Webinars give you the chance to showcase your business to a targeted, live audience. First you need to understand the purpose of your webinar, then follow these 5 stages to running a successful webinar to the right audience.
Create a plan
Create a plan for the content so you know exactly what you are going to do. This is the most important step in running a successful webinar. Break it down into sections, as this will make it easier to build the content. This will help you to produce a natural journey through the content as you present it to your audience.
Tell them what you will be doing and use visual points through video, animation, infographics, and images, so it is not just you talking to them. Also, plan time to interact with your audience, as just rattling off a presentation will not engage them. Help them to benefit from your knowledge by creating a downloadable workbook for them to use whilst you talk. Then they don’t have to make lots of notes, but listen out and jot down the key points you are highlighting.
You can also produce a transcription which will be available for them to download afterwards, or cheat sheets to support your content. This can be added to a landing page on your website which they are taken to after the webinar, so it is only available to your audience.
Remember… Practice makes perfect! Run through your webinar to get rid of technical issues, test the timings on the visual content and plan time for questions. Will you be answering the questions as you go, or are you planning to reply to questions after the webinar.
Choose the right time
Know your target audience, when will they be available to watch your webinar? You need to know this, or they won’t be able to watch it. Will they be watching it at work, or would it be better at home in the evening?
You also need to think about the day of the week, when is the best day for your audience? Most businesses are busiest on a Monday and Friday, so maybe mid-week is best. You could look at when other webinars targeted at your audience are scheduled to get an idea of the best time and day. Also be aware of when other people have scheduled their webinars so they are available to watch yours.
Shout about your upcoming webinar by creating a blog/article on your website and promote it through your social media and email marketing. Use a call to action to get them to engage with your website. Get them to find out more by including a sign up/register now option to enable you to email them more information.
By linking through to your email management system, you can then send out targeted emails to your existing audience again with the link to your website.
Send an automated email to confirm that they have registered to watch your webinar. Follow this up with another email on the day to remind them to watch the webinar, with a link included to take them there. You can also include your workbook/worksheets in this email so they can download them prior to the webinar to be prepared. This will help them understand the content of your webinar to keep them engaged and can also help them think of questions they might want to ask you.
Can you do this by yourself? Have someone available to help you during the webinar, for technical support and to engage with the audience by answering questions. This could be a colleague, good friend, or maybe look at hiring a virtual assistant who can be your extra pair of hands.
Concentrate on your audience, if you have a set of expected questions or links available. You can have your support person monitor the questions for you and help by responding as you are presenting. People like to be interacted with, this helps to keep them engaged throughout the webinar.
The most important stage of a successful webinar is to follow up with your audience, otherwise what was the point of the interaction. You want to build a relationship with them to create and develop your audience and promote advocacy for your brand.
By using a landing page on your website after the webinar has finished, you can encourage them to engage with you, ask more questions and explore your other products/services. Think about the key page on your website that will benefit as your landing page, do you need to add more information to this page, or include a call to action.
Use your email management system to send them follow up resources, information about your next webinar and the opportunity to ask you questions they have thought of afterwards.
There are lots of platforms available to host your webinar, some are more complex than others and some are pricey, whist simple ones can be free. If you are new to webinars, you could start by using YouTube for free or even just have a go at a live feed on Facebook or Instagram. You can use this to test your audience, find out what they want to know by encouraging them to ask you questions, what do they want to learn about your product/service?
Take a look at our blog ‘How can a virtual assistant support your business now you are working from home’. You might find some useful tips to how a VA could help you with your webinars.