A successful webinar is one that contains uniquely fascinating content, is promoted astutely, and is positioned and distributed in the way best for you. This guide takes you through what is required to maximise the immense possibilities of a webinar.
The rise of the webinar over the course of the past 10 years represents one of the most important evolutions in content marketing. It is a strategy central to any content campaign that aims to be comprehensive, interactive and wide-reaching.
A recent report by the Content Marketing Institute found that webinars were rated the second most effective method of reaching audiences.
The number one strategy for content marketing effectiveness? In-person events. But sometimes this is not practical, therefore webinars are playing an increasingly important role. A webinar allows you to save money, reach an extremely diverse audience that is potentially scattered all over the globe, and offers the chance for in-depth, high-quality content. Perhaps most importantly, a webinar is an interactive experience that opens a dialogue between your organisation and your audience/market.
So how can you ensure you capitalise on the myriad advantages webinars offer and make your webinar a genuine success?
Deliver value above all else
In the context of webinars, ‘value’ refers to the advice, information or revelations that attendees will take away. The webinar must remain focused on, and consistently return to, the key points you intend to get across. If you are coordinating a webinar in which multiple speakers are presenting, it is vital to ensure they are united by a priority to serve attendees by providing clear, concise, accessible and innovative ideas – value.
Delivering value and focus begins at the earliest stages of planning a webinar. It is better to have a narrow theme than a general one; specificity, detail and streamlined presentation all ensure the audience’s needs are prioritised and genuinely advance discussion in your industry.
Once a strategy for delivering value has been established, the other important question is regarding positioning. This essentially refers to whether and how you charge people to attend your webinar.
On one hand, offering webinars for free can seem attractive, given that the costs of holding a webinar can often be minimal and that it is reasonable to assume that no charge equals higher attendance.
However, in the world of webinars, a fee being charged can often represent value to a customer. Furthermore, if you are hosting a sponsored webinar that is free, potential attendees may be put off by the belief that sponsorship can equal commercials.
How to position a webinar depends on the nature of your subject area, the target audience, your own expenses and more. One option could be to offer a heavily discounted subscription rate for a series of webinars, while also charging a one-off rate for non-subscribers.
There are plenty of options. But whatever pay model is chosen, it is crucial that the quality and value of the webinar’s content is never compromised.
The promotion game
Webinar promotion is built on a number of familiar strategies, including establishing an email database of customers or potential customers and a consistent and imaginative social media presence.
Another method of promotion is the creation of sharable statistics and infographics that emerge from the webinar for distribution via the abovementioned channels.
Finally, to maximise your webinar’s potential, it is essential to have the webinar available on-demand after the event (advertise this), making your work an ongoing resource and allowing interested parties who can’t attend the ‘live’ event to benefit from the webinar at a later date.