The Only Checklist You’ll Need to Host a Successful Webinar
If the comprehensive B2B marketing trends research for 2016 is to be believed, webinars should be considered as one of the most essential content marketing strategies for businesses. It’s a very effective platform to not only market to and convert your prospects, but also to educate and delight existing customers.
But how difficult is it to successfully host a webinar?
Not that difficult, really. Much like any other content marketing tactic, you just need to have a plan in place and stick to it.
Here’s a handy checklist that can help get you going.
Part 1. Before the Webinar
A lot of prep work goes into the production of a webinar. Seemingly minor details can affect how well the event is going to be received. Go through the following prep work and make sure you have all the boxes ticked way before you have your webinar scheduled.
8 Weeks Before
- Pick a topic. Brainstorm for things that you want your audience to learn from you. A good rule of thumb is to think of problems they face and plan an online session around it.
- Pick a date. Don’t try to accommodate all your customers from all over the world when thinking of a time and date for your webinar because it will be close to impossible to fit everyone. Try to specify your audience based on location and decide on what’s most convenient for them. The rest of your audience can listen to your recording and you can host your next one with a different time zone in mind.
- Pick a speaker. Or speakers. Choose one who’s passionate and knowledgeable about the topic.
- Pick a webinar platform. Have a set of criteria in place and run your choices through your requirements to see if they’re a good fit. What technical features do you need from your software? Are you particular about the price? How interactive do you need your webinar to be?
Decide on what you need and prioritize them when looking for the perfect service.
When it comes to complete marketing and broadcast functionality, we highly recommend WebinarJEO.
4 Weeks Before
- Write your script. There’s no denying your passion and expertise, but sometimes that’s not enough during a presentation. Nerves can suddenly appear or you get distracted by a minor detail, and you end up forgetting some of the most important points you wanted to make.
When it comes to webinars, there’s no such thing as being over prepared.
Write your script, highlight your points, and try to time each section so you stay on track all throughout the event.
- Create your slide deck. DON’T just copy your script on to your slides unless you want your audience to prematurely drop dead out of boredom.
Include only the most important points in your slide deck and make it visually engaging.
Add striking images, pie and bar graphs if relevant, and try to only put in one main detail per slide.
- Create your webinar registration landing page. Make the page simple but complete. You want your prospects to find enough potential value in your webinar to get them to register for it. Include bullet points of what you’re going to discuss, names and head shots of the speakers and their qualifications, and the date and time of the webinar.
3 Weeks Before
- Start promoting your webinar.
- Social media. Post updates on all your active social media accounts and – if its’ within your budget – try to boost/promote the posts to increase exposure.
- Email. Send an invite out to your current database or the part of it that would find your event most helpful.
- Blog. Create call to action links within relevant blog posts and banners with info about your webinar with a link to your registration landing page.
Note: Promotion should start at least 3 weeks before the event but should be done regularly and consistently after that until the webinar itself.
2 Weeks Before
- Set up your slide deck on to your webinar platform. And while you’re at it, get everything set up on the system as well. Make sure log-ins work and the tech is working as it should.
- Start with the content only, but make sure to do one using the webinar platform as well. You need to conduct a dry-run to help anticipate problems with the software and your delivery of the subject.
3 Days & 1 Day Before
- Send reminder email. A lot of webinar hosts report that only a fraction of their registrants attend the event itself. This might be due to the simple fact that they forgot about it.
Make sure you remind your registrants and don’t forget to attach the link to the webinar, instructions on how to log-in, and other additional info on your email. You can set up the reminder email to go automatically, depending on the platform you’re using.
Part 2. During the Webinar
1 Hour Before
- Send reminder email. Yup, again. It doesn’t hurt to be thorough. Also, this can be automated with the right webinar system.
- Promote on social media. Twitter is perfect for this. You can post tweets an hour or two before the webinar teasing the value the attendee will get from it. Create a hashtag for the event so conversations are tracked easily – remind webinar participants to use it.
- Log on to the system. You want to get prepped way before the event is scheduled to start. Log on to the platform, make sure your slide deck is ready, turn off all unnecessary applications on your computer, remove any and all distractions, and double check your connections.
5 Minutes Before
- Start the webinar. Not the discussion itself, but you can onboard attendees as they log on. There will always be some who arrive early and they need to know they’re in the right place.
During the Webinar
- Record the webinar. You want the event to be made available to registrants – and the rest of your audience – who weren’t able to make it. There are also a lot of other ways the content of your webinar can be repurposed, so don’t forget to hit record!
- Present the webinar. Entertain and educate your audience. Answer questions on the platform or tweet replies using hashtags. Don’t forget your call to action – if you have one – before you wrap up the event.
Part 3. After the Webinar
24 Hours after the Webinar
- Convert recording to a video file.
- Update the post-registration page. Embed the recorded video to the page so registrants who were not able to attend the webinar can view the event, and attendees can watch it again.
- Send follow up email.
- To attendees, with a link to the recording and some feedback questions.
- To registrants but not attendees, put in a note that reflects this (e.g. “Sorry we missed you, but don’t worry – you can still watch the webinar here!”) and a link to the recording.
Do you have your own checklist or must-dos before launching a webinar? Let us know in the comments!