always provide the real value to your audience and share your genuine experiences – remember that it is much easier for a dissatisfied participant to close a window with webinar streaming than to leave a traditional conference speech before the end.”
Mike Korba, CCO & Co-founder at User.com
My biggest tip for running a successful webinar is to create a singular value proposition. In other words, tell webinar attendees the one specific thing they will take away from your webinar. Using a specific, singular value proposition creates focus, something that most webinars lack. It's much more likely that users will stay to the end and convert when you promise them "You will learn how to build a SaaS email marketing list of 100 users in the next 10 days" instead of "learn to build an email list”.
Jeremy Moser, Co-Founder at uSERP
A successful webinar is one that looks and sounds like natural conversations. In most cases, the flow is more important than perfect execution. After all, only you and your team know when you made a mistake, so as long as you don’t show it, the audience won’t notice it. How to make your webinar smoother? Test everything, and I mean every little detail like HDMI cable or a connection between your computer and that new piece of equipment you are so eager to show off. Don’t forget to back up your files, ideally in the cloud. As a last piece of advice, let me tell you it’s better to drink during a webinar, and not before one.
Michał Kulis, Content Manager at SMSApi
It is much easier to collect webinar sign-ups when you’ve already got a formidable audience to begin with. But what if you’re only starting out and you’ve only got a handful of fans? In a situation like this, the only solution is to put as much effort into building your audience as you put into creating awesome webinar content. For beginners and people not yet established in the market, it may take weeks (if not months) to get the word out there and gather a satisfying number of sign-ups. That’s why you should focus on building your audience much before your webinar takes place. A good place to begin with your email list. Nurture all the contacts dripping in. Build up the tension leading up to your online event to maximize the number of people who will actually show up. The bottom line is simple: give yourself enough time to build your audience in advance so you don’t end up streaming into void.
Agnieszka Kasperek, SaaS Copywriter & CMO at Taskeo.co
Webinars are a powerful tool for growing a brand but only if you get them right which is difficult to do on the first try. Instead of hoping to get a 15% sales conversion rate, approach it as an iterative process in which you focus on learning more about your audience so you can make tweaks to your webinar. Add a Thank You page survey to capture psychographic & demographic information such as age, geography, biggest goal, the biggest problem, etc. Once you get a statistically significant amount of information, analyze the data, and use it to tweak your webinar so it appeals to the most predominant audience segments.
For example, if you realize you have a large number of beginner fitness enthusiasts and expert fitness enthusiasts attending your webinar, you may change the material so that it’s valuable to both groups.
Another thing to pay attention to is the questions people continue to ask during the Q&A section. Addressing these questions directly within your webinar may result in a sizeable increase in webinar conversions.
Daniel Ndukwu - Founder of KyLeads
Do webinars around popular topics you’ve produced before in another format. For example, you can take a widely received blog post and turn it into a webinar presentation. Or, reinvent a favored case study as a web seminar. It’s always a bad idea to present a new or untested topic in a webinar because it’s likely to be a dud. But presenting a proven topic guarantees you high engagement levels and a better return on the time and resources invested.
Qhubekani Nyathi, SEO Content Strategist at Wholesome Commerce
Run a lead generation campaign a few weeks before, using a landing page or popup on your website to generate hundreds of leads attracted with your free webinar. You can add an extra trigger announcing a giveaway of goodies during the webinar, to make sure your audience will attend numerously.
Andrzej Bieda, CMO Landingi
Create visually compelling content!
Webinars work best when they rely on a combination of audio and visual elements, so make sure you have slides with compelling images. If you don’t have a collection of high-quality photos, feel free to use sources like Unsplash to find high-quality, royalty-free stock photos.
The text on your slides should be readable and clear to everyone so keep the text at a minimum to give time to the viewer so he can grasp all the words on the slide (When in doubt follow Steve Jobs’s rule of no more than 40 words per presentation).
Infographics are also a great way to get your message across because they combine visual elements, which are reinforced by text. You can use Canva to make your own infographics to capture the viewer’s attention. Infographics work well because people love facts, stats, and figures and infographics are great ways of delivering those.
Atanas Georgiev, CTO and co-founder of Enterprise League
I’ve been running webinars for a few years and there are two pieces of advice I wish someone had shared with me back when I started. The first one is to not to hide behind the screen. A webinar is not a radio show, there’s a screen for a reason - show your face. You don’t need to have a professional audio and video setup, just make sure people can see/hear you well. It might sound simple but showing your face to the audience as you speak can help create a personal connection with your audience.
The second tip is to be natural. Talk like you would talk during a video call with coworkers. You don’t need to practice your radio voice or prepare super elaborate slides. The slides should be there to illustrate your point, but they shouldn’t be the main focus of your presentation. By being natural you’ll be able to get your point across without giving a sales pitch.
Raul Galera, Partner Manager at CandyBar
Ever wondered why some webinars are so boring to watch? That's because their authors think of lead generation rather than audience when producing a webinar.
The #1 tip here: not all content deserves a webinar, so make sure you have one that will be REALLY useful for the audience. Consider a highly specific idea that would be better suited for the webinar format than others: a niche topic examination from a fresh angle, an interview with an opinion leader, a panel discussion of some timely issue, or a how-to, example-driven tutorial.
The #2 tip: Write a webinar script. Even the most experienced hosts rely on scripts because it's hard to talk for up in an hour, even if you speak about something you're passionate about.
And the #3 tip: Always run a test webinar several days before the live event. Do at least one run-through to make sure everything will function correctly.
Lesley Vos, Content Strategist at Bid4Papers
Running a webinar is like running a concert, you have to be aware of every little detail to make sure the experience is seamless. So, how do you run a webinar as smoothly as possible? Make sure your webinar is on a specific topic that’s in high demand. Then, find the right speakers to talk about the topic. After that, think of promotion and SEO— after all, you have to get the word out, right?
A script is important to make sure that your webinar stays on track and doesn’t go off on a tangent. Another important thing is the technicality. Make sure that you have a reliable microphone (headsets are okay) and not the microphone on your laptop as it can be a bit faint.
Lastly, don’t forget to do a run-through at least several days before the webinar to make sure that everything runs smoothly. It’s also a great way to iron out the kinks and prep you for the big day.
Andre Oentoro, CEO of Breadnbeyond
A lot of people fancy putting together a webinar but are daunted by the fact that there are just so many out there and they worry that (a) their webinar may be ignored or (b) they may end up making a fool of themselves.
As somebody who swears by webinars for the success of my business, I have two golden rules which can quite literally make or break your webinar and, these are:
Pick a topic - and stick to it. While I understand that you may have tons of ideas bouncing around in your head - and you’re eager to share them - jumping from one subject to another will just confuse and irritate your viewers. Instead, use the ‘one webinar, one topic rule’. Find the topic that you are knowledgeable and passionate about and base the webinar around this topic - and only this topic. Not only will this make your webinar cleaner and easier to follow, it will automatically present you as a thought leader on that subject.
Secondly, know your audience. No good ever came from presenting a webinar to a scattergun selection of people in the hope that you’ll reach one or two of the right ones. Instead, make sure that you do your research diligently so that you’re only broadcasting to people who care about your topic.
Creating great webinars takes practice and, when done right, can really help to increase your profile.
Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director at Chillifruit.com
- When you're presenting a slideshow, try to take some pauses to emphasize key points. When there's something you feel it's extra important, pause the slide show, so that your audience will see only your webcam feed. This simple switch makes them pay more attention.
- Webinars have a powerful aspect - audience interaction. Engaging with your audience creates a better connection and makes them more invested. Launch polls to ask for their opinion. Always have a Q&A session at the end of the webinar, so your audience can ask what they really want to know.
- When done right, webinars can be a powerful sales tool. Even before you start your webinar, have a call-to-action in mind - what do you want your audience to do? A call-to-action can encourage them to buy your product or course, sign up to your next webinar or even a simple action like subscribing to your newsletter.
- Have a rought webinar timeline in place. Plan time for introductions, polls and your Q&A session - that's what beginner webinar hosts tend to forget. Make sure you leave time for just chatting and explaining something in greater detail, if needed.
Anton Shulke + Head of Influencer Marketing (SEO) at SEMrush
Engage with your audience. Individuals at home are easily distracted, have a 5-minute attention span, and if you want to avoid confusion or boredom you have to involve them. The days of the broadcast only presentations are dead in the water. Use interactive engagement software such as Mentimeter and ask questions, use polls and test your points of view.
Jeremy Cassell, Coach at Jeremy Cassell Coaching
It’s a coming of age story for webinars post-COVID-19 scenario. Running a successful show will demand great tools. The basics are there — good internet, decent backdrop, mic, and an exceptional FULL HD webcam. Many rely on laptop webcams, but it’s a big turn off. So, invest in a quality cam and fuel your arsenal with tools like LiveWebinar that provide comprehensive webinar solutions.
One thing that is less emphasized is that of the clothes you wear. Please don’t go for lines or checks as they can end up creating distractions on camera. Best if you can have a solid T-shirt/shirt that contrasts with the backdrop.
On the tech front, make sure your audio drivers are updated and in sync, with the tools you are using. And one key aspect, do a mock run a day or a few hours before the actual webinar to steer clear of any technical or managerial hiccups in conducting webinars.
Dhaval Sarvaiya, Intelivita
One of the biggest problems is users not showing up for a webinar. At Jooksms, we have several clients who use SMS text messages to remind their list when a webinar is going to start. SMS is better at getting a better response rate since 98% of the messages are read in the first 3 minutes upon receipt. So next time you host a webinar, try sending a text reminder to your contacts.
Christopher Prasad, Marketing Manager, JookSMS
Get your audience interested - otherwise they will quickly leave the webinar and never come back to your brand. Nobody likes boring webinars. That is why it is worth taking care of not only interesting content, but also the way of its transmission. Creating an attractive presentation helps in this. It's also a good idea to have a meeting plan at hand so that you can collect your thoughts despite the stress. Remember to be exhaustive, but specific, during the webinar. Nobody wants to participate in the endless meeting. A good way is to think about common questions that may arise in the seminar so that you have answers to them.
Wojciech Jasnos, CEO RocketLink
Promotion is a really important factor, especially now when the competition in the webinar market is really big.
Nobody would like to speak to an empty room. Creating an online meeting for a handful of people usually doesn't make sense either. Therefore, it is necessary to attract participants. It's a good idea to create a landing page where we will collect records. Such a page has one task, so the layout should be simple and the content specific. Thanks to this, the landing page will convert well.
Pawel Ogonowski, Growcode
Although theoretically the webinar can be conducted anywhere and anytime, it is worth taking care to conduct the meeting in a closed, quiet room. It is important that nobody and nothing disturbs during the entire online broadcast. You also need to take care of proper lighting and remember about the background, so as not to be ashamed of what will be behind our backs during the webinar. It is also important that the space around us does not distract us and our audience. To make your task even easier, invite a moderator to cooperate! Sometimes it is difficult to control everything, especially during the first webinars. That is why it is worth asking the person who will moderate the event for help. Such a person will be responsible, among other things, for removing spam, moderating discussions and blocking possible trolls and haters.
Tom Mortimer, Content Manager Adzooma
Positive attitude and self-confidence is very evident in the trainer. As a speaker, you should think of webinar participants as good friends. This makes it easier to manage nervousness and run an interesting meeting in a natural way, while engaging participants to ask questions and express their opinions. As a matter of fact, a webinar is not that different from a public speaking - both require brevity, practicality, and humorous elements.
Webinars save the time of organizers, speakers and participants, ignite employee engagement, eliminate many costs related to the organization of a stationary meeting, and eliminate geographical limitations.
A good leader knows that in addition to preparing the script and presentation, it is good to prepare answers to potential questions in order to be able to efficiently answer during the webinar. Nevertheless, if the meeting is live, we don't need to know everything - if there is a question about a point that we need to return to the sources, it's worth being honest about it.
Julien Roy, Head of Growth, Sparkbay
Before doing a webinar, find out what problems other people are struggling with, do a survey, what others would like to know, what is difficult for them, look for hot topics on the forums.
Make sure that the topic and method of conversation you choose is appropriate for the group of people who will participate in the webinar. Check that your presentation is properly saved and works well.
During the webinar, make sure several times that attendees can hear you or see what you are showing on their screen and allocate some time to the question and answer section. If the above issues are not verified, sales / affiliate webinars can do more harm than good.
Michal Kouril, Post Affiliate Pro
Not everyone is going to be tuning into your webinar through their desktop/laptop. That's why it's crucial that your webinar platform supports mobile features where these attendees can view and interact as well as everyone else.
Ask for a Webinar Feedback from your peeps! While it's great to do what YOU want to do, I've learned that even the harshest feedback can inspire you to adjust what is needed. Sure, your jokes were hilarious but sometimes not all people are going to appreciate it so knowing your audience's take on the green puns will help you realize the most appropriate time for them. If you need help on a good survey platform, check these tips.
Brandi Hawkins, Coupon Chief
There are several tips to ensure that your webinar is great. First of all, make sure to check all of your equipment, including your internet connection, at least 30 minutes before the webinar. That way, you can prevent possible issues beforehand.
The second thing you must do before going live is to do at least one dry run. That way, you can identify problems with the presentation and the flow so that everything goes well during the live show.
Third, set up your campaign tracking for your webinar so that you can see how successful webinars are for your lead generation offers. You need tracking links for your webinar offers so that you can compare your webinar results to your overall marketing campaign results.
Mile Živković, marketing manager at Chanty
Leveraging webinars shouldn’t just end with hosting them. Most of webinar platforms allow for recording the whole thing, which makes it easy to share the video with the attendees (or those who didn’t make it) afterwards. But, there’s one more thing you can do with the recording: repurpose it. You can gate the video, transform it into a podcast, blog post, slide deck… You name it. It doesn’t matter which content format you choose, as long as you do something with it.
Berenika Teter, Content Marketer at Prowly PR Software
Webinars tend to be long and this means that you need to hold the attention of your attendees well. For this, you must know exactly what your target audience likes. Then, you can design the content of the webinar accordingly.
Apart from the content of your webinar, you should also try to incorporate personal stories and case studies. This can add value that your attendees will appreciate.
Additionally, choose a good webinar hosting platform. If your platform isn’t able to deliver a good webinar experience, your audience will likely leave before it’s over.
Also, make sure you incorporate ample visual assets into the webinar. These can make your webinar more engaging. Use images, videos, infographics, and tables to add visual elements to your webinars.
Lastly, the most important thing that you need to remember is your voice. Make sure you modulate your voice well and use a conversational tone throughout the webinar.
Shane Barker, Digital Marketing Consultant
Happily combines a love of writing and new technology as a copywriter, and enjoys the puzzle of putting together a good article. In her spare time she likes to catch up on the latest, greatest books, bake chocolate chip cookies and ponder her next travel destination.More posts