Hosting a Webinar 101

Down Arrow

A webinar or otherwise known as a webcast is a live, online lecture, seminar or workshop. The host (you) organises the webinar event and people register to participate and because it’s all done over the internet, this can be done anywhere in the world!

Webinar’s are a great way of reaching out to existing and potential new customers in order to communicate more information about your products/services or brand. A webinar should be:

Educational – your webinar attendees should be able to take something away at the end of your webinar event whether this be new content or how to use a tool etc.

Communicated properly – webinars are a great way to let people know more about your business, so make sure you can communicate your business’ message clearly to your audience. This includes the content you use and how you deliver it -everything you do in your webinar reflects your brand.

Engaging – your webinar needs to capture your audience’s attention otherwise they’ll just switch off. Consider who your audience is and what makes them tick, cater your webinar to their needs as this will help to build relationships and connections.

 people-woman-coffee-meeting.jpg

 

A Guide to Creating Your First Webinar 

 

Pre-Webinar –Set Up

Pick a great topic – a webinar needs to be interesting for your audience and relevant to your business. Select a topic that will draw people in, do some SEO research to identify what keywords you want to rank for, this is really helpful for your webinar landing page as well.

Get an awesome speaker – this may be yourself or a guest speaker you’ve invited to host the webinar, make sure this person is comfortable with ‘public speaking’ and that they are the right person to be representing your business.

Select a date – consider your audience, their working hours and time zones before picking a time. Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 12-3pm are typically the optimal times to host a webinar.

Choose a webinar system – you may already have an internal system, if not GoToWebinar is a great option to use.

Pick your team – get a group together to create, deliver and manage the webinar. Also, make sure you book a quiet room well in advance!

Set some goals – what do you want to achieve as a result of this webinar, perhaps some new leads? Have a goal for how many registrants you want to sign up and then also set a goal for the number of attendees you want to have –these numbers will differ.

Create a slide deck – compile a selection of slides to use in your webinar, make sure to include an agenda, images and a Q&A section.

Build a registration landing page – make sure you give your registrants enough information so they will want to sign up -use the who, what, when, where and why method to cover all grounds. This will also allow you to collect information about your participants which is useful for follow-up emails in the case of sending out materials or lead generation.

Send confirmation emails - send your registrants emails confirming they have signed up for your webinar, include an ‘add to your calendar’ button to help remind them nearer the time.

Set up your webinar - make sure you set up your event in your chosen webinar system ahead of time.

Promote your webinar - you should do this on all your available platforms including social media, email, your company website and you could even write about it on your company blog. Include links to the webinar’s landing page so people can register straight away. Don’t be afraid to use targeted paid advertising, this can be an effective method to help you reach your goals.

Practice – go through your webinar material and script several times with your team so you can identify any potential mistakes or problem areas you can improve upon before going ‘live’.

Remind your participants – some of your audience may have forgotten they signed up to your webinar so send them a reminder email the day before to ensure a good turnout. You may even want to send another email a couple of hours before your webinar with a link so they can access it easily; this also allows them to prepare themselves so they can watch it undisturbed.

 

pexels-photo-347700.jpeg 

Webinar – Go Live

Prep your room – go into your designated webinar room an hour beforehand to set everything up and make sure you’re prepared. Some of the things you will need, include the host’s computer, the moderator’s computer, internet connection, phone, water and a ‘webinar in progress sign’ for the door so no one interrupts you.

Review the ‘rules’ – makes sure your participants know what to do when they want to ask a question, some webinar systems have a direct message section, if not you can encourage your audience to use the hashtag on Twitter. This can be done on the welcome slide or announced when you first start presenting.

Hit record – make sure to you record your webinar so you can send it to your participants once you’ve finished.

Start talking – welcome your participants and kick off your webinar!

Host Q&A’s - be sure to leave time at the end to answer any questions your audience may have.

 

Post webinar – Finishing up

The end – after you’ve thanked your participants for attending, end the event and log out of the webinar system. Make sure you’re no longer recording or are still connected to a phone before you start talking.

Round of applause – give yourself a pat on the back for successfully hosting your first webinar!

Follow up – Immediately after your webinar, you should send thank you email to your participants for taking part. Then a couple of days later once you have reviewed your recording and slides, publish them online and send another email to your participants so they can access them.

 

light-sign-typography-lighting.jpg

 

Top Tips

  • Interact with your audience. It’s a good idea to interact with your registrants before your webinar to get them excited about it. A webinar hashtag, blog post or interesting email are great ways to do this. Giveaways can also help to create a buzz.
  • Do a sound check before you start. Make sure all of your equipment is in working order and won’t die on you halfway through.
  • Have a clear agenda. By using a clear agenda at the beginning of your webinar, it shows people what you will be talking about and allows them to prep any questions on those topics.
  • Share the load. Organising and delivering a webinar is a lot of work, so whilst you’re presenting let someone else manage all the behind the scenes details so you don’t get distracted from speaking.
  • Have your answers at the ready. It’s likely many people will ask where you found your research from so have your references prepared so you can answer them seamlessly.
  • Monitor your hashtag. You may use a hashtag to easily follow comments and questions on your webinar, have someone monitor this to answer them. A hashtag is also very useful in collecting feedback after the webinar.
  • Publish your recording and slides. After your webinar, participants will expect a link to the video recording and slides, make sure this material is live before you email them with links to it.
  • Repurpose your webinar. Cut sections of your webinar recording up to use as short videos on your website or social platforms, you can also turn your transcript into a fully search optimised blog post to increase your SEO rankings around your selected keywords. You could use the questions you were unable to use during your webinar and answer them in a separate blog post.

 

You’re all set, start thinking of a great webinar topic and you’ll have one up and running in no time!

SHARE
comments powered by Disqus

Get in touch today!

Start your project