New to Webinars? 5 Tips for Creating, Hosting & Presenting a Webinar

t’s been years since the web seminar, or webinar, became a buzzword for marketers everywhere. It transformed into one of the most popular and effective digital marketing tools because it’s an easy way to expand your reach, increase your audience and enhance your lead generation.

Of course, a webinar is a great way to show off your acumen for your respective industry, too.

Webinars have become an essential technique for both startups and seasoned veterans.

One of the many benefits is the fact that companies and personalities can communicate and engage with their target market at an inexpensive cost, whether it’s live or pre-recorded. Since you can talk directly to your market, both you and your attendees do not need to spend money on travel-related costs. Your audience could be bigger than what you would’ve had in person.

Another benefit to webinars is that it can be quite versatile. The theme or purpose of a webinar can delve into any area, whether it’s to educate your customers, introduce new products, perform an analytical session or examine potential markets. You can use the webinar for anything.

Many marketers have also discovered one thing: your webinar could help you expand your marketing initiatives, in forms such as an ebook, blog posts, case studies and newsletters.

When it comes to webinars, the possibilities are endless. You can promote your firm’s products, you can highlight your astute nature and you can reward your customers on video.

Ultimately, a webinar is multifaceted: cost savings, promotions or education. It’s up to you.

“Webcasting is a great way to get to an audience,” explained Dwight Smith, the Founder of Massage Doctor On Call, in an interview with Capital Liberty News. “We have used webcasting across Canada because it helps us communicate with individuals across the country.  It helps get the word out about our products and services and also allows people to participate.”

Now that you are entirely aware of how webinars can help your brand, you’re likely wondering how you can launch such a webinar. Here are five tips for creating, hosting and presenting a webinar for your company:

  • Test, Test, This is a Test
  • Pre- & Post-Webinar Interactions
  • Hone in on a Specific Topic
  • Choose the Right Webinar Format & Platform
  • Graphics Are Key

Test, Test, This is a Test

The most important thing to ensure in a webinar is that your audience can hear and see your content. If they are unable to fully experience the webinar then your reputation is already shot. A glitch-free experience will invoke confidence. So make sure the audio and video are set.

The best way to achieve this is to perform a dry run of your webinar. You should conduct a series of tests so you’ll be certain that your attendees and panelists will have a good time and not be frustrated, whether it’s live or delayed (you don’t want to waste your time, or theirs).

Here are a handful of things you can do before start to roll the cameras and promote your ideas:

  • Test your audio, video and slides before you hit record.
  • Invite guest panelists to join you for a test webinar so everything is perfect.
  • Run tests for all of your interactive features, such as challenges, polls and quizzes.
  • Will it record? Check it out to determine if there’s a usable video file.
  • Watch the test webinar to ensure the audio is in sync and the slides are working.

Indeed, it may be time-consuming, but you don’t want to ruin a webinar that’s been in the making for several weeks or months. This is especially true if you’re just starting out in the industry.

Pre- & Post-Webinar Interactions

Prior to the webinar date, you should heavily interact with your audience in order to get your participants excited for it. It’s also important to heavily promote it before the webinar’s date arrives. You can establish various marketing techniques, such as creating a hashtag for the event, writing about it in your email newsletter and composing blog posts outlining what you’re going to be talking about. Moreover, you can ask people to submit their questions for the webinar.

After the webinar has been completed and posted online, the interaction with your audience isn’t over yet. You still have to engage with them. You can solicit feedback or user reviews, you can pen ebooks and a series of blog posts regarding the webinars and send others who were unable to attend a recording of the event. Always be in contact with your audience on a regular basis.

Making your customers or readers a part of the process is always good so they feel included in your brand. If you ignore your audience then they won’t feel a connection with your company.

Hone in on a Specific Topic

In every webinar, you must hone in on a specific topic like a guided missile. You can’t discuss a variety of issues. The purpose of a webinar is to instruct your audience on a certain matter or to answer questions pertaining to a precise issue. Otherwise, you’ll be all over the place, your audience won’t fully grasp the webinar and you’ll be flustered because you’re trying to cover a lot of territory in a short period of time.

Instead, find a timely-topic, research it and tell them what they need to know.

Choose the Right Webinar Format & Platform

Now that you have your topic ready, your research compiled and your excitement going through the roof, it’s time to select the right webinar format. There are a number of different formats you can take advantage of to showcase your knowledge of the industry or make it simple for attendees. Here are several different options you can include in your webinar:

  • Panel discussion
  • Presentation
  • Q&A period
  • Product demonstration
  • One-on-one interview with an expert

After that step is completed, you then have to select the right webinar platform. A few years ago, the options were limited, but due to the overwhelming popularity of webinars, the number of platforms has grown and many websites are competing for your webinars. Since the list is immense, you can check this list out to determine what webinar platform is right for you.

Graphics Are Key

Let’s face it: our attention spans aren’t like what they used to be. Because of instant and varied access to all sorts of media and entertainment, our attention spans are smaller than goldfish. Yikes! What does this have to do with webinars? Hint: graphics, visuals and colors.

Since you’re commanding the attention of a few hundred or a few thousand individuals for around 15 minutes, you’ll need graphics and visuals in your slides or presentation to maintain their attention for an extended period of time. If it’s all text and talk then a good chunk of your audience will become despondent and uninterested in what’s going on. Be visual!

Here are a few tips to utilize in your webinar:

  • The textual visuals shouldn’t just copy what you’re saying. Just use keywords.
  • Your slides -sections, annotations and transitions – should move every 25 to 45 seconds.
  • Make your graphics bigger than the text in your visual presentation.
  • Try to incorporate as many graphs and charts in your webinar.
  • Engage your audience by including polls and quizzes in your webinar.

By inserting a good number of visuals, you can ensure everyone is entertained and informed.

Here are a few final tips to ensure you have the best webinar possible:

  • Establish a landing page for every single webinar you present.
  • Provide a brief description of what you’ll be talking about in the webinar.
  • Always have a video and audio recording of your webinar.
  • Try to add subtitles to the video element of your webinar for the deaf.
  • Offer a behind-the-scenes look of your webinar for your email subscribers.

Final Thoughts

As technology continues to advance and the way we communicate continues to evolve, the Internet keeps offering us all types of modes of delivery of information. With a tight budget and a strong appetite to learn, webinars will sustain its powerful nature because of this, even as we grow the online landscape.

Webinars are effective for businesses of all sizes, for personalities in all genres. It’s all about how you utilize webinars, how you market webinars and how you maximize webinars’ effectiveness.

Even if you aren’t a terrific public speaker, you should think about the old adage: practice makes perfect. Eventually, you’ll master the webinar and you can come up with all sorts of tricks to ensure your product is promoted, your brand grows and your audience is fully engaged.

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