Raise your hand if you’ve attended a virtual event this year.
Say, Aye, if you have hosted or attended a virtual get-together.
2020 has been the year for all things virtual! Be it catch-up sessions with our closest friends, to team brainstorming sessions at work, and even our most loved events. Thus, it comes as no surprise that webinars became the ‘new normal’ for businesses, and were highly successful and welcomed by attendees.
While webinars are best known to be informative and an effective marketing tool that allows a business to educate their audience, these virtual events are also a surprisingly impactful lead generation and engagement strategy.
But there’s one catch here — webinars are more than just a virtual chat!
Hosting a successful webinar requires due effort, strategic planning and lots of creativity. If you’re wondering how to host a successful webinar, we’ve got some great tips for you.
Let’s find out how to host a successful webinar.
Pre-Webinar Planning & Prep
Once you’ve decided you want to host a webinar, there are some key factors you need to consider and understand, much before you start preparing for the webinar. The one common goal that every webinar host has is maximum attendance.
While quantity (number of attendees) is important, a successful webinar must equally aim at the quality of attendees. You want to make sure you’re reaching the right audience — people who understand and will take home the value you’re offering. Quality attendees will boost engagement and thus contribute to the real success of your webinar.
It’s simple, if you’re hosting a webinar to talk about the latest advancements in the medical field, you would want people from the field of medicine or suppliers within the industry to attend the webinar rather than professional carpenters and plumbers!
So, first, understand the needs and demands of your target audience, secondly, decide upon the topic of your webinar, third know where your audience is and how to reach them, four build a promotion plan leading up to the webinar that will help you maximise the attendance and finally start prepping.
Yes, that’s still a pre-webinar planning phase, let’s now get to the preparation phase.
How to make webinars more engaging
Okay then! Now that you’ve planned and decided upon what the webinar is going to be about, who is it going to be most valuable for, and how you’re going to roll out a pre-webinar promotion plan, let’s get prepping!
If this is your first rodeo, you’ll want to keep it basic and start prepping at least a month before the webinar day. If you’ve done this before and working towards getting better results, these tips can help you strengthen your content and marketing strategies.
Create Excitement and FOMO
Much before the actual day of the webinar, you want to build excitement and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) for your target audience. Teasers, previews, creative copy, and effective promotional tools and strategies will help you build that much-needed excitement. You can write a blog, tweet about it, create Instagram stories and posts, use LinkedIn to create and promote a professional invite, send emails that detail the webinar agenda and speaker information, create a hashtag if you have a giveaway at the webinar hype that — the options are endless! Your purpose is to make your audience feel like something very valuable is coming their way and they need to be a part of it.
Build Valuable Content
If you’re promising value to your audience you must deliver it through engaging content. Build your webinar presentation with all the necessary details that will effectively communicate your message. Visual aids play a huge role in keeping an audience’s attention, and creating a good looking, professional presentation is your key to it. Write down all necessary points, and support them with visuals, diagrams, statistics and play with colours and fonts to highlight the necessary information. Think of it this way — it’s possible that some attendees may experience a problem with connectivity or audio, they too must be able to gather information just by looking at your presentation.
Choose Your Speaker/Host
It’s not just about what you present, but who presents it. Your webinar host/speaker must either be an industry expert, an internal expert with complete product authority and knowledge or a team of professionals who have a thorough understanding of the webinar topic. This will not only help attract more people to the webinar but will also make the event more engaging as the hosts/speakers can easily answer all questions that the audience may have — that’s another important tip right there, always keep room and time for audience questions!
Focus on Engagement
You want to create an engaging experience for your audience. While one of the most important ways to do that is by keeping the room open for questions, think of other ways you can create engagement. You could ask your audience to share personal examples during the webinar to emphasise on some key points, you could ask some witty questions to keep the excitement up or simply (depending on the platform you choose to host) ask your audience to ‘raise hands’ or ‘wave’ to make sure they’re following everything that’s being delivered.
PS: Always make sure you have someone who plays the role of a moderator to monitor any questions/ grievances addressed by an attendee. This ensures you don’t miss out on any.
Get Ready to Host a Successful Webinar
When looking for virtual events ideas, you’ll come across a lot of different ways you can stay connected and communicate with your target audience. Be it this year, or any, digital events are here to stay and webinars are an impactful way to offer value to your audiences. Here’s a list of some other tips to host a successful and engaging webinar:
- Practice, practice and practice some more to make sure there are no issues on D-Day
- Use social media to create a buzz about your webinar — leverage personal and professional handles of all included parties.
- Use different forms of media — audio, visual, downloadable material, etc. — to focus on key points
- Consider time-zones of your audience across locations to maximise attendance, and make sure you are sensitive to your audience’s needs and preferences
- Choose a professional set-up for your webinar and perform all necessary checks beforehand
We’re all set now!
Plan, Prep and Ace it.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to drop a comment below. For more marketing tips and to stay updated with the latest, head to our Marketing Blog category for more.