The Dos and Don’ts of a Successful Webinar
Webinars are known for attracting some of the most engaged audience in marketing. The attendees are more invested in the information dispensed during the event, they interact more, and they are more likely to have a positive response to the presented call to action.
That means more leads, more clicks, more prospects urged further along the buyer’s journey.
With a lot of benefits riding on hosting a successful webinar, details are vital. This is why it’s important to note what to do and what NOT to do to make sure your next webinar blows the competition’s out of the water.
DO practice, practice, practice.
Yes, it’s a ridiculously basic instruction, but you’d be surprised how many webinars have fallen apart mid-session because of an avoidable technical glitch – one that would have been taken care of after a routine run-through.
Get your tech ready way before the scheduled event. Test audio, video, screen share, and all other features you’re planning to utilize during your webinar. While not all issues can be anticipated, doing dry-runs will get you into a more proactive mode and help identify the more obvious hurdles you might face.
Do prepare a definitive agenda.
It’s not enough to have an educational topic – you also need to make sure the path you and your audience are going to take towards the resolution of your topic is clear.
For instance, if you’re going to conduct a webinar on how to start earning money online with your five-step plan, you wouldn’t want to immediately start the session with the first step. You’d probably start with a quick intro of who you are and what makes you qualified to give people advice on the topic. You’d then talk about the common hurdles online entrepreneurs face – why they’re not earning as much as they should, what the biggest challenge is, etc. And then you transition to how your five-step plan is going to help crush all those hurdles. Finally, you wrap things up with a Q&A.
Write these steps down and note how long you expect each segment will take. Perhaps allow 3 to 5 minutes for the intro, about 10 minutes on the issues you’re going to solve, 15 minutes on the solution and your call to action, and 10 minutes on the questions.
When you have the details of your presentation plotted out, you’re likely to be more organized and vigilant with how you spend your time.
With the number of webinars marketers produce every day, participants are pretty particular which ones they attend. Time-consuming off-topic segues are not going to endear the audience to you.
Make sure you have your agenda clearly established and stick to it. Or, better yet, present the agenda to your audience at the onset of the webinar so they can hold you to it.
DO adjust your webinar length to your content and not the other way around.
This will depend on your target audience, of course, but a good rule of thumb to follow, when deciding how long your webinar is going to be, is to pattern it on the amount of content you have.
If you can get to the point of your presentation in under thirty minutes, no need to stretch your webinar to an hour with fillers. Your audience will notice and the fillers might undermine the value you provided with your main topic. It’s better to have a 40-minute webinar filled with valuable info than a 90-minute one that has a good portion of it wasted on idle chatter.
Adjust your webinar length to your content and not the other way around. (Tweet This.)
DON’T overpopulate your slides.
They call it death by PowerPoint.
If you’ve been in a meeting before, you’ve probably been through – or narrowly avoided – one of these. It’s when the slides are filled with so much information you’re pretty sure you’re reading an unedited novel. It’s when the speaker doesn’t do anything but read from slides. It’s slow torture in the form of a presentation.
Nothing kills a webinar faster than a text filled (in small fonts at that!) slide deck. Your audience signed up to be engaged and to interact – make sure they get what they signed up for.
With the pretty awesome technology available in most webinar services, there’s no excuse for inadvertently killing your audience with boring slides.
Mix up your media. Use short videos, screen sharing, polls, and surveys. Integrate social media into the discussion – post images that your audience can share on Facebook, or prepare quotes from your presentation that they can tweet.
If you’re going to use slides, avoid overpopulating it. Pick captivating images instead of clip arts. Place only one point per slide. Discuss and elaborate, don’t just recite off a list.
DON’T neglect your audience.
Webinars are one of the most effective forms of content marketing because it’s made to be interactive.
Whether your attendees actually participate doesn’t matter – you should still urge them to interact and make that easy by offering opportunities. Make a chat box open and confirm topic comprehension every now and then. Post well-timed polls and ask questions at strategic points of the webinar. Offer to share screen and do a live demo if the topic calls for it.
You want to make your audience feel like they’re a part of the discussion. Don’t forget to regularly bring the focus back to them.
DON’T be late.
Your audience are busy people and they’ve taken time off their busy schedule to attend your webinar – starting the webinar late is a sign of disrespect.
Make sure you’re already online at least 5 minutes before the webinar is scheduled to start. Welcome the attendees as they sign in and make sure they know they’re in the right place.
If you can’t start at the exact time your webinar is supposed to start – maybe there’s a tech issue or your co-host hasn’t shown up yet – let your audience know. Set proper expectations so your audience can choose to log off or wait.