Our top 7 tips for running a webinar
Webinars or web seminars have become essential tools for companies everywhere, especially as more and more people do business digitally during the pandemic.
Webinars are of course no new thing. They’ve been around for a very long time, but as the popularity of video content continues to rise, webinars and the marketing opportunities they present are becoming more and more apparent.
Webinars are now being used for video presentations, workshops, lectures and so much more to provide interactive, business-centric experiences that build relationships and get brands out there. They’re also being used as the ultimate marketing tool, providing a stage for professionals to establish themselves as experts in their industries and sources of trusted, reliable information.
Running a webinar isn’t a walk in the park however. Once you’ve got people watching, you have to keep them engaged and enthused with content and a presenting style that inspires.
Whether this is your first rodeo or not, you’ll want to read the following top tips for running your very own webinar.
- Prep to perfection
‘Winging it’ simply isn’t an option when running a webinar, which means there’s plenty of prep to do to ensure you maximise the potential of this burgeoning marketing tactic.
When planning your webinar, start simple by pinpointing the goals you’d like to achieve. It could be to communicate the latest with your existing customer base, turn potential leads into fully fledged customers, or to simply raise awareness for your brand, or a specific product or service. Whatever your aim, finding your purpose fast will ensure you start off on the right foot.
Your overall aim will help you choose suitable subject matter for your webinar as well as define a format that will be well-received by your target audience. In regards to the format, some businesses opt for two speakers to increase interest and improve the dynamic of the content being delivered.
- Choose the right tech
You’re going to need a few tools to run a successful webinar, not to mention a robust and reliable system to host it.
The usual suspects – Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Livestream, Slido, Webex, LiveWebinar and MyOwnConference – are all fantastic options. Many of these platforms also have free plans to keep webinars fun and affordable.
You can also throw social media into the mix by going live. Facebook Live and YouTube Live are both regularly used by businesses to host webinars.
- Open up for registrations
To ensure your webinar isn’t entertaining an audience of 1, you could get viewers to register their interest. Building a registration page is quick, easy and very advantageous, as well as a great way to build up your contacts for future webinars and other marketing activities. Be sure to get their permission first though!
By getting interested parties to register, you’ll know exactly who is attending, keep security issues to a minimum, and be able to prompt or remind them to join to increase numbers further.
- Do a run through
Once you’ve prepared your webinar content, chosen your perfect platform and finalised your guest list, make sure nothing goes wrong by conducting a run through. This should include a tech check to ensure everything’s ready to go.
- Start with an ice breaker
It’s always good to break the ice and it doesn’t have to be with a cheesy one-liner. A simple greeting, a “thank you for joining”, and an icebreaker poll is a winning combination that’s sure to get your webinar off to a good start.
Depending on your chosen webinar software, you can run your icebreaker poll online. Slido for instance is known for making audience participation easy during live and virtual meetings and events. From their platform, you can design Q&As and live polls to boost interaction and gather the insights that your business needs.
Icebreakers are an excellent route to getting to know your audience, and discovering more about their backgrounds and expectations. They even give you the opportunity to tailor the content to their exacting needs.
- Deliver your content in digestible chunks
A webinar shouldn’t simply be the host running through a script – that’s what video marketing was made for. Your webinar should instead be a mixture of content and collaboration. Deliver your content in easy to digest chunks, breaking up the session with interactive elements that keep the audience engaged.
For experienced hosts, doing away with the script in favour of just a selection of bullet points for each section of your webinar can provide the freedom and natural flow viewers truly connect with.
- Finish with a strong CTA
How you end your webinar should make a lasting impression on the viewer, as well as improve the chances of their participation in any future events.
End your webinar with a call to action (CTA) that invites them to engage, whether that’s in the traditional way (by phone or email) or via social media. You could also use your CTA to point them to further resources (such as blog posts, eBooks and guides) that keep the subject of your webinar firmly on their minds.
Here at Square Media, we regularly host free webinars to keep our clients in the loop on the latest and greatest marketing tools and techniques. Join us for our next webinar or contact us direct to find out how our team can help you with yours!