Ten tips to make your next webinar a success
We've all experienced it before. You eagerly sign up for what you believe will be an enlightening and educational webinar, so you mark your calendar and log on with anticipation – only to find that the event is nothing more than a shameless sales pitch. How disappointing.
Now, don't get us wrong. There's nothing inherently wrong with a webinar that aims to sell. However, far too often, the webinars we sign up for fall short of delivering the valuable content they promised.
Nevertheless, webinars can be a wonderful opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with your customers and even learn from them. Whether you're introducing a new product, discussing the unique services your business provides, catching your audience up on the latest trends, or hosting a training session, webinars allow prospects to gain insights into your company's expertise without the pressure of a direct sales call.
To ensure you never fall victim to the dreaded webinar bait-and-switch again, we've compiled everything you need to know (and more) to launch your next webinar successfully.1. Clearly Define Your Goals
Before diving into the logistics of planning a webinar, it's crucial to outline your objectives. Are you looking to generate leads, educate your audience, or promote a new product or service? Defining your goals will help you structure the content and format of your webinar accordingly.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
In order to deliver a captivating webinar that truly connects with those you’re trying to reach, you must have a deep understanding of who they are. Each industry faces its own unique challenges, obstacles, and goals, so it’s essential to tailor your content to effectively reach your intended audience. Taking the time to research common pain points, for example, will allow you to customize your content and cater specifically to their needs. To learn more about common problems for different industries, click here.
3. Choose the right program
When it comes to selecting the right program for your webinar, you have a couple of options to consider: you can choose between a screen-sharing-based program or one that provides a fully hosted service. Although hosted platforms may be slightly more expensive, they offer a higher level of reliability compared to screen-share versions. With hosted services, the slides are directly uploaded into the tool, eliminating any potential issues with Wi-Fi connections and ensuring a seamless user experience. Additionally, hosted services provide advanced user tracking and CRM integration capabilities. Here’s an article that will help you get started with choosing the best one for you.
4. Select an engaging topic and start crafting your slides
When choosing a topic for your webinar, the key is to think about commonly asked questions and recurring issues faced by your customers. For example, through the years, we’ve seen many of our healthcare clients come to us with the struggle of not being able to separate themselves from competitors. This ultimately results in their key messages getting buried, which makes it hard to reach their potential customers. We recently conducted a webinar focused on using on your Capital S Story to differentiate yourself as a healthcare organization. In two decades of working with providers of complex healthcare service providers, we have learned that your Story is the most important asset they – or any organization – can use to stand out in a crowded market. Once you have chosen your topic, it's time to get to work on creating your slides. Depending on your available resources and bandwidth, you can either handle this task yourself or delegate it to your speakers. For a one-hour webinar, which typically consists of a 45-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute Q&A session, it is recommended to plan for approximately 30 slides.5. Lock in a date and assemble your speakers
After finalizing your topic, the next step is to set a date for your webinar. It's important to do this early to ensure the availability of your chosen speakers and to allow ample time for planning. We recommend you have at least two speakers for each webinar, as this keeps the session engaging for the audience and allows for the introduction of different perspectives. It also provides vocal variety, rather than having one person deliver all the content.
6. Facilitate speaker check-in calls
Once the team has agreed upon a general timeline, it's time to connect with the speakers, delve into the topic, and prepare for the event. We highly recommend conducting a minimum of two calls before the event day: one to review slide development and discuss the topic, and another to familiarize the speakers with the webinar platform and rehearse their presentations. If additional time is needed to refine the topic, we may suggest a third call to ensure everything is thoroughly planned.
7. Design the registration page and promotional materials
The registration page, tailored to suit the program's requirements, should include a user-friendly sign-up form and incorporate tracking mechanisms. These tracking methods are instrumental in determining which marketing efforts have been most effective in driving traffic to the registration page. Additionally, it should provide a sneak peek into what the webinar will cover.
When it comes to promoting your webinar, we have discovered that a combination of email blasts and targeted social media ads tend to be the most effective. Plan to begin promoting the event at least three weeks in advance to give potential signees a chance to clear space on their calendars to attend. As you develop your promotional content, make sure to incorporate links that are uniquely tracked in your event portal.
Read our case study to learn how we used our promotion methods to drive success for a client webinar campaign.
Now is the perfect time to create a series of follow-up emails for both attendees and those who missed the live event. These emails should not only provide an opportunity for further engagement, such as downloadable offers or access to the on-demand event recording, but also give you the chance to reconnect with your audience in a creative and captivating way.8. Prepare comprehensive event day materials
Apart from promotions and your slide deck, there are a few essential elements you'll need on the day of the event to ensure a smooth program flow. One aspect is developing a concise moderator script that introduces your speakers and provides attendees with a quick overview of what to expect. You can also take this opportunity to briefly mention the tool you're utilizing. To maintain audience interest, we recommend keeping the script short (two minutes or less) to avoid losing their attention too quickly.
You can also prepare a set of "softball" questions for the Q&A session. These questions should be easily answerable by your speakers and serve as fillers if the audience is quiet (because you definitely don't want to reach the end of the webinar without any questions). Lastly, consider creating a post-event survey to be shared either on the event day or in a follow-up email. This survey will provide valuable insights into the success of your webinar by gathering feedback from your audience.
9. Analyze post-event reporting
Once your event concludes, take a deep dive into the available metrics provided by your platform. Some key performance indicators (KPIs) that we recommend examining include:
- Registration page visits vs. registration sign-up conversion rate: This indicates the performance of your registration page.
- Registration vs. attendee conversion rate: This measures the success of your promotional efforts.
- Level of engagement: Did your audience actively participate by asking questions, responding to the post-event survey, or engaging with the content you provided in your follow-up emails?
Just because the webinar has ended doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant! Repurposing your webinar content extends its lifespan while continuing to drive engagement and success for your brand. This includes posting clips on social media, transforming key points into blog articles, utilizing email communications to share snippets and recordings, and more.
By following these steps and implementing a well-thought-out plan, you can ensure that your webinar delivers the desired results. Remember, a successful webinar is not just about delivering valuable content, but also about engaging your audience and fostering lasting connections. Reach out to our team to start planning your next webinar!