Have you been thinking of how to organise a successful webinar and grow your audience while doing so?
Like every creator, entrepreneur or small business owner who has ever hosted a webinar, your first thought is probably, “Forget it! I’m not ready!” Trust me, I know this. It’s difficult to feel ready when you don’t even know what you’re doing or why you should host a webinar. So, I’m going to teach you all you need to know to create a successful webinar in this guide. You can stop fretting and start building already!
Webinars are great for engaging with your audience in this day and age. Your audience;
- Don’t have to travel miles to attend. They don’t even have to leave their desk.
- Can confidently ask questions without having to speak into a microphone.
- … and more.
For you – the organiser;
- It’s a great way to engage with your audience and build trust and authority by providing value.
- You can capture attendee details and build quality leads for future sales.
- … and more.
When you know how to go about creating your first webinar, you’ll be excited when the sign-ups begin coming in, and itching to go live already – not fretting.
Without much ado, here are some parameters you need to put in place to create a great (first) webinar;
What Is A Webinar?
The word webinar is coined from two words WEB + semINAR. That said, a webinar is essentially a web (online) seminar. This online seminar is usually in the form of a video (either pre-recorded or live), which you share with your audience.
For a lot of businesses, webinars have been an integral part of their digital marketing strategy. Because with webinars they can offer lots of value to their audience and at the same time sell their product to them.
Webinars are typically 1-hour in length, or 30 minutes, depending on what is being taught. To teach larger concepts, webinars can also be broken down into series of 15-30 minute videos.
Why Should You Create A Webinar?
There are a host of good reasons businesses create webinars and why you should. Among them are;
- To build authority.
- To grow your email list.
- To sell your already existing digital products.
- To generate interest (pre-orders) for your new products.
Let me give you a typical example of how a web designer, for instance, can use a webinar. You can host a webinar titled “Web Design 101: Setting Up Your Website for SEO.” During this webinar, you can talk about SEO, internal linking structure and tips to build a highly optimized website. At the end of your webinar, you’ll let your audience know that you have 5 spots open for new clients – and give them a link to sign up if they’re interested in your services.
Out of 350 attendees, I bet you’ll get 10 sign-ups (at the least), if your audience where convinced by the webinar, that you know what you’re doing.
What Can You Use A Webinar For?
Organising a webinar should start with an end goal in mind. You can organise a webinar for anything at all. But what can you really use a webinar to achieve? As mentioned before;
- You can use webinars to grow your email list
- You can use a webinar to sell digital stuff online
- You can also use webinars to get pre-orders for your new product
Now that you know what a webinar is, what you can use a webinar for and why you should create a webinar, let’s dive into how you can organise a successful webinar.
How To Organise A Successful Webinar
To start organising your webinar, there are some considerations you need to make and questions you need to answer. These considerations and answers will depend on your product, your type of business and your marketing strategy. Answering these questions will help you decide on a topic for your webinar, and to choose the right webinar software. The questions are:
- Do I want to host this webinar alone?
- How many co-hosts or panelists will I bring onboard?
- Will attendees be able to unmute themselves and ask questions?
- What day of the week will be perfect for my webinar?
- What time will work best for my tribe?
- Am I selling something, building my email list or building my authority?
- What does my community want to learn about?
While not exhaustive in itself, these questions (and their answers) can give you a firm footing, help you clearly define your goals, and know what to expect from your webinar.
Here are the steps to organise a successful webinar:
1. Choose The Right Topic
Ask yourself, “what questions are my audience needing answers to?”, “what questions are my customers asking while deciding on whether to buy my product or not?” Then create a webinar that answers these questions. The right topic for your webinar, will come from the questions your target audience are asking.
For inspiration, you can throw the question open to your audience. Give them 3-5 topics and ask them to choose what they’ll like to hear you speak on. Their answers will lead you to understanding what their top pain points are. And from this, you can craft a webinar that solves their biggest challenges, while linking to your (paid) solution to their problem at the end of your webinar.
2. Choose The Right Tools
To organise a successful webinar, you’ll need the following tools;
- Webinar software platform
- Email marketing tools
- Landing page builders
- Slide deck tools
- Survey tools (optional)
- Payment providers (optional)
To know which of these tools is best for your webinar, you can start by answering a few questions, like;
- Which of these tools do I need?
- What key features of this tool makes it best for me?
- What’s my budget?
- Will I manage this tool myself or will I need an assistant?
- Do I have time to learn how to use a new tool?
- what resources are available to help me navigate this tool?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you should be able to narrow down your focus to the tools you really need to make your webinar a success.
Here are some free and paid tools you can consider for a successful webinar.
Free And Paid Webinar tools:
What to Look For in The Best Webinar Platforms: High quality audio and video, number of attendees per webinar, screen-sharing features, does it offer replays, email features, audience engagement features like Q&As, user polls, etc.
Free And Paid Email Marketing Tools
What To Look For in The Best Email Marketing Tools: Easy integration with other tools, great reporting features, tagging and segmentation, ease of use (even for a beginner), lots of great-looking templates, and so on.
Free And Paid Landing Page tools
What To Look For in The Best Landing Page Builders: The best landing page builders are easy to use, have A/B testing tools, great design and customizable templates, analytics and can integrate well with other software.
Free And Paid Slide Deck Tools
|Graphic River||Slide Smash|
What To Look For in The Best Slide Deck Tools: The best slide deck tools are easy to customize, formatted appropriately, and designs are on-brand.
3. Set Up The Webinar
There are usually about five phases to setting up a successful webinar;
- Webinar Day Preparation
- The Live Webinar
Let us explore these stages in more details.
This phase refers to all the processes you will need to plan and execute your webinar, including setting up the technical aspects of your webinar. Once you have determined what your webinar topic is, give yourself between four to eight weeks of lead time to put everything in place. During the setup phase, you will;
- Choose your webinar date
- Select and reach out to panelists (if needed)
- Define what tech (software and gadgets) you’ll be needing
- Setup the registration page
- Write a confirmation email and set it up in your email service provider.
- Create the event using your webinar software platform of choice.
Here at DienyeDiri.Com, we use our own Run A Successful Webinar Checklist, which keeps us on track with everything we need to do from week 8 to the webinar day. You can quickly grab this checklist using the form below.
The question that pops up mostly during this phase is “what day should I host my webinar?” According to DataDrivenMarketing.Co, the best days are Tuesdays to Thursdays. You can also conduct a poll or ask your audience to know which day works best for them.
The promotion begins immediately you determine in the first (setup) phase that all is set. During the promotion phase, you will focus on promoting your webinar to your email list and on social media. Promotion will involve sharing your registration landing page with your audience.
If your webinar will have panelists (co-hosts), invite them to share the landing page with their audience as well.
Webinar Day Preparation
This is the D-day. The day you’ve waited so long for. On the webinar day;
- Send out your final invite
- Make some noise about your webinar on social media
- Get yourself in the right mood and mindset to present
- Arrive like an hour early to test (again) your equipment and webinar platform.
The Live Webinar
This is your moment. Make sure your audience gets the best of everything you promised. During the event, share your screen, a deck, your face, or a combination of all of them. You can also engage the services of a virtual assistant to moderate your chats, engage your audience, ask/answer questions, etc.
The follow-up phase is where you send out emails thanking your attendees for showing up. You should also send out emails to your webinar registrants who couldn’t show up for one reason or the other. Ask them why they didn’t show up, offer them links to your webinar replays if your webinar software provider has that feature.
If you offered a product/service during your live webinar, here’s also where you remind them to buy or ask them why they didn’t buy. This stage is the most critical stage whether you’re selling something or just trying to build trust by offering your community more face-to-face time with you.
How Do You Make Sure People Show Up For Your Webinar?
Imagine that after putting in 4-8 weeks of work, fine-tuning your content and organising your webinar, you show up on the webinar day, only to see ’empty seats.’ This is not ideal. And for a first-timer, it can send the wrong signals to your ego.
So, to avoid organising a webinar that will be attended by just you and your friends, here are some helpful things to do;
Tell Everyone About It
Telling everyone about your upcoming webinar might sound too obvious, but you can get so caught up with life and the technical aspects of hosting a successful webinar, that you forget to share your event with your friends, family, colleagues and on social media.
Don’t make your webinar your best-kept secret. Promote it like your life (and future) depends on it. You’ll be surprised what this simple step can do to the success of your webinar.
Make Use Of Webinar Directories
Webinar directories are websites (free and paid) that allow you to share your webinar on their platform. That way, you can reach newer and wider audiences.
Directories like Eventbrite, All Conferences and TellOnline can be the largest driver of sign-ups to your event. Eventbrite can also help you market your webinar.
Leverage Social Media
If you don’t have a large email list, social media can be your (next) best bet to drive traffic to your event. Combine the use of images and text in your social media post. You can use graphic design tools like Canva to create beautiful (shareable) images. It has lots of great-looking templates to spark your design inspiration.
Know Your Audience
It’s not just enough to go on a social media sharing spree. You have to be strategic with your promotion. Think about your ideal client/customer/audience – where do they hang out, what do they look like, what’s their income level? Having these information about your audience will help you decide on the best way to promote your event.
Try Video Ads
Video-based ads are more likely to drive targeted traffic to your event landing/registration page. So, try that method of promotion, as you’re sure to drive more eyeballs to your webinar registration page.
Send Enough Emails
The average email user receives tons of emails every day. This has been described as inbox overload. Because of inbox overload, businesses are wary of sending out too many emails.
But how many emails is too many?
Send up to 4-5 emails in the lead up to your event. If your recipients will unsubscribe, the will unsubscribe anyway. One of the emails should be the last reminder on the event day.
Use your emails wisely to drum up excitement for your event and make sure invitees show up live.
Everyone likes a freebie. You can organise a special bonus for those who show up or stay till the end of your webinar. Your incentive might be a free ebook, a discount on their purchase or a free 15-minute consultation. Just do whatever works for you (and your audience).
How To Organise A Successful Webinar – The Conclusion
Organising a webinar might seem daunting at first, especially if it’s your first time creating a webinar. But the best way to approach it is to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. Having a plan, and a checklist of things to do and when to do them, can help keep you on track.
Webinars are usually worth the effort, and is one of the smartest ways to grow your email list, generate pre-orders for your new product, and boost sales of your already existing digital product. Webinars work, that’s why everyone is using it these days.
While considering a webinar platform to use, it is wise to consider a webinar platform like Demio – that allows recording and allows you to share a link to your recorded webinar after the event. Also webinar tools like LiveStorm and Zoho Meeting – that have hand-raising, chat feature, polls and Q&As can be great for audience engagement. Don’t ignore them. Webinar software tools like WebinarNinja – have email marketing fully integrated into its platform and you can use it instead of signing up for a new email marketing software.
Lastly, organising a webinar that no one shows up for can be disheartening. Use every marketing trick in the book to promote, but make sure you know who your audience is.
I hope this article has given you reasons to host a webinar and has been able to teach you how to organise a successful webinar. Here’s to your success!
Last Update: March 8, 2023 by Dienye Diri
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