Business professionals are increasingly turning to virtual online events for engaging prospects, customers, employees and stakeholders. Whether you are hosting a 45-minute webinar or partaking in a half-day virtual event, virtual online events are a very budget-friendly way to reach your audience. So, what is a webinar? A webinar, delivered via the web, can happen in real-time or on demand. So, there might be a particular time that the webinar takes place or it could be recorded ahead of time and therefore, served on demand. Webinars typically last for 30 to 60 minutes. They are typically a slide presentation format much like this video, with sometimes a five to 10 minutes of Q and A.
And it can include one speaker or a panel of speakers. And webinars generally focus on thought leadership or best practices. You can certainly have webinars that are very product-focused but I do recommend for lead generation and acceleration that your webinars are mainly thought leadership. So, how should you think about setting up your webinar calendar? So, I would recommend to start by hosting one to two webinars per month. It definitely takes a little bit of time to really build that muscle for webinars.
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Start small and then think big eventually. Choose a webinar platform that suits your needs. There’s a variety of different platforms out there. Do some vetting. We have ReadyTalk, ON24, GoToWebinar, Facebook, Appear.in, Skype just to name a few. Create a webinar calendar in Google Docs, Excel, or even an in-office whiteboard just to make sure that everybody knows what’s going on and when and that there is a good amount of keeping track of what webinars are happening.
Determine who in your organization is a good speaker. You most likely don’t want just one person in your organization doing all of these webinars. There might be many more people than you think that are actually interested in doing webinars. So, for me, I like my almost my entire marketing team to be speakers and to be on webinars that focus on the different topics that they do. So, by having more speakers in your organization, that helps you really scale your webinar program. And then, determine what partners you might ask to speak on webinars.
So, what partners do you have that are complementary solutions to your company that you could invite to speak on webinars and then also speak on their webinars. So, the more of these speakers you have, the more you can ramp up your calendar. But again, start small when you’re thinking about building this process out. So, webinar planning. So, how are you thinking through how to plan your webinar? So, the first thing, of course, is deciding on your topic.Consider coordinating these with content releases. I find coordinating these with content releases is very successful because you have something else, another CTA for the person to do,plus you likely already have a lot of that content.
You need to choose your speakers. So always choose subject matter experts either internally or externally. Write your webinar abstract. So, you will need this for promotion. Make sure that you have an abstract that talks about what the webinar is about and who is speaking. And also make sure that you develop an eye-catching, interesting headline. Develop your landing page.You want to make sure people have a way to sign up for the webinars. And make sure that you put that landing page on your website, into your different programs.
Plan your webinar promotions. You need to make sure that you have a good webinar promotion cadence and that you’re thinking through all the various steps. And then make sure that you’re training your speakers. Always make sure to sync with your speakers so that they understand your webinar platform. You might luck out and have speakers that have used your platform before; however, always good to have those consistent syncs. So creating the right presentations. So, knowing your audience is important. Understand what your audience wants to hear about.
Always keep it entertaining. Remember, you’re trying to get people to not get distracted during these webinars. So, by continuously entertaining them throughout, that’s a great way to keep them engaged. Use imagery on your slides, eye-catching slides are always the way to go. Don’t make your slides too wordy. You want to make sure that you’re not reading things word-for-word and that you do have things to add. Include your Twitter handle and tweetables. Something I think that works really well throughout a presentation is to have pre-created tweetables that are 140 characters that people can easily copy.
And then leave time for Q and A. The audience will often have questions that they do want to ask the speakers. So, by leaving time for Q and A, you can get everyone’s questions in. So, the other thing that’s really cool about webinars is you can actually repurpose your webinar content. And I definitely recommend that you do do this so that you can get more bang for your buck. Make sure that you’re posting your webinar recording to your website resources centerafter your webinar is done. You can create a landing page that actually hosts your webinar content with a form so that if people want to download the on-demand content, they can fill the form out.
You can email a link to the webinar recording to all registrants. You can add the webinar recording into your email nurturing program. You can use this in content syndication, if applicable. And you can also actually take the webinar content and create an ebook out of it, if it’s a very good webinar with content that flows really well. So, what other online events can you do aside from your own internal webinars? Try sponsoring a paid webinar. So, there are many vendors that are organizations in your industry that might offer a paid sponsorship where you can use your content and pay for it and then they promote their webinar out to their audience.
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You can try being a speaker for a partner webinar. Try being a speaker for a customer webinar. Or consider sponsoring a virtual event. A virtual event is simply a much larger, multiple-hour webinar where there is likely different speakers and different tracks at the same time and this is just like a trade show but online.