Hosting an educational webinar is a great strategic marketing move for your organization.
Not only can you showcase your thought leadership, but you can also spread brand awareness and generate leads. Read on for recommendations on the best way to plan, promote, and execute a successful webinar.
Research your target customer base to determine which topics would be most valuable and interesting to them. Whether a webinar is free or charges a price, consumers will only take the time to attend if they feel strongly that the information might benefit them.
Choose the date of your webinar wisely. Stick to mid-week days, since Mondays and Fridays are popular days for work meetings and vacations. If you’re trying to reach viewers on both the East and West coast, try to air your webinar between 1pm and 4pm EST.
Start promoting your webinar several weeks in advance to build momentum. Email your organization’s contacts or a targeted list of potential attendees to get the word out. Post information about the webinar on your Facebook page and/or Twitter feed, and advertise on relevant industry websites or blogs. Even if your webinar is free, consider requiring that participants register before they can attend. This is an effective way to collect names and email addresses that you can use for your sales and marketing efforts later on.
Several days before the webinar, take the time to make sure you’re comfortable with your teleconference technology and are able to use all the available tools and features. Practice your presentation with colleagues to get their feedback. Record yourself or do a test broadcast so you can find out what you sound like and how your presentation appears on screen. This will ensure that your presentation goes smoothly once you’re in front of a live audience.
Keep your presentation to about 20 minutes, which is the average attention span of an adult. Leave 10 minutes at the end for Q&A with your audience.
Structure your presentation around the advertised topic, not around a sales pitch or information about your organization. If you provide unique and valuable insights that benefit your audience, they will continue to look to your organization for high-quality content and expertise.
During the presentation, use visual aides to capture your audience’s attention, such as infographics, video, photos, animation, and web demos. Some webinar technologies allow you to engage your audience with quizzes, polls, and a chat feature.
At the end of the webinar, thank your participants for their time and follow up via email with a survey to get their feedback. Provide them with your contact information should they have additional questions or comments.
Make a recording of your webinar available on your website, Facebook, or blog for people who weren’t able to attend. Send your attendees another email several days after the event with links to the recorded webinar, information about future events, or additional educational resources.
Be sure to review and integrate the feedback you receive to make your next webinar even more successful.