How to prepare a webinar?

Webinars are all the rage in the last years. Marketers like them a lot because they are much cheaper than holding a traditional live event, are easy to prepare and have a high conversion rate. They can be used to build a list with high-quality leads, make the company more recognisable and build their reputation as industry experts.

Internet users like them a lot too – they get all the benefits of a live event (learning more about the topic they are interested in, ask the industry experts questions, meeting more people with similar interests) without having to leave their office or house. No matter in which city or country the webinar is prepared, people from all over the world can attend it.

What is a webinar?

A webinar (short for web seminary) is an online seminary on a specific topic that anyone with an Internet connection and a compatible device can watch, no matter where they are. The webinar is typically divided into a presentation (one or more speakers talk about the given topic for a set amount of time) and a Q&A segment, during which participants can ask questions.

Wondering why you should think about making your web seminar too? Here are seven benefits of hosting a webinar.

Webinars are a fantastic lead magnet for building your email list.

To get access to your online webinar, participants need to login into your website first. Meaning, they have to provide their email address if they want to attend the webinar – and if they are interested in the topic, they will surely do so.

By offering your new subscribers an useful content for free, you also have the opportunity to make a great first impression on your new subscribers – who wouldn’t like to have access to a quality content for free? What is more, webinars give you high-quality leads – people who are interested in the topic enough to sign up, schedule and attend your webinar are a better fit for your company than people who just download a pdf book or a free trial.

Webinars help build a relationship with your subscribers

The core part of marketing is getting people to know, and like your brand, enough to support your brand and buy your products – and webinars are a great way to do just that. Hosting a webinar helps to show your knowledge, skills and abilities to thousands of subscribers at once – just like during a real conference. Webinar subscribers can see and hear your voice, learn more about you and your company and even interact with you by asking questions in real-time!

The only difference is that neither you need to leave your office nor your subscribers have to leave their house to attend your webinar – no matter where they are, they can take part in your webinar, all they need is a device they watch the webinar on and internet access.

Webinars can give you a sales boost.

Plenty of companies use free webinars to promote and sell their products because webinars are the only medium that allows to both teach and sell a product at the same time. If you can make a good sales pitch at the end of the webinar, there’s a high chance your webinar attendants will become your customers.

You have to be careful here though – most subscribers are okay with a sales pitch at the end of the webinar, especially one that is relevant to webinar topic but definitely not with a webinar that is an hour-long “Buy our product because it’s the best”. Focus on delivering value for the customers first, then think about persuading them to use your service or buy your product.

Webinars show you as an authority in the field.

Showing your knowledge in blog posts is one thing, presenting them live to a webinar audience is something entirely different. Just like with any conference or live speaking events, people value that they can see, hear and interact with the person presenting the topic. And if you can engagingly show your knowledge and answer questions from the audience, the participants are much more likely to treat you as an expert in your industry.

Webinars are a great source of feedback

During the Q&A section, you not only have a great chance to show your knowledge, but you can also learn more about your audience and their expectations. You can later use the questions and comments either as ideas for new webinars (if there’s one question that comes up several times, maybe it would be a good idea to make a webinar on it?) or to improve your product.

What is also important, you can get an opinion or question from people who otherwise wouldn’t have ask (because of the number of people in the conference room or because they don’t feel comfortable asking questions in front of others) – asking anonymously a question in the webinar room is much easier for those people than to start discussion on a live event.

Webinars can be recorded and repurposed.

There’s plenty of reasons why someone might have missed out on your webinar broadcast the first time. Why not give those people a chance to watch the webinar later? Or maybe your subscribers would like to view the webinar again at a later date to get as much of it as possible? You can make both of those group happy by recording and releasing your webinars later, on your website. If you gate the recordings as “only for registered members” you can also generate plenty of new leads this way!

As amazing as they are, webinars aren’t that easy to create. Here we listed…

Things you should have in mind to take when preparing a webinar

#1 Pick a useful topic

Picking a webinar topic isn’t as easy as you might think. To get people signing in for your webinar, they have to find the topic interesting and want to learn more about it – a boring or vague topic won’t give you many attendants. It should show you as a person who is an expert in this field but also be engaging enough not to bore people midway.

How can you find such a topic? It’s a good idea to look through your website or blog to see which posts are most popular – expanding on those topics in your webinar would surely give you high attendance. If you have a social media account, another good idea would be to ask your followers for suggestions: what topics are they interested in, what problems/challenges they have and what would they like to learn from a webinar.

#2 Choose a good speaker

If you don’t plan to host and present the webinar yourself, you need to think carefully about picking the right speaker for the webinar. A great speaker can make your webinar exciting and keep your attendants engaged till the very end, and a weak one might cause attendants to leave the webinar midway.

It should be a person knowing about the webinar topic but also comfortable when talking to an audience and answering various questions. Picking a speaker who is experienced with the webinar topic but also passionate about it will keep the audience engaged and ensure a smooth Q&A segment at the end.

#3 Prepare a landing page

Everything set? So now it’s time to start promoting your webinar and getting people to subscribe to it. First, you need to prepare a special landing page just for the webinar to get people to register to it. Rules are the same with any landing page: it has to be straightforward, with all necessary information posted on the page (The webinar topic, name and a short bio of the speaker,  date and hour of the webinar) and a clear CTA button.

It’s also a good idea to put a countdown clock or a number of sets left at the webinar to persuade your website users to register to the webinar now, rather than later.

#4 Promote your webinar

To get plenty of people signing up to your webinar, you have to make people know about it first. Time to promote your webinar! There are plenty of ways in which you can make people learn about it:

  • Write a blog post to encourage people to sign up for your new webinar.
  • Use your social media accounts to lead people to your landing page
  • Send an invitation to your email subscribers.
  • Prepare an exit-intent popup with the invitation
  • Make a teaser video

Just remember to make it consistent – if the webinar is promoted in a different way on different channels, it will only confuse your audience.

#5 Remind your subscribers about the webinar

Even if people did subscribe to your webinar, they might get caught busy in their daily life and forget about it – so it’s necessary to remind them about it. The easiest and fastest way to do so is by sending to your subscribers an email with a reminder. You have to time it wisely though – too early, and your subscribers might forget about the webinar again, too late, and they won’t manage to watch it in time.

#6 Keep your attendants’ attention

You are using videos and slides to make your webinar as attractive as possible, but it might not be enough. It takes only a moment, and your attendants get distracted.

To keep their attention up to the very end of your webinar is you need interaction. It’s a good idea to ask them questions or encourage your participants to ask questions or share their opinion. Okay, it can be done on a live event but how can you do it on a webinar?

If you are using a webinar platform, this is a piece of cake. Most webinar platforms offer a good number of tools to help you communicate with the audience – for example, a live chat where every attendant can share their opinion, ask questions and talk with other attendants.

#7 Ask for your attendants’ opinion after the webinar

Want to know how did your attendants liked the webinar? Do they have any suggestions? What another topic they would like to see covered? Ask them! It’s a good practice to send them an email day after the webinar, thanking them for their time and asking for filling a brief survey. You can also use social media to get feedback on the webinar.

#8 Record your webinars

There are plenty of reasons why someone missed on your webinar – equipment failure, an urgent meeting, extra work to be done and so on. Why not give those people an additional opportunity to watch your previous webinars when it is convenient for them? When you record your webinar and post it on your website, all people who are interested in it can watch it when they have time. It also gives the people who did attend your webinar a chance to rewatch the video when they need it.

What is more, recorded webinars are fantastic lead magnets – all you need to do is to ask people for giving you their email address to watch the previous webinars, and they are more than likely to agree!

With a good webinar, you can do several things at once: educate your customers, build company’s recognition, show yourself as an expert and even increase your sales, all in fun and engaging way.  But since so many other companies also want to reap the benefits of webinars and website users are now picker than ever, you need to prepare thoroughly if you want a successful webinar.

#9 Create a Corresponding Presentation

Every webinar should have a corresponding presentation which supports the main points of the discussion through strong visual design. Utilizing a presentation for your webinar allows your guests to follow along on their screens, which will help them to understand and retain the information you’re sharing. The presentation should be clean and concise, but also visually appealing, so you don’t lose their attention midway through.

Thankfully, presentation software like Beautiful.ai makes creating presentations easy. Beautiful.ai automates and optimizes the design work; meaning each smart slide adapts as you add in your content, but your deck’s professional appearance is preserved at the same time. With the best design principles built right into the tool, Beautiful.ai allows you to create a presentation that is well-designed in just a few clicks. This way, you can spend more time preparing for your live webinar and less time worrying about what your presentation looks like.

Extra tips for a useful webinar:

  • Pick a topic your audience is most likely to be interested in
  • Chose a talented speaker
  • Prepare a great landing page and promote it where people are likely to see it
  • Remind subscribers about attending the webinar
  • Think of ways to keep your attendants attention for the whole broadcast
  • Ask your attendants how can you improve your webinars next time
  • Put up a recorded webinar on your website so even people who missed it the first time can watch it.

Do you use webinars in your business? What other tips for successful webinar do you know?

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