How to Run a Successful Webinar Programme: Online and Offline

Webinars are becoming one of the favourite weapons in the marketer’s arsenal to reach the selected target. I am sure every marketer knows the 4 Ps of the marketing mix (price, product, promotion and place) , but how many are familiar with the rule of the 3 Ps? Ok, the se 3 Ps are not for marketers only they have a wider appeal and a vast range of opportunities for use. The 3 Ps are : Preparation, Preparation and Preparation.

The results from the recent lead generation survey conducted by a LinkedIn B2B marketers group help us to better understand how B2B marketers are adjusting to new challenges. To help identify new trends and best practices it included the question “What do you consider the most important aspects of an effective B2B webinar?”

The report, by the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, revealed that 48% of marketers believe a successful webinar starts with well-developed content and 46% – with effective pre-webinar promotion. Among the 600 responses, 43% went for post-webinar promotion and 36% for recruiting the right presenters.

webinar_report

 

Off-line Preparation

Is the webinar the right tool for you? If you or your colleagues can answer positively and justify the answer, then keep reading. Although webinars are a powerful training and outreach tool, your decision to use them should be based on your established marketing strategy and the needs of your buyers.

Is your target audience interested in the subject matter? Do they have the time you will need to cover the topic? Consider your other options. A small seminar, an online course or a day long course might be a better option. Keep in mind that your audience will lose interest faster online, especially if you are planning on a webinar longer than 2 hours. Structure the webinar in smaller chunks and cover less topics but more thoroughly.

Is your presentation ready to kick-ass? Tell a captivating story. Be visual and (above all) relax and be yourself. Ensure that you stick to one color palette throughout the webinar deck, and try not to make it too overwhelming.

Do you have a colleague who has already run a webinar? It’s always a good idea to ask them for help. Or if you have a special presenter delivering the webinar, ask them. Don’t be afraid to ask whether they agree that a webinar is the right format for your topic. They might have other ideas worth exploring.

Is everything ready for the presentation? Before you start, fully test your audio, video and slides. Ensure that your slides run smoothly. If you have more than one presenter, make sure their slides are seamlessly incorporated. If you plan on using a survey or a poll during or after the presentation, make sure it is ready. Don’t forget to test the recording process too.

Do you have an accomplice? Recruit a colleague to join the webinar to help you with the “dirty work” like take care of the attendee chat. Get them to join the webinar as a regular participant and they can let you know whether if the connection is lagging or the sound is bad.

How well do you know your presenters? Make sure you review their biographies and be ready to introduce them at the live event.

Appear off-line: get your computer ready! This means: no backups, no Dropbox, no notifications, no Skype or Slack. Make sure you are plugged in. Remove kids and pets if you are at home. Turn off the phone or put it in Airplane Mode. Vibrations can be distracting.

 

On-line Preparation

What else did the report reveal as hints for for creating a successful webinar? “Making the webinar available on demand” ranked highly with 32%. “Setting objectives for the webinar and meeting them wa”s the answer for 22% of the respondents and 19% said there is a need to crea”te a compelling registration page. Of “course, there are those 21% of marketers who don’t use webinars.

Do you interact with your audience before the webinar? This is part of the preparation. An important one at that. Get your audience excited before the webinar in whatever way you can: tweeting, sharing the event on Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to create a special hashtag for your event and promote it. Check beforehand whether your hashtag is being used for something else. You can even ask people to post their questions and comments in advance. During the webinar, the hashtag will help you create a community and start a buzz. Furthermore, it will be an easy and convenient way to gather the Q&A. You can later use the hashtag to answer all answers and comments.

Did you mention your speakers and company Twitter handles? Use their social following to increase yours. Furthermore, using social media the audience will have a chance to communicate with the speakers directly. Make sure the speakers and companies handles are given in the promotion of the webinar and during the presentation itself.

How about a prize or a giveaway? Consider giving away something, and promote it. How about a service you can offer? It’s a great way to secure more leads.

Do you run successful webinars? What other suggestions do you have?

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