Webinar Marketing Best Practices
Webinar marketing is one of the fastest growing content marketing practices in 2020. With the situation of COVID-19, more and more businesses are trying to create digital content that can be easily broadcasted. Webinar users can generate the reach and engagement they need cost-effectively over the internet regardless of where their audience is.
We would like to share with you 10 best practices in webinar marketing that can change the way you do webinars.
Here are our 10 best practices to summarise:
- Choose your event format, structure and speakers
- Build in interactivity and boost engagement
- Sort your pricing and sponsorship packages
- Consider a studio broadcast
- Set up your spaces
- Invest in the right equipment
- Train the presenters
- Rehearse your transitions
- Technical run through
- Have a back-up plan if internet drops out
Choose your webinar format, structure, and speakers
Webinars can be done in various formats and not every format will be suited to the webinar you want to broadcast. Are you replacing a physical event with a virtual webinar? Perhaps a conference? You don’t necessarily need to make every webinar into a live video session. Some webinars like keynotes or panel discussions can be adapted for a live video format but for other types of webinars the pre-recorded way will be better. In pre-recording your webinar you will be able to reach an international audience in different time zones and make your webinars available on-demand.
In terms of structure, the main topic of your webinar needs to be broken down into different sub-topics which will form your main sections. Try as much as possible to have engaging sub-topics in order for your audience to stay engaged during the webinar.
Most webinar attendees value positively a webinar which includes knowledgeable and engaging speakers. When considering this fact, it becomes clear that the speakers you will include in your webinar are crucial. Try to work with internal experts from your company to make your webinar more engaging. These experts are often passionate members of your organisation that love to speak about their favourite topic. You can also look for external speakers that are well-known thought leaders in your industry. This will also boost the confidence of the attendees towards your webinar.
Build in interactivity and boost engagement
One of the main advantages of webinars is that they are great to boost interactivity. Thanks to features build-in webinar platforms, you can easily engage your audience through different tools. Working with these advantages will make your webinar better. Include spots to engage with your attendees during your presentation to collect feedback and ideas. A lot of webinar providers offer features to make engagement easier: Q&A, live chat, polls and surveys can be used to get your audience to answer and react to the topic.
In order to boost engagement, you need to have a perfectly running webinar. This starts early by getting on top of the technical side of the webinar and make sure you know your tool or platform well enough to react.
Try to test ahead of time and ensure your microphone and internet connection are working. If you can, don’t rely on your WIFI network but plug your computer directly into the LAN of your modem. In doing this you are making sure to bypass potential WIFI issues. You can also have a mobile connection handy just in case.
Webinars are human meetings. Try to engage your audience into the topic by opening the meeting by making your audience feel a connection with the problem you’re attempting to solve. You can think about a story or a concrete example that will help your audience relate with you.
To make people more involved, set clear expectations before the webinar. Set expectations not only for what you need from the meeting, but how you expect people to participate.
Sort your pricing and sponsorship packages
Paid webinars are not unheard of and some people are ready to pay to get relevant content that will help them solving their problem. Be mindful that you can’t ask the same price for a webinar than a physical conference since you have reduced travel, venue and catering costs.
You can offset the costs of your event with sponsorship. There are loads of ways to build sponsors into your virtual events, including utilising your on-screen real estate and call-to-action buttons, providing digital resource packs, including a virtual exhibition hall – you may even choose to offer a digital event delegate bag featuring online giveaways.
Consider a studio broadcast
Quality can be the main differentiator between your webinar and the ones from the competition. We’ve all seen Zoom webinars that have bad quality in which presenters seem to improvise as they went. Streaming or recording your webinar from a studio is a very good way to get high quality video.
If you are communicating about your brand or very strategic topics for your business, getting professional is the way to go. Dedicated webinar studios have the right kind of equipment to make your webinar recording professional.
In studios you can also easily customise your webinar according to your brand. You have the opportunity to set up the stage to suit the occasion, your brand, the presenters, their subject matter and even the devices on which your audience accesses your event. Studios also have the right kind of furniture to address different webinar styles be it an expert panel, fireside chats, or a TV like show.
Customisation can also be in the form of an adaptable green screen that can make it easier to brand your webinar but also to make it more interactive. If you’re an accomplished green screen presenter, you can also interact with your background graphics.
Studio webinars will make your presentation more engaging since you have a dedicated producer that can take care of the webinar platform and run the technology for you — following your run sheet, playing pre-recorded video and launching polls as required. You can be freed from the technical side of the webinar and focus on making your webinar more engaging.
Finally, presenting from a studio will eliminate any technical problem you might have by presenting from home or from your office. A studio is built to provide the best possible bandwidth for your webinar. A webinar streamed from a studio will ensure a smooth audio and video and will have technical support if you encounter technical issues.
Set up your spaces
For a webinar to be successful you need to be aware of the physical set up of the event. Especially when streaming from home, it’s important to consider the environment in which you will present. Make sure you think about background, lightning, audio, and video quality.
Webinars are always more efficient with video. You therefore need to be sure to respect some video best practices. If it’s your first webinar on camera, you can feel nervous. At this moment it is important to take time before presenting to allow yourself to get into the right headspace. Arrive on-set early and get yourself familiar with your surroundings, and if time permits have a couple of run throughs to get comfortable.
Think about wearing something you are comfortable with, this will show during your webinar. Always consider your audience and corporate branding. If you are presenting to a casual audience, keep it a little low key – if you’re communicating in a corporate setting, stick to a suit.
Recorded or live we advise you to always consider your webinar presentation as a live performance. This will boost your focus and reduce the risk of errors. When presenting to a camera and especially a webcam it can be easy to forget that there is in fact a human sitting behind that screen, watching you present. Try to relax and smile to stay as human as possible during your presentation.
The camera can warp part of the reality. This is true for your body language during a webinar. Acting too formal can be a problem when presenting on camera. By acting very formal, you run the risk of placing yourself above your audience which can make them feel disengaged and alienated. Try to build a relaxed environment which will help to build rapport with the audience and make them feel more connected.
Water will be a previous ally during your webinar. When speaking over a long period of time you can have dry mouth, a croaky voice and coughing which can be a problem when presenting a webinar live. Make sure there is a glass of water in front of you and you are well hydrated before presenting.
The final tip when presenting on video is to speak loudly and clearly. There is nothing worse than a presenter that you can’t understand. Take a second to breathe and collect your thoughts to improve your elocution during the webinar.
Invest in the right equipment
Nothing comes freely or easily. The secret behind a great webinar and good quality is good equipment. If you are investing in a webinar series that you will be presenting from home you may wish to invest in a microphone and webcam to ensure the quality of your video and audio – or use headphones and your laptop camera. In the long term, you can also invest in specialised equipment to record your audio correctly.
Train your presenters
Presenters are the most important part of your webinar. You need to make sure that every person involved will know their way around the webinar platform and all the different functionalities. Presenters need to be prepared to respond to questions from the audience during Q&A or chat sessions. For presenters to be natural during the webinar, you will need to make sure that everyone has trained their part.
Rehearse your transitions
Rehearsing is an important part of a good webinar. Rehearse the content and structure of your webinar including your slides, your videos and other documents supporting your presentation. Ensure you practice any transitions so you can switch between presenters seamlessly wherever they are, or use a facilitator to keep your remote event flowing smoothly. Include breaks between sessions to give you time to test the tech for your next presenter/s.
You want to avoid the error scenario during a webinar which are being confronted with technical problems. Run a technical test just prior to the event to ensure your presenters’ internet connection is up to the job, and their webcam and audio are clear. You might wish to suggest they lock the door if they’re presenting from their office or from home separating from the rest of the household.
Have a back-up plan if internet drops out
A way to make sure you will have no internet problems during your webinar is to connect to the modem. Nevertheless, Internet connection can be a problem. Ensure you and your presenters have a phone nearby so your webinar provider can call them into the event if their internet connection or video drops out. Audio and slides are a great back-up.
Those are the 10 most important webinar marketing best practices from our side but we can advise you to follow some additional steps to make sure your event will be the most successful it can be.
Sometimes it helps for your concentration but also for the Internet connection to close all unnecessary apps and notifications during your webinar. Email notifications and other notifications will distract you during the webinar and this will show on the video. If you are screen sharing you could also reveal confidential or private information you don’t want others to know about. Following the same advice, you could turn down all sound coming from your mobile phone to ensure you are not disturbed during the webinar.
As in a regular meeting, you want to be ready early on your webinar. The best practice is to be at least 15 minutes earlier than the start of the webinar to be present before everyone shows up. You should be aware that some webinar platforms have a sound notification when an attendee enters the webinar before the presenter which can disturb the attendee into thinking he’s not in the right place. Try to start at the time you said you would begin in your webinar registration page to make sure you don’t annoy people you made the effort to be on time.
In order to be sure your webinar stays in the defined time frame you communicated, try to set a fixed stopping point and respect it. In this way you can let people know when the core material has ended. Keep the conversation going by answering user questions at the end.
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 for all type of companies.