By Guy Gourevitz
Webinars are an invaluable resource for marketers; this particular format has become vastly popularized in advertising circles. The reason for the noticeable uptick in webinar usage is relatively obvious: Webinars provide businesses and entrepreneurs with an incredibly scalable and interactive application for generating leads and sales, while simultaneously engendering a more intimate atmosphere among prospects from around the globe.
Coupled with the fact that video content is currently white hot with internet consumers, webinars are poised to continue their role as a major driver of business goals over the next several years.
While webinars are powerful tools for achieving an array of business goals, hosting an objectively successful webinar isn’t exactly a no-brainer. To help in this task, here are 5 obligatory elements to hosting a crazy successful webinar.
#1: The Right Platform
In today’s technology-rich social landscape, there are no shortage of options for webinar services. Selecting the right platform can be a complex and challenging task, as each has their set of pros and cons and each business has its own unique needs.
If a brand opts for a low-cost solution, Google Hangouts might be the right call. However, this type of solution doesn’t tout the same features that a premium alternative offers.
Assess your organization’s needs (Email marketing options? Sales features? Audience engagement options?) and adopt the service that best matches those requirements. But don’t scrimp on your platform if you plan to use webinars as a primary marketing tool
#2: A Focus on Content
Want to know a sure-fire way to tank your webinar’s viewer rate? Focus on your sales pitch over the webinar’s content.
It’s understood that if you are a business owner paying to host a webinar, you are looking to generate as many leads and sales possible. But if you sacrifice the quality of your content for the sake of sales, you are going to lose your audience’s interest and trust. Apply this maxim to the entirety of your business.
To assemble a satisfying body of content for your webinar, focus on 3 key areas:
Presentation takes into consideration the appearance of your webinar. Does it look professional or slapped together? Do you have a spotty internet connection with frequent stalls or drops? Do you have a pile of laundry sitting on your bed in the background? Users will judge you on these things. This again emphasizes the need for a proper webinar platform.
Through storytelling, you seek to entertain your audience while presenting your materials accurately and articulately. You don’t have to be JK Rowling to tell a great story, but if this feels especially outside your wheelhouse, consider hiring a ghostwriter or producer to help with your efforts.
Interaction recognizes the fact that this isn’t a monologue. Audience participation is vital if you hope to keep listeners engaged and prevent mindless Facebook surfing. During your presentation, ask the audience questions, take surveys, and implement polls. This engages users and makes them a focal point of the webinar itself.
Above all, do not talk about your product or offer until the end of the presentation section of the webinar’s structure. If you try to do this too early, you’ll turn people away. While we are on the topic of webinar structures. . .
#3: Optimally Structure Your Webinar
What is a webinar if not a structured attempt to share information and tools while generating leads? The key word in that sentence is “structured.” If your webinar is poorly ordered, it is likely to descend into chaos.
To prevent your event slipping off the rails, implement this four-part structure:
1. Introduction (10%): Here you will introduce yourself and go over what you plan to talk about and aim to provide to attendees throughout the presentation.
2. Presentation (70%): This is the bulk of your webinar; it’s what you promised to deliver in your blogs, ads, and other promotional materials. This section should be rich in valuable content that users can relate to and apply to their lives/businesses.
3. Sales Pitch (10%): After you have presented the bulk of your content, it’s time to pitch how and why your product or service can benefit the audience and add value to their personal or professional endeavors.
4. Q&A (10%):
#4: Practice Your Webinar
You’re paying to promote and host a webinar. You’ve (hopefully) sunk hours of your time into fleshing out, outlining, and creating a slide deck for your presentation. Now is not the time to wing it.
Set aside the appropriate time to rehearse your content, speaking style, and slide flow as well as familiarize yourself with the webinar platform you have adopted. If you don’t, and something goes wrong on the big day, it could ruin all your efforts.
Make sure you don’t have habits of speaking too quickly or going off on a series of unrelated tangents that could disrupt your presentation and audience’s interest.
#5: Have a Call-to- Action
If your webinar is going to be a success, you must let your audience know the exact steps to take once the broadcast is over. To accomplish this, you will need to implement a forceful call-to- action (CTA). Make your direction clear by sharing a URL to a relevant landing page, post a phone number to call, etc.
Additionally, if you have made an offer in your sales pitch, create a sense of urgency around that by implementing a deadline or limit the number of people who can claim an offer. You can also generate increased sales by including discounts on other items tied to your original offer.
Your CTA should inspire users to take action and provide them with unmistakably clear instructions on how they can act on your offer.
Webinars are now a staple in the marketing arena. Because of their power to engage folks in intimate settings while driving leads and sales, this video technology should not be overlooked by any organization, no matter the size or goals.
Integrate the trusted process listed here and watch your webinars attract and convert a treasure trove of new customers. This is a sure-fire way to propel your business to new heights of online success.
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