Webinars are the best way for marketers and sales teams to distribute important information amongst their colleagues and customers! A webinar is a seminar that is held exclusively online and takes place in real time, usually with an interaction between the webinar presenters and the audience. In order to keep your guests engaged and coming back for future events, keep these 30 webinar best practices in mind when you begin the planning process for your next webinar.
When it comes to hosting a webinar, one of the most important aspects of planning is knowing who your target audience is. In an Epsilon survey, 80% of consumers said that they would be more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. our audience members may be looking for something different, so when you understand what they are looking for, you can plan your webinar better. In order to better understand your target audience, you can use Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can determine the demographics of your audience, where they are located in the world, and even what language they speak which can be used when planning your webinar. If you have guests in different time zones or if they speak a different language, you can adapt your webinar to fit the needs of every guest.
When you are selecting what topic to have for your webinar, you want to keep in mind that your webinar needs to be compelling and engaging! If you select a topic that is too broad or not that engaging for your guests, you will lose the interest of your audience almost immediately. When you choose a topic, select one that will be relevant to your business, and the webinar to keep your guests engaged throughout the duration of the webinar!
Speakers for your webinar can truly make or break your event. When you choose guest speakers, look for experts on the topic who will not only educate the audience but keep them engaged as well. If you’re not sure what guest speaker to have at your webinar, have them conduct a demonstration. They can showcase their skills and knowledge to the event hosts, and you can get a better picture of how their portion of the webinar is going to run!
When you schedule your webinar during the correct days and times, your guests will be more likely to engage with the webinar and will also be more attentive. According to studies, Wednesday and Thursday mornings around 10 AM are the most productive days for the workforce; your guests will participate in your webinar more than they would on a Monday or a Friday. Another thing to keep in mind is the different time zones. You may have people joining the webinar from all over the country- maybe even the world- so planning the webinar during a time that works for everyone will ensure the most engagement!
Your event landing page can be the webpage that houses all of the event information regarding the webinar. Some of the details that can be included on your webinar landing page may include:
On your webinar landing page, you can try to boost your guest registrations. Be sure to add a call to action button to entice guests to register or buy tickets as well as a countdown to add a sense of urgency for your guests.
In order to have the most guests at your webinar, you need to promote it! Nowadays, there are several ways to promote your webinar. Webinar hosts can use all social media platforms to promote the webinar, ensuring that it gets seen by the most people possible. If you want to reach out to guests who have attended events in the past, you can promote your webinar by email marketing. Be sure to include any and all details of the webinar, including a call to action button right within the email. The more people you reach about your webinar, the more guests you will have attending your webinar!
Moderators can help keep your event on track, both in terms of content and time. Moderators are different from the speakers, as moderators determine the beginning and end times as well as introduce the company and the speakers. Moderators have the ability to hook the audience right in the beginning and keep them engaged throughout the entire webinar. Moderators can also keep a close eye on the time, and stop the guest speakers if they are close to running over their allotted time; sometimes guest speakers get carried away with speaking because they are so passionate about the topic. However, moderators can give guest speakers a 5-minute warning as their time is coming to a close.
Sometimes, sitting in a webinar and listening to someone speak for long periods of time can be mundane for some. In order to avoid this while keeping your audience engaged, diversify your content! By using features like polls, surveys, and even visuals, your guests will stay engaged while still learning. These aspects give your audience something to interact with, as well as the opportunity to interact with other audience members.
For guests who join your event through their smartphone, you need to make sure that your webinar is mobile-friendly! Before the event begins, you can have one of the webinar hosts log into the webinar from their own smartphone to ensure that everything works. Testing every aspect of the webinar from the smartphone ensures that your guests joining via their mobile phone will have the same experience as the guests joining on their laptop or desktop computer.
Engagement for your webinar can come in many forms! If you choose to, webinar hosts can use breakout rooms, whiteboards, or even interactive poll questions. Before the event begins, webinar hosts can organize these engagement aspects so they can be flawlessly executed when the actual webinar comes. Guests can be broken up into smaller groups to either network or brainstorm new ideas. If you want to use the whiteboards, guests can jot down any ideas they have and it can be seen by the entire group.
We have all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.” And it’s true! When you have your webinar planned, you can hold trial runs of the webinar before your guests arrive. Speakers can practice all of their talking points, to make sure they’re going to end before the cutoff time. Keep in mind that there are no edits or cuts within a webinar- everything is live! When you practice what you’re going to say, you will be prepared for when the guests arrive.
As we previously discussed, your guests need to be engaged within the webinar! This can come in many forms; surveys, polls, and even gamification can help keep your guests engaged. When guests have a more hands-on approach to the webinar, they will be more likely to participate and engage with the content!
As discussed above, studies have shown that Wednesday and Thursday mornings are the best days to host a webinar. The guests are engaged in the content and are more likely to participate in all aspects of the webinar. Hosting a webinar on a Monday or Friday is not a good time to host anything, as the guests will be distracted by the weekend. In order to get the guests as engaged and excited about the webinar as possible, a midweek morning is the best time to host.
Event reminder emails can help keep your guests updated about the webinar! The emails can be sent in the days or even weeks leading up to the webinar. Adding a countdown to the reminder email creates excitement for your guests. You can also send reminder emails for registration. Remind your potential guests to register for the event, adding a deadline to register which helps create a sense of urgency for your guests.
Your webinar may include many moving parts, and there’s a chance that one of those parts might not work. In order to avoid this, be sure to assess the webinar before the guests arrive. Check microphones, send questions within the chat, and test out any links. If everything works well within the webinar, you’re ready to go!
There are going to be guests who have questions at your webinar, which is a good thing! However, webinar hosts need to let the guests know how the questions are going to be handled. Typically, questions are done at the end of the webinar, with the speaker or host answering them to the best of their ability. Webinar hosts can still ask if there are any questions before the webinar begins, which might be important to how the webinar goes. Be sure to schedule about 15 minutes for questions at the end of the webinar.
If you are showcasing new products within your webinar, take your time explaining the product. With a webinar, the guests aren’t able to get their hands on the product and experience it for themselves. In a survey done by HubSpot, an estimated 90% of customers reported that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. Because of this, you need to take your time explaining all aspects and uses of the product.
We have all been at events where the guest speaker runs way over the allotted time. This can be uncomfortable for guests who need to leave at a certain time. With the use of a moderator, they can signal to the speaker that they have a certain amount of time left to speak. The average time for a webinar, including questions, is about 50 minutes. Guests can be sure that they will be done with the webinar before the end of the hour, so they can run off to their next event!
Your digital workspace can be filled with all kinds of tabs and files, as you are constantly clicking things throughout the day. However, when you host your webinar, you will want to clean up your tabs or host the webinar in a completely different browser. Webinar hosts might have to share their computer screens, and you don’t want any personal orprivate information displayed for everyone to see!
Webinar hosts should enter the webinar early for a few reasons. By entering the room early, you can prepare any materials you need for the webinar. You can also test any microphones or cameras you are using or troubleshoot any issues to avoid any issues during the event that wastes time!
As the webinar begins, webinar hosts can use slides at the beginning of the presentation that introduces the company and what they do. The hosts can also link their social media platforms right on the page, so guests can have access to the social media to connect. If there are any announcements that need to be made, be sure to do this at the beginning to help with guests asking any questions throughout the event!
One thing you should be sure to do is record the entire webinar! This can help as the webinar can be used as a resource in the future. Webinar hosts can refer back to the webinar for anything they need. This recording, as well as the slide show presentation, can be sent to the guests, too! They can also use the recording as a reference tool, especially if there was an aspect of the event they enjoyed. If there were guests who registered for the webinar but could not attend, you should still send them the recording- they shouldn’t have to miss out just because they couldn’t attend the event!
The theme in which you host your webinar should reflect in your webinar marketing! Webinar themes can be a panel discussion, a Q&A session, or a keynote speaker with breakout rooms. When you create your webinar goals, you should plan your webinar format around that! For example, if one of your webinar goals is for your guests to learn about a new product, then choosing to have a product demonstration with time for questions at the end is the way to go.
When you need to get together a guest list for your webinar, you can think about your target audience! There may be people who have attended your events in the past, and they could potentially be be a great guest for your webinar. Using email lists from past events can help form a guest list for your webinar. You can also use social media to market to your target demographic.
When the time comes to create goals for your event, make them achievable and relevant to your webinar. The goals you set and track can help you determine if your webinar was a success or not. As you set your goals and as you achieve them, you can check them off on your goals checklist. At the conclusion of the event, you can then use feedback and your goals checklist to deem your webinar a success!
Where a webinar is held completely online, you are going to need a stellar virtual event hosting platform. When you choose to host your webinar on the right platform, your webinar will run flawlessly. Using up-to-date computer software will help you run a webinar that your guests will benefit from.
Polls help webinar hosts ask questions to the guests and receive honest feedback. Make the poll questions relevant to the content within the webinar and ask questions to the audience like what they took away from the event. This gives webinar hosts a better understanding of how well the event went through the eyes of the audience members!
After the event is over, be sure to send out follow-up emails to your guests. Follow-up emails show your guests that you care about them attending the webinar, and you can also ask them their opinion about the webinar, too. Be sure to leave a place for the guest to write down any comments, thoughts, or suggestions for events in the future.
Body language is something to be mindful of when you host any type of event, virtual or in-person! If your body language is closed off and uninviting, your guests won’t want to engage with you. However, if you keep your body language open and friendly, guests will be more likely to engage with you.
On any of the marketing for your event, be sure to add a call-to-action button! This button can invite your guests to register for events, purchase tickets or add the event right to your calendar. Call-to-action buttons bring guests even further into your event website, instead of clicking out of the email without taking any further action. According to WordStream, CTAs that create a sense of urgency for visitors have a 14% higher click-through rate than CTAs that don’t.
Now that you have read all of the webinar best practices on how to host a webinar, you’re now ready to start the planning process! It may seem difficult to host a webinar, from choosing the right audience to choosing the right platform to host one. You want your guests to be engaged with the webinar, as they will retain so much more information when they feel involved. When your webinar has the target audience, the right topic, and a moderator, it will go off without a hitch. Keeping your audience engaged is the most important thing to focus on, and by following these steps, you will have an engaged audience attending your webinar they will never forget!
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