If you are looking to announce a new product or share useful tips with your customers, running a business webinar can be a powerful and effective online marketing tool to help you reach your audience. Not only does a business webinar allow you to create an interactive experience and connect with your target audience wherever they may be, but it can also all be done at a relatively low cost and is a great way to build your marketing list.
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But before you jump on the webinar bandwagon, it’s important to remember one thing: preparing and delivering an impactful webinar takes time and effort. You cannot just ‘wing’ it and hope for the best. You need to ensure that the webinar has a strong value that will benefit your audience. Otherwise, you are wasting their time (and yours!), and this can leave a sour taste in their mouth causing a tarnish on your brand.
If you’re ready to put in the time and effort, here’s is a break -down of what it takes to create a successful business webinar that can turn into sales.
5 Best Practices for a Successful Business Webinar
1. Plan Every Aspect of the Webinar
When designing your webinar, it’s critical to think about the what, who, and how of the online event.
Specifically, here’s what you need to assess during your planning:
- What will be the topic of the business webinar? Think of a compelling subject that will help draw in your target audience. If you have done webinars in the past, don’t repeat your ‘signature talk’ over and over. Have a different topic every month to keep it exciting.
- What is the objective of the webinar for your business? Is it to build your reputation, or to encourage users to become subscribers to your monthly newsletter?
- What does your audience want to hear? Involve your audience in the planning stage by asking them directly through your blog and social media outlets what they would like to know on the topic you have chosen for the webinar.
- How many viewers do you expect to get and therefore what technical infrastructure is needed to conduct the online event? It’s important to know how many people to expect so you can plan what tools you’ll use to deliver your webinar. Typically, you can expect a 30 to 40 percent attendance rate from the total number of people who register for the webinar.
- How much time would you need to collate the content, put together the slideshow, and rehearse? Planning a killer business webinar, from ideation to execution, can take three to four weeks.
2. It’s All About the Content
Remeber the last time you attended a business presentation. Do you remember feeling overwhelmed, even bored, with all that text?
As per Nicole Baldinu, COO and Co-Founder of WebinarNinja, “One of the biggest mistakes in planning a webinar is to cram in too much information. With webinars, less is more. As the host or organizer, you need to think about what the audience watching will walk away with. If there is too much information or if it’s too overwhelming, the audience will likely forget. That’s what you don’t want for your webinar! Keep it simple and actionable.”
To offer an engaging experience for your audience keep low on text and heavy on quality images. As you speak during the business webinar, share information apart from the content on the slide. Instead of being a voice in the background let the audience view you as you speak. You may want to include another speaker who has expertise on the topic.
You can also consider adding different types of media; e.g., a short video or animation, screen sharing for a brief section of the webinar, and downloadable content files during the event.
3. Pick the Best Day and Time for Your Webinar Audience
Tuesdays to Thursdays are better for hosting webinars than Mondays (that’s when most people are playing catch up on office emails and planning their week) and Fridays (when people are relaxed but looking forward to the weekend already). Additionally, webinar research shows that most people would prefer to attend webinars that are between 30 to 45 minutes duration.
You would think that evening time is when most people would be free to attend business webinars. But according to WebNinja, 11 a.m to 2 p.m is the time to target if your customers are mostly in the U.S.
4. Start Promoting the Webinar Early
Send the webinar introduction email several weeks ahead of the webinar date. In the email include information on who you are, other speakers if any, and what’s in it for the viewer (the purpose of the webinar, free giveaways, template downloads, etc.). Send reminder emails through the webinar delivery platform or your CRM a week before, the day before, and an hour before the webinar begins.
You can also create a short video or write a blog post telling your audience what they will learn during the webinar. You could mention that the webinar is free and that there are limited seats.
Also, start a countdown on your social media channels to create a buzz around the webinar. Use a hashtag that is unique and indicates the topic of your business webinar. During the webinar, use the hashtag to gather feedback and questions. After the webinar, you can use the hashtag to share additional information.
5. Stay in Touch After the WebinarThe actions your audience takes after the webinar will determine the success of the webinar effort , so continue to communicate with them.
Send emails to the attendees thanking them for their participation. Share a recording of the webinar and include a call to action for whatever next step you want them to take. This could be purchasing a product, signing up for your newsletter, downloading digital assets, etc.
You can also embed the webinar recording on your sales page so that people can come back and listen again, or if the information you provided is evergreen, use it as a tool to continually collect new sign-ups for those interested in listening to the recording.
You also want to make sure that you respond to all webinar content related queries on your social media channels.
It can be intimidating to plan your first business webinar, but as you try to perfect the content, timing, visuals, and infrastructure, remember that sometimes it’s just as important to make a start. Every webinar that you conduct will teach you what content and presentation style tweaks you need to make to please your audience. This will allow you to continually achieve better business outcomes.
If you need some help or guidance setting up your first business webinar, don’t hesitate to reach out to the VirTasktic team. We can help you with every aspect so you enjoy a successful event!