Firstly, what is a webinar? A webinar is an online seminar that anyone with an internet connection and the correct software can host or join. They are usually hosted by a presenter who might be joined by one or more guests who speak about a topic. Webinars are usually no longer than an hour and include visual aids such as slideshow presentations. They usually end with a Q&A session, whether that is of questions sent in before recording, or if it is a live webinar, questions sent in during the webinar.
Benefits of Webinars
One of the main benefits of a webinar is they are location flexible. The main presenter could be hosting the webinar in one location, whilst the guests and audience could be based around the world. This can help to attract a higher number of people hosting an in-person event in one location. Webinars are also appealing as they can give people access to industry leaders/influencers who they might not be able to get to access otherwise. It can also give the opportunity to ask them questions during the Q&A.
For a company, webinars can help them establish topic authority. They can share their knowledge and expertise with the industry in a more engaging way than with just blogs. This authority can also build trust with potential clients. They give a face to the business and shows potential clients that the company is knowledgeable about their area. A webinar with great content should teach and sell at the same time. The content should teach your audience what they want, either your products or services, so by the time you make the offer, they already want it.
Although not all the audience will want your product or services straight away, webinars are a great way to generate new leads. People expect to have to register for a webinar, usually with a name and email. Having signed up to your webinar, you know they are interested in what you are teaching, your products or services. You should follow up after the webinar with a SlideShare or a recap blog post to keep the audience engaged.
Measuring how effective a webinar is
Before the webinar finishes, you need to ensure there is a clear and easy call to action. What is the next step you want your audience to take once they leave the webinar? Provide a link on your webinar and in your follow up email so the audience can easily go to where you want them to on your website. Whether that is to sign up for a free trial or download a report or guide.
Without setting any goals for a webinar, there is no way of finding out how effective it was. Once a webinar has finished, there are some metrics you can look at to find out if the goals you set have been achieved:
- How many people registered?
- What were the top sources of registrations?
- How many people actually attended?
- How much time did they spend watching the webinar?
- How many conversions have taken place?
Creating an effective webinar takes time and planning. You need to ensure the topic is relevant to your target audience, as well as ensuring the format is right and you have a great guest presenter/s who can provide value to your webinars and audience.
In order for your webinar to be effective, you should:
- Listen to your audience
- Play to your strengths
- Follow up
- Repurpose your content