In 2021, webinars, remain powerful tools for engaging your brand with potential customers all over the world. You can use this interactive tool to “nurture” prospects, offer solutions that can solve your audience’s issues and grow your brand. In addition, webinars are versatile and can be delivered in different forms, allowing them to be adaptable to many use cases. To help you get the most out of your webinars, we’ve put together this guide in which we’ll take a look at everything you need to know to create your first webinar.
But before that, let’s start by giving a brief definition of webinar.
What is a webinar or webinar?
The term webinar comes from the words “web” and “seminar”. A webinar, or webinar in English, is above all an interactive meeting that is organized via the internet, and which most often has a collaborative scope. A webinar can take the form of a video workshop, an online conference, a presentation, but also an online course, or simply a session for sharing knowledge and ideas.
What sets the webinar apart from a classic presentation is its interactive aspect. This implies that the participants are not just there to listen. They can participate and ask questions, fill out surveys or directly share their perspective as the webinar unfolds.
Now let’s take a look at the essential steps to create a powerful webinar.
Choose the right platform to organize your webinar
To get started, you’re going to need to decide how you want to deliver your webinar. You need to consider, with your team, what are the objectives of your webinar: do you want to train your customers, generate sales or develop leads? Your goal can also be quite different. Here’s what to consider before choosing a platform for your webinar, with different use cases.
– Recurring product demonstrations and lead generation
If you want to generate leads and run scheduled demos, you’ll need a platform that can schedule your webinars. Some platforms offer online hosting solutions that will allow you to run automated webinars, and even create a series of webinars to nurture your prospects. In that case, go for a webinar platform that has built-in analytics tools that can provide you with data that you can refer to later for your marketing strategy.
– Content Marketing
Adding webinars to your content strategy is a great idea to attract and retain your target audience. The live broadcast will benefit all participants, and you will need to make sure that the platform you choose has real-time software to get your shot right.
– Customer training and questions and answers
If you are looking to educate your customers and answer their questions, webinars are definitely a formidable solution. Your webinar platform will need to be equipped with features that allow you to submit questions so that your audience can engage with you directly. Another handy tool that your platform has to offer is the ability to screen sharing, especially for customer training. Thus, you will be able to guide your customers through each of your actions, step by step.
Webinars can be a great way to educate your audience. For example, the platform you are looking for should be able to lock your courses behind a paywall and configure automatic redirects at the end of each session. This way, students will be able to register for the next class in a matter of minutes after each session. If you plan to host educational webinars, verify that your webinar platform allows surveys during your session. These can be a good way to measure understanding of your key learning points.
The main platforms for hosting webinars currently are Livestorm, ClickMeeting, Zoom, and GoToWebinar. Apart from the types of webinars you want to organize, and which we have seen above, there are other essential factors to consider: how many participants are expected? What features are offered? Is the platform easy to use? And then there is also the question of the price which should not be neglected.
Find your team
You may be the person in charge of planning the webinar, but you will need a team for the full implementation of your project. Generally, it is considered that a webinar needs at least one presenter or moderator, and at least one guest, which will bring more dynamism to your online conference.
Your presenters and guests should add value to the presentation. You can select people strategically based on the complementarity of their skills. For example, if you are hosting a customer training webinar, you can invite a member of your product team to let your customers know about a new feature. Adding quality members to your webinars can bring undeniable added value to your audience and help you build strong relationships with attendees.
Always ask your speaker team to give it a try before D-Day, to break the ice and keep everyone comfortable during the webinar.
Prepare your content
After you’ve chosen your team, it’s time to create the content based on the type of webinar you want to host. Will it be a PowerPoint presentation and a presentation with just the main animator in close-up? Or maybe you want to do a live Q&A panel? Either way, you will need to produce the right content with the best possible resources.
For example, if you are using PowerPoint, you will need to create your own presentation. Make sure the slides you choose focus on your key points, but don’t include text. These slides should be visually appealing and include interesting graphics and images.
When planning your content, try to make it as engaging as possible, as audiences aren’t always paying attention. Studies have shown that the average viewer remembers only 4 out of 20 slides on average, during a PowerPoint presentation!
If you are organizing a discussion-style webinar, plan your speaking time and presentations for your speakers, and consider setting aside time for questions from the audience.
Once you’ve got your PowerPoint, videos, and polls ready, you’re ready to present your webinar.
Promote your webinar
Promoting his webinar is one of the most important things you will have to do. Today, you can easily reach your target audience by promoting your webinar on your social media accounts. In addition to that, planning the sending of promotional emails and integrating a registration form into your website will inevitably increase the number of participants.
To be sure that you give as many people as possible a chance to sign up, people need to know where to find your sign up page. We recommend that you send your registration link by email, along with the list of organizers, guests and participants. Adding banners to your main website and embedding your registration page on your site or other communications media can be a useful way to generate interest. For example, the next newsletter you send out might contain a link to your webinar registration page. And best of all, if you’re planning a long-term webinar strategy, you can set up an influencer marketing program with industry experts. Building close relationships with these experts can be a great way to get more registrants. This way you can also promote your webinar on influencer networks and media and directly benefit their subscribers.
Prepare your technological equipment and materials
Setting up your hardware is the last step in your pre-webinar preparation process. Make sure you are using a high quality microphone and video camera. Poor audio stream will cause the audience to disconnect. Shotgun-style mics are great because they focus on your voice while also reducing extraneous noise. You can control your recording settings by choosing a soundproof location away from all ambient noise. Try to include a lot of natural light in your shot and invest in quality lamps to ensure good lighting. Do a final technical check of your webinar to make sure everything is working as it should, and always plan to have a spare in case of failure.
You’ve done everything it takes to put together the perfect webinar. You’ve got the best speakers, you’ve checked your material, and you’ve completed the promotion process. All you have to do is move on to the presentation.
After the webinar, don’t forget the follow-up. Webinars are obviously a great sales opportunity, and you don’t want people to forget about you after the webinar is over.
This is why it is essential to stay in touch by sending a thank you email, not forgetting to collect participant feedback so that you can organize better webinars in the future.