3 Foolproof Ways to Host an Amazing Webinar

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3 Foolproof Ways to Host an Amazing Webinar

Webinars. The successful content marketing medium and effective lead generation tool that continues to grow in popularity each year. In fact, over 60% of marketers were using webinars as part of their content marketing programs in 2015 and we’re seeing that number continue to rise in 2016.

What makes webinars so valuable? We asked BigMarker’s Director of Customer Success, Hannah Scherer, to explain why webinars have become the gold standard of content marketing. “Webinars are super effective because they position you as a thought leader in your industry and break down geographical barriers that previously prevented you from directly reaching potential consumers.” In other words, the sky’s the limit when it comes to reaching your most engaged audience, and marketers are taking advantage of it.

With all of the recent media buzz around webinars, more and more people are asking the same question: “How do I host a good webinar?” We asked Hannah to weigh-in on this important question and share her top 3 tips on hosting effective webinars.

Poor planning is the reason why so many webinars fail.

“Hosting a bad webinar is easy because it requires the least amount of effort from the host. Poor planning is the reason why so many webinars fail.” Hannah explains. “Conversely, the only thing it takes to host an amazing webinar is a little time and effort.” With very little standing in the way between you and ‘webinar greatness’, check out Hannah’s 3 foolproof tips for hosting amazing webinars:

1: Define your audience

In order to engage your audience, you’ll need to first make sure you’re attracting the right people to your webinar and planning your content accordingly. Before you even schedule your webinar it is imperative to ask yourself, “Who do I want to attend my webinar?”, “Why do I want them to attend?”, “Why should they attend?” and also, “How can I best reach this audience?” Asking yourself these questions will not only help you define your audience but will also help you structure your content and your outreach strategy effectively.

2. Accommodate and entice your targeted audience

The main objective of any webinar is to get your targeted audience to register for and attend your event. To do this, you must accommodate your potential guests’ needs by scheduling your webinar at an appropriate time. So when is the best time to host a webinar? It depends (again) on what you’re hosting and who you’re targeting. For example, the best time to host a career-related webinar is mid-week (Tuesday through Thursday) between 11:00am and 3:00pm CT. Conversely, lifestyle-related content is better scheduled for after working hours or on the weekends. Regardless of the content, all webinars should be scheduled about 2-3 weeks out in order to properly promote the event and give potential registrants enough notice.

However, accommodating your targeted audience isn’t a surefire path to conversion. You must also entice your potential registrants with a convincing landing page. This means adding high-quality images, a well thought-out description, and effectively communicating the value they will get out of attending your webinar. Remember that your landing page is the first (and often only) impression you’ll get, so make it count.

3. Engage your audience

Think back to grade school when your teacher would just talk, talk, talk for 60 minutes straight. It was so boring, remember?  Well, that’s exactly what you DON’T want to do when hosting a webinar. Instead, you should continuously present your audience with questions, polls, and other opportunities for engagement to keep them mentally present and interested in your content during your webinar. It’s also critical to remain animated and excited when talking to keep attendee interest piqued.

 

So there you have it, folks! The 3 foolproof tips for hosting amazing webinars from BigMarker’s Director of Customer Success, Hannah Scherer.

Have a question? Email hannah@bigmarker.com to get in touch.

Ready to get started? Host amazing webinars on BigMarker.

Using Effective Calls to Action to Improve Social Conversions

Here’s a scenario. You’ve spent hours perfecting the right blog post and shared it over all your brand’s social media networks. The likes and comments come in – but your sales remain the same and there’s not even a promising number of clicks. Sound familiar? There’s a good chance your content is missing an effective call to action.

Small Business Trends reports 70% of small businesses lack a call to action on their website, let alone their social media content. Not using a call to action is letting an opportunity slip away. Think about how many sales you could have if even a fraction of your readers took action!

Even if you are using calls to action, they might not be the right ones. Clichéd, over-used phrases such as “Buy now” are not going to get anyone excited about your product who wasn’t before. Your call to action should be as well thought out as the rest of your content.

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Create an effective call to action

How to create effective calls to action

Make it personal: A cold prospect is not going to be as far along in the sales process as a current client. Therefore, you must make sure your call to action is targeted around what action you want a specific person to take. Maybe you just want your prospect to sign up for a free trial, while you want a current client to try out a new product. Hubspot reports this kind of targeting is 42% more effective.

Create Urgency: Don’t give your consumer a chance to brush off your offer and come back later. A sense of time is more compelling and more likely to convert. Language like “today only” and “limited time offer” is going to be stronger than “sale going on now.”

Incorporate images: Since images are more attention grabbing, it only makes sense to include them with calls to action. This could be done multiple ways, whether it’s on your social media cover photos, or used at the end of a blog post. People aren’t going to even consider your call to action if they don’t notice it.

Free trial: Everybody likes free! If your content is compelling, trying it out seems like the next logical step. Free is less of a risk for your consumer. This is going to work best for software and other similar businesses that sell something intended for long-term use.

Make the benefit clear: Internet users are bombarded by messaging every time they log on. You’re fighting for their attention, time, and money. They’re not going to know why they should care about your product or service – you have to tell them. It might not be the actual button or link, but you should mention this benefit statement in the copy – maybe it’s the expertise you’re bringing or the value of a service that’s on sale.

time-for-action
It’s time for you to take action!

Now it’s YOUR turn to take action and review your messaging on social media. Don’t let your hard work creating quality content be for nothing. Include personalized, carefully worded calls to actions and watch your conversions rise.

 

Jonathon Ohayon is the COO of Brilliance.com and has been managing companies and motivating people since the 6th grade. As a proven business leader and gemologist, he is uniquely skilled in navigating the ever changing e-commerce landscape. When he is not answering emails into the wee hours of the night, he can be found spending time with his wife and three children.

Webinar Expert, Ken Molay, To Host Second Educational Series on BigMarker

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After hosting his exceptionally successful four-part webinar series earlier this season, Ken Molay of Webinar Success has announced that he will be rolling out another educational webinar series in August. Mirroring his previous theme of host-centered webinar content, Molay plans to continue his Webinar Success series with a lineup of new workshops covering the best practices and most effective strategies for hosting successful marketing webinars.

So what’s in store for the upcoming series?  Ken shares,

“I’m continuing my focus on ways to improve the effectiveness of marketing webinars, since that is such a significant application area and has such a direct impact on business growth and revenues. Once again I am trying to strike a mix of topics to offer something for people at different levels of experience using web conferencing for business marketing.”

Since this is the second Webinar Success series on BigMarker, we also asked Ken to share how his upcoming series will differ from his previous series on BigMarker. He explains,

“My last series looked at webinars from a high-level perspective, giving an end-to-end view of all the different aspects of planning, promoting, delivering, and taking actions. This series gets more specific, with each presentation looking at one particular area of focus. On August 3rd I will concentrate on designing presentation slide content. On August 17th I will discuss ways to make webinars part of a content marketing strategy. September 14th brings attention to planning and delivering live demonstrations as part of a marketing webinar. And we’ll wrap up on September 28th with tips and tricks on presentation style and technique. My goal is to help marketers add to their collection of skills and knowledge with practical recommendations they can apply immediately.”

 

As expressed in Molay’s above statements, each workshop is aimed to delve into a new, specific aspect of webinar hosting. Molay asks attendees to come with an open mind and a lot of questions as each session will follow with an interactive Q&A session where attendees can pick the host’s brain.

 

Full list of upcoming Webinar Success webinars:

August 3, 2016 11:00 am (CDT)-  A Guide To Building Effective Marketing Presentations 

August 17, 2016 2:00 pm (CDT)- Best Practices for Content Marketing Webinars

September 14, 2016 12:00 pm (CDT)- How to Incorporate Demos Into Your Marketing Webinars

September 28, 2016 1:00 pm (CDT)-  Improving Your Online Presentation Skills

 

To register for this upcoming series, click here.

To learn more about Ken Molay, visit Webinar Success.

Session 2 of Webinar Success Series to Zero in on B2B Marketing

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Successful webinar hosting

Earlier this month, we kicked off our highly anticipated series of free webinar workshops with webinar expert, Ken Molay.

After drawing a crowd of over 1,000 viewers to his first session on hosting you first successful webinar, Molay will be returning to BigMarker on June 1st to host the second of his four-part educational webinar series.

The upcoming session entitled: Secrets of B2B Marketing Webinars, will zero in on the ways marketers can be more effective in their approach to hosting B2B marketing webinars and converting leads into paying customers.

“I will outline the key tasks that need to be accomplished when putting together a marketing webinar. You will learn how to involve personnel in your own company and external guest speakers to ensure a smooth and productive experience. We will look at aspects such as promotion and registration, preparation activities, and sales follow up. We will cover considerations for including video or live demonstrations in your webinars and see how they compare to PowerPoint presentations.” Explained Ken when we asked what attendees can expect to learn from this educational webinar.

As a former director of product marketing turned president of Webinar Success, Ken’s unique experience in the marketing and webinar fields makes him the perfect mentor for webinar hosts looking to optimize their B2B marketing strategy.

Is this upcoming marketing webinar right for you? We asked Ken who should attend this session.

“This seminar is appropriate for producers and presenters of business marketing webinars. It is valuable for those currently using webinars in their business and for those just getting started with webinars as a new marketing channel.”

So there you have it. A high-level marketing webinar that is suitable for anyone in the field. Regardless of your experience with marketing webinars, this workshop will provide valuable content to help you drive more results in your future B2B marketing webinars.

To register for Secrets of B2B Marketing Webinars, Register Here!

To register for the entire series, visit the Webinar Success channel.

Webinar Expert, Ken Molay, to Host Webinar Series on BigMarker

In preparation for his much anticipated webinar series, we sat down with webinar expert, Ken Molay, of Webinar Success and The Webinar Blog to learn about his background and what’s in store for this upcoming webinar project.

Ken Molay, Webinar Success
Webinar success series hosted by Ken Molay

 

  1. What is your upcoming webinar about?  

On May 18 I’ll be talking about the basics of hosting and delivering webinars for first timers. I’ll include tips covering budgeting, key tasks, skill sets that are needed, and understanding technology features.

  1. Who should attend this webinar? And why? 

This is for anyone who is considering using webinars for business, whether for marketing, sales, training, public outreach, or employee communications. It doesn’t matter whether you work in a large corporation, a small Mom-and-Pop business, a non-profit, or a government organization… I’ll be keeping my information relevant for all use cases.

There are a lot of educational events where you can feel intimidated that you don’t have the same background and experience as other attendees, so you are afraid of asking questions that are too basic. That’s why I wanted to avoid… This will be an opportunity to pick up fundamental principles and terminology that will help you get started with webinars.

Oh, and I won’t be selling anything. At the end of the webinar you will NOT be invited to buy a book, or a training course, or services. I hate those kinds of bait-and-switch webinars!

  1. You are going to do a series of these webinars correct? How do you see the series helping people going forward?   

Yes, I will be presenting a variety of topics through the month of June. Some topics are general for all types of webinars… for instance on June 29 I will talk about ways to make your webinars more engaging and interactive. Some are more narrowly focused on marketing, since that is such a common use for webinars (and also a part of my own business background). People will be able to get tips on improving their marketing content, promotional effectiveness, and lead conversion rates.

  1. Can you let us know a little about yourself? How did you get into helping people and companies with webinars?      

Whew! I’ve been around the block a few times, so there is a lot of back story there. I started out with an engineering degree and a lot of work with computer programming. So I have a good understanding of the technical side of web conferencing. I spent five interesting years as an international tour director, which honed my public speaking skills and gave me good insights on presenting in an engaging and entertaining manner. Then I moved into product marketing, where I first started using webinars as a way to get sales leads, conduct customer communications, and interact with industry analysts. I noticed that guest speakers from our own company and from partner organizations often had trouble being effective on webinars where they could not directly see and interact with their audiences. This led me to form my own company 12 years ago – Webinar Success. My goal has been to provide training, consulting, and support services purely focused on making webinars better for both presenters and attendees, while making them more effective for the companies hosting them.

  1. What was it like starting Webinar Success and The Webinar Blog? How are you hoping to help people long term?

When I created Webinar Success in 2004, I made a conscious decision to run it as a personal “labor of love.” I do everything myself… Marketing, accounting, web site copy, client relations, and every minute of service. I wanted to ensure that my clients would never suffer from being assigned a new employee with less experience or have to re-explain something to a replacement for an employee who has left the company. This limits the amount of business I take on and keeps me laser-focused on keeping my clients happy. My business goals have never been about growth. They are about doing what I love and making enough money to be comfortable while doing it. That has worked out great for me, and for some of my clients where I have ended up being the one constant over the years in their webinar programs as their own employees have come and gone.

The Webinar Blog is my way to give back to the business community with best practices, opinions, industry news, and occasional reviews related to webinars and webcasts. I write it myself and run it much like my business… I accept no outside advertising and have no referral arrangements or kickbacks from webinar technology vendors. I hope people find it helpful and interesting!

 

To register for Hosting Your First Successful Webinar, Register Here! To register for the entire series, visit the Webinar Success channel.

Top 3 Business Webinars You Must Watch

Any business requires you to stay updated with the latest trends in the market. If you are a new business owner who is testing the waters with your idea, we have a few webinars that might help you with this endeavor.

If you’ve missed these webinars don’t worry, there is a recorded version available and the best part is that it’s free! Make the most of these videos and maybe you’ll figure out a way to make it big.

All you need is a little inspiration.

Here are a the top 3 free webinars that might help you with your venture:

  1. The Top 3 Ways I Grew The Founding Moms Into An International Brand

If you are starting from scratch, trying to make a fancy hat one hay straw at a time, then Jill Salzman knows what you are talking about. Her webinar explores how the resources around you can help you build an idea into something big. Her story might be the inspiration you were looking for.

https://www.bigmarker.com/FoundingMoms/webinar1

  1. Create Your Marketing Pitch to Land That Promotion, Project, or New Job with Q&A

You’re in an elevator with an investor, you have to sell your business idea to him in less than 2 minutes, what do you do? That’s the test of how good you are at making a marketing pitch. Believing in your idea is not enough, you need to master the art of selling it as well. Kara’s webinar might give you some insight into developing yours.

https://www.bigmarker.com/soulofwork/marketingpitchworkshop

  1. Creating Extraordinary Careers – Q&A with Stever Robbins

Starting out has never been easy. If you’ve been in the same field all your life, it might be the right next step for you. However, if you get an idea out of the blue, it might be your calling. Before you start recruiting for your startup, you must ask yourself some important questions to ensure that you are ready for this transition. Stever’s webinar can help you make up your mind.

https://www.bigmarker.com/stever/careersqa

Once you’ve got your business or start-up running, don’t forget to use webinar hosting to reach out to your audience. All the best!

How Budding Musicians Can Leverage The Potential Of Webinars

Webinars are taking the world of digital marketing by storm. They have gradually transformed from being overlooked and their potential disregarded, to becoming an integral aspect of B2B and content marketing strategies. Perhaps the biggest advantage of webinars is that they transcend all geographic boundaries, allowing the dissemination of information to users and influencers all across the world, at almost no cost whatsoever.

A large crop of people assume that webinars are used solely by marketers or professors for sharing their content; au contraire, a large number of unconventional professionals, such as musicians, social activists and dancers have also been leveraging the potential of webinars to promote their content.

If you’re a musician hoping to reach out to a large audience, webinars can be your ticket to fame! Here are a few ways in which you can harness the potential of webinars to increase engagement with your audience —

  • Live streaming gigs — almost every musician dreams of performing live someday. And webinars can breathe life into your flights of fancy – all you need is a computer, an internet connection and a microphone. You can stream your gig as a live webinar and invite followers to tune into it. With due promotion, your webinar has the potential to be heard by thousands the world over. If well-received, your music might spread like wildfire all over the Internet.
  • Online workshops — you can broadcast your music tutorials and workshops as a live webinar. It proves to be a more interactive option as compared to a regular video, as it allows for feedback. It helps drive traffic to your website, and ultimately results in an increase in the number of your followers.
  • Q&A with audience — fans are what make a musician, a musician. So it’s always good to get the fans and the audience involved at some ‘stage’, and a Q&A session is the perfect way. It helps address fans’ questions about the music, the musician, his methods, as well as makes them feel that the musician actually cares about them and considers them important. Holding a Q&A session every month greatly increases engagement and word-of-mouth promotion for you and your music.
  • Behind-the-scenes access — giving fans and audiences a rare glimpse into what goes on behind the making of the music proves to be a great way of increasing engagement. The trick here is to give them just a glimpse that’ll leave them wanting more, a look into new music you have been working on. This keeps the audience on their toes, and will definitely make them tune into your next webinar.

These are a few ways in which budding musicians can harness webinar services, and reach out to audience world over.

Does Your Brand’s Marketing Strategy Really Need All Digital Media Platforms?

Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, you name it and your brand has an official account on the platform. However, the conversion ratio that you had anticipated is missing. Wonder why?

Businesses spend a sizable chunk of money and intensive man power, dedicated to mastering their marketing strategy. Inevitably most businesses decide that a presence on each platform will convert into sales. Truth to be told, this is not the case.

Generally a business posts and shares content that is repeated over various platforms or just cross promotes the same content according to the mediums format. This just results in your consumers getting bombarded with repetitive content that makes them lose interest and also often discourages them. It is also likely that they unfollow your brand page.

Stop and take a moment or two to understand what it is that each social media platform offers and how you can avail them or not avail them to maximize your social media marketing strategy.

Micro-blogging manners

 

Twitter:

This medium is best suited if you have a considerable amount of content to go around each day that ties up to current event topics or even industry matters. Just having a presence on Twitter and tweeting only one generic post a day will do your brand no good. Twitter is all about brevity, so content that is timely and packs a punch needs to be made available via this platform.

Instagram:

Even though this format of social media is increasingly gaining popularity, the content that can be shared here is very specific, namely vivid photographs. People who have an Instagram account usually share very personal experiences via this medium, they share photos of themselves, the food they eat, their pets, families, vacation spots, etc. Just spamming your followers with pictures that hold little relevance to your brand will do you no good. Even if you still insist on having an account on this platform, please ensure that the content that you share adds value to your brand.

Social networking etiquette

Facebook fan:

As a medium that helps you get the reach and gives you the freedom to share multiple formats of information, Facebook is an ideal choice. Not only can you reach out to potential clients and influencers for your brand but also keep your current patronage engaged via this medium. This medium is not limiting in the sense that you can share pictures, videos, data and analytics and other information in real time without a glitch. People can further share the content you post. This medium also has an active call-to-action facility which overall helps your marketing strategy.

LinkedIn likes:

Content that should be created for LinkedIn should cater to primarily the team that you employee, the potential employees and your competitors. This is one platform where customers take a backseat and what comes into focus is what you do as a brand. Content that you share on LinkedIn should be in complete sync with your brand image.

Webinar ways

Webinars are being labeled as the game changers where marketing strategies are concerned. Their USP lies in them being a platform that lets you collaborate all formats of content and share it with your actual target audience. Another good thing about webinars is that they give you the scope to really put together valid and unique content over an extended period of time and then share it. They allow you to communicate with and engage with your actual audience and potential clients in real time. A further advantage of webinars is that you get to measure the results and success instantly.

You can either choose webinar platforms that offers paid services and a support team that will help you organize a good webinar, or you can choose a free webinar platform. The complimentary tools help you collate your research, manage your invites and attendees’ data, contact them and send reminders. Incorporating your organizations blog, also becomes easy.

Chasing after large number of people will not pay off unless you offer quality content to match. Sometimes doing less is more. So choose a balanced mix of platforms to add to your marketing strategy.

Tell us what kind of content you share on each platform and your intent of doing so.

Become a Webinar Wizard: 5 Keys to Success

Become a Webinar Wizard

Have a Plan

The first step to a successful webinar is to get a strategy in place. You need to ask yourself several key questions. Why am I hosting a webinar? Who is my target audience? What are my goals? What am I going to cover and how? While your ultimate goal may be to make a sale don’t use your webinar as a hard sales pitch, you’re likely to lose your audience. Providing useful content that is relevant to your audience will keep them coming back.

It’s All About the Title

Your title is critical in getting people to attend your webinar. You want your title to be engaging and give a clear picture of what someone will gain from coming to your webinar. When crafting your title you should consider; Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. While you want your title to be informative you should also keep it brief. A brief catchy title that is informative is a must for a successful webinar.

Timing is Everything

You want to strategically schedule your webinar to maximise attendance. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are usually the best days of the week to host a webinar. Try to avoid holidays and the day before or after a holiday.  You will also want to consider what else might be going on in your space at the same time as your webinar. For example, if there is a trade show happening that your target audience is likely to attend it’s not the best time to host a webinar.

Time of day is also a key factor. You’ll want to think about where your target audience is located. Lunch time is usually a good time to maximize attendance. If your audience comes from multiple time zones try to choose a time that would be convenient across time zones. For example, Noon Central is late enough on the West Coast and early enough on the East Coast to be convenient for all attendees.

Promotion is an Imperative

Those seats aren’t going to fill themselves! It’s critical to promote your webinar.  While social media is a low-cost way to reach a large audience it’s not a magic bullet and shouldn’t be your entire promotional plan.  You should  also advertise it on your website, utilize emails to reach your target audience, write blog posts and encourage others to share your content.

Content is King

A webinar should consist of 3 parts; introduction, key points, conclusion. It should be informative and engaging.

Make it visual.  A slide full of text is going to bore your audience. Use visuals to punctuate your points. Visuals will keep your audience much more engaged in what you are saying.

Keep text to a minimum. Your presentation should not be you reading verbatim from your slides.  Slide text should be short and highlight the key point you are making.

Engage with your Audience! People attend live webinar because they want to engage with the presenter. Poll questions are a great way to engage your audience and make your presentation interactive.  Saving time for live Q&A is also important.

Three Webinars To Watch On BigMarker

Webinars can be fun and informative. However, if you are new to the webinar world, you might want to start watching some recorded webinars to get a better idea of what is in store for you. If you are invested in making your Sunday a productive one, we have a list of webinars you should catch up on.

Here are three trending webinars on BigMarker,

1. Technology and our Brains: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown.

The age old debate about the effects of technology is being fueled by this webinar. It’s time to take a stance on this topic and watch what hosts Betsy and Sara have to say about it. They shed light on the effects of video games, cell phones and other technology during different stages of child development. The positive and the negative sides are explored along with strategies to elicit positive effects and minimize the negative ones. It’s a one of a kind webinar and you can catch the recording right here:

https://www.bigmarker.com/BrainsandLearning/Technology-and-Our-Brains-The-Good-The-Bad-and-the-Unknown

2.  10 Social Media Tips for Your Business.

Social media is an important tool in the business world and being a new business in today’s market demands a basic understanding of social media. Social media has become one of the key marketing spaces, due to the rising popularity of the internet. Every company would have a presence on social media forums to reach out to their target audience on a personal level. Master the art of social media with this webinar.

https://www.bigmarker.com/Space_Studio/10-Social-Media-Tips-for-Your-Business

3.  Step Into Your Mindful Life

An interesting insight into mindfulness is coming your way. This webinar is about being in the here and now. Molly knight begins the session with meditation and then explores the themes of awareness and self-observation. She stresses the importance of being mindful and explains its importance in daily life. It’s a webinar worth your attention.

https://www.bigmarker.com/molly-knight-forde/Step-Into-Your-Mindful-Life

Make the most of free web conferencing! Start binge watching today.

Stories, news, and tips to help you build your audience with more engaging webinars