Webinar marketing is one of the fastest growing content marketing practices in 2020. With the COVID-19 situation, 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.
Want to get your webinar program off the ground?
In this article we share 10 best practices in webinar marketing that can change the way you run your online events.
Here’s a summary of what we will cover:
- 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 your presenters
- Rehearse your transitions
- Technical run throughs
- Have a back-up plan… if internet drops out
Choose your webinar format, structure, and speakers
Webinars can be hosted in various formats – but not every format will be suited to the webinar you want to broadcast.
Are you replacing a physical event with a virtual webinar? Perhaps you want to run a virtual conference? You don’t necessarily need to make every webinar into a live video session. Some sessions like keynotes or panel discussions can be adapted for a live video format, but for other types of webinars, pre-recordings can sometimes work 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 – these will then form your main sections. Try as much as possible to create engaging sub-topics in order for your audience to stay engaged during your webinar.
Most webinar attendees value a webinar which includes knowledgeable and engaging speakers. Choosing the right speakers to present on your webinar is 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.
Visit our presenter centre for more tips on presenting online
Build in interactivity and boost engagement
One of the main advantages of webinars is that they are great to boost interactivity. Thanks to features built into webinar platforms, you can easily engage your audience through different tools.
Working with these tools will be sure to increase engagement and ultimately make your webinar a success. 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 – these include Q&A, live chat, polls and surveys.
In order to boost engagement and keep people online, you need to make sure your webinar runs seamlessly. This starts early by getting on top of the technical side and making sure you know your tool or platform well enough to react.
Try to test the platform ahead of time and ensure your microphone and internet connection are working. If you can, try not to 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 by opening the meeting by making your audience feel a connection with the problem you’re attempting to solve. Consider telling a story or a concrete example that will help your audience relate to you.
To make people more involved, set clear expectations before the webinar. This includes expectations on how you expect attendees 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 to solve their problem. However, it’s important to be mindful when it comes to physical events which you take online. You can’t really ask the same price for a virtual conference since you have reduced travel, venue and catering costs.
You can however 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.
Check out our article on Virtual Event Sponsorship: 21 Ways to Build Value for Brands
Consider a studio broadcast
Quality can be the main differentiator between your webinar and the ones from the competition. We’ve all seen those Zoom webinars that have bad quality video, resulting in presenters fumbling and pausing as they go – it’s not a great online experience. Streaming or recording your webinar from a studio is a great way to get high quality broadcast video and remove the burden of technology from your speakers.
Dedicated webinar studios have the right kind of equipment to make your webinar recording professional. So if brand is important to you, they should definitely be considered.
In webinar studios, you can also easily customise your webinar according to your brand. You have the opportunity to set up the area 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 an Online TV 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 the running of the technology for you — following your run sheet, playing pre-recorded videos 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 problems you might have when 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 mindful 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 – think about your background, lightning, audio, and video quality.
Webinars are always more relatable with video. It’s therefore important to consider video best practices.
If it’s your first time presenting on camera, it’s normal to feel nervous. It’s therefore important to take the time before 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. Remember to wear plain , block colours and refrain from patterns or stripes.
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 easily 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, and 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 definitely can be an ally during your webinar. When speaking over a long period of time you can easily get a dry mouth and a croaky voice 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.
A 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 free or easily. The secret behind a great webinar and good quality is great 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
Your presenters are the most important part of your webinar. You will need to make sure that every person involved knows 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 all technical issues during your webinar – however, this is easier said than done.. It’s best practice to run a technical test prior to your 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 great 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. Here are some additional steps to make sure your event will be even more successful.
Close all apps: 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 should also turn down all sound coming from your mobile phone to ensure you are not disturbed during the webinar.
Arrive early: As in a regular meeting, you want to be ready to go well in advance for your webinar. It’s best practice to be at least 30 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.
Set a fixed time: In order to ensure 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.