If you’ve hosted a few webinars, you’re probably familiar with that sinking feeling you get when you realize your promotional efforts didn’t pan out, and you’re talking to three people, a bot, and someone who thought your topic, “The Magic of Pi” was a baking show.
Webinars can be potent additions to your outreach and authority-building efforts, but only if you plant sufficient eyeballs on the other side of the feed. Your parents and spouse can beef up your numbers only so many times before you recognize that you need an actual audience.
So what’s a budding webinar producer to do? Reading this article is a good start.
Strong Content Is the Foundation
When you talk about maximizing a webinar’s impact, you have to specify who you’re referring to. Because a well-designed webinar should not only be impactful for your audience, it should also have a dramatic effect on your lead generation efforts, and by extension, your business.
These aren’t separate effects. To maximize your webinar’s impact on your bottom line, you first need to maximize its impact on your audience. Because a boring webinar that’s light on content and heavy on sales will shed participants quickly, and you can forget about word-of-mouth and reprise viewers.
On the other hand, an entertaining, dynamic presentation that contains just enough content to keep people’s interest and whet their appetite for more will drive lead generation, boost sales, and establish a vibrant audience that sees you as an expert in your field.
So before you pick a date or send out a single invite, you need to make sure that your topic will resonate with your viewers. You want something broad enough that it will appeal to a wide range of people but also focused enough that it solves specific problems and presents actionable solutions.
Remember too that people are connecting to see you as much as your presentation. Webinars are all about personality. They should be fun, exciting, and entertaining. If you sound like the teacher from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off you’ll be met by crickets on the other end.
Build a Landing Page to Collect Your Traffic
A landing page is a simple, one-page website designed to inform about a specific topic. In this case, you’ll use it to introduce your webinar and let participants register.
No matter how you promote your presentation, your CTA should drive visitors to the landing page. It should answer every question they’re likely to have as well as build excitement around the event.
Most importantly, let people know why they should attend. Build value by letting them know what they’ll learn and what that knowledge will enable them to do. By the end of the page, they should have a clear idea of how their lives could be better by spending half an hour with you.
Promote Like Crazy Through Every Channel Available
Get the word out early and often. Send invitations to your email list and promote your webinar on all of your social media feeds. Make sure to sprinkle in mentions whenever you post on related topics.
Create a blog post that announces your webinar, giving a general overview of the content you’ll be covering. Be sure to include a CTA that drives them to your landing page. Over the next few weeks, add other blog posts that examine facets of your webinar topic, reminding people to sign up.
If you have the budget, you could promote with PPC and other paid advertising efforts. Be sure to bid on keywords that are directly related to your webinar topic. Sprinkling those same keywords into your blog and social media posts will help to cement your placement in search and get your webinar in front of people.
Be sure to send out reminder emails to your existing list and those newly added through your promotional efforts. The last thing you want is for people to sign up and then forget to show.
Build Excitement Early On
And by “build excitement,” we mean “give away free stuff.” A good topic and strong copywriting will pique people’s interest, but the promise of freebies usually clinches the deal.
In addition to the topics you’ll touch on during your presentation, promise some kind of exclusive content, like an eBook or a checklist for attending. Advertise that you’ll be holding contests during the presentation and let people know what they could win.
Freebies are a great promotional device as well. You can drive social spread by promising entrance into a drawing if people tweet about your webinar or hashtag it on Facebook. Make sure you mention that the winner must be present during the webinar to collect their prize. Do everything you can to drive attendance.
Don’t Skimp on Your Equipment
You’ve chosen a great topic, developed an engaging presentation, and successfully built excitement around your event. The last thing you want now is to ruin everything with a technical snafu.
Your presentation is everything. If it lags, hitches, or drops attendees, all of your hard work will be for nothing. So do your research. Make sure your hardware is sufficiently powerful and reliable to handle your streaming load. Choose a high-quality camera and mic. Pick an attractive environment and light your set for dramatic effect.
Production value counts for a lot. If your shot is ugly and washed out, or if your on-screen graphics are garish or hard to read, people will assume you’re a fly-by-night operation. They may prejudge your content and drop out before you get the chance to win them over. First impressions can make or break you.
Make Sure to Follow Up
After your webinar, send out a follow-up email to thank your attendees for joining you. Include a summary of the content you shared as well as a plug for your paid material. Consider offering a discount if they purchase within a specific period of time after the webinar.
It’s also a good idea to include a link to watch again and forward it to friends. From this point forward, your webinar is an asset you can use to drive engagement. Every so often, promote it through your social and blog channels. You could also forward the link to invitees that didn’t attend as well as people that registered but didn’t show up.
To sum up, your webinars will sing when you create an engaging presentation that’s tailored to your target audience, promote it with a multichannel approach, and then deliver a solid experience that drives future views.
Or just feature a roomful of kittens wrestling with toy mice. That never fails.