A good webinar is one that has been well thought through and planned. A good plan starts when you narrow down and focus the message and desired outcomes of the webinar, schedule with enough time to market effectively and choose the format (and time) that best suits your target audience.
“Creating a successful webinar goes beyond thinking: ‘I’m going to do a webinar, it’s going to be 30 minutes, I’m just going to get on and speak.’ That’s akin to you sitting on a stage unprepared and just talking at the audience with no specific aim or intent. You’re going to get very average results.”- Suzi Dafnis, CEO, HerBusiness
Webinars can be a great way to increase your online presence and interaction with existing and potential clients. These considerations when planning a webinar will ensure your webinars ‘hit the target’:
What are your motivations?
Get crystal-clear on your why you are creating the webinar. When you ask: What is the purpose of the webinar? your answer might be:
- To generate leads and attract potential clients to my business/services
- To sell a particular or new product or service
- To carry out a joint venture with another business (and earn a profit from the venture)
- To sell ‘tickets’ and use the webinar to raise revenue
Whichever your intention, having a good, clear, ‘why’ will allow you to focus your efforts.
What will you deliver in your webinar?
After the justification for running the webinar has been realised, decide on the webinar’s role towards an end goal in your business. For instance:
- Is this webinar a sales pitch? If it is, then designing it with the sales process in mind (this is an ART!) is essential.
- Is it for educational purposes? Great. Think about the target audience and the learning experience. Most webinars are mostly audio with some visuals. Your audience could be in an environment where they can be distracted by incoming emails, texts, others in their office. Understand the learner and build the webinar to keep attention while you impart education.
- Is it part of a larger campaign? Does the webinar serve as an entry point to a much larger goal. For instance is it just one cog in a complex customer nurture program? Or is it a stand-alone thing you’re doing.
Being clear on the role the webinar plays in you achieving your business goals will ensure, again, that your efforts are really focused.
What webinar format is best for your outcomes?
There are many figurations for the structure of a webinar, all of which can be extremely effective.
- One presenter speaking singularly to an audience. This style can create an authoritative tone and a showcase for one person’s expertise.
- Two presenters speaking to each other or to an audience. This style can create a more conversational and relaxed tone.
- A panel of presenters with a moderator. This style can provide the audience with a multitude of diverse perspectives. The moderator’s role is to keep things moving along and to facilitate interaction.
All styles can include audience questions — a great way to build social and interactive elements into your webinar. Once the webinar content is decided, then logistical issues can be addressed.
Is the webinar LIVE or on demand?
Almost all Australian Businesswomen’s Network webinars are live with live Q&A with the audience. Automated and on demand webinars – where the client can choose the time and date they watch are also popular and can be effective. Most ABN webinars become available as on-demand webinar and made available for those who missed the live event and want to still learn the topic or from the featured speaker.
What time of day will the webinar be?
When considering timing, consider your audience, first and foremost. What times are they most likely to engage. Is the weekend a better time, evenings or on weekdays at 11am? If your audience is largely people who work 9-5 on a weekday; then perhaps the webinar should aim towards afternoons or a weekend when someone’s schedule might be more free. Not sure what times are best for your audience? Run a short poll or survey (tools like Wufoo forms and Survey Monkey are great).
How much lead time do you need when planning your webinar?
Timing is also a significant consideration when it comes to planning your webinars. How far out from the ‘live’ date should you announce your event? The amount of lead time you need depends on where the webinar fits in your overall plan, your marketing schedule and also the webinar’s purpose. A free webinar might require less time to market as it doesn’t demand a financial commitment . People can make a faster decision on whether or not they want to participate. A paid webinar might require more marketing time in order for you to generate the desired level of income. Increase the effectiveness of your webinars by considering your aims, content format and timing before your webinar marketing launches in order to achieve the best results. Ready to run your own webinars and have questions? We’d love to help. Leave a comment below or emails us, here. HerBusiness recently held the How to Create Great Webinars webinar which shows you how to design, plan, market and monetise your own webinars. Learn more and access the recording, here. Free access for Premium Members