If there’s one B2B marketing asset that has been working overtime during the pandemic, it’s the humble webinar. As COVID-19 maintains a global foothold, companies are increasingly resigned to conducting business virtually—and many plan to continue post-pandemic. Webinars have re-emerged as a particularly effective means of communication for everything from product demos to multi-day conferences for thousands.
We’ve put together a brief five-point guide to making a great webinar that covers the key elements: strategy, promotion, content, delivery, and follow-up.
This is the most important step to ensure you make the most of your webinar. Key questions include:
- Who is your target audience and what are your goals?
- Are you reaching out to customers? Prospects? Partners?
- Will you share thought leadership and/or increase knowledge of your company’s solutions? Do you want to further participants’ education and maybe provide education credit?
- How many attendees are you aiming for and will you require registration?
- How will you measure success?
- Will this be a one-off live event, an on-demand replay event, and/or part of a series? Are you aiming to amass a library of webinars with a landing page?
- Do you want sponsorship or partners for the webinar(s)? Should you include branding elements such as logos, and where?
Reach out across multiple marketing channels to get your target audience into virtual seats—and include tracking URLs to determine which channels work best:
- Email: Send engaging emails to your target email list.
- Social Media: Choose the social platforms that best fit your brand and audience, and create social posts for each platform’s specs.
- Website: Create banners, pop-up interstitials, blog posts, and an events landing page. Plus, link to a separate branded registration page on the tool you’re using—such as WebEx or Zoom—with required vs. optional fields and custom questions.
- Other Channels: Post digital banner ads on relevant industry sites. Find out if appropriate media outlets would like to write about your company, highlighting your webinar. And ask partners you’ve promoted in the past—and those involved in the webinar—to help promote your event.
While your content will depend on your goals, here are some options:
- Expert presentations can include company or outside experts to speak on a topic, incorporating slides, animations, and/or short videos. Success stories can be particularly effective—especially when real clients share them.
- Product demos can help you launch a new product or drive adoption of an existing solution. The videos can be previously recorded or live (which can involve attendee input and questions, and heighten excitement and engagement).
- Interviews with partners or industry experts can be one on one or part of a panel event, and either pre-recorded for tighter editing or live for that extra connection.
Consider these key elements to keep your audience engaged:
- Webinar viewing format is an important consideration.
- Speaker vs. side-by-side format can help determine how conversational the tone will be.
- Screen sharing lets you show slides and present demos.
- Live vs. pre-recorded webinars determine your level of control over error, length, and tone.
- Audience engagement can help keep attendees’ attention.
- Create a poll in advance and place it at a strategic point in the webinar.
- Invite attendees to submit questions before and/or during the webinar (if live) for moderators to address.
- Branding elements can enhance your webinar’s professionalism, and promote sponsors.
- Lightly branded backgrounds work well for speakers.
- Logos and text overlays can be inserted into slides or on to the screen post-production.
- Promotions and ads can be placed the “waiting room” to be seen before the event starts.
- Production basics—such as choosing the right platform, testing your gear, polishing your scripts, and doing dry runs and rehearsals—all contribute to flawless delivery.
Be sure to follow up with your registrants. Prepare these assets in advance of your webinar:
- Post-webinar surveys should appear right after the end of the webinar, securing feedback on how to improve the promotion, content, and delivery of future webinars.
- Post-webinar emails and social media should thank registrants for attending or remind them of what they missed. Reiterate your CTA, lay out next steps, and include a replay link if available. You can also provide special offers, a 1-pager of key takeaways or FAQs, and links to relevant content.
To ensure your webinar program stands out from all the rest, please contact us—we’re happy to help you think through your webinar strategy, promotion, content development, delivery, and post-event follow-up!