A presenter hosting a webinar

What is a Webinar and How Does it Work?

Hosting a webinar is always a great idea to reach a large audience from anywhere in the world. We’ll go over the many benefits and how webinars work in our blog!
Hubilo
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November 30, 2022

These days, virtual events are on the rise and, in some cases, have taken over in-person events. There are so many different kinds of virtual events - one of them being webinars! In this blog we’ll cover everything about webinars - including how they work, the different benefits, and the many kinds of webinars you can host. 

What is a Webinar? 

A webinar is an online event that covers any kind of topic in the form of a presentation, training, workshop, and more. Almost anyone can host a webinar, including businesses, trainers, entrepreneurs - the list goes on! They’re a great way for guests to learn valuable information while meeting new people in their industry. Webinars are typically held on video hosting platforms that include different interactive capabilities for guests to get involved. Due to its virtual nature, you can invite anyone from all over the world to watch your webinar and gain valuable information. 

What are the Benefits of a Webinar? 

There are many benefits to holding a webinar that you may not have even thought of! We’ll go over each one: 

<span class="mid-size-title">1. Build Your List of Contacts</span>

By hosting a virtual event like a webinar, you’ll be able to network with a number of people in your industry. Both the guest speakers you have and the viewers who watch your webinar can become valuable contacts as you go forward in your professional career. 

<span class="mid-size-title">2. Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert</span>

Hosting an event where valuable information and insights are shared will set you apart as a reliable expert in your industry. You can provide solutions to any problems in your industry and establish yourself as an industry pillar. 

<span class="mid-size-title">3. Provide Shareable Content</span>

When you host your webinar, make sure you record the event! The recording of your webinar can be used as content to share on any social media platforms or emails. You can clip important parts of the event where valuable information is shared and post it for your audience to see. 

<span class="mid-size-title">4. Registered Viewers Can Become Leads</span>

Consider the viewers that register for your event as potential leads that are interested in your business! Utilize the information guests registered with like emails and phone numbers to contact them after your event with offers and additional company updates. 

<span class="mid-size-title">5. Train New Employees</span>

Holding training sessions in the form of webinars can be extremely helpful, especially for new employees who like to visually and audibly learn! You can talk through important parts or issues rather than present them with pages of text, which for some might be more beneficial. 

<span class="mid-size-title">6. Build Brand Awareness</span>

Webinars allow you to get as granular as you’d like with branding. If the virtual event platform that you use offers branding services, even better! You can customize the brand experience for everyone and develop a great brand voice. 

Building a brand identity for use in webinars

How Does a Webinar Work? 

Your webinar can be as customizable as you want. Depending on how you’d like to share information and what your webinar is about, you can present documents like voice notes, videos, presentations, and more with viewers. Viewers will be able to view and interact with your webinar as long as you have engagement capabilities within your hosting platform. They’re a great way to build lead generation if you get all the necessary information, like emails and phone numbers, from your webinar attendees. 

Webinar Types

There are a variety of different types of webinars to choose from. Depending on the topic of yours and what your goals are, choose one that works the best for you and your audience!

<span class="mid-size-title">1. Educational Webinars</span>

Holding a webinar that focuses on teaching something in your industry or about a certain issue is a great idea! For these kinds of webinars, we recommend preparing a presentation with informational slides or/or a whiteboard video for visual learners. 

<span class="mid-size-title">2. Product Webinars</span>

A webinar centered around your latest product is a great way to share information and give your audience an extra look into what your product is about. You can educate the audience on every product detail, highlight the benefits of your product, and answer any questions they may have. It’s a great way to obtain potential leads as well!

<span class="mid-size-title">3. User Onboarding Webinars</span>

A webinar centered around onboarding customers is a great way to get users familiar with your software! Just make sure to have screen sharing capabilities so you can show users what you’re doing on your platform. 

<span class="mid-size-title">4. Employe Training & Team Meetings</span>

Holding a webinar to train new employees or host team meetings adds an element of fun! This is especially helpful if your team is partly remote or too big to fit into a meeting room. 

Webinars are  great way to have an engaging virtual team meeting

<span class="mid-size-title">5. Lead Generation & List Building Webinars 

Webinars are a great example of a way to build up your lead generation list. Have a certain type of guest in mind and once they register for your webinar with emails and phone numbers, you can go forward in promoting your business or product. 

<span class="mid-size-title">6. Customer Retention and Nurturing Webinars 

Just as it's important to host webinars to gain new potential leads, you should be prioritizing the customers you already have! Building those relationships with the customer base you already have will give them a sense of reassurance knowing they chose a company who cares about them learning new information or keeping up with your products. 

Webinar Formats

There are a number of webinar formats you can choose from. Choose the best one that suits your business, your audience, and goals! 

<span class="mid-size-title">Live Video </span>

This is the most popular kind of webinar and the one that’s great for increased engagement. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Pre-Recorded</span>

A pre-recorded webinar is a good option for topics that are evergreen. With pre-recorded webinars, you can also share previews of the webinar with guests to highlight all the important information they’ll get at the virtual event. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Text</span>

Text chat features are a smart addition to your webinar. With this feature, you and your guests can interact in real time to talk about the topic at hand. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Whiteboard</span>

A whiteboard can be used during a webinar to visualize the information that’s being presented. Presenters can use this feature to draw out and explain the topic they’re speaking about to their audience. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Surveys & Polls</span>

Keep your audience captivated by incorporating surveys and polls into your webinar. Check that the video hosting platform you use has these beneficial features before you plan out your webinar!

How to Promote Webinars 

Once you have the majority of your webinar planned out, the next step is to create a promotional strategy that generates buzz and registrations! A digital promotional strategy for your webinar can make all the difference; email, social media, website promotion, and videos are all great ways to promote your webinar.  

<span class="mid-size-title">Email</span>

Email is a useful tool to get the word out about your webinar during all the planning stages. When you’ve decided a topic for your webinar, send out an announcement email telling guests to anticipate the event coming soon. Once you have more concrete details, you can send out emails detailing the event and include important dates, like when the early bird registrations are and when regular registration is available. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Social Media</span>

Utilize social media as much as you can for your virtual webinar! Similar to email, letting guests know that you have an important event coming up and keeping them up to date during all stages of the planning process will be beneficial for everyone. To build up excitement for your event, create a hashtag that people can use pre,post, and during your webinar event! 

<span class="mid-size-title">Your Website</span>

One of the most crucial spots to promote your webinar event is on your company website. Include the same information you’d promote everywhere else - even make a separate page dedicated to the event! Include links for registration and the benefits of attending your event to get potential attendees excited. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Video</span>

 Video content is quickly taking over the promotional landscape, and your webinar is no exception! Create a promo video to share across all your promotional channels like your website and social media to increase registrations and build up excitement. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Providing An Engaging Webinar Experience </span>

A webinar doesn’t have to just be your audience watching a presentation - there are so many ways you can make it engaging! Check if your webinar hosting platform has engagement features like live chats, polls, and group discussions. Have attendees talk about the event online with a custom hashtag that you can share during your webinar as well. 

Ensure your webinars are engaging and fun for all participants

Webinar FAQs

1. Are webinars live?

It depends! You have the option to make your webinar live or pre record it ahead of time. If it is a live event, you should consider recording it for the attendees who can’t watch it live and for promotional purposes afterwards. 

2. How long should a webinar be?

Typically, a webinar usually lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. However, every webinar is different! If you feel your presentation can last longer and you can keep your attendees engaged, then going over an hour will not be a bad thing. 

3. Are webinars interactive? 

Webinars can be very interactive! Some video hosting platforms have engagement features that you can utilize for your virtual webinar event, such as live polls and live chats. 

4. Are webinars effective? 

Webinars are one of the most effective events for teaching information about a certain topic or specific product. 

5. How to record a webinar? 

Depending on what video hosting platform you choose, most of the time they will have the option to click a record button once you start your webinar. This is a great option to share the valuable content later on for promotional purposes and for those who may have missed it. 

6. What is an evergreen webinar? 

An evergreen webinar is one where the information that is discussed and recorded can be shared and remain relevant for a long period of time. An evergreen webinar is a great way to expand your audience reach since the content can be viewed at any time. 

7. How to make a webinar engaging and effective? 

There are many ways that you can make your webinar more engaging and more effective. One of the most important ways is how you present during the event; the more passionately and enthusiastic you talk about your topic, the more your audience will be engaged and understand what you’re saying. Make eye contact with the camera as if the audience was there in person and don’t read from a script if you can. Include engagement features like live polls and live chats with your viewers to keep their attention as well. 

8. How to make webinars interactive? 

There are so many ways to make a webinar interactive for you and guests! Include a live chat feature, set up breakout rooms, send out polls during the event, hold a contest, and let viewers ask any questions during the event. 

9. Webinar and online meetings: what's the difference? 

The main difference between a webinar and online meeting is the interactive element. With meetings, it typically includes one leader who delivers information while the other attendees listen. With a webinar, you can add engagement features for the audience members like live polls, contests, chats, and breakout sessions. 

10. What’s the difference between a webinar and webcast? 

Webcasts are typically pre-recorded presentations that are shown through online platforms like YouTube or television. Unlike a webinar, there’s no audience interaction during a webcast and is solely just a broadcasted event. 

<span class="mid-size-title">Conclusion</span>

Hosting a webinar is a great low cost way to spread information to a large audience without having to worry about in-person event details. Choosing the right hosting platform is what can make or break your webinar; a platform like Hubilo allows you to include a number of engagement features so your audience can connect with one another and with your speakers. Use our series of webinar blogs to create your best webinar yet! 

Author
Hubilo

Hubilo is the event professional’s event platform for live, hybrid, and virtual events. Founded over 5 years ago to revolutionize engagement at in-person events, the company makes it easy to bring people together anywhere, anytime. Hubilo’s powerful engagement features, personal client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K events and counting. Headquartered in Bangalore and San Francisco, Hubilo’s nearly 400 employees are dedicated to co-creating the world’s most important events: yours.

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