The Components of Basic Webinar Design from Start to Finish

If you are planning to host a webinar, you should know that it requires a great deal of organization. In order to prepare yourself for your webinars, check out these key components of a basic webinar design.

 

Make Sure That a Basic Webinar is a Good Fit for Your Needs

 

Before choosing to use a basic webinar as your presentation platform, you need first to make sure that it aligns with the goals and objectives of your audience.

When you are trying to determine if a basic webinar is a good fit for your needs, you will fist want to consider the participants, your subject matter, and how long you will need to deliver the presentation.

Webinars work great for the right topic, but they are not suited to every type of presentation or training opportunity out there. Keep in mind that most audiences attending an online presentation will tend to lose interest after one hour.

If you are uncertain if a basic webinar is the right fit for you, consider contacting other experts in your field to inquire if they have conducted their own basic webinars. If they have, ask them for some advice relating to how you can maximize the effectiveness of your own.

You can also gauge the interest level of your potential audience by sending out a survey and making sure that they will be interested in what you have to offer.

Assemble Speakers and a Solid Support Team

 

If you are going to do your webinar right, it is suggested that you have at least three main people involved from the outset. This will include the organizer and facilitator of the basic webinar, the presenter, and an assistant.

Of course, the bigger the scale of the webinar, the more people you will want to have involved. Each person, however, will generally fall into one of these three categories.

The organizer of a basic webinar is the person who will develop the topic for the presentation. This individual will also locate the speaker, promote the webinar, set up the registration protocol, and communicate with each participant before the webinar and again once it has completed.

The facilitator will also introduce the speaker at the beginning of the basic webinar, and he or she will engage subject matter experts in an interview, moderate questions from the audience, and encourage the audience to participate in the presentation fully. This is a big commitment, as it can require up to 20 hours of time from start to finish.

Naturally, your basic webinar will include at least one main presenter. Many people will refer to this person as a subject matter expert. It is this person who will devote most of his or her time to the quality presentation of information.

If you are able, you will also want to have some assistants ready to help. This is particularly helpful if you plan on hosting a basic webinar that is expecting a large number of participants. Assistants can help members of the audience with any technical problems that they may encounter.

 

Choose an Appropriate Format for the Webinar

 

As you prepare your basic webinar, it is very important that you choose the proper format that works well for the topic and the audience.

There are several popular formats that you can choose from, beginning with one speaker. This is where a single presenter will speak and demonstrate the topic of the webinar. This individual will also be responsible for answering questions that the participants may ask.

An advantage of this format is that there will be fewer people involved the process that you will need to train to use the basic webinar program and online tools. A disadvantage is reflected in the lack of variety the results from having a singular voice and perspective.

Another popular webinar format is the interviewer. This is also where a moderator will come into place. He or she will ask a series of questions to a subject matter expert in a predetermined fashion. Members of the audience can also get involved by chatting in their questions during a live webinar.

An advantage of this is that the audience will stay more alert when they hear multiple voices. A disadvantage is that this format requires more people in order for the basic webinar to be scheduled properly, and these people will need to trained and well coordinated.

Two other formats that you can choose from include a moderated panel discussion and an interactive basic webinar. The former will involve multiple people participating in the online webinar at the same time, with a moderator serving as a facilitator to the discussion.

An interactive webinar will actually get the members of the audience to participate in a series of exercises and a discussion that is facilitated by the host.

 

Carefully Select Visual Aids

 

Since a basic webinar is online, you will need to make great use of audio and visual techniques in order to keep the audience engaged.

You do not have the benefit of gauging their physical reaction, so you need to do everything possible to ensure that participants remain interested and involved.

You will want to include graphics, animation, and pictures as appropriate. In sales presentations and business meetings, you can include colorful charts and graphs to illustrate your main points.

Choose Your Basic Webinar Tool

 

One of the primary considerations in developing an online presentation is the selection of the actual webinar software that you intend to use.

Within this realm, there are many aspects of the presentation itself to take into account. This begins with a determination of how many people you plan on having attend the webinar.

In determining your basic webinar tool, you will also want to consider the type of features that you require. This will determine your ultimate selection. For example, many programs will allow participants to dial in, while others will deliver the audio over the Internet. Some will even allow for a combination of the two.

 

Develop an Agenda for the Webinar

 

An agenda is a very important part of a basic webinar.

You have to remember that you need to have a hook to get people to attend the presentation, even for those who have registered long in advance.

This is often accomplished with the distribution of a detailed agenda that effectively builds the interest level in the webinar itself.

Be sure to outline the timing of the full presentation. Don’t forget to factor in any Q&A sessions you plan to host during the webinar.

 

Host a Practice Webinar

 

If you do not have a great deal of experience hosting webinars, it is important to host a practice session to make sure that everything is working properly.

This is also important just to ensure that all of the tools are working as they should and that everyone involved in the presentation understands his or her role in the process. You do not want to encounter any technical issues when the live webinar begins, so a practice session is a way to help avoid this eventuality.

A practice session should include an introduction to all of the tools and resources that your webinar platform contains.

Everyone who has a role in the basic webinar should be a part of the practice session to make sure that they have an understanding of the available features.

They also need to know who to turn to during the webinar if any issue comes up.

This is also the time to do a complete equipment check to make sure everyone has properly functioning equipment on his or her end.

Each presenter will be online from his or her own location and must attend a the practice session.

It is important that everyone has the proper equipment to perform his or her own part of the webinar well. Finally, a practice session is a way to go over the agenda, review the visuals, and make sure that everything else is in order.

 

Reserve All Necessary Equipment and Space

 

You do not want to overlook the importance of securing all necessary equipment and space to host a basic webinar. If you are in a business setting, you want to make sure that you have a quiet location free from distractions.

Everyone involved in the webinar presentation itself will need a working headset or web microphone.

You will want to avoid conducting any basic webinar using a speakerphone, as the quality of the audio is usually quite poor even if the room is quiet as a mouse.

If you are using a laptop, remember to have a power cord. Running out of battery power before the presentation ends could ruin an otherwise effective webinar.

Establish Registration Procedures and Payment Mechanisms

 

Now that you have everything in place for an effective webinar, it is time to establish registration procedures.

You will want to begin by determining if you are offering a paid or free webinar. This depends on the scope and purpose of your presentation.

Registration, at a minimum, will need to involve participants sending in their name and email address.

 

Market the Webinar

 

Marketing your webinar is a critical last step in this process.

You can put as much effort into the creation of a great presentation as you want, but it will all be for naught if nobody ever hears about it.

You can start with your existing email list.

Send out a blast that informs everyone of what you have to offer. You can also begin a social media campaign that revolves around Facebook. Digital marketing is an effective way of engaging and captivating a global audience, so you will want to put that into play as well.

As you market your basic webinar, you want to have prepared links that can take interested individuals right to an online registration form. This will increase your exposure and draw people into your presentation in higher numbers.

 

Conclusion

 

Following this suggested pattern of designing a basic webinar will maximize your chances of success.

Remember that webinars do have many advantages over in-person meetings, but must be properly executed to be effective.

Take your time in the planning process and make sure that you have all of your bases covered. Having done that, you are well on your way to an effective basic webinar, no matter if you have only two participants or thousands.

Also, sign up for a 14-day free trial of BigMarker to host amazing webinars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/10-steps-for-planning-a-successful-webinar

http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1710034

8 Essential Webinar Features Pro Hosts Can’t Live Without

Not all webinars are created equal. One must make use of a variety of webinar features available today in order to engage and captivate a potentially global audience. Here are eight webinar features that pro hosts cannot afford to live without.

 

Ability to Customize Each Webinar

As a host, you’ll want to choose a webinar software that allows you to customize all aspects of your webinar to emulate your company’s design aesthetic.

These webinar features will enhance the overall professional image that you are trying to project. It will also help your participants feel more connected with you as the presenter.

Customizable webinar features within a quality webinar software include: the ability to add in logos/branding, change theme colors, adjust the landing page layout, and customize invitation and reminder emails in one seamless format.

These are just a few of the areas that a webinar can be customized. The more customizable webinar features a webinar software offers, the better.

Ability to Upload Handouts

Your webinar participants’ time is valuable. Preparing your attendees for your webinar ahead of time is always a good idea. This principle goes for almost every type of online meeting or webinar imaginable; from comprehensive staff training to marketing presentations and virtually everything in between.

You will spend a great deal of time and energy getting people to register and attend your webinar. You’l want to provide them with a teaser that encourages them to show up at the appointed hour. This teaser can be something as simple as a handout.

Remember that everyone likes “free stuff”. If you are hosting a webinar for promotional purposes, a handout can serve as a free enticement to get participants to join your session. By the same token, staff members who are going to attend your webinar want to be prepared for the meeting in order to maximize their time.

 

Ability to Conduct Live Polls of the Audience

Polling is a great way to increase participant engagement in your webinar. Many webinar platforms today have live polling as one of their core webinar features, and for a good reason.

A poll provides presenters the opportunity to take a quick break during the webinar and obtain some instant feedback from the participants.

This will connect the audience to what is being said while providing a valuable opportunity for the presenter to know whether he or she is meeting the objectives of the presentation. You will also find that the type real time responses received by a poll will provide some much-needed input on important topics that are being covered during the webinar itself.

Polling and other engaging, real-time webinar features are essential for pro hosts because the results they generate can be useful in a myriad of ways. If you are giving a sales presentation, the sales team can use the responses that are given when they head out to follow up on leads after the webinar is complete. Future training can be tweaked, with certain items being changed or left alone, based on the feedback that is given by participants in real time. Beyond this, people enjoy polls. It makes them feel a part of something, and it gives them a rationale for participating in the webinar beyond just being a passive listener.

 

Ability to Use a Survey to Ask for Instant Feedback

A webinar should not be considered “over” once the final participant leaves the room. A good webinar host will spend time evaluating their presentation, analyzing what went well and what should be improved upon.

In addition to the analytics you collect from your webinar software, it’s also important to gain the perspective of your participants directly. Survey-related webinar features will help you achieve this.

You should be able to instantly send out a survey that is easy for each individual to complete right after the webinar has ended. You can ask a few questions that are appropriate to the material you have covered and are unique to your organization. This will allow you, as the host, to ascertain what the audience enjoyed about the webinar. At the same time, a survey will let you know what components did not have as positive an impact as you would have hoped.

A survey is useful in so many ways.

As a host, you need to gain the perspective of your participants because that will very likely determine future attendance. This is particularly true if you are conducting a sales oriented presentation, and is especially relevant if you are charging participants to attend the webinar. Many programs will give you the ability to ask up to 25 questions on a survey. The choice is up to you how many you would like to include, but remember that your participant’s time is valuable. They also may be unwilling to complete a lengthy survey, but will gladly take the time to fill in a shorter one for you. The responses will be worth it in the end and will give you some much-needed data as you go to plan your next webinar.

Ability to Record Your Webinars and Host Recurring Webinars

Not everyone can attend your webinar live, nor do they necessarily need to. One of the most useful webinar features professional hosts require is the ability to record webinars.

As a host, you want to make it as easy as possible for your registrants to view your webinar. When schedules don’t align it’s important to share a recorded version of the webinar for those who missed out on the live event.

Recorded content also has the added benefit of being “editable”. Editing your recording helps ensure your webinar is exactly what you want, prior to publishing it online for the world to see.

Webinars that have already been recorded are also a great way to increase your subscriber base. You can offer them online as an incentive for people to visit your own website and learn more about what you have to offer.

If you are in the education business, a recorded webinar can be sold to participants to download and view at their convenience. As you can tell, the possibilities are endless for a recorded, recurring, hybrid, and anytime webinar. As a result, this is one of the most important webinar features that no professional host should be without.

 

Ability to Share Your Screen With Participants

One of the biggest advantages of hosting webinars is being able to talk to participants around the world simultaneously. To be effective, however, the host needs to be able to demonstrate what they are talking about.

This has been one of the most commonly cited drawbacks of a webinar that participants have reported through the years. They appreciate the information that is being given to them, but they often feel a disconnect as a result of not being able to see certain items that the presenter is talking about.

However, thanks to modern webinar features included with many webinar programs today, sharing your screen is now a possibility.

By sharing your screen, you will not just be telling your audience important concepts. You will finally be able to show them. At any point during the presentation, you will be able to demonstrate what is taking place on your screen and every participant will be able to see it in real time. When you are ready to take away the screen sharing feature, you can do that instantly as well. This is also a useful feature when you are recording a webinar, as you can use your screen as a type of whiteboard. This increases the retention rate of information, and it also enhances the engagement level of the audience.

Ability to Add Seamless Email Integration

Webinars are online events that need to be subscribed to. The easiest and most popular way of doing this is via email. This is why a professional host needs to be able to integrate the functionality of a webinar within the context of most popular email programs in existence today.

This is a way to increase subscriber rates, as it will be easy for participants to indicate their interest in and sign up for the webinar. This feature should allow you, as the host, to automatically add those who have registered for the webinar to your email list. This will then generate a message from you to indicate important access instructions as the time and day of the webinar draws closer.

Currently, email integration works nicely with the following programs: MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, HubSpot, ConstantContact, and GetResponse.

You can use any of these and be able to email all registered attendees at any time effortlessly. At the same time, you can automate the process to have your email sent out at set times. Simply draft what you want to say and tell the webinar to send out the email at predetermined times.

This enhances the professional image that you are trying to project, in addition to keeping the participants informed of what is going on.

 

Ability to Add Social Media integration

It is no secret that social media has invaded nearly every aspect of modern society today. As a webinar host, you will want to put this to your advantage by integrating ads directly into popular platforms, such as Facebook.

A useful feature that you need to have, as a professional host, is the ability to add a tracking pixel, connected to Facebook, which will actually link ads directly to your webinar itself. This is a great way to increase your visibility and enhance your marketing potential. You will also receive analytical information that will enable you to see how effective the campaign has become and to make operating decisions to enhance your future webinar offerings.

 

There are new webinar features being added every year that make webinars an even more effective meeting strategy than ever before. You will want to examine each available feature within the context of your unique needs to determine how best to make use of them. Remember that webinars do bring many advantages to the table in comparison to in-person meetings, but they do require an effective use of available webinar features.

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/resources/the-15-best-webinar-software-products-from-around-the-web

 

8 Reasons Why Webinar Meetings are More Efficient Than in-Person Meetings

You have probably figured out by now that there are many ways to conduct a meeting. It used to be that meetings required everyone to be physically present in the same room at the same time. However, thanks to technology, webinar meetings have evolved to become a far more efficient than in-person meetings. Here are eight reasons why this is true.

 

1. Exceptional Value is Delivered

While in-person meetings have long been necessary they are often incredibly expensive.

This is true on a variety of fronts. If you are a business that needs to have all of your regional staff attend regular meetings, the expense of flying everyone in and providing lodging can get out of control rather quickly. This does not even take into account the cost associated with feeding everyone.

If you are hosting paid presentations, the same concept applies. Many participants may feel that they cannot attend because of the personal expense incurred. Even if you offer the meeting at no cost to the participant, there are other expenses incurred by the participants that could limit the perceived value in the end.

Webinar meetings take care of these issues.

It is now possible to host regular meetings with your staff around the world with relatively minimal expense. Even if you want to charge for your webinar, participants will now be more encouraged to sign up because they will incur no other expenses as a result of attending.

The value delivered in this regard is exceptional. It’s also possible to get meaningful feedback from your participants in real time, which enhances the value of the webinar. You will find that the excitement will build from one presentation to the next as the audience begins to leave positive reviews and encourages their acquaintances to attend future webinar meetings that you host. These are all components that make hosting webinar meetings a more efficient use of your time, and your participants, in comparison to in-person meetings.

2. Webinar Meetings Allow You to Become an Expert in Your Field

As a presenter, you become the expert. Webinar meetings are a great way to tout your experience and your professionalism to all of the participants that attend.

The flexibility and ease of webinar meetings allow you to host more sessions, which will provide more options for people to attend. With more attendees in your webinar meetings, you can expect word to spread much quicker than traditional meeting setting.

Even if you offer free webinar meetings, your audience will view you as an expert who is worthy of being listened to. The free component to the webinar does not cheapen the information that you are presenting. If anything, it adds an extra value, and it elevates your stature as a Thought Leader in the eyes of the participants.

Webinar meetings give you a platform to share valuable information with a captive audience. It will be up to you, of course, to deliver the information in a relevant and engaging way. If you can accomplish that, you will begin to gain a following over time that can help your business or organization grow exponentially.

 

3. More Sales, Less Work

Webinar meetings are a great medium for making sales happen with very little effort. The effect is a soft sell of your products and services to your prospects.

You will not need to conduct a hard sell, which is often difficult to do unless you visit each person individually and look him or her in the eye. Webinar meetings allow you to assemble multiple participants, each taking part in your presentation from a location that is convenient to them, and then issuing a call to action that many will heed.

Webinar meetings effectively allow you to both teach and sell at the same time. No other type of presentation can bring this type of benefit to the table.

In order to make a sale, however, you will need to develop content that is effective. This means that you will illustrate potential problems, be able to shoot down objectives, and deliver exceptional value without having to over teach any particular concept or idea.

Your goal is to show members of your audience what they want without them even realizing it. Once they realize that what they desire is exactly what you are offering, the closing sale will come much more naturally.

 

4. Webinar Meetings Knock Down Geographical Barriers

In-person meetings can substantially limit your reach.

Not only is it expensive to fly people in for a meeting or presentation, but it also is not always logistically possible. This does not even begin to touch on the time factor and other issues that make in-person meetings impractical in many situations in today’s globally connected world.

Webinar meetings provide an effective way around this by permitting you to communicate with potentially hundreds or thousands of people from anywhere in the world.

Participants will love this feature as well, as they are now able to attend your presentation from the comfort of their own home or office.

While talking to someone one-on-one may be the best way to close one sales lead, talking to hundreds at the same time is the best way to close multiple leads at the same time. Which one has the potential to generate more revenue? The answer will be the webinar almost every time. Webinar meetings are not just effective as sales tools either, as they are turning into a great way to conduct regional staff training, seminars, conferences, and much more.

Webinar meetings are a great medium for making sales happen with very little effort.

5. The Audience Becomes More Engaged

If you are looking for a way to better engage the members of your audience, a webinar meeting is the way to do it. This is due to several factors.

For one, a webinar meeting is a single, live event that virtually anyone can attend. Because it is live, however, participants need to arrive on time, or they know that they will miss part of the information that you have to present to them. This will encourage them to be engaged from the very first moment that you start speaking. If they were to miss the webinar all together, participants know that they lose out on the benefit of having attended.

Webinar meetings also allow participants to become engaged in the content that is being delivered.

Presenters can easily open up the presentation to questions from the audience. This also allows people that would not be comfortable asking a question in front of others in a physical meeting to be willing to do so in the more anonymous nature of the webinar room.

Individual participants can chat, make their own opinions known, respond to questions and comments from the presenter, and issue their thoughts about what is being discussed in the main webinar room. These are all components that are simply not possible in an in-person meeting.

Webinar meetings also allow participants to become engaged in the content being delivered

6. Generate New Leads

No matter what type of business you are in, it is likely lead-driven. If you do not get enough leads on a regular basis, it will be almost impossible to grow.

As existing customers begin to move away or go to a competitor, your revenue will decline accordingly. You will want to avoid that, of course, so you will need to look for ways that effectively increase the type of quality leads that you need to grow.

This is exactly what webinars can deliver for you, as they are effective at attracting new people to hear what you have to say, allowing you to convert them into new customers then.

By their very nature, webinars require some type of registration. This will include the name and email address, at a minimum, of each participant that attends.

This is a built-in marketing opportunity for you. It is even possible to request even more information that will give you a way to tailor your approach to each member of the audience based on their unique interest levels. Even free webinars can be an effective use of your time given the number of new prospects and quality leads that they will generate.

 

7. Guest Presenters Are Easier to Come By

Webinar meetings are much less of a commitment (financially and logistically) than in-person meetings. This puts you in a much better position to secure a guest presenter to help you host your webinar meetings.

Why should you invite a guest presenter? For one, guest presenters are an excellent way to add credibility to your presentations. Bringing on an industry expert will build trust with your audience and add value to your presentation.

Another reason to co-host your webinar meetings is the opportunity to expand your reach to larger audiences. Whether you’re able to tap into their social network, email list, or marketing budget, the value a guest presenter can add to your marketing efforts can hugely impact your overall ROI.

Keep in mind that you will still need to promote your own content.

 

8. Get More Return On Your Investment

When you think of the time and the money that goes into hosting a meeting, it can be mind boggling. Imagine going through the trouble of hosting an in-person meeting only to have attendance fall flat. You will have lost a great deal of money in the process.

Given the relatively low expense associated with online meetings, you will be in a much better position to generate a positive return on your investment.

Revenue drives business growth. If you are in a cash crunch, you must develop ways to increase your leads with as little expense as possible.

As the saying goes, it takes money to make money. That is harder than it seems, however, when you do not have any money to begin with. This is another powerful feature of the webinar meeting, and it is yet another advantage that this venue brings over an in-person meeting.

 

Start Hosting!

These are just eight of the many reasons that demonstrate why webinar meetings have become so powerful. If you’re ready to start hosting your own webinar meetings, BigMarker can help. To start your 14-day free trial, click here. Or, to get in touch, send us a message!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://demio.com/inside/10-reasons-to-run-webinars/

https://www.kitces.com/blog/seminar-marketing-vs-webinars-for-financial-advisor-marketing/

 

How to Prepare a Guest Webinar Presenter in 12 Easy Steps

A webinar presenter could be a force-multiplier for the success of your show. It’s still a big decision to bring one on, though, which is why we’re going to cover this topic in detail.

Why You Should Bring on a Guest Webinar Presenter

This can be a very big step for many companies. You may have been successful at building up a decent audience for your webinar program and are, therefore, rightfully cautious about the idea of bringing in a guest to hold the reins.

If so, let’s quickly cover some of the reasons a guest webinar presenter could be completely worth it.

The first is that it’s simply nice to mix things up. You’ve probably heard that variety is the spice of life. We’re not saying your audience may be getting bored with you, but it will definitely grab their attention if somebody else will be speaking to them.

Second, the person you choose should have some kind of expertise. This means they can provide your audience with information that you couldn’t. Even if you could cover the same topic, their credentials may go a long way toward getting the message across.

Third, you can leverage the other person’s audience. This is an absolutely huge advantage and, thus, something else you should be thinking of before deciding on the guest webinar presenter you’re going to invite to host the show.

Ideally, find someone who has a large audience of their own. They’ll then tell their following about this webinar they’re doing and you’ll be able to attract more people to watch.

Down the line, you can still benefit from their name recognition when people do web searches for them. If they feature the webinar on their site, you’re going to get more traffic and a nice backlink.

 

There are countless other reasons it may pay to have a guest webinar presenter run your program, but these big ones should have you thinking about the opportunity.

 

1. Host a Dry Run

This is probably the most important tip of the list, but it often goes overlooked. If you’ve hosted a number of webinars already, it may be second nature to you at this point. Therefore, you may assume the same goes for your guest webinar presenter.

You don’t have to have them do the entire thing, but make sure that they feel comfortable with the concept and the technology. Encourage your guest webinar presenter to ask questions.

 

2. Make Sure You’re Clear About Expectations

This is another easy one to overlook. Imagine your guest webinar presenter finishes their live presentation and it’s only then that you realize they didn’t understand what you were looking for from them.

Now, you not only have to do the entire thing over, but you also have to get through a fairly awkward conversation. They might not have time in their schedule to redo an entire webinar in the near future, either.

Your list of expectations should include:

  • The topic you want them to cover
  • Any important subtopics
  • The tone of the webinar (professional, casual, etc.)
  • How long it should take
  • Any CTAs you need them to include
  • Whether or not they can pitch their own products/services

Use this list, but also feel free to come up with any other pointers that will help them.

Recognize, too, that your guest webinar presenter will probably really appreciate you taking the lead to help guide them. They don’t want to do a bad job or otherwise miss the mark anymore than you do.

 

3. Let Them Know About Your Audience

Unless your guest webinar presenter is already familiar with your audience, you’ll want to tell them what to expect from your listeners.

Presumably, this won’t be a problem for you. Nonetheless, these are some questions that it may help to answer in preparation:

  • What is their age range?
  • What industries are they in?
  • Why do they usually tune in?
  • Which parts of the world are they from (some cultural references may not make sense)?

You can also share feedback with them that you’ve received in the past. Even if you’ve already processed these critiques and made changes to the way you do webinars, this kind of information can be extremely helpful.

 

4. Sort Out the Graphics They’ll Use

Every webinar needs to have visual components aside from just the speaker’s face. Long before your guest webinar presenter takes to the mic, you should both understand which graphics are going to be used.

You may already know the ones you would like them to present. If not, make sure they know that they’ll be responsible for this vital component. Offer to help them with this if they’d like.

If they decide to provide the graphics, then politely ask to see them beforehand. This way, there won’t be any nasty surprises the first time they put one on screen.

 

5. Make Sure They’re Okay with a Q&A Segment

One other element that usually makes a webinar much better is allowing audience members to ask questions at the end. Some people even give time for them throughout the presentation.

Obviously, this only applies to live webinars. Assuming that’s what you’re doing, let your guest webinar presenter know that you’d like them to take some questions at some point. If they haven’t used your interface before, you’ll need to show your webinar presenter what this will entail.

Allow for a webinar Q&A with a guest presenter

6. Discuss the Dress Code

If they’ll be facing a formal seminar, your webinar presenter shouldn’t show up wearing a sweatshirt and hat. This goes back to the point about tone we brought up earlier. They may be a wonderful presenter and even an expert on the topic, but if they’re dressed too casually, this will throw your audience off.

Likewise, if your webinar presenter is going to be talking about a more casual topic or their audience will be made up of people who don’t have a dress code at work, there’s no reason for them to wear a suit and tie or nice dress.

Your presenter probably has enough sense to know this, so you don’t need to make it an overt point, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Just politely tell them what kind of attire you think would be best.

 

7. Have Them Focus on Engagement

Q&A sessions are so great because they ensure there is a certain level of engagement during a webinar. Otherwise, it can be too easy for people to lose focus or drift off instead of watching your presentation.

There are other ways to engage the audience, though. Therefore, even if you’re not doing a live webinar, make it a point to stress that engagement needs to be a priority.

Your webinar presenter should be saying “you” a lot more than “I” for example. They should look for opportunities to bring up situations and scenarios that their audience will immediately find relatable. Again, this is why knowing about one’s audience plays such a big role in a webinar’s success.

 

8. Schedule a Quick Pre-Webinar Meeting

Ask your webinar presenter to either show up early or call you beforehand so you can go over the plan one more time before the show begins. This will give you both an opportunity to iron out any details that may still be in your presenter’s head.

The real reason to do this, though, even when your presenter is 100% ready, is simply to make sure the program begins on time.

If they’re coming into your office to do the webinar, they might get stuck in traffic. If they’re doing it remotely, the technology might provide a challenge at the last second. You never want a delay between the time you said a webinar will begin and when it actually does. This is especially true when you’re introducing a guest webinar presenter to your audience.

 

Schedule a pre-webinar meeting

 

 

9. Introduce Your Guest Webinar Presenter Well Beforehand

Speaking of which, your audience should be excited about this new guest. You don’t want them learning about them for the first time when they log in. However, you also don’t want your audience to have vague expectations.

Excitement is a huge advantage to have when presenting a webinar. People will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and ignore small hiccups when they’re full of anticipation.

Of course, this will also help increase attendee enrollment. Long before the webinar goes live (or is otherwise published), start telling your audience why this guest is not to be missed.

 

10. Have a Backup Plan

This is another tip that isn’t necessarily about preparing your guest webinar presenter but is still crucial.

Unless your guest is a seasoned webinar professional, they might run into nerves when they realize they’re speaking to a large audience. If that happens, will you be able to step in? If they’re doing the webinar remotely and their feed cuts out, do you have a plan for running the show?

The likelihood of these things happening is small, but the fallout would be massive. Webinar attendance is already a tough thing to count on. Imagine what would happen to your numbers if your audience remembers that the last time you held one it was a complete bust? Plan accordingly.

 

11. Should You Ever Pay for a Webinar Presenter?

Finally, we’re going to close on a common question that gets asked when it comes to inviting a presenter to run your show.

Without a doubt, the presenter should get something from it. Otherwise, why would they bother doing it? Unless it’s a friend doing you a favor, they have a job and busy schedule to attend to as well, right?

That doesn’t mean you have to pay them, but it does mean you should be able to give them something in return. Maybe it’s just your large audience. Maybe you’ll be partnering with them on a project in the near future, so increasing their mindshare with your market is important.

That being said, don’t shy away from the idea of paying someone. Once you set a budget, you can broaden your horizons and may be able to choose a really impressive name in your industry simply by paying their bill.

Having a dollar sign attached to the success of this project also ensures the guest presenter takes your webinar seriously. It would be great if you could take for granted that they were going to do this, but money is a nice insurance policy.

 

12. Consider Having Another Webinar Ready

Finally, we talked about what you’d do if your presenter falls through or the technology crashes. Similarly, you should have a contingency plan in case the thing goes off without a hitch but simply doesn’t do well with your viewers.

This means having another webinar idea lined up and ready to go. By having one in the chamber you can quickly let your audience know that you’ll be doing one again next week. Doing so will limit the number of them who may detach permanently after a bad experience. You’re moving things right along and limiting the amount of time they have to solidify this new perception of your webinar as a low-quality one.

Bringing in a guest webinar presenter definitely comes with a unique set of challenges, but the result can definitely be worth it. Remember, too, that once you get your first guest webinar in the books, the others are going to be much, much easier.

This article should also help. Follow the above advice and you should be feeling extremely confident about having a guest run your show.

You can always count on BigMarker for advice, too. If you’re still nervous about the whole thing, just let us know how we can help.

 

Sources:

http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeconnect/2013/12/six-tips-for-new-webinar-presenters.html

http://blog.workcast.com/top-10-tips-for-webinar-presenters

http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-wow-audience-tips-webinar-presenters

https://elearningindustry.com/14-tips-to-create-and-present-a-highly-effective-webinar

https://www.meetingburner.com/blog/how-to-recruit-an-influential-guest-presenter-for-your-next-webinar/

http://www.eventbuilder.rocks/5-tips-for-using-experts-as-guest-presenters-in-marketing-webinars/

http://blog.clickmeeting.com/benefits-guest-expert-speakers-webinars

Why B2B Webinars Work: The Guide to Effectively Reaching Your Market Online

Developing an effective business-to-business (or B2B) marketing mix requires careful planning, strategizing, and execution. This is also true for B2B webinars.

Organizations that promote directly to consumers (B2C) only have to convince an individual that their services and products deserve attention. However, successfully marketing to another company (B2B) often means establishing brand recognition and credibility within several job functions and throughout multiple departments.

Fortunately, the return on investment (or ROI) is often well worth the additional efforts. Total quantities purchased in a B2B model often far exceed those in a consumer-based setup as companies often buy in bulk to fulfill large contracts.

Because the sales process in a B2B approach can often prove far more intricate and time consuming than direct selling to consumers, it’s critical to implement a thorough marketing plan that drivers brand recognition and delivers results.

For entrepreneurs in virtually every industry, this means incorporating B2B webinars into corporate online promotional initiatives.

 

Understand the Benefits of B2B Webinars

B2B webinars grant companies an opportunity to target and educate a specific audience on the benefits and advantages of their specific corporate offerings. If you’re not currently utilizing video conferencing to extend the reach and recognition of your brand, it may be time to start.

Using B2B webinars in your marketing strategy offers several invaluable advantages including:

 

Streamlined and Affordable Production

The first thing many entrepreneurs notice when utilizing b2b webinars in their marketing strategies? Just how easy and affordable they are to produce.

In-person meetings definitely bring a distinctive and comprehensive range of advantages; however, coordinating the logistics of a face-to-face appointment can prove challenging at best.

Getting time on everyone’s already-busy schedules can seem an impossible feat. Additionally, live meetings bring with them a relatively expensive price tag, particularly when it comes to travel expenses.

Webinars can quickly minimize costs. Hosts only need webinar software and a few other items to go live at any time and from any place.

 

Connection with a Broader Audience

As already mentioned, in-person meetings and appointments are often highly sought after, but not always possible due to time and expense. Also, face-to-face engagements can have limited audience reach.

B2B webinars instantly eliminate restrictions on how many people you can reach at once.

A single session allows you to connect with as many prospects as you’d like; attendees simply have to log in at an appointed time wherever they’ll have access to a computer.

Not only can you promote your business directly to several organizations at the same time, B2B webinars also allow you to connect with multiple locations of the same company simultaneously to streamline the purchasing decision-making process and ensure everyone receives identical information.

 

Dialogue with Interested Participants

Some marketing resources, such as printed materials and emails, only allow businesses to talk at an audience. Webinars grant a chance to talk with an audience.

During your B2B webinars you’ll be able to pitch your products and create a dialogue with anyone tuning in.

Beyond general discussions, a well-appointed session also offers designated question and answer segments to enhance attendee engagement and participation.

 

New Lead Cultivation

Webinars that focus on a specific topic or industry trend not only boost audience attendance, they also offer a relatively effortless way to generate new leads and prospects within your organization.

As the host of the webinar, you can ask interested guests to register for your event in advance. Customize your registration form to ask for the most relevant lead information such as contact information, job title, and other critical details for follow up at a later date.

Customize Webinar Registration

 

Strengthened Current Partnerships

B2B webinars aren’t only beneficial when cultivating new prospects; this online resource can also be used to nurture and strengthen the professional relationships you already have.

Offering exclusive webinars to existing clients can help you nurture your current partnerships and further develop brand loyalty within your consumer base.

Also, B2B webinars can be used far beyond the sales pitch; many business owners actually use webinars as a powerful resource to train customers on how to use products or even troubleshoot solutions with clients as needed. Your clients will appreciate knowing that they have access to you and your organization whenever they need it.

 

Establish Industry Authority

Many businesses claim industry authority; however, few have the fortitude to prove it on a consistent level.

B2B webinars allow you to do just that; you can host as many webinar as you’d like on a slew of hot industry topics and trends. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with, inform, and educate your audience on what’s up and coming in your designated field, instantly establishing your brand as in-the-know experts. In no time, you’ll become a Thought Leader in your industry.

 

Live Demonstrations

Why simply tell consumers how great your products are when you can use your webinar session to show them. Unlike other marketing materials that only offer static lists and outlines, B2B webinars provide a dynamic forum for live product launches and demonstrations.

Why simply tell customers how great your products are wen you can use your webinar session to show them

Sustainable Marketing Impact

Most importantly, the impact of B2B webinars lasts well beyond the event itself.

B2B webinars can be recorded and filed for use at later dates, allowing your business an opportunity to connect and engage with other businesses in the future without having to regenerate new content.

 

Tips To Reach Your B2B Market Online

Once you’ve made the decision to leverage the power of B2B webinars, it’s critical to create an initiative focused on reaping optimal return on investment.

When developing your webinar, include a few proven tactics to ensure you maximize results and overall impact, such as:

 

Determine Preliminary (But Important) Logistics

The logistics and details are just as vital as the content of your B2B webinars. There are a slew of items to consider when putting together your hosting plan.

  1. Choosing a Topic: First on your details checklist? Picking a topic. What you will discuss will play a major role in generating attendee interest. Think about your targeted audience demographic and select a topic that will solve a relevant problem for them.
  2. Webinar Agenda/Speakers: Now is the time to think about if your webinar will be a solo act, or a group collaboration. Once you’ve zeroed in on the topic you’d like to explore, you should consider whether you’d like to invite guest panelists to participate in your discussion with you. Having guest speakers can add dimension to your presentation, diversity the discussion, and encourage more businesses to tune in to hear what you have to have to offer.
  3. Scheduling Details: You will also want to consider scheduling details during the planning phase. Yes, it’s easy for key members at various companies to tune into a webinar. However, you will still want to think about the best time host your event so as not to overwhelm everyone’s already full daily agendas. Avoid Fridays and Monday sessions whenever possible and consider morning time slots to boost your potential audience turnout.
  4. Webinar Time: Finally, when coordinating the details of your B2B webinars, pay careful attention to length of your overall presentation. Limit your webinar to 60 minutes or less to maintain attention with your guests from start to finish.

 

Create Original Content


Once you’ve decided what you’ll talk about, you’re ready to begin crafting together your marketing message for the masses.

Don’t simply regurgitate old promotional missives and slideshows. Instead, pique interest and maximize impact by creating original, thought-provoking content for your B2B webinars.

Effective B2B webinars seamlessly blends visual and audio components. As you create your event, consider utilizing a combination of compelling graphics, statistics, live product demonstrations, and written slides to deliver a multi-sensory experience to your listeners.

Also, don’t miss out on an opportunity to connect directly with your audience when developing your presentation. Always set aside specific times to host question and answer segments. Knowing that they will have time designated for inquiries will help hold their attention throughout the entire session.

 

Promote Your B2B Webinars

Effectively promoting your upcoming B2B webinars will ensure overall event success.

Many attendees will often signup on the actual day of your session. It’s important to start marketing your efforts early and continue them right up until you go live.

Use all resources available to you including social media pages, email invitations, blogs, and even a registration-landing page specifically designed to log attendees as well as their contact information for future lead follow up.

 

Rehearse Your Delivery

Never go into live B2B webinars without practicing beforehand.

Webinars are user-friendly and intuitive; however, you will still want to go through the hosting process to ensure you know exactly what to do on event day. Additionally, you and any guest speakers you may have will also want to rehearse individual sections of the presentation to gauge duration of event as well as to identify if there are sections that may need some tweaking to ensure you make the best impact possible on listeners.

 

Follow Up

Remember all the leads you collected during the event registration process? It’s important to follow up on every single one of them.

Reach out to every contact (even multiple contacts at the same organization) to keep the conversation going with prospects.

Additionally, following up allows you to connect with businesses contacts may have registered for the event but didn’t have the chance to actually tune in furthering the reach of your online marketing efforts.

 

Repurpose B2B Webinars

Once you’ve hosted your webinar, be sure to file your B2B webinars in an easily accessible location.

As a marketer or sales representative, you are constantly directing new potential customers into your sales funnel.

Recreating relevant B2B webinars with each new prospect can prove a major waste of time and resources. Repurposing recorded webinars as needed to connect with other businesses as a way to maximize results while minimizing expense.

Put easily accessible versions of your demonstration on your social media pages, blog, and website to ensure you get the most mileage possible out of this effectively online marketing tool.

 

Start Hosting!

To facilitate amazing B2B webinars, you’ll need powerful webinar software. BigMarker is a modern webinar platform that offers a full stack of marketing tools to help you maximize your ROI. Start your 14-day free trial today or send us a message if you’d like help getting started.

Resources

http://www.chiefmarketer.com/4-reasons-b2c-marketers-use-webinars-lead-gen/
https://hingemarketing.com/blog/story/why-should-webinars-be-apart-of-your-b2b-content-marketing-strategy

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Online Audience Engaged Throughout Your Entire Webinar

Webinars offer an ideal way to connect with an online audience that often surpasses live gatherings, which makes them the meeting of choice for many.

This is especially true for speakers motivated to connect with as many participants as possible in a single gathering. However, keeping an online audience engaged can be tricky. That’s why we’re sharing some of our key tips and tricks for keeping an online audience engaged throughout your entire webinar.

Identifying the Challenges

Although webinars offer significant benefits over live meetings, it’s important to remember that there are some unique challenges to consider when presenting a webinar to an online audience.

With a screen (and potentially hundreds of miles) between you and listeners, zoning out during a webinar can be commonplace amongst an online audience. Simply pushing the mute button on a session is all it takes to multi-task during a webinar that isn’t completely holding your audience’s attention.

In order to avoid the dreaded webinar “tune out,” you will have to up your engagement game during the session. This will ensure your online audience remains plugged in during your entire demonstration. Implementing several proven tips and tricks for keeping your online audience engaged throughout your entire webinar can help keep everyone on task.

When planning for success with your next webinar, consider the following advice:

 

What’s Your Point?

Don’t go into your webinar with an extensive range of topics and ideas you’d like to cover during your session.

Going too broad with your dialogue can almost guarantee you’ll lose the attention of your listeners at various points if they determine that what you’re talking about isn’t relevant or interesting to them personally.

When choosing the topic of your presentation, get as specific as possible so all users logging in understand exactly what they will be listening to during your time together. Also, know going into the topics selection process that pinpointing an outline that works for everyone is virtually impossible.

It’s better to develop a webinar that makes a significant impact on a smaller audience than one that covers far too much information and loses traction with a larger one. If you’re not sure how to select an engaging topic that will resonate with your niche, ask.

Consult with your team for ideas or send along a survey directly to your demographic to ask what they want to know more about so you can focus your event accordingly.

 

Get Specific About Your Benefits

Choosing the right topic is only the first step in successfully connecting with your listeners. Beyond the points you’ll discuss in your session, you will also want to outline why it’s your online audience’s best interest to attend.

Get specific about what each listener in your online audience will reap from attending your webinar. Seeing the list of benefits offered by your conference will pique their interest and help keep them on point with you throughout the discussion.

 

Command Attention Right at the Start

Don’t rely on a long buildup to captivate your online audience.

Make it your mission to command attention as soon as you start speaking. Avoid spending too much time with introductions and miscellaneous details.

Instead, get the intros done quickly, move on to an engaging (albeit succinct) anecdote and then dig into the meat of your presentation. Keep it concise to let attendees know right at the start you won’t be wasting precious time on monotonous details and will be keeping the discussion moving forward. It’s an excellent way to keep them listening.

 

Make it a Dialogue, Not a Monologue

allow webinar participants to submit questions and responses in real time

It’s no secret that the discussions we remember most are the ones we get a chance to participate in; the same holds true for your webinar’s online audience.

As a presenter, you have options. You can choose to speak at them, droning on (and on…and on…) about countless details and facts and risk losing their attention; or, you can speak with them, continuously asking for their input, feedback and opinions to ensure they stay plugged in no matter how long the presentation runs.

You can actually use your webinar software to help with this; today’s webinar technology allows your participants to submit questions and responses in real time. As a host, make moderating and integrating these comments a priority so your attendees remain attentive.

 

Stay Charged!

Don’t underestimate your responsibility to keep everyone listening.

Rule of thumb: it’s not (entirely) about what you say…it really is how you say it. Even the most compelling presentation can have lackluster results if it’s delivered with ho-hum energy. Keeping your online audience engaged is the key to an effective webinar.

Do your part; make an effort to keep your energy level up when speaking to keep your participants connected to what you have to say.

Turn nervousness into excitement by moving around when speaking. Also, whenever possible, create natural-feeling interruptions to help break up the potential monotony of too many consecutive slides. This will help keep your participants plugged-in and on their toes.

Finally, repeat your previous point before moving on to your next one to really reinforce your message to listeners.

The best way to guarantee you have what it takes to give a dynamic speech? Practice. Do as many dry runs as needed to really nail down your delivery to resonate best with attendees.

 

Give Your Online Audience Bragging Rights

Everyone loves a chance to show off what they’ve learned. Keep this in mind during your online presentation. If you’re hosting a training session, tell your online audience that there will be a brief quiz at the event’s conclusion for them to earn professional development credits – it’s a guaranteed way to keep them engaged at all times.

The quiz approach can add value even if you’re not hosting a training event. Use end-of-sessions quizzes to encourage participants to earn points, achieve recognition or even receive discounts off of products to ensure they are encouraged to listen to your webinar.

 

Diversify Your Speakers

Know some industry thought leaders that also love to work a great webinar? Ask them to speak at yours. Creating a panel of presenters who all offer something just a little bit different than everyone else will immediately build buzz around your webinar.

Most importantly, when you do go live, changing hosts can keep the energy up in your virtual meeting room, encouraging everyone logged in to pay attention to the information being shared.

keep your online audience engaged with diverse webinar presenters

 

Test Your Audio

Audio is important during any type of gathering. However, sound quality may prove even more critical during an online session than a face-to-face meeting.

No one wants to hear the dreaded, “can you hear me now?” during a webinar.

If one segment of your attendees are struggling to hear what’s being said, you may find yourself spinning wheels trying to remedy the sound situation while simultaneously losing the interest of the attendees who actually can hear you.

Before you go live, optimize your audio input options based on the system you’re using as well as perform audio checks to ensure your online audience gets the royal sound system treatment.

 

Manage Your Time Wisely

Always consider your listeners’ busy schedules when developing your webinar presentation. No one wants to log into a conference only to feel like they’re being held hostage for the next several hours. Those who stay on at a webinar that is too long (and even those that disconnect before you end) will feel resentful and taken advantage of.

Prove that you value and respect their time by creating a conference that runs no longer than 60 minutes.

As a general rule of thumb, 45 minutes for speaking with 15 minutes at the end for questions should provide a manageable balance for participants to remain attentive throughout the webinar.

 

Set Aside a Specific Q&A Section

You should always allow for questions throughout the session to hold listeners’ attention. However, setting aside time near the end of the event for a final question and answer period can keep attendees listening for the whole webinar.

When sending out an agenda, be sure to list out the different Q&A segments you plan to host. This will help your online audience know that it’s worth staying until the very end to ask their questions. It will also let them know that they will be able to hear what others may inquire about after hearing your presentation in its entirety.

Worried no one will have anything to ask? Fret not; come prepared with some of your own relevant questions to build momentum. Chances are, the rest of your attendees will follow suit.

 

Save the Best for Last

Reward your attendees for tuning in throughout your entire presentation.

After setting aside time for a thorough question and answer segment, you may want to consider offering a giveaway of some sort.

Let participants know that at the end of the discussion, listeners will receive an added perk.  Examples include: free resources, promotional discounts or even access to exclusive products.

In short, never underestimate the power of the freebie to keep your online audience engaged throughout your entire webinar.

 

Conclusion

There are many ways to engage an online audience during your entire webinar. If you use the suggestions above, you’re guaranteed to host a successful online event from start to finish.

If you’re looking for powerful webinar software, BigMarker can help. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today. Or send us a message if you have a question.

 

The Keys To Preparing And Managing A Webinar Panel Discussion

A successful webinar seamlessly incorporates several audio and visual components for a collective final presentation that builds sustainable brand exposure, recognition, and loyalty. Slides, graphics, images, Q&A sessions and live webinar panel discussions are just some of the many segments you may find in an effective webinar.

Today, we’re focusing our attention on webinar panel discussions. Webinar panel discussions deliver extensive audience influence and session value, which makes them an incredibly valuable form of content. However, the thought of coordinating schedules and planning an outline for multiple presenters can even overwhelm seasoned webinar hosts.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading for a compiled a list of easy-to-follow tips and tricks to help you plan and execute a successful webinar panel discussion.

Phase I: Plan For Success With a Webinar Panel Discussion Before the Event

 

Knowing a few tips on how to effectively implement a webinar panel discussion can streamline the process and ensure you don’t miss out on the advantages offered when using this webinar strategy. When planning your next webinar panel, keep these key suggestions in mind to optimize results, both for your audience as well as your speakers. Begin with pre-show pointers, such as:

 

Consider Audience First

Consider your webinar audience when hosting a webinar panel discussion
Give the audience what it wants!

The first step in planning a successful webinar panel discussion? Think about your audience.

Oftentimes, a session host may fill the time with personal contacts and affiliates who may not have anything relevant to offer to listeners. Consider the goal of your event (aka – the reason why people have signed up to begin with).

Knowing the purpose of your webinar panel will keep you focused on finding panelists who add to the core conversation, not detract due to their own personal agenda.

Some webinar hosts find that best way to focus on the audience is to ask for their input.

Having numerous panelists can mean running long on time, or missing critical topics altogether. Before your session, reach out to both potential and existing registrants to inquire about what they’d like to see and hear most when the tune in. Online surveys and emails can go a long way in letting listeners know that you value their time as well as their input.

 

Select The Right Speakers

Once you recognize what you’re hoping to achieve, it’s time to create your list of prospective webinar panel speakers. One of the biggest benefits to hosting a webinar panel is that you get to choose the best speakers for your cause.

Don’t settle for simply scrolling through options you already have a professional relationship with.

Dream big and be bold. If there are industry experts who you know can add value to your session, reach out and ask if they’d be willing to participate. Adding well-known names to your agenda increases registration numbers as well as actual attendance on game day.

Additionally, don’t go for a webinar panel of speakers who will all offer the same thing, or agree on everything. Diversify your discussion by including presenters with varying perspectives and opinions.

Convening a wide range of viewpoints can encourage active discussion and debate, both with each other as well as with members of your audience.

 

Get To Your Pre-Game Preppin’

Anyone who has ever hosted a webinar understands that strategic preparation plays a vital role in overall success.

This holds true when including a webinar panel discussion. As soon as you have your list of presenters, you will want to begin coordinating the schedule, pinpointing individual strengths, and itemizing key objectives.

Some relevant tips when you get to prepping include:

  • Know your time: Putting together an outline that sticks to the time allotted can prove challenging. Don’t wing everyone’s time slot. Put together a very specific outline of speaking order as well as amount of speaking time so nothing’s left to chance when you go live. Your audience will appreciate knowing that you are sensitive to their busy schedules and routines.

Pro tip: Tell your webinar panel speakers ahead of time that you’ll send them a conspicuous signal (such as a private chat message) a few minutes before their time is done to keep them on track.

  • Do your topic research: Just because you aren’t carrying the conversation, doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to it as needed. Prepare for the webinar panel by carefully researching the topics being covered throughout your webinar. Your insight or varying perspective can add a new layer of interest with your audience.
  • Prepare slides: Yes, you will want your speakers on camera when they are talking but you should also include some visual resources as well to strengthen the overall audience impression. Work with your individual presenters to determine if they will be providing visual materials and slides for their discussions. If so, you will want to have access to them before the function so you can include them in the master presentation. If they don’t provide slides, you will want to create at least one for them. A simple slide with their name and topics can add a visual component to their conversation to keep listeners engaged.
  • Create an agenda: Finally, once you’ve developed the speaking order and brushed up on the latest topic information, you will want to create an agenda to share with participants. Highlight at least 3-5 main points so they know what to expect when they tune in. Before your function, you will also want to provide a copy to speakers as well to manage their expectations.

 

Plan Your Opening

You may or may not be the main attraction at your webinar panel discussion; however, it’s still your webinar panel discussion. As the host, you will have certain responsibilities to your audience – effectively opening the session is one such obligation.

Once again, don’t wing it or you may risk losing them before you even get started. Plan ahead and get creative with your session opening.

Don’t simply reiterate the topic ideas; give a brief overview that details the value offered during the session as well as highlight any important instructions they will need as the event progresses. Your opening is also the time where you will emphasize when question and answer sessions will be held so you can manage expectations accordingly.

 

Practice

As the webinar panel host, you’ll want to practice as many event segments as possible to ensure a seamless experience.

While it may prove difficult to convene all your speakers for at least one dry run, it’s worth the effort. This is especially true if you will all be speaking from remote locations.

Even the most polished speaker may find himself struggling to effectively take over the conference from a technology perspective. A brief run through with your panelists can save invaluable time (and embarrassment) when you all go live.

 

Phase II: Plan For Success With A Webinar Panel Discussion During The Event

 

In addition to pre-webinar panel planning, you will also have to consider how to manage the actual event itself. Once again, a little advance preparation can yield impressive dividends. When you go live, remember:

You’re The Moderator

No matter how much planning you do, you will probably still have to moderate at various intervals throughout the session. Stay focused and facilitate as needed to sustain momentum and smooth out potential hiccups.

Most importantly, it’s your job to ensure all of your webinar panel speakers get their allotted time. You need to make sure they get the individual attention they all deserve. Stay on your toes to prevent more assertive webinar panel speakers from dominating the conversation.

 

Introduce Each Speaker

Speakers on your webinar panel should never have to introduce themselves. That’s your job.

Give a brief overview on each panelist that includes name, company, area of expertise and specific topics each person will address during his/her presentation. Not only will the introduction pique the interest of your audience, it will also help your speakers stay on track and get to their respective points quickly.

 

Allow For Q&A Sessions

use Q&A sessions during a webinar panel discussion

You should always include Q&A segments in your webinar to increase interaction with your participants.

Question and answer components can break up the monotony, captivate the crowd, and instantly boost energy levels (which, inevitably, do dip a bit as the conference goes on).

Don’t allow each panelist to answer every single question asked. Listening to the same answer again and again is a surefire way to lose participants. Instead, give 1 or 2 presenters the chance to respond. Then, get the conversation moving forward to the next inquiry.

 

Ask Your Own Questions

While you’ll want to encourage your listeners to ask questions during your webinar panel, you may want to consider having a few of your own inquiries on hand as well.

You can’t predict what will or won’t be ask once you go live. Having thought provoking questions for each of your speakers at the ready can keep the function progressing and offer an interesting viewpoint to your listeners.

 

Prevent The Dreaded Pitch

Some presenters simply won’t be able to resist the opportunity to pitch their personal interests and products.

It’s crucial to remember that everyone who registered for your event is expecting to focus on a specific topic. The last thing your audience wants to listen to is a sales pitch from every speaker on your panel. If your webinar begins to feel like a giant infomercial, you may suffer irreparable damage to your brand. (As well as lose participants at record speeds.)

Just before you go live, reiterate your expectations to each panelist. If you do sense the conversation sliding into the realm of unabashed advertisement, do your best to organically direct the discussion back to your original focus. Your audience will thank you.

 

Host Your Own Webinar Panel Discussion

At BigMarker we understand the importance of hosting engaging webinars. That’s why we offer modern webinar software with features specifically designed to build, measure, and increase attendee activity during your webinars. Start your 14 day free trial today to leverage our powerful webinar technology. Or send us a message if you’re interesting in learning more.

 

 

 

 

References

https://blog.clickmeeting.com/9-key-tips-for-an-effective-panel-discussion-in-your-webinar

http://www.eventbuilder.rocks/webinars-panel-discussions-10-ideas-make-look-like-rockstar/

Webinar Production Essentials: A Complete Technology & Equipment Checklist

Planning your next webinar? Perhaps it’s your first webinar? Regardless of what’s in your pipeline for webinar production, you’ll want to ensure you have the best technology and equipment at hand to be successful.

Many companies and organizations use webinars as a large part of their marketing strategy, which means a reliable in-house set-up is crucial for their webinar production value. If webinars are a big part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need your webinars to be as polished and professional as possible to maximize your marketing impact.

Webinars nowadays have a wide reach when it comes to marketing. Anyone can find an on-demand recorded webinar from your website, social shares, YouTube, emails, blog post; the list goes on! So, you never know who might see it, could be your next customer. Therefore, you should opt always to put your best foot forward when it comes to webinar production.

Read on for the ultimate essentials checklist for webinar production technology.

 

Essential Technology for Webinar Production

 Technology for Webinar Production

Webinar Software:

There are many options available for hosting your webinar. Each platform has a different set of features that in many cases, don’t overlap.

Determine your feature requirements of a webinar platform before researching and make sure to start a free trial as well. You want to determine if the experience on the host and end-users side matches the experience you wish to deliver for your webinar production.

 

Fast Internet Connection:

Streaming a live webinar takes up a lot of internet bandwidth. Ensure you have a fast internet connection or the ability to wire into your network. If you have low broadband speeds or if you’re still on dial-up service, you can count on having frequent delays and connection issues throughout the course of your live webinar.

As part of your webinar production set-up, make sure to test your speed. (We recommend this speed test.)

 

Marketing Automation Platform:

Your webinar platform likely comes with a tool that allows you to build a registration landing page. Your landing page gives your registrants the ability to fill out a form to register for the webinar so you can capture their information. If it doesn’t, you will need a separate solution or tool that allows you to build this registration landing page for each webinar.

Additionally, if your webinar platform does not give you the ability to send out email reminders or updates to webinar registrants, you will need to use a marketing automation platform to do this as well. Emails are a critical part of webinar production, especially when it comes to following up with webinar registrants. You don’t want to leave your audience hanging!

 

Audio Conferencing:

Most webinar platforms come with VoIP, or they will provide a conference line for attendees to dial into. However, not all webinar platforms allow dial-in. In case yours does not, or if the provided audio quality is poor, you might want to source your own audio option to combat against this issue.

 

PowerPoint:

More often than not, a webinar host will run through a PowerPoint presentation during their online event.

If you do not own Microsoft PowerPoint, now is the time to invest or seek an alternative solution like Keynote.  These tools allow you to put together the visual component of your webinar production. Doing so gives you the ability to brand the presentation to your company or share your “voice.”

For example, if your company tends to be quirky or funny, you can show that off in your slides. Some webinar platforms have the ability to upload PowerPoint files directly into the platform as well, which provides a cleaner view for participants.

Video Editing Tool:

Video is huge right now in the marketing space and is a great form of content to integrate into your webinar production.

Chances are you might have existing videos or training sessions recorded that you’d like to share during your webinar. If you plan to use video during your webinars, it’s always a good idea to do a little editing to make it work with all your other webinar content.

For example, if you only want to show 45 seconds of a 90-second video during the webinar, this is your opportunity to not waste any time and cut out the parts of the video you don’t wish to show.

Image Editing Tool:

Image editing tools, like Photoshop, are another worthwhile investment for your webinar production. This is especially true if you have someone on staff with graphic design experience.

You might use an image editing tool to help craft your PowerPoint slides so you can insert branded images. You could also use image editing software to edit a webinar speaker’s headshot and perhaps even use to assist with the creation of your registration page or email invites. Using a tool like this throughout the set-up process of each webinar will help your webinar production look polished and professional.

 

 

As for the equipment part of your webinar production package, this includes the physical equipment you should strongly consider having on-hand for an in-house studio to produce your webinars. Read on for the ultimate essentials checklist for equipment.

 

 

Equipment for Webinar Production

Equipment for Webinar Production

High-quality webcam:

Audiences like to see webinar speakers on webcam.

Seeing the presenter on camera helps attendees connect to the speaker and delivers a more in-person feel. You’ll want to source a high-quality webcam to give your webinar speaker the best chance at looking good.

You won’t want yourself or your co-hosts to look grainy on screen or even worse… your webcam might not work at all. Hopefully, your laptop has a quality webcam built-in, but if you’ve tested it and it isn’t up to par, look at buying webcams that plug in via USB to your laptop or computer.

 

Lighting:

If you’re on webcam, it’s ALL about the lighting. Without proper lighting equipment, your webinar speaker could be left looking washed out or completely overshadowed. Review this article for fun tips on using lighting to your advantage while on webcam!

Backdrop:

A backdrop is a staged background behind the webinar speaker. This is only required if you plan on using a webcam during the webinar.

Instead of having a messy desk or boring white wall behind you showing up in the video feed, you can purchase a backdrop set to control the entire camera view. During your webinar production you can customize your own backdrop to have the company logo or other landscape of your choosing. Having a backdrop is a cool touch to add to the experience of your webinar.

 

Microphone:

While your computer or laptop likely has an internal mic already built-in, we encourage investing in a standalone mic to achieve superior sound quality.

This could be a headset microphone or a mic that sits on your desk.

If you plan to be on webcam, we highlight suggest a discreet microphone, and only use a headset that is not very visible. Otherwise the webinar host might look more like a call operator and than the industry expert they are.

Laptop or computer:

It’s no secret that you’ll need a computer or laptop to host a webinar.

In many cases you’ll need multiple computers to facilitate your webinars. This is especially true if you plan to have multiple webinar hosts. However, it is not unheard of for some folks to only use a phone nowadays. It’s even rumored that Marketing Guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, only uses his smartphone and no longer has a laptop, for example.

Even though this one might seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to discuss all of the necessary equipment and technical requirements with everyone involved in your webinar production as far in advance as you can. This will ensure everyone is adequately prepared before you go live.

Also, if you’re on a laptop, make sure your charger is nearby. Webinars can quickly drain your battery. You don’t want to have that snafu – big ouch!

 

 

Webinar Production Budgeting

Now that we’ve run through the essentials checklist for the technology and equipment you should consider investing in as part of your webinar production, we want to discuss the dreaded topic of budget.

You likely already have a budget in mind for what you want to spend on webinar production, or what budget you are allowed to spend from your boss.

If you do have the budget to move forward with the highest quality technology and equipment then, by all means, please do this. You won’t regret it.

However, you can quickly drive up costs by going with the top of the line options for everything we listed above, which might not work for you. If you need to start small or bootstrap your way when it comes to webinar production, that is ok! We believe in your hustle.

If you don’t have the budget then you’ll need to pick and choose what technology and equipment to initially invest in. You will want to scope out all the essential items above, pick your ideal technology and equipment to purchase, then price it out and match against your budget.

While every item above is an essential for professional webinar production, if you’re bootstrapped on the budget, consider the below essentials first and foremost before purchasing anything else:

 

Top 4 Webinar Production Essentials:

  1. Webinar platform – this alone accounts for what will make or break your registrant’s webinar experience with you. Plus, you need a way to host a webinar! Select a webinar platform that fits within your budget, but will allow you to provide the best experience. From the registration process, to signing in, the live webinar and finally even leaving the webinar. This is not the item to skimp on.

 

  1. Fast Internet Connection – nowadays, most people have fast internet connection, or an option to directly wire into the network. If you don’t, this should be a top priority.

 

  1. Lighting – if you plan to be on webcam, lighting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a good impression. Whether it’s a lamp from home or professional lighting. This is a must-have.

 

  1. PowerPoint – most webinars use a PowerPoint presentation throughout their webinar anyway. So, since you likely already have this software, check out our blog on perfecting the webinar PowerPoint design!

 

Get started!

As mentioned, you’ll need high quality webinar software to ensure your webinar production is a success from start to finish. Check out BigMarker today for a modern, feature-rich webinar experience that both you and your audience will love. Start your 14-day free trial now or send us a message to get in touch.

12 Webinar Statistics You Need to Know Before Hosting Your Next Online Event

If you’ve never hosted a webinar before, it can be tough knowing where to start. To help navigate the webinar hosting process, we’ve compiled the 12 most important webinar statistics to know below. These webinar statistics will help guide you through hosting a webinar that attracts attendees and makes them glad they viewed your presentation.

1. Your Webinar Should Be Between 30 and 45 Minutes Long

Before you pick your webinar topic, it’s important to consider the first entry on our list of important webinar statistics: webinar audiences prefer attending webinars that run between 30 and 40 minutes long.

As shown in the above graph, webinar statistics show that 41% of attendees prefer attending 30 minute-long webinars and 44% of attendees prefer webinars to last 45 minutes.

These webinar statistics also show that only 5% of webinar attendees prefer webinars that last just 20 minutes and only 10% want to attend sessions that last one hour.

If you can’t get your webinar to fill at least 30 minutes without adding in filler content, it’s time to rethink your topic. Find one that can easily fill those 30 minutes.

At the same time, if your topic demands more than one hour, these webinar statistics should convince you that it’s best to divide the presentation into two or more parts. This will come with a couple extra challenges, but they’ll be worth it if it means that the length of each webinar fits into this ideal range.

 

2. People Will Only Commit to One Webinar Per Week

The second entry on our list of webinar statistics is all about time commitment. Research shows that people will only commit to attending one webinar per week, which means you cannot be lazy when it comes to organizing and promoting your webinar.

Your targeted webinar attendees may be interested in a number of different types of webinars, not just the ones that have to do with your industry.  Nonetheless, these webinar statistics hold: people only view one a week, on average.

What this means for you is that your webinar isn’t just competing against those from your competitors but all other webinars out there that a viewer could possibly be interested.

Keep this in mind as you put your webinar together. You have all kinds of competition vying for your market’s attention.

 

3. Morning is Best for Hosting Webinars

Next, let’s talk about when you should host a webinar. Conventional wisdom has usually been that it’s best to host webinars in the afternoon (after people are off work so you know they’re free).

Other popular webinar times are around noon or one o’clock, since it’s over the average lunch hour.

However, webinar statistics show that 10 or 11 o’clock in the morning is actually the time people prefer most.

Only about 16% of people like webinars to be scheduled at noon or later. That’s about the same amount of people who would actually prefer 9am.

Webinar statistics prove that the majority of people would actually prefer webinars to be hosted at either 10am or 11am. The latter was the preference of 26% of viewers with 11am being the winner with 32%.

 

4. Tuesdays Are Best for Hosting Webinars

With the above webinar statistics, you now know what time of day to hold your webinar, but how about what day of the week? This is just as important.

Tuesday is the big winner here. However, Wednesday and Thursday were close behind, so any of those three days should be fine.

The clear indicator here seems to be the fact that people want plenty of time to plan around attending webinars. That’s a good sign, though. It means people are taking these programs seriously.

As Monday and Friday tend to be the busiest days of the week (and the ones people are most likely to take vacation days on), it makes sense to avoid them like the plague.

 

5. You Absolutely Must Include a Q&A at the End of Your Webinar

The most lopsided of our webinar statistics is about Q&As. If you’re not already hosting live Q&A sessions at the end of your webinar presentations, it’s time to make a change.

92% of webinar attendees want a live question and answer session at the end of a webinar.

Therefore, you should factor your Q&A sessions into the overall running time of your webinars (per the webinar statistics we covered earlier). Most Q&A sessions are about ten minutes long, but you might find that the sessions typically facilitate are shorter or longer as time goes on. Simply modify the amount of time you leave for your Q&As as necessary.

When you first begin hosting webinars, it can be tough to anticipate the questions you’ll get. In fact, you might not get any questions from your audience at all. Just because they like Q&A sessions doesn’t actually mean they’ll ask questions.

As such, make sure you have a few canned questions planned and ready to go. Treat them like an FAQ, so if no one is asking questions you can simply tell your audience you’ll cover the common ones you usually get. This might also help your viewers think of some of their own.

 

6. Be Passionate and Interesting

Being passionate and interesting is always a good idea, no matter what the context.

That being said, these are still important webinar statistics to look at because they also show what doesn’t work when you’re hosting a webinar.

When people were asked about what engages them most, they reported that visual slides weren’t as engaging as one might assume. Only about 15% said they were engaged by slideshows and other visuals.

The same amount mentioned interactions between speakers and attendees. Therefore, while Q&As are still important to include, don’t spend the majority of your webinar trying to talk to your audience. It turns out that most people don’t care if you do.

Webinar statistics show that 32% of attendees said they felt the most engaged when the webinar host was passionate and energetic. Practice adding as much excitement into your voice as you can muster, as this will keep your attendees happy and engaged throughout your webinars.

Finally (and not surprisingly), interesting and relevant content won the day. Webinar statistics show that 38% of attendees cited this as the thing they engage with the most.

While these might not be shocking webinar statistics, keep this in mind when you’re coming up with a webinar title. As we’ve already covered, headlines are extremely important. Make sure the name of your webinar lets people know it’s going to be interesting and relevant.

 

7. Webinar Statistics Prove You Need to Go Long with Promotion

About 29% of your attendees won’t register for your presentation until the day of the event itself. However, webinar statistics also show that 17% of your attendees will probably sign up more than 15 days before the big day. That’s nearly half of the people who will attend.

Therefore, you need to make sure you have a nice long promotional cycle to attract every potential lead. Use everything from social media posts to blogs to emails to give yourself as much of a chance as possible to let people know about your webinar.

 

8. Send Your Emails Midweek

send webinar emails midweek

Speaking of your emails, midweek is the best possible time to send them out to your potential audience. These webinar statistics almost completely mirror the ones we covered above about when to host your event.

Tuesday is best, but Wednesday and Thursday aren’t bad. Monday actually takes fourth place as, come Friday, people just want to do what it takes to get out the door and enjoy their weekends.

Obviously, Saturday and Sunday are terrible days for promotional emails, much less webinars.

 

9. About a Third of Those Who Sign Up Will Actually Attend Your Webinar

While all of the webinar statistics on this list are important, this is the one that the majority of people tend to fixate on the most. After all, at the end of the day, one of the most important success metrics for a webinar – arguably, the only one that matters – is how many people actually attended.

The ratio of registrants to attendees is surprisingly consistent. While you can always work to improve these webinar statistics for your company, about 35% to 45% is the average.

That’s a very strong number, though, so if that’s where you’re consistently landing, consider your efforts successful and only work to boost them after you’ve optimized other features of your webinar.

If you’re falling below 35%, something is definitely wrong. The other webinar statistics in this article should give you some idea of what has to change so that the number does, too.

 

10. The Average Number of Webinar Attendees Is 148

Another important metric to aim for from our list of webinar statistics is 148. This is the average audience size you should be looking for when you host webinars. If you apply this to the last statistic, you’ll need to have about 500 people register for yours even before you can hope to get roughly 150 people to actually attend. Of course, that’s only if you’re getting a third of your registrants to do so.

Also, if you take out webinars that only had 100 people attend from the survey that produced this statistic, the average jumps all the way up to 392. Therefore, don’t get too comfortable with 149. While that’s a good milestone to hit, there’s clearly plenty of room for improvement you could work toward.

 

11. Record and Replay Your Webinars for Best Results

Everyone is going to have different goals for their webinars. If you’re using it to set up a limited time offer or the webinar comes with a price, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to replay it in the future.

That being said, 28% of people who watch webinars signed up to do so after registration was over. This number appears to be growing steadily, as well. The takeaway would be that people don’t necessarily care if the event is live or not. It may also speak to a growing on-demand culture that expects things like Netflix and Hulu to deliver content when it’s convenient.

Therefore, consider leaving webinars up for as long as possible to gain increased views. These webinar statistics may also identify the fact that people from all over the world want to watch webinars but can only do so when it’s convenient depending on their time zone.

 

12. The Cost of a Webinar Differs Greatly, but Almost Everyone Is Paying

Finally, it’s become clear that you need to invest money into your webinar. At the very least, it should cost $100 to produce a webinar. However, the average swings from $100 all the way up to $3,000.

If you’re currently not spending a dime and relying solely on free software for your webinars, you’re probably not getting the results you were hoping for.

Everyone’s webinar is going to be a bit different, but you should now have a much better understanding of what yours should probably entail. If you’d like more help putting on a successful webinar, check out BigMarker today.

 

Sources:

https://www.readytalk.com/blog/christine-nguyen/12-webinar-stats-you-need-to-know

http://bizibl.com/marketing/download/2016-webinar-benchmarks-report

https://www.slideshare.net/GoToWebinar/6-webinar-stats-you-should-know

Are Your Webinars Successful? Tracking and Decoding Webinar Metrics

As you probably know, hosting a webinar can benefit your company in a number of ways. However, before you put time and money into these presentations, make sure you know about the following webinar metrics you can use to judge their effectiveness.

Investment ROI

Of all the webinar metrics we’re about to list, this should be one of the most familiar. No matter what kind of business you’re in, everyone knows what ROI (Return on Investment) is and why it’s important.

While ROI can apply to all kinds of investments, we’re putting it on our list of webinar metrics as a reminder because it can be fairly easy to overlook. Depending on your setup, webinars are usually cheap to host. This is especially true if you already own some or all of the required hardware.

Nonetheless, just like anything to do with your business, you need to track what you’re spending to see whether or not you’re making a good investment. Don’t just keep the receipts from the hardware you had to buy, either.

You may also have to account for things like:

  • Webinar software (the cost may be one-time; it may be monthly)
  • The opportunity cost of you taking time out of your day to host or the amount you’re paying an employee
  • Any platforms you used for landing pages, emails, etc.
  • Any ads you used to bring in traffic

There may be all kinds of other costs involved. These should all be tracked and you should also put a system in place to take into consideration any others you add in the future.

Then, you’ll want to compare the amount of money you’ve spent on your webinars up to this point on how many conversions you’re seeing that produce actual customers.

Length of the Webinar

We touched on this to some degree, but the second recommendation on our list of webinar metrics is to track how long your webinar actually goes on for.

The reason we mentioned above was in terms of real or opportunity cost: if you’re taking time out of your day, what’s the cost of that because you’re not doing something else? On the other hand, if you’re paying an employee, what’s the cost to have them host?

However, those aren’t the only reasons to pay attention to how long your webinars are going on for.

Like all webinar metrics, the length of your webinars may influence how effective they are at converting customers.

While it’ll probably never come down to a minute-by-minute analysis, you may learn that a full hour is preferable to just a half hour. As time goes on and you do enough webinars, you might find that, for some topics, your guests are willing to stick around longer than they are for others.

At first, just get a feel for what their general preference is, but look to segment that down at some point, too, for even better insights.

Drop-Off Points

No matter what you have in mind for your webinar in terms of the format, your goals for it, the information you’ll cover, how much you’re investing, etc. you need to make drop-off points one of the webinar metrics you pay attention to.

As the name suggests, this metric refers to when people drop off your webinar. It’s almost always going to happen and a lot of times, there’s little you can do about it.

Nevertheless, you want to keep the number as small as possible and looking back on drop-off points will help you do this.

For example, let’s say you found that people were leaving within the first 10 minutes while you were still doing your introduction and explaining the goal of your webinar. This would be hugely valuable information. Up until that moment, you may have thought your introduction was not just polished and engaging but helpful for the audience, as well.

Now, you would know otherwise and could make adjustments so more people stick around for the rest of the webinar.

Checking for drop-off points can help with everything from knowing which guests are good/bad to which topics your viewers like/hate to even the type of tone they prefer.

The Optimal Time to Host a Webinar

Depending on whom you speak to, the ideal time to put on a webinar is right around noon or sometime after five. Others will tell you that Saturday morning is usually the best.

It’s not that these people are lying. It’s that they most likely all have very different types of clientele.

If you’re hosting a webinar for freelancers, just about any time during the day probably works.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping for attendance from people who work traditional 9-to-5 jobs, you could host your sessions at noon and hope to catch them on their lunch breaks, or wait until after they get home.

The only way to know for sure is to use webinar metrics. Truth be told, you can also find out when your competitors put theirs on and assume they’ve already done their research, but looking into your webinar metrics is probably still best.

Use webinar metrics to schedule webinars

Attendee Feedback

Feedback is extremely important to the success of your webinar for a few reasons.

The obvious one is that all the webinar metrics in the world may not help you with certain points that could use improvement. Maybe you’d be better off explaining certain terms in more detail or ditching a certain segment people are just sitting through to get to the good stuff.

However, feedback is also an important form of engagement. Your webinar metrics may show you a large percentage of your audience stays from the beginning to the end of your presentation. Well, that’s great, right?

Maybe, but maybe people aren’t really paying attention. They might just have it on in the background while they pull up another window and do something else. Or, people might be listening but actually have no idea what you’re talking about.

None of these would bode well for reaching your webinar goals. By keeping track of the amount of feedback you get during and after a webinar (and getting a sense for what these responses are about), you’ll have a much easier time understanding if you’re connecting with your audience or not.

Note: you do, of course, actually have to prompt your audience for feedback and enable that option in your webinars. Otherwise, your webinar metrics may be reporting depressing results simply because your viewers don’t know they can interrupt you.

Polls and Surveys

webinar polls as a webinar metric

These webinar metrics are both versions of feedback, but they deserve their own space here because of the unique insights they can provide.

Recall that a few paragraphs back we mentioned that you’d want to get a sense for what kind of responses you were receiving from your audience.

This can be kind of tough, though. One really nice problem to have would simply be that so many people are attending your webinars that you can’t possibly make a fair assessment of their responses.

Fortunately, surveys and polls not only solve this problem but are two very effective webinar metrics for other reasons, too.

You can use polls and surveys during your webinar to quickly get answers from your audience in a way that will be easy to quickly understand.

Of course, you can also use them afterward to solicit critiques from your viewers.

The great thing about organizing information this way is how easy it then is to view it all from a macro-level. If you keep the same or similar questions going forward, it will be that much easier to compare responses.

Devices Used to Watch Your Webinar

This might seem like a minor piece of data hardly worth the use of webinar metrics, but there’s a lot you could do with this information.

The most obvious is that if you know your audience tends to use smartphones to watch your webinars, you’re going to need larger graphics so they can see them on their smaller screens. In fact, that insight would be worth knowing even if just 10% of your audience preferred smartphones. You don’t want to lose 10% of the audience you worked so hard to bring in, do you?

Conversion Rate

Arguably, one of the most important webinar metrics you need to concern yourself with is conversion rate.

There are three different versions. The first we already talked about at the beginning: it’s knowing how many people attend and then convert into customers.

Aside from knowing the ROI, though, you also want to get a feel for what percentage of the total attendees are converting. Even if your ROI is huge because of low overhead, that doesn’t mean your conversion rate is necessarily where you want it to be.

The second type of conversion rate you want to use webinar metrics to monitor is the number of people who actually attend your webinar after registering for it.

Depending on the industry you work in, that number could easily be as low as 20% and yet would still be considered really good for that field.

You’ll need to figure this out for yourself and then track your ability to lock in people who RSVP.

Of course, the conversion rate of people who come to your site and then go on to sign up for your webinar may be of particular interest, as well. This is the beginning of your marketing funnel, so if it’s not serving its purpose, the rest of your efforts are also going to come up short.

Again, don’t confuse these webinar metrics with ROI. The latter has to do with dollars and cents. These are all about ratios: how many of the whole were you able to get to take a desired action?

Brand Awareness

This is a pretty tough metric to monitor no matter what kind of tools you’re using to increase your company’s brand awareness.

Perhaps the most popular way for many businesses is to watch their social media profiles and look for significant increases following webinars. You’d have to know what a normal increase looks like, but, otherwise, gathering these webinar metrics from across your social media sites could prove very helpful.

The other way you can measure brand awareness is by tracking mentions of your company. You can set up Google Alerts for this or use software specific to social media sites. After all, some people may mention you or your webinar without actually speaking directly to your account.

Again, it can be tough to quantify these incidents in terms of brand awareness. People could be talking about your organization for any number of reasons.

Still, if you’re using webinars to increase your company’s mindshare and build its brand, it’s worth digging into these metrics.

Return Attendees

Earlier, we mentioned conversions and the importance of making sure people are RSVPing and then actually showing up.

Our last example on our list of webinar metrics you should be using has to do with retention. Make sure you’re not just looking at raw numbers when it comes to people showing up to your webinars. You also want to see how many are returning. Not only will that kind of retention cost you less, but those people are probably more likely to become customers, something that may be a major goal of your webinar.

The above information should have made it clear that webinar metrics are vital to your success using this medium, but also that you’re not lacking for options. Someday, you may come up with your own metric unique to the type of industry you’re in or customer you’re after, but for now, the above list should more than suffice.

That being said, if you have any questions about webinar metrics or hosting successful webinars, feel free to get in touch.  Also, if you need a powerful webinar platform to handle your webinar metrics and other webinar hosting endeavors, BigMarker fits the bill. Start your 14-day free trial today!

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.slideshare.net/WebinarReady/6-key-metrics-that-impact-webinar-peformance62413

http://blog.workcast.com/5-metrics-for-measuring-webinar-success

https://venturebeat.com/2015/09/23/10-key-metrics-to-turn-your-webinars-into-a-super-lead-gen-tool/

https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/1166/52367/6-key-metrics-that-impact-webinar-performance-before-during-and-after