Webinar (synonym: online seminar, web conference) is an online meeting or presentation held via the Internet in real time. To put it simply, it is an online event, which connects individuals with viewers across the world.
The main feature of live webinars is interactivity, or the ability to discuss, send and receive information in real time. During an event, you can start polls, invite other participants to act as a presenter, communicate via online chat, share desktop and use a variety of digital materials.
- Start (Early) with a Partner
- Establish Great Expectations with the Team
- Be Clear on the Messages for Your Audience
- Produce a Value-Driven Video
- Promote Far and Wide
- Fulfil Your Promises
- Follow Up with Helpful Content
It’s one thing to create the perfect webinar with a topic that hundreds (if not thousands) of people will want to spend their lunch hour participating in. It’s quite another thing to actually get them to register.
As much as we wish the phrase “If you host it, they will come” were a reality, getting a crowd to both learn about and want to sign up for your webinar takes precision, patience, and practice.
1. Start (Early) with a Partner
Like most things in life, the best results come when you have a strong partner on your side. This not only gives you the chance to test ideas and develop a killer abstract, but it gives you the opportunity to combine promotional efforts and expand your reach.
It only gives you the chance to test ideas and develop a killer abstract, but it gives you the opportunity to combine promotional efforts and expand your reach. While you don’t always have control over how well your webinar hosts work with one another, you will get an indication of their chemistry early on. If things go well from the start, then all the better. If not, make sure the meeting happens far enough in advance — at least eight weeks — to be able to iron out any wrinkles.
2. Establish Great Expectations with the Team
To set the right expectations, everyone involved needs to be aligned about the following:
- What are the goals of the webinar?
- What is the measure of success?
- How many registrants would be considered successful?
- How many registrants will each party aim to bring?
- How many attendees would be considered successful?
- What are the target demographics for attendees?
- How big is your target list?
- What percentage of that list has attended webinars or similar events previously?
- What promotional strategies will be used?
- Who will host the technical elements of the event (landing page, webinar platform, etc.)?
- How will promotion and post-event follow-up be handled?
By setting the right expectations and being consistent with them throughout the setup and registration process, everyone involved in the event knows they can rely on each other.
Document your answers to these, as well.
This will help you as you go about writing promotional copy, setting an email and ads schedule, and making sure the nurturing/follow-up process occurs without a hitch.
3. Be Clear on the Messages for Your Audience
Our partnership had an advantage here as well since both companies’ databases contained prospects for one another. Segment your lists to match the messaging we created. Agencies and businesses have different needs, make sure you are clear on why each would want to give out their time.
How many emails do you get in a day (or even an hour) that seemingly have nothing to do with your interests? Our reason for tailoring the messaging was to ensure that the recipients knew exactly why we were emailing them and what they’d gain by signing up.
While the messaging changed based on the audience, your emails should start with addressing the problem the attendee is facing and then pivot to how the webinar can help. This formula allows you to create a custom message without reinventing the wheel each and every email.
When you’re crafting your emails, speak directly to your specific audiences, and if they need different messages, go ahead and create segmented lists. Talk to your recipients like a person, letting them know why they’re getting your email, why they should care, and how they should respond.
With larger audiences, chances are you might have a topic that appeals to a lot of people, but for different reasons. Highlight those in your messaging, and you’ll have much stronger responses.
4. Follow Up with Helpful Content
Once the webinar is done, sort the results.
Number of attendees: 300
Number of registrants: 700
Follow up with attendees and non-attended registrants, again segmenting the lists and tailoring the message. Provide content because we want others to succeed and the follow-up message contained the webinar recording as well as additional tools and resources that built off of it.
When planning your next webinar, think back to your last and ask yourself:
- Did you and your hosts work well together?
- Did you start early enough?
- Did you define your goals, audience, and messaging?
- Did you capitalise on your creative assets (including video)?
- Did you use every promotional option possible?
- Did your content live up to expectations?
- Did you follow up with attendees and registrants with helpful information?
If the answer to any of these is no, you may have a huge opportunity for growth.
Even with a webinar that everyone agrees is a success, make sure to document what worked (and maybe the few things that still need tweaking). That way, every webinar can be the thing case studies are made of.