3 Reasons We Succeed at Webinars
Hosting a successful, high profile web event can be a challenge, but, if done right, it can strengthen a company's brand awareness and build credibility. When it comes to having a successful event, planning, knowledge and entertainment value are your biggest assets to ensuring your webinar will be a success.
At ReadyTalk, we belive that webinars produce a higher quality lead. We continually test, adjust and adapt so that our web events will be successful. Here are three reasons we succeed at hosting webinars:
1. We plan ahead.
Web events require planning, and you need about 6 to 8 weeks of prep time before the live event to get everything ready. Good webinar hosts optimize planning efforts because effective planning leads to productive meetings, which is valuable for both your and the other participants. Believe it or not, webinars, from a prospecting, can be more beneficial than face-to-face meetings due to an organized agenda, while face-to-face meetings can result in a 60 percent productivity loss due to the lack of or open-ended structure.
When planning a web-based event, we always make sure to do the following:
- Finalize the topic at least 6 weeks in advance and create an outline for the webinar about 4 weeks in advance.
- Set up a landing page where people can register for the event about 4 weeks in advance.
- Have a custom image created that can be used for promotion purposes. It should include the name of the webinar, the time and date, a clear call to action and your logo. As a bonus, include headshots of the presenters.
- Create a webinar promotion plan that includes social media, blogging, email marketing, etc., then execute the promotion plan, starting 3 weeks before the event.
- Create and finalize the slidedeck a week before the webinar so I have time to review and rehearse.
- Run through my checklist a couple of days before the live event so that I can focus on the topic!
Unproductive meetings translate into $37 billion in annual waste. Host webinars on strategic topics and plan ahead so that you can offer your prospects, clients and partners the most bang for their buck in a short period of time.
Bonus tip: Create a schedule for monthly or quarterly webinars so you won’t miss an opportunity to provide more value.
Additional resources: View our “Webinar Planning Best Practices” infographic to read some more tips for webinar planning. And stay tuned for our upcoming “Webinar Prep Checklist” piece coming out later this year!
2. We strategically pick our topic.
When developing a topic for the event, you will obviously see the most success when you host webinars on topics that will be valuable to your audience. Your subject should benefit both the audience and your company, but it should also be educational instead of a sales pitch. Think of yourself as a professor instead of a brand advocate in this instance; let your knowledge do the work for you.
Here are some specific tips for attracting the right audience and creating the right topic:
- The topic of your webinar can be general or very specific, but be clear on what you’ll be covering and the level of the content you’ll be covering (i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced).
- Make sure you identify the target audience in your promotional pieces so that you attract the right kind of registrants for the event. For example, if you are hosting a webinar on “5 Ways to Increase Blog Subscriptions,” call out marketers or bloggers so they know the event is geared towards them. And remember: It is better to have less registrants and a more qualified crowd then more registrants and leads that aren’t a good fit.
- On average, only 33 percent of people who register will actually attend your webinar. To avoid this, create multiple dates on the same topic to optimize the attendance rates.
Bonus tip: Ask optional qualifying questions on the sign-up form for the webinar so that you can further qualify the lead before the event. Even if they can’t make it to the event, you can still gather some information about the lead so that you can segment them appropriately for future marketing or sales communications.
Additional resources: For even more information on webinar lead generation, watch our 50-minute, intermediate webinar on “Maximizing the Lead Gen Impact of Webinars.”
3. We know how to keep an audience’s attention.
The overall goal of the event is to get a specific point across to your target audience, essentially leading them to a conclusion that will also encourage them to buy your products or services. If your webinar isn’t keeping the audience’s attention, then your message and a potential sale could be lost.
A way to build excitement during the event is to have a compelling speaker. Make sure to invite a speaker that is an expert in the topic being discussed, and don’t be afraid to partner with other companies in order to do this. When booking or picking a speaker, look for the following qualities:
- Someone who is quick on their feet: Many times, the audience might ask an unexpected question or you might experience a technical difficulty. The presenter needs to be able to handle those situations with grace so that the webinar continues to run smoothly.
- Someone who is funny: Humor is always an effective entertainment tactic. Find someone who is effortlessly funny and who will make it fun for attendees.
- Someone who is a good public speaker: Most of the time, if your presenter is a good public speaker, then they’ll be viable candidate for a webinar presenter.
Bonus tip: If you feel that the attention level in the event is lagging or the attendance is dropping, then create a break and add in an opportunity for a Q&A.
Additional resources: Want some general tips on giving a webinar presentation? Download our “20 Content Marketing & Webinar Answers” eBook to learn more.
We continue to succeed at webinars because we conduct them on a regular basis and refine our tactics as we learn more about what’s effective. Use these tips to generate more qualified leads for your business and create some brand awareness.
If you’re interested in learning more about ReadyTalk, download our “Why I Love ReadyTalk” PDF to see what our customers love our product.