Have you ever tried to host a webinar, but after making a plan you didn’t know what to do next? How should you promote your event? Where do your potential participants spend time? And how can you get to them and convince them that they should attend your live video?
No worries - we’ve all been there. Although setting up an event is a piece of cake with our intuitive software system, creating a robust promotion strategy is far more challenging. Good webinar planning isn't easy also. We’re aware that not everyone’s a full-time marketer, but being in a different profession doesn’t mean your promotion plan has to be mediocre.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve prepared a short guide with tips that you might find helpful on your journey to reaching your target group. You can save it for later and use it as a short handout whenever you plan a video stream.
If you’re ready to start your webinar planning and prepare your own webinar preparation checklist using our hints, let’s get started.
Set your goals and KPIs first
First things first - before you start planning what exactly you should include in your webinar, think of the bigger picture.
- Define your goals - identify the aim of your webinar and what you want to achieve by hosting one. Do you want to generate more leads? Or maybe you want to charge paid access for your event and earn profit this way?
- Set specific, measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to know which metrics to focus on during the whole organization process. Without having such defined goals, you won’t be able to conduct a reasonable evaluation of the project, make relevant conclusions, and improve your next webinars.
A webinar planning - what to do before a broadcast
Some people say that webinar planning should take about eight weeks if you’re starting from scratch. However, let’s be realistic - hardly anyone has that much time to dedicate to organizing an online video. Of course, creating a whole digital event like a conference requires more attention than a one-time webinar run by one or two hosts.
We’ve prepared an estimated time you might need to prepare your video from the very beginning. You can also download a webinar checklist to print or save and have at your fingertips whenever you’re planning an online video.
Six weeks before the webinar
When your goals are defined, you need to determine your target audience. Creating marketing personas might help identify the lifestyle of your potential participants. When you keep in mind their preferences, you can more easily choose which channels to use for webinar streaming and the overall communication. At this moment of webinar planning, you should pick the place for your event.
If you haven't already chosen the specific topic of your webinar, now’s the right time to do so. Besides that, you should set the time and date to schedule your marketing actions and assign tasks for the coming weeks. All this information is essential for preparing content for your webinar and for your event, which you're going to create later.
One month to go
You can start by creating a unique landing page dedicated to registration. Make sure that it can be shared on social media. You don't want to miss the opportunity to get some organic traffic. Enable social sharing and, if possible, allow integration with an online calendar so that participants can add your event to their own.
Create an event on social media. Even if you won’t stream your webinar to Facebook or LinkedIn, you can add a retargeting link that will take people who are interested in participating straight to your landing page. You should set the time and date, plus add a background that is consistent with your brand’s image and shows the character of the event.
Three weeks to go
Email marketing can work wonders when combined with webinar planning. It's most effective when the content is prepared in advance and scheduled to be sent automatically at regular periods. So three weeks before a webinar, you should prepare a few ready-to-send messages:
- The first should include an announcement of the event. Here your goal should be to grab your recipients' attention, so your task is to provide them with essential information about your webinar in an attractive way. Remember to create a catchy email title and an interesting webinar name.
- Prepare email drafts for the coming weeks: one with the webinar agenda, a few reminders, and a thank-you message to send after the broadcast.
Also, start updating your Facebook or LinkedIn event with posts regularly. You can introduce the webinar hosts to the participants and write a short bio about each. If you will run the video by yourself, you can create a set of infographics and posts with engaging questions connected with the subject of your performance.
One week left
First, take our webinar checklist and scan it through to make sure nothing's missing. Then, move on to the next steps - this time ticking the boxes of the tasks planned for one week before your online event.
Remember to post regularly on social media, and not only on your event page! If you have an account on Instagram, you can add content related to your webinar to Insta Stories.
Send a reminder email with an incentive for those who haven't already declared their participation. It could be a set of bonuses for the most engaged attendees or a discount code for everyone who takes part in your event.
At this stage, you should also contact the co-hosts, if you're running a webinar with others. Ask them to confirm their participation and answer all of their questions. You can also request the materials that they're going to use if they already have them ready - though many people prepare presentations just a few days in advance. Do you want the cooperation to be seamless? Send them brief instructions to show how to use the webinar platform of your choice. LiveWebinar has a set of step-by-step guides to make everything as smooth as possible.
Three days ahead
At this moment, everyone will be starting to feel excited about the upcoming event. It's time to take a look at the webinar preparation checklist once again. When you’ve verified that all tasks have been taken care of, you can go to the next step. It's there to help you focus on the tasks without unnecessary stress.
So, contact the co-hosts and ask about their preparedness for the event. If they have already created visual presentations, you can ask for a copy to have a backup with which to support them if needed. Sometimes showing an external PowerPoint file might be tricky when leading an online broadcast.
As we're talking about webinar planning, don't forget to send an email to your participants too, as well as everyone from your contact list. Provide a friendly reminder to those who have decided to participate. To the rest of the recipients, send them a "final call" message. You might convince at least some of those who have been hesitant to join your event.
The day of the webinar
Here comes the aim of your webinar planning. It’s a big day, but there’s no need to stress, as you’ve already done a great job with the webinar preparation and promotion.
Today focus on these actions:
- Be active on social media - add final reminders to Stories and posts to your Facebook/LinkedIn event.
- Send a final reminder to those who declared their participation in your webinar. The email should contain the details of and a redirecting link to your event. Even if you're streaming to Facebook, it's always good practice to add a URL in the email. You can use a link shortener and track how many people use this URL to reach the webinar landing page.
- Perform a dry run - if you're hosting a webinar on your own, you can do a rehearsal. If you're leading a conference then it might be a hard nut to crack, but it's still possible. You can join the webinar before the audience and check if everything is working smoothly.
After the webinar
One day after
Being polite is essential, no matter if you're meeting someone in real life or online. Always send a thank you email to show your appreciation for the time they dedicated to your event.
To improve your future performances and webinar checklist send a survey to your participants and ask them for feedback. If you prefer, you can also do this during the webinar session, after the event comes to an end. LiveWebinar provides you with the option of Tests & Surveys to ask for an opinion when attendees are still "warm". You can gather all of the responses in one place and analyze them later.
Since the event and webinar planning has come to an end, you should close the landing page. You're not going to need it anymore, so it's time to say goodbye.
Three days after
Don't let your participants forget about your past event. People love numbers, so it might be a smart move to make an infographic with the key metrics such as the number of the attendees, conversion rate, or anything that paints your webinar in a good light, and post it on social media. No matter what content you choose, create a post for your profiles that summarizes your video.
A few days have passed, so it's the right time to share the materials with your attendees. Send these via email. Think about asking your followers on social media and on your contact list if they want to receive a file with the key insights. This way you can also send them to those followers on social media who didn't take part in your event, so that they may become a loyal member of your audience in future!
Extra tips that you should always keep in mind
Remember to save your webinar planning tips, gather data, analyze it, and draw conclusions. Ask the audience and the other presenters (if you are co-hosting a webinar) for feedback to find out your strengths and weaknesses.
When collecting reports from social media and your webinar, beware of so-called vanity metrics! These are numbers that you can easily keep track of, but don't actually mean much for your business. Look at which numbers are worth tracking and make a difference, so that you can learn what works for you.
Webinar planning checklist
Having a checklist to follow is very helpful when you're planning your webinar. This allows you to make sure you've got everything sorted, so you can relax and focus on delivering a great presentation. To help you out, we've put together a webinar planning checklist that covers all the essentials:
- Choose a date and time that works for your audience
- Confirm speakers and send them an outline of what you'd like them to cover
- Create a promotional plan to get the word out - use email, social media, and any other channels you have
- Design a catchy landing page Introduce yourself and your company
- Create a compelling offer
- Include a strong call to action
- Make sure your page is mobile-friendly
- Set up a registration form and thank you page
- Choose your webinar platform and test it thoroughly in advance of the event
- Create a strong CTA that encourages people to sign up
- Prepare your slides and practice your presentation
- Plan for any technical difficulties that could arise - have a backup plan in place
- On the day of the webinar, do a soundcheck and test your equipment
- Invite co-hosts and give them instructions
- Start promoting your webinar a week in advance
- Send reminders to registrants the day before and day of the event
- After the webinar, send a follow-up email to all attendees
- Thank them for coming and invite them to contact you
- Do a test run of the webinar to make sure everything works as it should
- Promote your event on social media
- On the day of the webinar, make sure you're prepared and relaxed
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor and follow up with attendees afterwards!
- Tick all the boxes from the webinar checklist and start generating leads
Why should you even consider creating a webinar if there's so much to do besides hosting the event? Don't let these points put you off.
They’re easy to take care of, especially with handy integrations that automate certain processes. You can schedule social media content in advance with help from special tools, and create a smooth email flow with one of the 15 most popular software systems.
Also, the numbers speak for themselves - 90% of online shoppers feel that videos directly impact their purchasing decisions. If you want to use this weapon in your strategy, you have to make your actions robust.
Fortunately, you don't have to remember all steps from your webinar planning by heart. Just download our webinar preparation checklist that you can find below, and use it whenever you need.