How to run effective webinars
27th August 2020
By Lyndsey Hall
Webinars have quickly become a key marketing and customer communication tool for many businesses. Whether you want to update your clients on new industry developments or host online tutorials on how to get the most out of your products and services, more people than ever before are choosing to dial into webinars.
How to choose a topic for your webinar
If you choose a topic that doesn’t interest your audience, your webinar is doomed to failure. Do your research and identify a topic that will resonate with your audience. Check out what your competitors are up to – are they covering an interesting topic that seems to get the attention of customers? Take the time to check out what other firms in other industries are doing too – you might be able to take a theme or idea and repurpose it in a way that works for your audience. Eventbrite is a great place to see what else is going on in your industry and region.
Promote your webinar
There is no point creating a webinar if nobody knows about it. Email a link to your customers inviting them to join in. Give them a couple of weeks’ notice and follow up with a reminder a few days before the webinar.
If you want to attract some potential new customers, post an invitation to your upcoming webinar on your company website, LinkedIn page, on Twitter, etc. On the day of the webinar, send a final email reminder an hour beforehand that includes a direct link to attend.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect. Have a few rehearsals in order to ensure you iron out any potential glitches. A good practice session can help you to get your timing right, ensure your technology is working correctly and will also help you to deliver your content in an engaging and effective manner.
Timing is everything
It may seem obvious, but ensure you choose the right time and day for your webinar. If your ideal clients have kids then 8am when they’re dropping them off at nursery or school may not be the best time. And late afternoon can often mean attendees aren’t at their freshest and don’t take in as much information. Lunch time is a popular choice as it means attendees can tune in without cutting into their work hours, and they can even turn their cameras off and eat their lunch while learning something new.
If some of your customers are in different time-zones, you can also record the webinar and make it available to them after the event.
Choose the right platform
It’s important to use a reputable webinar platform that makes it easy for people to register and supports multiple ways for people to join. For example, some people may join from a computer whereas others might want to join via a smartphone app. The large, well-known webinar platforms such as GoToWebinar, Zoom, Webex or ClickMeeting offer the functionality that most business users will need.
Think about the number of attendees that you are likely to have as most webinar platforms offer different packages for say 100, 250 or 500+ attendees. Some also have time limits on the free versions of the software, and other upgrades such as break out rooms for paying members.
As with any marketing activity, follow up is key. After the webinar, send an email to attendees thanking them for joining. If possible, include a copy of the slides or a summary of the topic covered. You could ask participants to suggest potential topics that they would like you to cover in the future - if you are going to provide webinars, it makes sense to tailor the topics that are of most interest to your clients.
Have you started hosting webinars and online networking events? Or if you were already running online events before the pandemic, have you found attendance has risen in recent months? Let us know in the comments or on Linkedin.