Webinars or educational webcasts streamed live over the Internet can be one of the most powerful elements of your digital marketing strategy. Video workshops, presentations or a lecture hosted online give you an intimate way to connect with your audience. A real-time presentation lets you deliver content in a way you need it, promoting brands and goods at the same time. If you’ve ever wondered how to host a webinar your audience will love, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to plan a webinar, promote it, and pick the right format for it.
Why Do I Need a Webinar?
In general, webinars can be all-in-one solutions for content creators willing to interact with audiences from anywhere in the world via computers and tablets. Furthermore, an in-person presentation allows you to raise awareness, generate high-quality leads, create genuine engagement and build trusting relationships.
Let’s take a look at the 3 essential rules of webinar success:
- Host a webinar that brings genuine value and solves a problem
Essentially, a webinar should maintain an effective problem-solving process and provide viewers with valuable information. Your description should answer very clearly how they will benefit from watching it. Remember that most people are too busy to watch your amazing webinar from A to Z, hook them up with a catchy title.
- Keep People Entertained
Solving the audience’s problems in a fun and entertaining way can be a cornerstone of your webinars. Give them a reason to return for more by offering in-depth content that also perfectly conveys your messages.
- Interact With Attendees During a Presentation
Keep in mind that you’re having a conversation with your viewers. Use this opportunity to create personal connections and keep your viewers stimulated.
Is a Webinar a Good Fit For My Content?
Depending on your niche, there are webinar formats you can use to successfully convey your messages. Let’s take a quick look at some of them:
- When you do a thorough topic analysis;
- A discussion about a specific topic or news-based issue;
- A share-worthy and thorough tutorial;
- Repurposing your conference’s experience;
- Industry leader interview.
Also, it’s worth remembering that you probably should abandon the idea of hosting a webinar if you plan on disguising a sales pitch as useful content. If you claim that your webinar is genuinely interesting and useful, be sure you can live up to your own hype. If you fail to provide useful content as stated in the description, this may piss people off and tarnish your reputation.
Webinar Best Practices Checklist
When hosting a webinar there are two distinct aspects to keep in mind – the technical side, and the content side. If you can handle both sides you’ll get your webinar running without a hitch.
How to Run a Successful Webinar: Content and Planning Considerations
Step #1: Choose a Specific Topic
First things first, you need to choose the right topic for your audience and make it as specific as possible. Analyze your target audience and look for problems and issues that they are challenged with.
Take an issue that is common to your followers, and show them how to deal with it. Oftentimes these topics are very specific so you can easily go into great detail. You would be surprised to know that the more specific the topic is the more popular it is. Consequently, instead of running a webinar about natural makeup – a vastly broad subject – focus on a specific topic, such as makeup products with skincare benefits.
Repurposing old content can be a great idea when it comes to hosting a webinar. If you have a post that got lots of likes and comments, center a webinar around its main point.
Step #2: Choose the Right Speakers
Along with the topic, you need to decide who will be in charge of running the webinar. You’ll want the webinar presented by skilled, knowledgeable experts in their field. Maybe that’s you. Maybe it’s a special guest or another blogger or influencer. You need them to speak authoritatively, lively and engaging about your chosen subject.
When selecting a potential co-host for your webinar, ensure that whomever you choose feel comfortable speaking on camera. Subject matter expertise is especially important for handling unexpected questions.
Step #3: Create an Eye-Catching Slide Deck
Once you’ve chosen your topic and presenter, you are required to present something relevant and interesting that resonates well with the audience. Put together a beautiful slide deck to intrigue your attendees with your webinar. To do that, pick the images that go well with the overall objective and emphasize the points you intend to make.
While webinars are a little less engaging than in-person presentations, you need to work extra hard to hold the attention of your viewers. Make sure to use images that are in proportion to the size of the slides. Avoid writing text over the images and abandon complex headlines as it will be difficult for the audience to read.
Your slide deck should represent a general outline of your presentation. Don’t make a dry, bland slide deck, instead back up points with as much data as possible.
Step #4: Promote Your Webinar
Just because you’re planning a webinar with great content and charismatic speakers doesn’t mean people will be able to easily find it. Once you’ve settled on an idea, give yourself at least a month to promote your webinar on various channels. Make sure to notify your followers on social media channels. What about advertising partnership with content creators of similar size – will they be promoting it? This is the question you should be asking before even thinking about producing a webinar.
Step #5: Choose the Right Webinar Platform
Selecting the right platform requires some thought and consideration. Depending on your objective – whether you want to generate new leads or educate your followers – there are many webinar platforms to choose from, such as Zoom, GoToWebinar, Livestorm, etc., each of which has its pros and cons.
If you’re one of those YouTube vloggers, take advantage of the largest, most popular video hosting platform. You can also use Facebook, TikTok, or other live streaming platforms to do a live webinar or a pre-recorded one.
Step #6: Come Up with Fresh Ideas
With plenty of webinars detailing exactly what digital marketing is and how you can get better at it, your followers probably don’t need another webinar detailing the same topics.
Basically, you need genuinely new content your audience hasn’t seen before. Refrain from presenting topics that are too broad, too popular, or too tired. Instead, identify a particular niche that you can hone in on. Then conduct thorough research. Think outside the box to find the ways in which your ideas – and the products you promote – can make a difference in your followers’ lives, and prove you as an expert.
When it comes to webinars, your reputation is everything. As a content creator or social media influencer, one of your top priorities should be building your credibility. Being reputable as a source of quality content means you’ll have more opportunities to co-host with other influencers, and you’ll have a wider audience.
Step #7: Show Appreciation For Your Attendees
While webinars must be scheduled ahead of time for a specific time, it doesn’t mean that you should extend your presentation beyond that time. Respect your viewers by concluding your webinar within the stipulated time frame. Additionally, show sincere appreciation for your audience’s attention and time. Make people feel important by showing how grateful you are for this opportunity to speak to them. After all, it’s all about connection.
Step #8: Be Prepared When Everything Goes Wrong
Things can go wrong when hosting a webinar, period. Come to accept this, and don’t stress out too much. As much as you prepare yourself, there are always mishaps that occur during the webinar. However, there are a few things you can do every single time to ensure things go as smoothly as possible:
- Always rehearse before the webinar. Even if your speakers don’t want to. Just do it;
- Don’t rely on WiFi network; Develop a plan B for unforeseen circumstances;
- Post speakers’ bios on your page. It adds credibility. Headshots also do well.
How to Host a Webinar. The Bottom Line
Good webinars are like inspiring short movies that are designed to solve a problem for your audience. Undoubtedly, hosting the perfect webinar takes lots of effort, but the benefits it brings are worth it. If you genuinely want to make your audience fall in love with your webinar, your content should be really good. If you promote something, make sure to wait until the very end when you’ve earned the right to make a quick pitch. Hosting webinars requires some thought and after you created the first one you may want to keep the momentum going on a schedule and keep cultivating more high-quality leads.
Do you have any tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. And, if you enjoy reading this blog post, share it on your social media.