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Webinars are a great way to boost your online content marketing strategy –– but if you’re a complete beginner it can all feel a little overwhelming. Here are some tips and tricks to hosting an engaging and interactive webinar that’ll do wonders for your brand.
Webinars have always been a useful way to upskill, but in 2020 they really soared in popularity. While we were all stuck at home in varying degrees of lockdown, interactive webinars came through as a way for us to learn new things, develop personally and professionally, and keep our brains active and working.
From a business perspective, hosting a webinar is a great way to be more visible online, expand your audience, share your expertise, and create a general connection with your followers. Even if you’re a complete beginner to webinars, you’ll quickly see how beneficial they can be for your business.
According to data from 2018, 52% of B2B professionals watch webinars every week. And we can only assume that number has gone up in the past three years. But if you’ve ever attended a webinar, you know that there’s a whole spectrum when it comes to quality.
Some are fascinating and engaging and some just... miss the mark. And let’s face it, no one wants to be the person delivering a dull webinar to a bored audience.
According to Make Social Media Sell, on average only 40% of webinar attendees pay attention from the beginning all the way to the end –– the rest get distracted or drop off. So there’s a chance you could lose almost half of your audience if you don’t keep them engaged and wanting to learn more.
As content experts, we’re pretty confident in saying we know what works and what falls flat. Here are our top tips for beginners who want to master the art of webinar content creation.
Choose your topic
First thing’s first, you need to choose the right topic. Obviously, it has to be something you’re an expert in, something you’re comfortable talking about for up to an hour, and confident in fielding questions about.
It’s definitely best to get super specific when choosing your topic. Find a new angle or insight, or identify an underrepresented niche within your speciality. The more unique it is, the more appealing it will be to potential attendees, who are trying to broaden their learning experience.
For example, a webinar on ‘social media management’ is way too broad –– consider instead Social Media Marketing For Gen Z or Identifying SEO Keywords for Social Media Marketing.
A good guideline here is to think about the four Us. Your topic should be
- Useful –– share information that your audience can implement in their own work or life.
- Urgent –– it needs to be ultra-relevant to today. We all know how quickly things change, especially in the online space.
- Unique –– what are you delivering that no one else is?
- Ultra-specific –– the more narrow your topic, the more of the nitty-gritty, important details you can share.
Create the content
Once you’ve nailed your topic, it’s time to think about content. It’s important to tailor your content to your audience –– give them information before they even ask for it. No, you don’t need to be a mind reader for this one, it’s all about using the data you’ve got.
Pull analytics from your website, comb through emails from customers, read the comments on your social channels, and questions posed to your Chatbot or customer service team. This will give you an idea of the types of things your audience is already keen to learn about from you.
From here, you can structure your webinar to make sure you’re covering all your bases, and including the most essential information. It doesn’t have to be strictly business the whole way through, like one big info dump. Break up your facts and lessons with conversations, anecdotes, and fun facts to keep it light and interesting.
Think about your format
No one wants to listen to one person drone on for 45 minutes non-stop. Changing up the format of your webinar can breathe fresh air into your presentation, making it more engaging and way more memorable.
Have a think about what this could look like for you. Many webinars centre around a presentation, though here are some ideas for segments that you can add into your webinar to mix things up:
An interview with an influential expert in your industry. This can happen in person, but is just as easy to arrange over video chat. Send them your questions a few weeks in advance and go over their answers together before the webinar.
A Q&A with the audience. They can submit questions in real-time, or request them to submit questions via email or your website ahead of time. This one’s a no-brainer: One survey from webinar platform ON24 reported that 92% of attendees want a live Q&A session at the end of a webinar.
A panel discussion with other people in your industry. This can be structured, with set topics and discussion points, or can be a more free-flowing chat based on a couple of prompts. Perhaps you can act as moderator, or appoint one, to keep the discussion on track.
Whatever you choose, make sure you’re prepared in advance. Do you need to collect questions from your audience ahead of time, or poll your social media followers to find out what they want to see from you?
Ramp up your marketing
You’ll want to create an integrated marketing plan for your webinar –– there’s no point putting in all the effort to make an excellent presentation if no one logs on to see it.
ON24, the world’s leading webinar platform, says that 54% of webinar attendees register for the event eight days in advance. So you can’t just throw up a social media post announcing your webinar the night before it happens –– to get the best turnout, you need to let people know well ahead of time. Open registrations at least ten days in advance to make sure as much of your target audience has a chance to attend.
Then, in the lead-up to your webinar, you should be promoting it the same way you would a product launch. Set up a multi-platform marketing strategy; think about where your potential audience is. Have promotional content running in unison across your social channels, your website or blog, your email list, and perhaps even some paid advertising too.
Will you have any guest speakers or panellists at your webinar? Ask them to promote it as well –– the more eyes the better.
It’s a good idea to create a landing page for your webinar, which you can link to in all the promotional material. Here you should include the time and date, a link to register, the topic and what audiences will expect, a list of any guest speakers, and the value of attending your webinar. What will people be able to do after they leave your webinar that they weren’t able to before?
When guests register for your webinar, send them a link to this landing page so they can get an idea for what’s in store, and send through any potential questions. You don’t want to bombard people, but it’s a good idea to send a reminder email to registrants about two days before the webinar.
Another good way to reel in viewers of your webinar is to offer them some special reward for attending, like 25% off a service. You can include the discount code on the final slide of your presentation.
Let your content live beyond the webinar
You’re going to be putting a lot of time and effort into crafting your perfect webinar, so of course you’ll want to get the most mileage out of it as possible.
Keep the recording of your webinar, then you can go in and edit it down into small, shareable pieces of content. Some people won’t be able to commit to a 60-minute diary slot, but will happily watch and engage with short, 3-minute videos on social media.
We all know that video is king when it comes to social marketing, especially on Facebook and Instagram. They’re cheap to produce –– especially if you’ve already got your webinar footage –– they can be keyword-optimised for SEO, they’re way more engaging than text posts, and they add a level of personality to your brand.
Choose your key message points from your webinar. Think about which parts really resonated with your audience, which you received the most questions or comments about. Edit these into a short, snappy video that gets your point across –– without droning on too much.
Add some keywords, some captions, and some meta-tags, and they’re ready to share on your social channels.
Need a hand crafting your webinar content?
At Scribly, we’re experts on all written content. We’d love to help craft the perfect presentation, plus any pre- or post-webinar content to help support it. Get in touch with us to hear about the services we’ve got on offer.