How to Host the Best Webinars: A Step-By-Step Guide
Webinars are a great way to engage your audience, inspire your team, and build brand awareness while generating content and potential leads for your company. Although webinars can seem intimidating, hosting a successful webinar is easier than you think. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to create a webinar that delivers on your goals and objectives.
What is a webinar?
The word webinar stems from a combination of the two words ‘web’ and ‘seminar.’ Therefore, a webinar is essentially a live event, broadcast over the web where one or more speakers engage in an interactive dialogue with participants anywhere in the world. Using slides, video, integrated social media, and live attendee feedback, webinars allow you to cover a wide range of subject matter with small or large groups in real-time.
What’s the purpose of a webinar?
The purpose of a webinar is to bring interactivity and measurable momentum to your marketing events. By providing a cost-effective yet dynamic, scalable setting, you can engage and moderate your audience while accomplishing specific objectives. This immersive platform is perfect for product demonstration, lead generation, relationship building, and establishing yourself as an authority in your field.
How to set goals for your webinar
Goal setting is a critical part of webinar planning. Start as soon as possible, so you don’t get too far down the path without your goals and waste valuable time.
- Begin by asking yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want to demonstrate thought leadership, strengthen relationships, promote products, educate your team, or generate leads?
- When considering your objective, keep SMART criteria in mind. Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
- Decide on your intended outcomes to keep your webinar on track and help you achieve quantifiable results.
What’s the best format for my webinar?
Webinars come in many shapes and sizes. By answering the following questions, you can easily figure out which type of webinar is best for you.
- Interactive: Do you want to host an interactive event for customers and leads?
- Interview: Would you like an interview-style webinar in which a speaker asks a set of predetermined questions to a subject matter expert?
- Demo, Case Study, or Training: Are you wanting to host a product demonstration, case study, or training session?
- Panel Discussion: Would you prefer a panel discussion with numerous guests and a moderator?
- Live Q&A: Are you looking for a Live Q&A which will allow the speaker to answer questions coming from the audience?
How do I pick a webinar topic?
One of the most important goals of a webinar is to deliver value and drive action. When determining the topic of your webinar, ask yourself:
- Look for information. What problem does this webinar need to solve? What are the biggest pain points in your audience’s journey? Are there negative online reviews about your product or a competitor’s product or service? The answers to questions like these will give you valuable information.
- Determine interest. What questions are you being asked? Do different customers ask you the same question over and over? What webinar topics are getting the most traction within your company or client base? Have you introduced a new software or product? Chances are, if you’re talking about it on a weekly or monthly basis, there’s a wider interest in the subject.
- Search content for ideas. What’s popular on your other digital platforms? Are your blog posts or LinkedIn topics getting a lot of engagement? If so, it’s a great place to start as it will tell you what your audience is most interested in.
- Spot trends. Is the subject matter trending? Are there subjects in your industry that are getting a lot of chatter? New developments or technologies that you could highlight? If it’s trending in the industry, you are guaranteed that a lot of people are interested in the subject.
How do I set up a webinar?
- Think about the mood and tone you want to set. Is it energetic and futuristic, or quiet and calm? From HD video to high-quality sound, make sure to use all the tools in your platform’s arsenal to create the right vibe.
- Get a good quality webcam and the right lighting to make sure you and any guests are well lit and shot from the best angle.
- Take time to set up your digital dashboard and familiarize yourself with all the features you might want to use, such as auto-recording, screen share, polling questions, and large meeting controls.
Why should I practice before my webinar?
No matter how familiar you are with your subject matter, something may go awry during your webinar. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a couple of practice runs in before the big day. Start by ensuring that everyone involved is clear on their roles and deliverables and that your webinar software is functioning correctly. Then:
- Get your participants comfortable with your chosen platform and webcam, so the webinar feels like a face-to-face conversation.
- Test run your webinar software and moderator controls.
- Make sure your slides are visually appealing, accessible, and easy to read on a variety of screen sizes.
- Assign individuals to the activities that require monitoring during the webinar, namely polls, Q&As, group chats, etc.
- Review the final registration list based on details such as names of attendees, their respective industries, etc.
How do I market my webinar?
If done correctly and strategically, the right marketing should ensure a full and enthusiastic house for your webinar. Make sure to include the following steps in your plan.
- Create a solid digital marketing strategy, including promoting through paid media, and sending multiple email invitations to a targeted list of leads and customers.
- Always include event details and a direct link to register for your webinar in every communication.
- Have a well-designed landing page introducing the webinar topic, the speaker(s), date and time, and a call-to-action for people to sign up.
- Create banners and feature them prominently on your website.
- Advertise on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help spread the word both before and during your presentation.
- Consider promoting after your event as part of your on-demand strategy.
Which is the best platform for my webinar?
All platforms have their pros and cons; however, some have more to offer than others. Since you may want to use the platform for more than one type of event, it's a good idea to use a flexible solution. The ability to interact with your audience is key, so make sure to pick a platform that offers a substantial content sharing application and interactive capabilities. You will also want something with enhanced security settings, robust moderator controls, and the ability to record your webinar for post-event viewing and distribution.
What should I do after the webinar?
Success! You’ve hosted the webinar to rave reviews. To build on the momentum, you want to follow up within 24 hours.
- Send your audience a thank you email, asking if there are more questions or requests. You can also include a feedback survey with a CTA for future webinars.
- In addition, get in touch with those who couldn’t attend and include a recording of the webinar in your communication.
- Use post-event reports and analytics to evaluate your webinar and get ready for the next one.
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