In today’s fast-paced and digitally driven world, webinars offer the opportunity to connect, educate, and engage with your target audience on a deeper level. By hosting webinars consistently, organizations can establish themselves as thought leaders, build trust with their audience, and drive growth in ways that traditional marketing and communication channels often cannot match.
We’ve shared before about why webinars should be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. They’re a great tool for:
- Generating leads.
- Building relationships.
- Saving money.
- Repurposing content.
- Producing long-term value.
Our agency uses GoToWebinar to help our clients develop winning webinar strategies. We also help them create slide decks and formulate presentation strategies that consistently connect with audiences.
If you’re ready to make the investment in webinars, here’s how simple it can be to get started.
Webinar Basics in 6 Easy Steps
Whether they’re designed to educate, entertain, or demonstrate, all good webinars adhere to certain rules, most of which happen before you ever go live.
1) Strategic Planning
What doesn’t start with a good plan? Clearly defined goals, attendee personas, and the right team are all key to a successful webinar.
- Picking the right date, length, and topic are just a few of the elements that should be hammered out ahead of time. A comprehensive plan helps you create high-quality content that resonates with your attendees.
- Just like with buyer personas, it’s important to know who your attendees are. What problems are they facing? What are their goals? What value will your webinar deliver?
- Your team includes a producer (organizer), tech assistants who make sure video and audio are working properly, and on-air talent which may be a single speaker, a panel, or an interviewer.
2) Select Your Format
Each type of webinar format offers a unique way to engage and educate your audience. By choosing the right webinar format, organizations can tailor their content to meet their objectives and effectively engage their audience. Here are a few examples:
- Presentations are ideal for sharing in-depth knowledge or insights on a specific topic. A presenter or expert delivers a structured presentation, often with slides, offering a comprehensive overview of the subject matter.
- Interview-style webinars feature a host or moderator who interviews an industry expert, thought leader, or a guest with valuable insights. They provide a conversational and interactive way to share expertise and experiences.
- Panel discussions involve multiple experts with diverse perspectives and can offer in-depth analysis and lively exchanges of ideas, making them great for exploring complex subjects.
- Q&A sessions are highly interactive and audience-driven. They allow attendees to ask questions directly to a presenter or panel, facilitating real-time engagement and addressing specific queries or concerns.
3) Pick a Topic
Content is king in webinars, too. People attend webinars to learn something new and are looking for you to be an authoritative source of information. For the best results, narrow a topic down as much as possible. For example, a webinar on running a retail business is broad, vague, and could take hours to cover. Create multiple webinars that instead focus on specific areas such as generating a business plan, building vendor relationships, or creating a personalized customer experience.
4) Choose Your Space and Equipment
To deliver a high-quality webinar people will remember and recommend, invest in the best audio and video equipment your budget allows. Webinar platforms like GoToWebinar offer tons of useful features, including interactive options like polls that can help improve engagement. Choose a quiet space to hold the webinar and be sure to mute any other devices in the room. Do your best to avoid disruptions but if one occurs, either ignore it, acknowledge it, or use it make a point!
5) Conduct a Dry Run
One or two dry runs before the actual webinar help presenters:
- Understand the platform they’re using.
- Prepare for the Q&A portion of the webinar.
- Determine where transitions need to occur.
- Practice their opening and closing comments.
6) Publicize and Promote
Landing pages, banner and display ads, and social media and email campaigns are all terrific ways to promote your webinar. Don’t forget to create a webinar-specific hashtag; it’s a great tool for post-webinar engagement and sharing.
Expand Your Reach with Webinars
Webinars can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new audiences, build engagement, and generate qualified leads. Done right, they’re an excellent way to take customer relationships to the next level, demonstrate thought leadership, and affirm your brand’s reputation. What’s not to love?
Smith & Harroff Can Help
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your marketing and communication efforts, please set up a time for an exploratory call.