Webinars are digital seminars that allow you to engage with your audience. You can use webinars to build brand awareness, generate qualified leads, or establish yourself as a thought leader.
Successful webinars have some common traits. They provide an innovative perspective on a topic relevant to your audience and engage their audience. This article will share eight tips to create and execute a successful webinar.
1. Define your target audience
The first step of a successful webinar strategy is to define your target audience. You can do this by creating a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. The buyer persona is a sum of the needs, likes, and dislikes of your audience. To craft your buyer persona, start by answering the following question:
- What are the demographic criteria that best define your audience?
- Define their values, attitudes, and interests.
- What is the core problem that is shared by my audience?
- Where can I find this audience?
- How do I reach out to them?
You can use a template like this to craft your buyer persona.
Buyer personas give you an insight into your audience. You can utilize this information to design a webinar that is both engaging and relevant to their needs.
2. Create a list of engaging topics
The topic for your webinar acts as the hook that catches the attention of your target audience. The topic you choose should address the pain areas of your audience, as identIfied in your persona.
Eventbrite.com is a useful resource when looking for relevant topics. Simply choose a big city, like New York, and search for topics based on your niche.
Topics that have a high number of registrants are probably a good topic to cover.
You can also research industry-specific forums on the internet and research keywords and topics that are trending. These forums will not only give you an insight on relevant topics, but they will also help in identifying prospective leads for your webinar.
Of course, the webinar should deliver on the promise you make to registrants.
That means you need to focus on delivering value to your viewers. People attend webinars to learn and gain experience. If your webinar succeeds in accomplishing those goals, your brand gains credibility, and you are likely to start converting your audience.
3. Define your goals and objectives
A successful webinar will always have defined goals and objectives. Goals define the intent of the webinar, while objectives are specific and measurable results that help you achieve your goals.
I recommend you use the S.M.A.R.T goals framework.
Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Goals are tied to organizational needs.
- Do you want to increase sales?
- Do you want to build your subscriber base?
- Or do you need to create awareness for your brand?
Objectives are the measurable milestones that help you achieve your goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase sales, your objective could be to generate $1,000 in sales from your webinar. Similarly, if your goal is to build your subscriber base, your objective could be to convert 25% of the attendees to subscribers.
Clearly defined goals and objectives for your webinar are useful for:
- Providing context and a sense of direction
- Enables you to measure the success of your webinar
- It makes managing the webinar a smooth and cohesive task
- Provides you with a target to aim for
Your goals and objectives give shape and direction to your webinar. They help you consider the outcome you want to achieve.
4. Create Your Marketing Resources
Once you’ve decided on your topic, you need to create relevant marketing material for the webinar. One of the first things you’ll need to create is your webinar registration page. The registration page is the first step of your digital marketing funnel.
A webinar registration page serves two functions. It informs your audience of the topic, date, and time of the webinar. The second purpose of the page is to generate the largest number of registrants for your event.
Here’s an example of a webinar registration page for the Content Marketing Institute.
Here are some basic elements to keep in mind when you create your landing page.
First things first, you need a great headline.
The headline must catch the attention, and the copy must retain the attention. In addition to your headline, you should provide an overview of the webinar, providing information like:
- When you’ll be hosting the webinar – both the time and the date
- Who is the host
- What will attendees get from the webinar
- Webinar registration form
You can see the Content Marketing Institute registration page contains all of this information. The summary uses bullet points to highlight the key takeaways from the webinar.
In addition to the things listed above, you might include a short video on your registration page and some social proof. That is what Russel Brunson, founder of ClickFunnels, did in the example shown above.
Finally, you could add a countdown timer if you want to add a sense of urgency. A countdown timer can help increase your registration conversion rate.
5. Create Your Registration Emails
The next step is to create your email campaign to promote your webinar. You should create a series of emails to send to registrants. Sending a series of emails will improve your attendance rates.
The data above is from a test run by Wild Apricot. You can see that sending multiple emails before the webinar significantly boosted attendance rates.
If you decide to send multiple emails before a webinar, I recommend you use the following sequence:
- Send your first email immediately after registration
- The second email 24 hours before the webinar
- An email one hour before the webinar
- Final email as you launch your webinar
You don’t have to send four emails. For example, you could just send a registration email and an email one hour before your webinar.
Your initial registration email should provide a brief overview of the webinar. You want to thank people for signing up for the webinar and provide a brief overview of the positive outcomes.
6. Promote Your Webinar
You’ve now picked a topic for your webinar and created the necessary marketing material. The next and arguably most important part of the process is to promote the webinar.
The first step in promoting your webinar is to determine the most effective marketing channels. I recommend you play to your strengths. For instance, if you have a popular website, then promote the webinar on the website. If you have a strong presence on social media, promote the webinar through social media.
That part should be straightforward.
Equally, if you are running a webinar in collaboration with another company, ask them to promote the webinar through their marketing channels. So that’s step one.
Next, you need to consider how to reach people who have not heard about your brand or are only vaguely familiar with your company but might be interested in your webinar. It’s going to be more difficult to reach these people.
There are various ways you can try to promote your webinar. The most direct way is through direct outreach. For example, if you were running a B2B marketing campaign, you could create a list of prospects from LinkedIn.
- Define your target persona
- Create a list of suitable companies you want to target
- Identify who in those companies you’d like to attend
- Send a message to those people inviting them to attend the webinar
- If they don’t respond, use an email finder like Find Emails or Voila Norbert to get their details and send a follow-up message
That approach is straightforward but time-consuming.
Paid ads offer an alternative approach to direct outreach. Assuming you have enough registrants, you can create a lookalike audience based on people who have signed up for your webinar. You can then run paid ads.
Whatever approach you decide to go with, put effort into promoting your webinar.
7. Prepare Your Webinar Script
The final thing you need to do before you launch your webinar is create a webinar script. Your webinar needs to have a structure and deliver value to your audience.
It should be crafted based on everything we have discussed thus far:
- Buyer Persona: Consider your audience and the tone of your script.
- Goals and Objectives: Think about what you want to achieve.
Second, you need to create a broad outline for your webinar. An outline will help you organize your thoughts. It will also help you achieve your goal.
The example below is the webinar sequence used by Russell Brunson, founder of ClickFunnels, to sell expensive courses. The goal of this webinar script is to establish credibility with your audience.
Interestingly, Russel found that the more you educate your audience, the lower the sales.
If you’re interested in using this approach, I recommend you watch this YouTube video. The video is almost 2 hours long and takes a deep dive into how to sell via webinar.
If your goal is to share information with your audience, choose a different format.
There are plenty of great webinar templates you can follow. Spend a couple of hours researching different approaches, and then try to watch a few webinars of people implementing the approach.
Writing for a webinar is a bit like writing marketing copy.
Depending on the format you use, you might need to create slides for your webinar. The slides are a reference point for your webinar script. They will help you keep on track. Avoid creating an actual script for your webinar. If you sound like you’re reading a teleprompter, your audience will likely stop listening to what you have to say.
8. Practical Tips For Hosting Your Webinar
All webinars will need a host or presenter. There are some simple tips that you can keep in mind to become a good webinar host.
- Audio is an important element in any webinar. If your audience can hear you loud and clear, they will pay more attention to you and understand you better. Using a good quality external mic and conducting the webinar from a soundproof room will give you better audio quality.
- Practice makes perfect. Even if you’ve delivered the same script repeatedly, you still need to practice and compare it against your script to ensure that you’re not deviating much from it. Whenever possible, ask someone else to listen to you and provide feedback.
- Engage your audience. Online audiences tend to have shorter attention spans than audiences at live events, so you need to make things a bit more interactive. Ask your audience questions, show videos, and run quizzes to ensure that your audience is engaged.
- Maintain a conversational tone. It’s easy to lose track of your humanity if you’re talking to images on a screen, but your audience is composed of living, breathing people, and you need to talk to them as if they are right in front of you.
Your webinar reflects the way your brand does business, and when you deliver a good webinar experience, your audience will also feel the same way about your brand.
Finally, consider what you want to achieve at the end of the webinar. You should have some clear next steps for the end of the webinar. For instance, you might want to send attendees a thank you message for joining your event. Alternatively, you might send a series of emails where you try to sell a product or service.
Webinars are not just a fad. They are here to stay because many people realize that they are a convenient means of delivering useful information. However, to get the most out of this medium, you need to create a webinar marketing strategy that works.
Different marketing gurus will tell you different things about webinar marketing strategies, but your strategy should revolve around delivering value to your audience regardless of the details. From announcing and promoting the webinar to writing the script and conducting the webinar itself, you need to put your audience first and ensure that they get value from your webinar.