Webinar technology first emerged in the 1990s as a business tool and it was developed to provide multimedia streams. However, it had limited functions, especially interaction capability.
Fast forward to 2021, the technology has developed exponentially since then. No longer do hosts and attendees need specialized software to use webinar technology nor is it a tool solely reserved for the big boys in business. With today’s numerous tools, anyone can access or host webinars.
Why are webinars increasingly important and how do business owners take advantage of this trending technology tool? Webinar marketing is basically using an online seminar or conference to connect with a wider audience and promote your branding. For businesses who want to improve conversion rates, webinars are a great marketing strategy to provide value, improve engagement and increase sales revenue.
It usually consists of a presentation followed by a Question and Answer (Q&A) session. Due to them being a visual and interactive medium with chat features, they can help presenters connect quickly and engage better with participants. Most people will also grasp the information easily.
Businesses can use webinar marketing to showcase their products and services, expertise and knowledge as well as expound on content that has been published in a blog post. Now that you know the benefits of webinar marketing, let’s talk about setting it up!
Here are 5 practical tips to get you started:
1. Select a host
All webinars need a host to make the engagement happen. There are some free hosting providers whereas some are paid. To save you the trouble and time of conducting research, we have already included a list here. Some of the best webinar software tools are WebinarJam, Webinar Ninja, GotoWebinar and etc.
A good webinar tool should help you deliver live high-quality video, automate your sales process and engage marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) during live training and product demos.
2. Interesting topic
This is the most critical factor as your topic is the hook to bait your target audience and/ or potential customers. Do some prior research to find out what other people are presenting, especially your competitors and anticipate what your target audience might be keen to know about so you can keep them engaged and interested.
Using these 2 pointers as guidance, draft out a presentation plan that takes an hour; which 40 minutes should be the actual presentation and the remaining 20 minutes is used to do a little icebreaker or welcome from the start of your webinar plus Q&A at the end after the presentation.
3. The right timing
As the saying goes, there is a timing for everything and this rings true when it comes to hosting a webinar. According to research, the best time to hold a webinar is at 11am in the middle of the week after everyone has cleared their initial workload when the week starts and before Friday when everyone autotunes to the weekend mood.
However, if you are reaching out to a global community, you might want to consider the time zone. Scheduling countries with similar time zones will be instrumental to increasing the number of participant registrations and more efficient, making it less stressful on yourself in terms of time management.
4. Pick your preferred webinar style
If you are just starting to use webinars, these 2 marketing styles will be more suitable: The Interview and The Panel. The Interview usually consists of someone who is a highly influential industry-specific expert and well known at the same time.
Their reputation and credibility will boost signups to your webinar. You just need to make sure to go through the script with him/ her aka rehearsal so there won’t be any glitches when you go live.
The Panel provides access to a group of experienced professionals who are willing to discuss popular topics and share their experiences in a panel format. This works exceptionally well because participants will think they have priority access to a treasure vault of knowledge and expertise.
You will need to brief every panelist on the script and it is highly recommended to use an experienced and unbiased facilitator to manage the flow of conversation. A good candidate will be someone who is impartial, familiar with the topic and knows how to handle the panel as well as participants.
For the experienced and/ or more adventurous presenters, you can use The Q&A format as this engages your attendees the most. Always ask for questions so the audience is more likely to interact and engage when they are waiting to see whose question will be answered.
At the same time, it is the perfect opportunity to put your top brass in the hot seat as this will build brand loyalty and make your offer more valuable.
Alternatively, you can use The Presentation format which is the most straightforward and popular style. However, to host a successful webinar, the presenter will need to be as engaging and enthusiastic as possible besides being an expert on the topic.
In order to guarantee the success rate, it is necessary to provide content that is relevant and valuable to the target audience. Delivery in a clear, concise and confident manner will nail that success for you!
5. Promote your webinar
Strategy is important when it comes to promoting your webinar. According to The 2017 Big Book of Webinar Stats and compiled by GoToMeeting, 45% of marketers use email as their primary promotional tool. However, the signup rate will increase dramatically at the last minute because 69% of signups take place in the final week.
There are a few ways to do it and these are not exhaustive. You can post about your webinar details on social media, business website and/ or blog, email marketing list, industry forums or partner with someone to maximise your reach and if you are working with an industry expert or a panel, it will be good that they mention your webinar on their social media and other channels. After all, they are involved in it too!
For those who are starting out, we advise you not to be discouraged. Practice makes perfect and once you get the hang of it, it is like taking a walk in the park! For the more experienced presenters, we hope this inspires you about new ideas for presentation and increasing brand awareness too. All the best!