Have you been having nightmares about no one attending a webinar you are planning? Have you been questioning how you can make your webinar kickass? Are you wondering if a webinar will help you attract leads? Are you figuring out what, how, when and where of your webinar? Breathe easy, ‘coz we got you!
Presenting to you a ready reckoner with the A-Z of Webinar Planning, Promotions and Conversions. Literally.
The perfect duration for a webinar is the sweet spot that lies between 45 and 60 minutes. The ideal webinar agenda should have
- An ice-breaker of 2-5 minutes, examples
- General questions about weather, location, etc.
- Live poll
- Upbeat Music
- Quick game
- A super-short introduction of you and guest speaker(s)
- The speaker’s address (most valuable content of the webinar)
- Hands-on breakout room activities (if possible)
- An interaction with the speaker in the form of a Q&A
- Last 5-7 minutes to walk participants through exclusive offers for them
It helps to share the agenda with your registrants in advance so they know what to expect.
One time expense
- Speaker fee (Not something you’ll always need, but something you should always budget for)
- Software to host webinars (check out the sections under T and Z!)
- Ads for promotion (Very important component in the marketing and nurturing game. Don’t be stingy!)
- Rewards, gifts, giveaways
When planning webinars allocate a budget for rewards, gifts, giveaways too.
Budgeting for rewards is important because it has the power to drive up sales and conversions. But for rewards to be a profit center instead of a cost center, the payout must be carefully linked to desired attendee behaviors. How to budget for rewards?
Choose rewards that
- have cash value - a voucher or redeemable coupon
- are relevant to your attendees - an online course subscription
- have aspirational value - high budget tech or an Airbnb experience
- give your attendees choice - an Amazon gift coupon
- are convenient to use for your attendees - vouchers that have long validity periods
The goal of a webinar is to convert clients. Here are ten ways you can conduct webinars that convert
- Pick a topic that’s relevant to your industry. More specifically, something that is the latest technology, solutions to a collective challenge faced by the industry and the like.
- Find a speaker who is a thought leader (preferably someone who is not easily available to be heard) or a credible customer (this helps with establishing instant credibility)
- Make it interactive. Q&A Sessions through the duration of the webinar, encourage webcams to be on. There’s a great tool to spice up your webinar and includes a platform for 1:1 speed networking. Check it out!
- Use live polls to assess your audience for interest, readiness to buy, tech issues they may be facing etc.
- Send a post-webinar survey that’s fun and interactive. There are a bunch of tools available to help you design surveys. SoGoSurvey is one such free tool.
- Marketing is important but only when you know what you need to sell. Involve your sales team in all stages of planning to maximize RoIs.
- We live in an On-Demand world. So send out a follow up email with a presentation and recording of the webinar within 24 hours of it ending.
- Participate in the webinar actively yourself, as a company. Observe and watch your attendees to determine buying behaviour.
- Identify hot, warm and cold leads.
- Create and send personalized responses to hot leads. Nurture warm and cold leads. Begin with a thank you email as quickly as at the end of the webinar.
Allow your registrants and attendees to access resources you send them through their Dropboxes. Add a one click button for Dropbox Integration in the emails carrying resources before, during and after the webinar. Easy accessibility will make engagement more likely and also increase brand recall value.
You must build engagement right from the time you announce a webinar. Create a campaign around a webinar that you may be running as a flagship event for your company. Make it exclusive, run part by part reveals, tap the social media potential.
Your audience must continue to feel engaged and invested right through the process all the way to conversion. Tying in rewards at every stage of the funnel is a good way to ensure that. For instance, reward early registrants with some exclusive speaker content, or access to a 5 minute one on one with your speaker. Announce a surprise reward during the webinar for the most interactive guest.
The same number of people who enter the marketing funnel never make it out. The good news is that the interested ones always will. To attract the right audience to your funnel, you need a plan that helps you drive traffic.
Here’s how to do that:
- Create a Facebook Group and a LinkedIn event page and add value by sharing resources and relevant content.
- Leverage the power of the hashtag magnet that helps bring people together by running campaigns with a catchy hashtag. Get influencers involved.
- Jump onto the audio bandwagon. Record your experiences and journeys or get your speaker to record an exclusive podcast and send it out through your email marketing and social media channels.
- You know that list of people you’ve always wanted to collaborate with but were too afraid to ask? Reach out now. You’d be surprised at how open people are to work and grow together. Offer to add value to their content and leverage their audience in return.
- Write great content for niche websites, maybe as guest blog posts that align with the services your webinar is designed to sell.
Google calendar integration
With so many of us spending so much time online - reading, attending meetings, upskilling and the like, our screen time schedules are choc-a-bloc. The addition of a Google Calendar button to your webinar emails is a tiny but thoughtful gesture. You can also consider adding a SharePoint calendar button so that all your attendees can join quickly.
Numbers for you too as an organizer will be clearer, because when your webinar finds a place in someone’s calendar, they will know if they really can attend it live or not.
The quality of your video stream is something that you can easily take for granted. Honestly, this could make or break your webinar. In a world that is now so used to HD and 4K, anything that’s not great quality video is a HUGE turn off.
So ensure that whatever tool or platform you are running your webinar on supports HD video. The on-demand version of your video must also be available in HD.
Let your invitations carry all the small details about the webinar:
- who can register
- who your trainers/speakers are and what their qualifications are
- The rewards you may be offering and when
- Whether or not there’s going to be a certificate at the end of it
Don’t be shy to add a sense of urgency through ‘Add to Calendar’ or ‘Save the Date’ buttons. Also, it’s great to be able to generate excitement with the details of the value your webinar is going to offer.
Planning and conducting a joint webinar is a great win-win situation if you find the right partner. When looking to collaborate, look first at your immediate circle - friends who run businesses or businesses you have worked within the past. Trust is a key ingredient. Why do joint webinars work, you ask?
- They diversify audience
- It’s an easy way to establish trust with a new audience which maximizes conversions
- They educate audiences across different sectors
- It’s a great place to offer rewards as a showcase of your products or services
A good speaker can make or break your webinar. The most thoughtfully planned show can fall flat if your speaker fails to keep your audience hooked. To have a kick-ass webinar, invest in a kick-ass speaker. Try and land a thought leader or an influencer who is popular but may not be very easily available.
Here’s a list of things you can leverage.
- Existing clients - Encourage your clients to reach out to their contacts and bring them to the webinar. Incentivize it for them by offering rewards.
- SlideShare - Adding slide deck of webinar presentations with a link to the webinar landing page or the on-demand video can help you attract leads post-webinar as well.
- Forums - Leverage forums like EventBrite etc. to carry ads about your webinar to reach your target audience
- Rewards platform - Can’t think of ideas for reward or worried about redemption? Use tools and platforms like Xoxoday to automate rewards and redemption.
- Semrush - A tool to identify what people in your area are searching for on Google. Understanding pain points and problems that people are seeking solutions for will help you pick a relatable topic for your webinar.
- Use rewards to market your webinar. Freebies never fail to excite anyone! So market intelligently by tying in reward at various stages of the process.
- Encourage them to come on board to be part of something cool.
- Use a contest on social media as a marketing tool. HubSpot held a contest around the hashtag #WorkRemote to promote a webinar around remote working.
Attendees don’t automatically convert to leads. You need to nurture them into customers. Begin your nurturing from the day of registration itself.
Here’s a list of tips and things you must keep in mind on your nurturing journey post the webinar
- Use automated email sending through tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot etc.
- Aim to provide useful and valuable content in email with mild CTAs to buy your product
- Be consistent with the quality of any content you push towards them.
- Stay on their radar.
84% of the people who register for the webinar either can’t make it for the live event or prefer to watch it later. Only 16% watch it live. So, creating an on-demand link with easily digestible takeaways and content circulated with the on-demand link is a priority.
By not doing this, attrition rates in your funnel become very high. But sending out on-demand content that is a breakdown of your webinar is a great way to not only stay connected to interested registrants but also to convert leads.
Remember to also host the on-demand video on your website.
Planning is key. Here’s a broad list you must tick things off
- 🎤 Speakers and a support team
- 📜 Promotional material
- 📊 Format and visuals - clever gifs, quality images, short videos | easily digestible data - infographics and graphs
- 🛠 Webinar tool and tools for polling, networking etc.
- 📝 An agenda
- 💻 Run a tech check - with your equipment, light and space
- 🖊 Set up registration at the right time
- 🗓 Choose the right date. Mid-week is better for business events
Q&A sessions can help break the ice, increase participation and are also a great place to reward attendees. Here are some tips for an effective Q&A session:
- Ask your audience to submit their questions ahead of time
- Release some of the questions as polls throughout the webinar
- In the live Q&A session, announce a reward for the best/most relevant ‘Question of the webinar’
- Allow for questions that could not be answered during the webinar to be discussed in post-webinar networking
A perfect registration page is where you get your potential audience hooked. They then move to your sign up page. Here’s what to include:
- State how the webinar helps solve a problem
- Ask questions and get to know your audience better. Try and keep the questions short and in the format of MCQs. This can also help understand the kind of rewards and offers you can hand out in the webinar
- Use this page to release a homework assignment to be completed before the webinar - this adds excitement and increases the likelihood of attendance
The speaker is a make or break for your webinar. You may have the perfect funnel set up, but it is your speaker who is going to hold your audience’s attention in the webinar. Invest in a good speaker. For example, an influencer in your area of work would certainly drive up participation and ensure people stay on through the webinar. Collaborating with businesses that complement yours and having thought leaders speak about the potential of such collaboration may also be something exciting you can do.
While on the face of it it may seem like the only tool you need to run a successful webinar. But that’s not true. Here are some tools across genres that will help you plan, create and execute webinars par excellence.
- Collaboration Tools- These allow your team to work together, all in real time. This could be something as simple and standard as Google Docs or Google Sheets or something like Slack.
- Presentation Tools- Having a good presentation to encompass all the content of the webinar, to send out to your attendees post the event is absolutely essential. There are a bunch of tools and applications available to create a presentation. The good old PowerPoint or its fancy equivalent on Mac, i.e. Slides works just as well as Adobe Express.
- Designing Tools- Creating impactful visuals for marketing is a big part of conversions and maximizing RoI. Websites like Canva and Crello are great!
- Email Marketing Tools- The power that a good email marketing tool can offer is unmatched. Reaching out to hundreds of potential attendees at a time through well-designed emails is a big plus. Try tools like HubSpot Email Marketing, MailChimp and Sender.
- Social Media Marketing and Automation Tools - Very often the tools you use to design promotional material allows you to schedule or post your content straight to social media. There are also dedicated tools to help you plan and automate your social media promotions, like HootSuite, Buffer, Biteable etc.
- Virtual Networking Tools- Allowing for ice breakers, breakout sessions, speed networking and other pre and post-webinar events can add value to your webinar. Tools like Eventify, Arena and RunTheWorld among others are explore-able.
Make space for the url in every email you send post registration for the event. The url to your webinar is the registrant’s entry ticket. Ensure that it’s available, prominent and easily accessible to your registrants.
In business, time is money. So whether you choose to hold a free webinar or a ticketed one, the value it brings in exchange for time investment will be its biggest driving force that defines its success. Simply put, value created must exceed cost of value delivered.
Increase the perceived value of the webinar. You could do this by offering rewards. A bonus upgrade at the end of the webinar exclusively to those who attend, such as a free eBook, a discount code, or a personalized template. Registrants are more likely to show up when they know that they’ll otherwise miss out on some free, valuable goodies.
You must have a waiting room that allows participants and registrants to interact amongst each other while waiting for the webinar to begin. In the waiting room before the webinar,
- Engage in ice-breaker games or activities
- Ask registrants to submit questions that they may have before the webinar
- Have a company representative interact with the registrants and try and establish connections to convert
This is a feeling you must not shy away from generating. When you start your webinar publicity and promotions, hype up your speakers and the value of the webinar you are creating. Tie rewards into every stage. It’s a great way to get people excited not only to register but to stick through to the end of the webinar.
Apart from having registrants sign into your webinar through the tool or platform you’re running the event on, you must stream the webinar live on YouTube if you are catering to large crowds.
Your On-demand video must certainly find a place on your YouTube channel for easy accessibility and greater reach.
Although Zoom has become almost synonymous with webinars and online meetings, there are a bunch of other tools in the market that you can experiment with to hold a webinar. Here’s a list for you to explore:
Lights, Camera, Action!
You are now equipped with pretty much everything you need to take care of to host a webinar to remember. To take your webinars to the next level, drive participation through rewards. Rewards that are not just exciting, but those that really encourage participation.
We know that sometimes reward redemption can also be a challenge. AdSyndicate, an advertising agency faced similar issues until they reached out to Xoxoday and now have automated rewards, solving their woes.
Get in touch with Xoxoday to help make the experience rewarding for you!