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How to create and promote a webinar: A step by step guide

How to create and promote webinars the right way might be what your business needs to stand out. Hosting an event has become easier since the advent webinar hosting platforms. As a result, you can now host a virtual event or exhibitions without having a physical space or paying for rentals. The constrains of proximity is no longer a problem. Since the event is hosted virtually, everyone that has the the invitations can join and participate.

Most marketers are now implementing webinars as part of their marketing plan. A recent study by CMI reveals that 72% of B2B marketers use video in their marketing strategies. Also, according to Cisco, videos will represent 82% of all internet traffic. Therefore, if you have no started to unleash the power that webinars have to offer. The best time to start is now.

Type of webinars Delivery

Your webinar can be:

  • Live Webinar. As the name implies happens in real-time. The audience has the opportunity to connect to the host in real-time; answer their questions if any.
  • On-Demand Webinar. This service records webinar automatically and is usually offered as a replay. This means after the webinar, the audience can still register for it, and receive a link to the cloud recording. Although, this method can be less engaging because the audience cannot take part in live chat or ask questions in real-time. Nevertheless, this ensures that your webinar is always open for any new registration to participate.

How to create a webinar a step-by-step guide

Step1. Select a topic

An insight into what your audience wants would determine if your webinar will be successful or not. Therefore, rather than choosing a topic arbitrarily, you should focus on customer-centric topics that will attract a large audience and increase engagement. This can be done by gathering information from your audience on possible topics that solve a problem most of them are facing. Different ways to choose a customer-centric topic include polls, FAQ, surveys, etc.

Step2. Design content

The content should be designed in a way that is easy to understand and engenders engagement. The call to action is usually at the end of the webinar. Therefore, your content should follow a purposeful flow. So as to encourage the audience to watch to the end. And thereby make an informed decision at the end.

Step3Create a compelling script for your webinar

A well-written script will ensure that your webinar goes smoothly. This ensures that you don’t repeat yourself. In addition, when you are conducting an interview or panelist webinar. It becomes more important to have a good script you can share with the panelist and guests before the webinar commence. So, you can both flow on the same pedestal. So therefore, have a script before you create a webinar.

Step4. Create a compelling presentation slide for you webinar

Depending on what you want. Using slides for presentation is not mandatory in a webinar. But it helps you better pass your message. Therefore, I will encourage you to use slides during your webinar presentation. In addition, ensure your slides are designed to better communicate with the audience. Your goal should be to show and not tell. Employ the use of more graphics than text because it resonates better with the audience. A very busy slide may end up distracting the audience rather than educate. Here are some tips that can help you come up with a nice presentation slide:

  • Summarize key points in slides

The main problem during a presentation is how to communicate information without making the slide too busy. A good practice is learning to summarize key points. When there is a need to provide more information, learn to create more slides rather than trying to fit too many details in a slide. 

  • An image speaks a thousand words

 A good presentation should have a balance of image and text content. However, when it comes to creating slides for presentations, visuals are very important. Have you ever watched an online video. where you are trying to read the slide content, in that process you miss the information the presenter is trying to communicate? This had happened to me often. 

  • Create readable slides

Many times, we want presentation slides that have the brand color of our business. However, this can be counter-productive if not properly managed. In a situation where your brand colors are too bright for a presentation slide. Pick a color-blind friendly palette of not less than 18pts and a plain non-competing background.

bad slideGood slide
  • User Chart & Graphs. Graphs and charts make storytelling easy. You can better visualize your data and analyze trends over a certain period of time in a way that that the audience can easily understand. Which is the sole aim of your webinar: To solve a problem for your audience in a timely manner. 
  • Incorporate Brands. Have you ever been to a sports stadium to watch a match? You will notice different advertisement boards on the side of the stadium. The people watching the match live at the stadium or the viewers at home, can’t avoid seeing these ads. Although, their aim is to watch the match. Take a cue from that. You are losing the opportunity to advertise or further reinforce your brand if you don’t incorporate your brand into your webinar. Throughout the duration of the webinar, you have the attention of all your audience. Use it well.

Step5. Be time conscious

Time is very precious if you want to create a good webinar. Most webinars are time-bound. Hence proper planning needs to be in place to be able to deliver the webinar at the stipulated time. This becomes easier when you design a script for each topic of discourse. Likewise, don’t forget to factor in time for your introduction, conclusion, and audience questions. Since the main goal of your webinar is to answer a specific question. Then it becomes very important to summarize each session and leave room for questions. This also leads to better engagement with your audience.

Step6. Choose a delivery method

After selecting an audience-centered topic and you are have created the webinar content. The next call is to choose a delivery method, that will be best to achieve your webinar goal. Most webinars are delivered in the following format:

Q&A Webinar. As the name implies, in this kind of delivery method, the presenter structure the webinar to answer the audience query. Most of the preparation for this kind of webinar is focused on question gathering. The presenter can be an industry expert in a certain field of discussion, or may even be from your organization. So, the presenter gathers question from the audience before starting, sort the question by relevancy, and prepare answers accordingly.  

Educational Webinar. This is by far the most popular kind of delivery method. Most times, the presenter gives a lecture with a background slide and voice over. So, the audience can take a snapshot of slide images and also take notes. They are very easy to create and gives an opportunity for the presenter to show expert knowledge in a certain field. Educational webinars can, however, be less engaging if the presenter doesn’t look for ways to engage the audience. Experience webinar presenter tries and engages the student by giving the audience the opportunity to participate through Q&A sessions and polls. 

Interview Webinar. This kind of method allows you to interview an influencer or seasoned expert in a certain field. Usually, the presenter gathers a list of questions he communicates with the guest before the webinar. Then, they can both discuss the answer and work together to ensure the webinar goes along as planned.

  • Panel Webinars. Instead of a single guest on your webinar, you can have a panel discuss a topic. This is an opportunity for you to network with other professionals or entrepreneurs in your field, and grow your audience. It affords the audience to see a topic from a different point of view, and have a more fulfilling experience. It is a good practice to have a moderator to charge of the panel discussion. Also ensure that the panelist has an idea of how many people will be co-panelist, and the time allotted to each person to answer a given question. 

Step 7. Create Engagement

The act of creating engagement has to be deliberate when you want to create a memorable webinar. Part of the reason why webinar is popular these days is that it creates room for engagement. If not for the engagement it creates, then it is going to be like any other online video. Therefore, it is best practice to encourage active participation among the audience and with the presenters. In addition, engagement of this kind, helps you stamp your feet down as an authority in the topic of discussion. 

  • Entice the participant to come to the presentation prepared by posting questions, resources, and/or articles about the presentation ahead of time
  • Interact with the audience by leaving time at the end of the presentation for questions
  • Encourage active participation by asking simple questions that allow them to practice poll and discussion features. This allows the audience to be familiar with the platform before the webinar starts properly.

Step 8. Choose the right webinar solution

The choice of the right platform would determine if your webinar would be successful or not. However, the word “successful” in cannot be determined unless you have a well defined goal. Also, any good platform must engender good communication. Here are some tips on choosing a webinar hosting platform.

  • Pricing. It is a good practice to have a budget for your webinar. With a budget in place, you can better pick a webinar solution based on it. Most webinars charge a monthly fee, and give a discount when you buy a yearly subscription. Therefore, if your plan is to integrate webinars into your marketing effort, and you will be churning out different webinars regularly. It is good you pick the subscription that better suits your need.
  • On-demand webinar. According to ON24 webinar benchmark report, the attendance rate of live webinars stands at 46%. This implies that about 54% of the registered participant will not attend the webinar. This can be due to inconvenience or a conflicting schedule. If your webinar is available on-demand, it means people can always use the link to watch the webinar whenever they are free. This is very important especially, for sales webinar a prospect can watch during their conversion journey.
  • Mobile Friendliness. There are many devices people use for sake of convenience. Many people connect and watch videos with their phones and tablet. Purely for the sake of convenience. Therefore, before you choose a webinar platform, check if it is mobile friendly.

How do I promote my webinar?

  • Use your e-channels. To promote your webinar, the first thing to do is to utilize your e-channels. Design a good page banner, write a blog post, post about it on social media. Create a buzz about it on all your e-channels. 
  • Email. The best way to promote your webinar is by email. If you have an email list – fine. If you don’t, then you need to be working towards that. It is good you learn to filter people that have registered for your webinar out of your email list. Choosing the right email marketing platform, you can send the proper mail to them. You can send a reminder mail to registered participants. And continue to send promotional mail to those that are yet to register.
  • Social Media Promotion. There are billions of social media users monthly. So, if you are looking for ways to promote you webinar, it is very good you start to look along that way. Most especially when you are just starting with your webinar, and you don’t have an email list. Paid advertising on social media is a good way to start. In addition, you can leverage your organization network, industry influencers (if you have any on your webinar) to promote it.

Equipment you need to publish your webinar

You may have a good content, but to create a webinar to will convert with good audience experience. Then, you need to choose the right equipment . The success of your webinar goes beyond content design and having a good script. You also need to invest in the right equipment or you may end up destroying your hard work. Although, it is not always correct that the right equipment must be the most expensive. It should be good enough to get the job done.

Here is some basic equipment you will need create a webinar:

1. Microphone

One thing you should avoid is the temptation of using your PC microphone. It is usually associated with background noise and the “humming” sound that comes with it. That alone, makes your webinar looks unprofessional. It is true that people are more interested in what you say. But they are also interested in how you say it. Getting a good microphone make sure you deliver your content in a clear and good manner.

2. Webcam

 A good camera makes your visuals come out good. Therefore, it is a good practice to invest in it. Also, it makes your video look professional, like someone who knows what s/he’s doing.

3. Internet Connection

Webinars are conducted on the internet. So, one thing you need to be in a good condition is your internet connection. Actually, the experience of your audience hinges on this. Because a bad internet connection always leads to buffering which can be frustrating to your audience. An internet connection of 4 Mbps upward should be sufficient.

4. Headset

The same way you speak via a microphone. It is important you use a headset. Especially, when you are conducting an interview. You speak with your microphone and listen with your headset.

What to do on the day of the webinar

This is the big day. You should gather all the materials you need for the webinar at least 1 hr. before the webinar. Also, you should log in a few hours before the webinar to test your equipment to make sure they are in good condition. Another place to focus on is the network connection. It is advisable moderator have a different internet connection from the presenter. So, if there are any network glitches, the webinar can still continue.

What to do after the webinar

The success of your webinar cannot be ascertained at the end of the webinar alone. What you do after it is also a determinant to judge the overall success.

Follow-up Survey

This will help the presenter to know what the audience like and don’t like so the presenter can make improvement in the future. It also creates an opportunity to know what the participant plans to do with the information they have.

Link to Webinar Materials

According to the infographic produced by Readytalk, the average webinar attendance rate is 40-50% of the registrant. This means a huge percentage of registrants will not be attending the webinar. Therefore, you need to create a link to the webinar resource that participants can refer to as soon as it is over. Also, you can afford the participant to watch the video over again. Webinar material can include:

Link to Recorded Webinar

  • Link to Recorded Webinar: If you have not started implementing video marketing into your marketing plan, the good time to start is now. You can share the link to videos hosting site like YouTube to allow people to watch or make your webinar available on the webinar platform on-demand
  • Link to Webinar PDF. After the end of the webinar, you can create a pdf file of the summary pages and slides. That the participant can download easily after the webinar.

Conclusion

In recent years, video marketing is a growing trend in virtual event and online marketing. Webinars is an opportunity to tap into the power of video marketing and engage your online audience around the world. This article talks about how to create and promote your webinar in a step-by-step guide.

3 thoughts on “How to create and promote a webinar: A step by step guide”

  1. Thanks for the article. It is very comprehensive. But how can I promote my webinar through email list, if I’m just starting with using webinar as a marketing strategy

    1. @dorcas, you are quite right. To get a faster result. You can first run an online campaign to collect emails. As a result, build an email list you can send reminders.

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