What are the steps for planning & delivering a successful webinar?
If you’ve been asked to host a webinar at work, or you’re just curious to find out more then you’ve come to the right place.
This article is an introduction to webinars, detailing the different types and their purposes and is full of helpful tips to help you get started with hosting your very own.
Shall we dive in?
What is a webinar?
A webinar is just an online seminar.
And just like a traditional seminar, a webinar includes a host, a presenter, and a presentation (on any topic of your choice).
The only difference is that everyone is tuning in online.
Instead of presenting to conference room or theatre audience, you’ll be broadcasting live to people in all sorts of locations – perhaps even worldwide.
Webinars offer many advantages over traditional seminar events such as the following:
- Are accessible- you can reach people all over the world wherever they are
- Establish trust- you can make a reputable name for your brand
- Gain leads – registering for a webinar requires info like email, phone etc.
- Make interaction easy- audiences can interact at the press of a button
- Spread inspiration – a great platform for killer marketing materials.
What are the main types of webinar?
Webinars aren’t a one-size-fits-all thing.
At their core, all webinars heed to a similar structure, but the purpose and style of your webinar is hugely flexible.
Webinars come in all shapes and sizes. Here we’ll delve into a few of our favorite webinar styles to help inspire your own creation.
10 popular webinar styles audiences love
#1 – The Q&A
Webinars are the perfect vessels for Q&A sessions.
By getting your audience to submit their questions before the webinar you’ll be able to prepare superb, information-rich answers with just a bit of preparation.
The audience benefit from your expert advise that boosts your brand’s reputability as an industry leader in your field.
A fantastic way to engage audiences- whether they’re made up of in-house employees or external customers/ investors.
#2 – Product Tours
Product tours are designed to help customers understand and adopt your product by showcasing features in an easy-to-understand way.
In turn this fuels customer onboarding and drives product adoption.
In other words, product tours make it easier for customers to feel confident enough to try out your product or service.
Plus its super simple to do product tours online via a webinar setup.
All you have to do is walk your audience through your company website, software, products, or services highlighting key functions, use-cases, and the intrinsic value of your particular product.
#3 – Sales
Webinars can also be used as a platform for making sales.
In fact, webinars are a highly effective sales method.
In fact, research shows that communication webinars have a conversion rate of 67.05%.
But why is this? Webinars give customers the confidence to invest in your company.
Once you’ve got people signed-up and engaged, an informative webinar is sure to convert.
#4 – Educational
Educational webinars are also increasingly popular.
The aim is to educate your audience on a particular industry topic, problem, technology, etc. etc.
This could be directed in-house, for a particular department or team.
But educational webinar content is equally useful as part of an external marketing strategy.
Hosting an educational webinar will help you demonstrate your knowledge, inspire confidence, and (if applicable) encourage product purchase.
#5 – High ticket call strategy
Webinars are the ideal platform for marketing your high-ticket items.
In other words, pricey products or services that aren’t purchased on a whim.
For example, if you’re selling a $2000 software package, your customers will want to know that they are making a good investment.
A webinar is the perfect platform from which to inspire your customer’s trust and convert those big-ticket items.
#6 – Panel discussions
Panel discussions usually take place on a stage with a live audience.
But its just as effective in the online arena.
Select a moderator who will guide the discussion and stream in your chosen panelists.
The audience can tune in from wherever they are in the world and interact with the panelists with their questions.
Choose influential and reputable panelists to increase your sign ups in no time.
#7 – Virtual summits
A virtual summit is a collaborative online event.
Speakers are interviewed by a summit host (a bit like a conference) alongside online presentations from industry experts.
Virtual summits make for a fantastic marketing tool.
Plus, by hosting them online, you’ll be able to attract a wider audience as attendees don’t have to worry about travel planning and expenses.
It’s a win-win.
Virtual summits are an extremely effective webinar strategy for generating traffic.
Plus, after the summit all that valuable content can be marketed as educational materials.
#8 – Email list building
When you market a webinar, the aim is to get as many people to sign-up as possible.
And when people sign up, they leave their contact information.
Contact information is highly valuable in today’s world.
You can use this to build up a fantastic, targeted, industry-specific email list.
Plus, webinars themselves are an amazing networking opportunity.
You’ll be able to interact with (and hopefully impress) the people that really matter by showing off your expertise in the field.
#9 – Case studies
Case studies are a great format for a webinar.
Case studies give audiences an insight into how your products and services actually work in the real world.
And when they see what they’re missing, they’re more likely to sign up.
Bringing your products to life via video, written, or testimonial case studies is a great way to market your brand and boost reputability.
Storytelling does it best.
#10 – Training
Webinars aren’t just for promotion, however.
They are also a highly effective way to conduct employee training.
Businesses and organizations can use webinars to share knowledge and resources with their employees via video, presentations, and live training sessions.
A great way to facilitate interactivity and encourage employee engagement.
A step-by-step guide to a successful webinar
Okay. So we’ve talked plenty about the benefits of webinar content.
But what about how to deliver it.
There are good webinars and bad webinars, so how can we make sure that ours is the best?
The key to a successful webinar lies in four Ps. Planning, Promotion, Prep, and Post-review.
The first step is all about planning your webinar. This is essential.
You will need a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.
So let’s break down the planning process into some easy, digestible chunks.
Identify your need
Ask yourself why is this webinar needed?
What benefit will it have for my organization?
Make sure that you are creating and performing your webinar for the right reasons.
Some questions that you might want to ask yourself, include: how will I offer valuable content?
What question or problem am I trying to resolve? What is my desired outcome?
Set objectives and plan content
Okay, so you’re in the right headspace.
It’s time to set your objectives and start planning your content.
Keeping checking back to make sure that your content aligns with your objectives.
For example, if your objective is to generate leads then make sure your content is full of information that makes your audience want to purchase your product.
Testimonials, for example, case studies, statistics, calls-to-action, and how-to demonstrations.
Choose your speakers
Depending on the nature of your webinar, you’ll want to choose reputable and influential speakers who will draw your audience in.
If you’re a fashion retailer, for example, you might want to interview a leading e-commerce CEO.
Or, if you’re a software company, bring in an industry expert.
You know your company best.
Once you’ve chosen your speaker, make sure that you prepare them for success with a script and presentation deck ahead of time.
Once planning is complete it’s time to focus on promotion. This is a three-pronged attack.
1. Identify your promotional channels:
E.g social media, email, partner organizations, direct outreach, or paid advertising.
2. Prepare your campaign tracking:
How are you going to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign?
What KPIs (or Key Performance Indicators) will you focus on?
Which promotional channels are best suited to your business and audience niche?
3. Prepare marketing content:
Prepare engaging, attractive content to send out prior to your webinar.
That means invitations, email content, promotional images, videos, landing pages, you name it.
Webinar registrations by channel
Email drives 57% of webinar registrations
Image from https://blog.gotomeeting.com/
Its nearly time for your webinar.
Before the big day there’s a few things to add to your checklist from knowing your attendees to giving your presentation the final once over.
Final checks include:
- Know your attendees
- Make sure you know who your audience is, what challenges do they face?
- What are their interests?
- What is their level of technical knowledge?
- Its important to know your audience in so that your content resonates with who they are.
Do a test run
Test drive your webinar – especially if it’s your first time.
Make sure the technology works and get used to your role during the process.
If you’re going to be presenting or hosting, then go over your lines and ques.
Whatever you need to feel confident on the day of the webinar.
Send out reminders
Don’t forget to send out those final webinar reminders.
This will make sure your attendance ratings are as high as possible.
Try to send out reminders across multiple channels to make sure nobody get’s left behind.
Post- webinar review
Your webinar is complete.
But don’t take your eye off the ball just get.
After the webinar is complete, the work continues.
Make sure you take some time to restock and assess any successes and any areas for improvement.
Did you meet your initial goals?
Focus on these four post-webinar review tasks.
- Review key performance metrics
- Create a data-led follow-up plan
- Follow up with attendees
- Measure overall success areas for improvement
For example, if you’re a cloud computing company. Your Post-webinar review might look something like this:
- Reviewing how many attendees purchased your software
- Using this data to inform follow-up activities (e.g. adjusting marketing material)
- Following up with attendees (e.g. a follow up email with a strong call to action)
- Measuring overall success and areas for improvement (e.g. next time include product tours)
Value of using a premade template
If you’re about to embark on planning a webinar of your own, hopefully this information has helped you along your way a little.
Webinars are highly effective, but they do require some planning.
Luckily, there a lots of premade templates available to help you plan and execute an awesome webinar.
Webinar planning templates are designed to help you develop webinars for paying customers, from initial planning to advertising, marketing and follow-up.
Click here to download our free webinar template or take a look at our free project templates page here for even more fantastic business template options.
On the road to webinar success
You’re now well on your way to achieving webinar success.
Just remember the four Ps. Planning, Promotion, Prep, and Post-webinar review.
As long as you put in the groundwork (remember to use a webinar planning template), there’s nothing stopping you creating an awesome webinar that educated, inspires, and converts.
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