How to plan a webinar ?
These are the steps to plan a webinar:
- 6 Weeks before: choose date and time, select topic, confirm presenter, set goals, set budget and choose location
- 5 Weeks before: create marketing assets
- 4 Weeks before: create first draft presentation, promote webinar, hold kick-off meeting
- 1 Week before: send last chance email, final confirmation with presenters
- 3 days before: final webinar promotion, physical set-up
- Webinar day: final reminder, soundcheck
- During the webinar: live social media posts, record webinar, Q&A, live poll
- After the webinar: promote webinar link, reporting
A webinar can be stressful to organise especially if it’s your first or if the attention of the company is fixed on this event. The planning of a webinar can be complex, and you need to follow a couple of steps to make sure that you don’t forget anything.
We offer you a simple checklist with a clear guideline which will make it easier for you to plan webinars. Our webinar planning checklist will make it easy for you to plan in 6 weeks maximum.
6 Weeks before the webinar
6 weeks before you can start thinking about and planning about the date and time of your webinar. Try to pick the best timeframe for your audience to be attending the webinar. This can be different for every business since every audience will not engage the same way. Try to get data from your Google Analytics, your Email stats or your social media analytics to see when people interact more with your business.
The best at this point of the planning stage is also to select your topic of theme. Selecting a topic and appropriate content can be along process and for most people this will be the most time-consuming point at this stage. To find content for your webinar you can scan your own resources. We urge you to browse through customer case studies, research reports, ebooks, whitepapers, and blog articles that can guide you towards a new or linked webinar topic. Using your Google Analytics, you could see what content performed best in a specific timeframe.
If you rely on internal or external experts for your webinar, it can be a good type to send invites and confirm their participation. Know that webinars that include multiple speakers and experts on the webinar subject can be make your webinars more engaging for the attendees. Internal experts are a good resource to use for your webinars since they have a knowledge of the company and what you offer. Especially if you rely on a close colleague for a webinar this can help make it more entertaining since you already know this person. External experts can also be a good asset for your webinar since this will boost the trust people will have in your virtual event.
At this point we also advise you to think about and set the webinar metrics you will use to measure your performance. The metrics you will use for your webinars will depend on your ultimate business goals. Do you want to generate leads? Increase your brand awareness? Educate your customers? Increase conversion? Increase authority? Depending on your business goals we advise you to look at 8 important metrics:
- Click-Through Rates
- Number of registrations
- Number of attendees
- Duration of attendees viewing the webinar
- Return on Investment
Even though this can be hard, it will make it easier to set a budget before your webinar project begins in order to set expectations for promotion and execution. Your budget will also make it clearer what resources you can use to realise this webinar.
At this stage, the final thought to have is to decide the setup of your webinar presentation. Do you want to present the webinar from a specialised studio, from the office or from home? For every setup you will have different needs.
When in a studio you obviously need less planning since the provider of the studio will have the necessary equipment and you can event plan catering.
When presenting from the office, you will probably have more resources at your disposal with a meeting room, an HD webcam, and a good laptop.
If you plan to present from home, don’t forget to prepare your background to make it professional and buy the necessary equipment if you don’t have it.
5 Weeks before the webinar
5 weeks before is a good time to create your marketing assets such as your registration page and the various emails for the webinar workflow. How to create a webinar registration page? We can give you the tip to focus on working to have clear forms, working on your value proposition in the description of the webinar landing page, working on your click-through-rate, communicating clearly about the date and time of your webinar, tracking the form fields and following-up on people who registered.
The emails you need to plan on your workflow are the invitation, auto-responder, confirmation and reminder emails. These emails need to be clear and concise and to follow basic good practices. Make sure your emailing list is clean, your headline stands out and your message is targeted to the needs of the attendees.
4 Weeks before the webinar
This step is important since you will start by creating the first draft of your webinar presentation. For your webinar presentation we also advise you to follow simple good practices. For better presentations, the good practice is to limit the number of bullet points and the content per bullet point to maintain the attention of the audience.
We do not recommend to place content in front of a hero image since your webinar content will be hard to read. Always think of your webinar presentation as a support for what you say to the attendees. Therefore, keep it visual and keep it simple.
Get creative and display your information in bubbles, squares, or other shapes. To make it more appealing visually you can work with font sizes and backgrounds that will stand out.
1 month before the event, you can also start promoting your webinar. But how do you promote a webinar? Well promoting webinars is like promoting other high-quality content that you produced. Usual ideas are to promote your webinar on your website, to promote it on your owned channels, to team-up with influencers and industry leaders, use your sales team and invest in paid media (on Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc…)
Finally, there is nothing that will make your webinar better than practice, practice, practice. You can use this time of the project to hold a kick-off meeting with your presenters and review the transcript as well as the presentation. Practice will make it easier to come across as knowledgeable but also natural and relaxed.
1 Week before the webinar
Pressure is on! At this point you need a final approval from your presenters and make sure they will attend your webinar. 1 week before it is also better to have an almost final presentation that you can share with everyone. On the attendees’ side, you can send last chance email to register to your webinar.
3 Days before the webinar
You are on the final steps before beginning your webinar which is a perfect timing to have a last chance promotion on social media and other channels. Try to review 3 days before the physical setup of your webinar: background, technical equipment, connection. This is the best time to make chances related to this setup and make sure you are set to begin.
Show must go on! Your finally on webinar day and the last reminder emails should be sent to the registered attendees. Try to be early in your webinar location to be prepared in advance. 30 minutes before starting you can make a quick soundcheck and go through the presentation to see if everything comes through nicely.
If you have a team to assist you, you can post live social media posts during the webinar which can help to boost the promotion of your webinar (think replay for after the event).
This is also the best time to answer all questions coming through Q&A and polls you might have. People tend to ask a lot of questions during webinars and the trust in your content will be increased if you are able to answer to these queries.
It is also best to record your webinar in order to promote your webinar as an on-demand content on video specific platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo.
After the webinar
Your webinar is done, congratulations! Although it is important to celebrate the launch on any webinar, it might be a good idea to have a plan in place even after the event. Once your webinar has run, you can propose and promote the on-demand version of your webinar, be it on your website, on YouTube or on specialised platforms like Redback Connect.
You should therefore update your webinar registration page with the link to the webinar made accessible so that attendees can watch the content again or anyone interested in your topic. In order to make sure that everyone that wants to see the webinar can actually see it, we advise you to send an email to the attendees and the no shows with the link to the video.
Finally, after the webinar you can collect all your data and see how you performed against the metrics that you set at the beginning of the process. You can access your registration page data, your poll results, the Q&A results are other to calculate your webinar ROI.
Create great webinars thanks to our team of experts. If you need any help, please reach out on 1800 733 416. Webinars.com.au is an Australian hosted company that manages around 50 webinars per week for all types of companies.