How to Use Evergreen Content to Ensure Your Webinar Withstands the Test of Time

Webinars take time and effort to produce, so there’s no sense in using the content just once. That’s why we’re big advocates of creating high-quality evergreen content that can be leveraged in the future for further marketing purposes.

In this article, we’re actually going to show you how to use your webinars in multiple ways to ensure you get the highest possible ROI from all the hard work you put into them.

The Benefit of Evergreen Content

Before we get into talking about webinar hosting, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about evergreen content.

To put it simply, the word “evergreen” is used because it refers to content that is always “fresh,” always relevant.

For example, many people consider the Dale Carnegie classic How to Win Friends and Influence People evergreen content. Basically, no matter what happens, these two abilities will always be important and relevant. In other words, no one will ever pick up his book and say, “Well, this isn’t how it works anymore.”

The opposite of evergreen content would be “5 Ways to Nail Webinar Hosting in 2017.” This information about webinar hosting may still be very useful, but its practicality will fade as time goes on. In 2020, most people probably won’t be too interested in how webinar hosting was best done three years ago.

Now that we have an understanding, let’s talk about how you can use evergreen content as part of an overall marketing strategy.

 

evergreen content is always fresh and relevant to your webinar audience

Ensure Your Webinar Content Is Actually “Evergreen”

Before you can leverage evergreen content in your webinars, you have to make sure the content you create really will stand the test of time.

For one thing, just as Carnegie did, you should pick principles to discuss. When you pick trendy advice or tips that rely too heavily on technology, you immediately limit how long your webinar will be valid.

For instance, it’s never going to be a bad idea to build a following for the sake of marketing. There will always be certain principles that work for this, too. Constantly staying on people’s radar by releasing high-quality content is an example. You could definitely expand on this in a way that would make it evergreen.

All this being said, don’t be too hard on yourself. Most would agree that all evergreen content has some kind of shelf life. You’d have a hard time hosting an effective webinar if you had to be hyper-general to ensure what you said would always be relevant.

Therefore, just ask yourself if you think your webinar will still be helpful in three to five years. If the answer is “yes,” you’re good to go.

 

Use Your Webinar as Part of a Funnel

Whether we’re talking about sales or marketing funnels, you need to attract people and then convince them that the rest of the path ahead will be worth it.

There are a number of ways you can do this, too.

However, if you have successfully hosted webinars in the past, this is a great piece to begin with or at least to offer up early on.

Everyone knows that webinars usually take more time and even money to do than other forms of content, so the fact that you’re giving one away speaks highly for you/your company. Webinars are also seen as higher-end content (provided they’re done well), which means you’ll be making a great first impression with your audience.

In essence, you’ll have them thinking, “Wow. If this webinar is the first form of content they provide, I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Use Your Webinar Page to Promote Others on Your Site

Alright, so let’s say you hosted a webinar and it went incredibly well. People loved it and it’s been shared a lot, even long after you actually released it. The fact that it’s evergreen has definitely helped.

One way to double down on its effectiveness is to include links to other pages on your site right below the webinar.

The page with the webinar is obviously getting a lot of traffic, right? As a result, Google is probably giving it a decent rank. If it’s not, the next tip will help.

You can spread the love Google is giving by linking to other pages from the one your webinar is on. Google will take this to mean that a page they highly value sees another one as valuable so they probably should, too.

Add Ads to Your Webinar

Along the same lines, you could go back and add an ad to your webinar. Say your company has a new service coming out; you could let people know by adding an ad at the beginning of your popular evergreen webinar.

Use Your Webinar Landing Page to Improve Your Keyword Ranking

Like we said, if you’re not seeing a boost in traffic from your webinar, we can help with that. Assuming it’s truly evergreen, it’s going to be useful for years to come, so you should look to make the most of it where your Google ranking is concerned.

This is very similar to the tip above. All you’re going to do is include the relevant keywords you want to rank for in the space below the video.

Now, don’t just throw them up there. Create a piece of content that expands on the webinar. Maybe use it to provide other helpful resources, too.

The keywords have to be relevant, of course but use ones that you know people would use in their searches.

For instance, let’s say we did a webinar on this very topic: “Evergreen Webinar Hosting and How to Use It in a Marketing Strategy.”

In the space below the webinar, we could create a checklist based on the advice we gave in the seminar. It would be easy enough to do this in such a way that keywords like “webinar hosting” and “evergreen webinars” would naturally fit into the overall piece.

Turn Your Webinar into a How-To Guide or Other Piece of Content

Speaking of which, some people may not appreciate your webinar hosting efforts as much as you would like or they might just prefer a different format. This doesn’t mean they’re out of your marketing strategy’s reach.

Just turn the webinar into some form of content they would appreciate. As we just mentioned, this could mean a “how-to” guide. That might be a blog post, but it could also be an infographic, podcast or something else.

Even if people give your webinar rave reviews, it can still be beneficial to turn it into some kind of content involving different media. Again, checklists are great for this. People may not want to watch your webinar all over again, but they’d probably love having a quick reference nearby.

Build on It

Another fantastic thing about evergreen content – which we touched on earlier – is that it’s usually a collection of principles or a discussion of one in particular.

You could do one on social proof, for example. This is when a company uses the positive reviews of customers to market themselves to others. You’ve probably seen television ads where restaurants show how packed their dining rooms are. The impression they’re trying to give you is that of, “If all these other people love it at our restaurant, you will, too.”

So say you hosted a webinar on social proof and it’s evergreen because you just concentrated on the principles involved.

You can then build on that by doing a second webinar on a similar topic. Maybe this one is “Advanced Methods of Using Social Proof.”

What’s great about this strategy is that it’s going to bring new life to the initial webinar. People who want to learn these advanced methods will have to make sure they covered their bases by watching the first one.

However, you only have to market that second one in order to get this secondary benefit.

Add an Email Request

Even if your webinar is completely free, you can still get a healthy return on it in the form of email addresses. Having these addresses would make it really easy to let former viewers know about a new webinar, especially if you made one following the last piece of advice we gave.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for email addresses right way, of course. You’re providing the public with free advice through a very helpful medium; it’s not uncalled for to request a simple email address in exchange.

If you didn’t do that originally, it’s not too late to do so when you notice your evergreen webinar getting a lot of traffic. In fact, it would be a terrible mistake not to. Your webinar hosting could be paying off in a big way with the addition of one simple plug-in.

Restrict Access to It

A lot of the advice we’ve given about getting more from your webinar hosting efforts relies on you leaving your seminar up and accessible at all times.

Another tactic you may want to go with, though, would involve taking it down, altogether.

Keep in mind, you could still use a lot of the tips we talked about earlier. You could still prompt people for their email addresses and just tell them that you’ll use them to send out a message when the webinar is back.

You can still repackage the content and use the page to rank keywords, too.

In some situations, though, your webinar may have been so effective that it would be extremely advantageous to withhold it from people. A lot of companies do this with their paid webinars. They only accept so many attendees to begin with as this creates artificial demand. It means they can charge that much more to access it in the future.

Whether you want to charge or not, if your webinar proved to be very popular, you might want to do the same thing. Increasing demand for anything – a service, product, piece of content, etc. – puts you in a very enviable position and gives you lots of options.

Add It to a Package Deal

If you do decide to charge for your webinar or otherwise restrict access to it, one way to take advantage of this demand is to then throw it in as a freebie when you’re offering your market something else.

It could be a new webinar; it could be a training program. Whatever the case, as part of your sales page, you’d mention that if people order right now (or in the next X days or whatever parameters you’d like), they’ll get your very popular webinar for free. Obviously, you’d want to spend a bit more time on talking the webinar up, but you get the idea. A potential buyer who was on the fence may click “buy” when they find out what a great value they’re getting.

Spread It Far and Wide

If you’re not going to restrict access to your webinar hosting program, then you should do the exact opposite: make sure it ends up all over the Internet.

You can provide a link to it in the email signatures you and your employees use, with anchor text that explains what it is.

You definitely want to put it on social media. Do multiple posts over the course of several months. Just make sure you post other things in between and that you always find new ways of introducing it or providing context (e.g. “Seeing as how everyone is talking about X at the moment, here’s a reminder that I did a webinar about it.”).

Share your webinar on your social media pages, too. For as long as it’s pinned, anyone who visits your page will immediately see that you have a webinar they can watch.

As we talked about at the beginning of this piece, webinar hosting is hard work and usually involves a certain amount of overhead.

To increase your ROI, make sure your webinar involves evergreen content. Then, utilize as many of the above tactics as possible to ensure it continues to support your marketing strategy.

Would you like help with these kinds of goals? If so, check out BigMarker. Creating and making the most of webinars are our areas of expertise. You can also send us a message if you have any questions!

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://hub.uberflip.com/blog/evergreen-content

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/10/16/guide-to-evergreen-content-marketing

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/09/win-with-evergreen-content/

https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/creating-evergreen-content

20 Types of Evergreen Content that Produce Lasting Results for Your Business

The Guide to Effectively Promoting Your Webinars on Social Media

Are you planning to integrate webinar hosting into your marketing strategy? If so, you’re going to need to learn how to effectively promote webinars on social media and other online mediums if you want to get the attention of a large audience.

While promoting content on social media may seem easy, make sure you understand the following tips before embarking so you can make the most out of these online platforms.

It All Begins with What You’re Going to Cover

Webinars always have to have a compelling topic. This shouldn’t just be some requirement you check off your list, though. You should take plenty of time to decide on this topic, because it’s going to make or break your webinar hosting efforts.

The good news is that social media will provide you with plenty of guidance on what makes a solid webinar hosting topic. You can use all kinds of social media tools to find various topics that are trending in your industry or otherwise receive a lot of attention.

One other word of advice, here: don’t be too general.

Generalizing a topic is very tempting when it comes to webinars because of how long you have to speak for (usually 30 to 60 minutes). Unfortunately, the results are devastating. By trying to cover too general a topic, you’ll end up saying too little. People won’t feel like your webinar hosting was worth their time and it may even look like you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Pick an Exciting Title

As you probably know, social media generally thrives on short messages. Even Facebook, where you can post paragraph after paragraph, usually works best with just quick snippets.

In the age of social media, our attention spans don’t last much longer than 140 characters and a photo or two.

What this means for your webinar hosting marketing efforts is that you had better have an amazing title for your program that grabs people’s attention and gives them an idea of what to expect. Just from the title alone, they should be chomping at the bit to see what you’re going to provide.

For example, let’s say you’re putting on a webinar to help freelance writers increase their monthly income.

You could call the webinar exactly that: “How Freelance Writers Can Increase Their Monthly Income.”

It’s definitely accurate; there’s no arguing that.

However, it’s not particularly exciting, is it? It might grab people’s attention, but do you think those people will count down the days until your webinar hosting? Because that’s exactly the reaction you want.

Instead, you would want to go with something like, “How I Doubled My Monthly Income as a Freelance Writer” or “How I Make $10k a Month as a Freelance Writer.”

Provided that these both accurately describe what you’ll be covering in your webinar, they are far more likely to grab someone’s attention on social media, even with countless other words competing for it.

Build Your Following

This is too broad a topic to cover here, but needless to say, even if you have a great topic and a compelling title, you still need to have followers or social media isn’t going to do much.

Depending on your timeline, it might be a bit too late. On the other hand, if you have some time before you do your webinar hosting, check out the following posts we recommend:

Whatever your situation, it’s definitely worth spending some time on your social media following so it will be there as a resource in the future.

Understand That Only About 25% of Attendees Will Actually Attend

This may seem like a disappointing statistic, but it’s not our intention to discourage you. A lot of people get higher rates and some people get lower ones. Your reputation and the size of your following – both things you can improve upon over time – will also have a big impact on these numbers. Some industries simply do better than others, too and, obviously, people who pay show up in higher numbers.

Anyway, the point is that you can’t get lackadaisical with your efforts. Even if you start seeing some encouraging responses from your social media efforts, you need to carry on with your marketing. Keep pushing and remind yourself that only about a quarter of those who sign up will actually attend.

make the most of social media twitter mentions about your webinar

Make the Most Out of Every Mention

Say, you’re marketing your webinar hosting efforts on Twitter and someone tweets you to let you know that they’ve signed up to attend.

This should be an automatic retweet. That should be a no-brainer. You want to show anyone watching that someone out there is, essentially, vouching for your product.

The concept at work here is called social proof. Simply put, it’s a form of influence that works when someone sees that other people like your product. It’s the principle at work when a restaurant has a line going down the block, so people naturally assume it must be good.

It should come as no surprise that social proof is an effective technique to use on social media.

Let People Know as Spots Fill Up

Speaking of social proof, another method you can utilize is to let your followers know as people sign up. Even if you don’t have a set limit on how many people can attend, letting people know that 100 spots have been taken – or any other large number – is more social proof.

It’s telling people, “X number of people have decided this webinar is a good idea.”

If you’ve done webinar hosting before, you can compare numbers, too. For example, you might say, “We’ve already exceeded the number of people who signed up for our last webinar and it’s only been a week!”

Again, as much as possible, let your followers know that other people believe your webinar hosting is a good investment.

Use Photos/Videos

Visuals work better on social media than just text. Ergo, you would do well to use images and videos when marketing your webinar hosting on social media.

This holds true across all industries, which is why you’ll often see companies post their text over some kind of picture. Even if the picture isn’t especially relevant, it will garner more shares.

Slides from your webinar will most likely make for effective images. This is a fantastic way to repackage a piece of media you’ve already paid for.

Videos can be extremely effective, as well. You can show a teaser for your webinar hosting or summarize one of the sections you plan on covering.

Periscope has become extremely popular with social media marketers because of how easy it is to stream/record a video. Even though the app is best known for live videos, they can also be watched by your audience later.

Using this app, you could hold an hour-long Q&A regarding the webinar on the topic you’re going to cover. There are all kinds of other ways to leverage videos, too, so get creative.

Use Unique Updates

Speaking of being creative, you don’t want to use the same update over and over when you’re advertising your webinar on social media.

Likewise, don’t turn your social media page into one ad after the next for your webinar hosting, no matter how unique each is.

Either mistake is going to turn people off. Repetitive messages make you sound desperate. This is another good reason to share other people’s decisions to sign up. These messages are both unique and the opposite of desperate because they show other people are already getting in line.

Pin Your Best Post

To ensure your posts are original enough, you should definitely consider writing out dozens of them at once so you can look them over. Treat them like any other form of content by taking them just as seriously.

Then, choose one to pin on your page. On social media, “pinning” a post means that it never moves from the top of your page no matter how many other posts come after it. This will make it easy for people to find the moment they click on your page.

Another way you can do this is by updating the picture on your social media profile, by changing it to something that references your webinar hosting. Admittedly, you don’t get a lot of space there, so you’ll have to be judicious, but the result will work much like a pinned post. Whenever you post to a platform, people will see a reminder.

Start Posting Amazing Content

Too many people forget about how important it is to post information that has nothing to do with their webinar hosting. We touched on mixing your posts up a bit, so it’s not just reminder after reminder, but you can also take things a step further.

High-quality content is what drives popularity on social media. You can read more about this in the links we posted above.

The point is that now is the time to post amazing content that makes people say, “Wow. This person/company really knows what they’re talking about. That was really helpful.”

If you blow people away with helpful posts and free information, they’re going to naturally assume that your webinar hosting will also be amazing. This is an extremely effective tactic if you’re charging people for your webinar hosting. You want people thinking, “If they’re giving this to me for free, the stuff they charge for must be worth it.”

Share the Process of Creating It

If you haven’t yet finished your webinar, you can optimize this process by sharing each step on social media.

Assuming you haven’t begun the creation process yet, you should begin by announcing to your following that you intend to do some webinar hosting.

Spend a week or two hyping this.

In fact, you could go even further back and tell your followers that you are going to do webinar hosting, but you’d like to know what people think would be a good topic. This type of crowdsourcing doesn’t just ensure you get a bunch of free ideas; it will also get more people interested, especially those whose ideas you’ve incorporated.

Then, once it’s time to actually start creating the content, rehearsing/recording it, coming up with slides, etc. you can post images and videos of doing so.

This is a lot like how movie studios often promote their films by providing glimpses of what happens behind-the-scenes. They can do this for months and months before the actual movie is released which gets people talking and builds their anticipation for the film.

Those who have a large following should be using Snapchat, too. This won’t be effective for everyone, but Snapchat has become a very powerful tool for promoting brands and building excitement for upcoming events.

create a webinar hashtag for social media

 

Create a Hashtag

This is another technique that will only work if you have a considerable following, but it definitely won’t hurt and it’s completely free to try.

Although they started with Twitter, hashtags have become commonplace across social media platforms. Create a unique one for your webinar hosting and every time someone clicks on it, they’ll see everyone who’s talking about your program.

Now, this sort of tactic is a bit of a gamble. For one thing, you’re actively handing over control of the conversation to the rest of the social media platform.

Also, if no one is talking about it, this will be negative social proof, which is never a good thing.

Still, a hashtag could be the tool that carries word of your webinar hosting to dozens or even hundreds of people who would have never heard of it before, so it’s worth thinking about. There’s a reason hashtags continue to get used: because they work so often.

Final Thoughts

The big takeaway from this article should be that it pays to begin thinking about how you’ll market your webinar hosting on social media early. The earlier you do, the more time you have to build up a following, crowdsource the topic idea, provide other forms of helpful content, share people’s responses and more.

That being said, there should be advice in this piece that you can use no matter where you are with marketing your webinar hosting.

Of course, if you want help executing these ideas or with anything else related to webinars, BigMarker is here to help. We specialize in showing companies how to monetize their knowledge and spread their word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33540/18-Ways-to-Guarantee-Nobody-Misses-Your-Next-Webinar.aspx#sm.000011dwb1h6t8epau77f3bhms60v

https://www.meetingburner.com/blog/4-keys-to-promoting-your-webinar-on-social-media/

https://www.ethos3.com/2016/02/how-to-market-your-webinar-on-social-media/

http://www.stealthseminar.com/6-ways-to-promote-your-upcoming-webinar-on-social-media-organically/

https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/ways-to-promote-your-webinar

Why Hosting a Successful Paid Webinar Is Harder Than You Think

Paid webinars can prove to be extremely profitable ventures and even work as part of a larger sales funnel. However, they’re usually a lot harder to pull off than people think. Below, we’ll explain why this is and what you can do about it.

People Expect More

This is probably pretty obvious, but it’s still worth bringing up, just in case.

You cannot ignore that people are going to expect more from paid webinars than free ones.

Hosting a paid webinar that turns out to be waste of time and money for people won’t just result in disappointed customers. It could quickly turn into a ruined reputation. Now, not only do people not want to pay for future webinars; they also aren’t so confident about your other products/services, either.

This is why we always tell people to start out with free webinar hosting first. Get a read on your market. Figure out what they like. Listen to feedback about what you could do better.

 

You Really Need to Market Yourself

The other reason to host at least one or two free webinars first is because you want to drum up interest in your paid version.

For your free webinar hosting, you still want as much traffic as possible, but, worst case scenario, you weren’t going to make any money off it anyway, so if you end up disappointed, it’s not a huge loss.

With paid webinars, though, a lot of time and effort has (hopefully) gone into creating the best possible product. If no one registers for it, you’ve just incurred a serious loss.

Therefore, some of that time and energy you need to invest in your webinar hosting must be spent on its promotion.

Again, free webinars are very effective for building this kind of following that you can then leverage for paid seminars.

 

You Have to Charge the Right Price

One of the main reasons a lot of companies initially struggle with their paid webinars is because they have no idea how much to charge.

On the one hand, you don’t want to charge too little. Aside from the fact that you want to actually make a profit from your paid webinars, the main problem with not charging enough is that your viewers are going to have extremely low expectations.

So, right off the bat, your sign-ups are going to lack. People will see your bargain-bin price and think that’s exactly what you have to offer. Why would they sign up for that?

Now, some people might, but many of them are not going to expect much. You may think that this is your cue to take them by surprise with some really amazing material. However, it’s just as likely that people will stick to their preconceived notions. They’re convinced your low price means your webinar hosting is going to be awful, so you’re starting from a massive deficit.

Instead, pick a price you can be proud of and then deliver on the expectations that amount sets. This is going to go a lot further toward succeeding with paid webinars than trying to be the cheapest possible option out there.

 

Everything Else Must Be Perfect

Plain and simple, you have to manage your audience’s expectations in order for your paid webinars to be a success.

Not only does this concept apply to the content of your webinars, but also applies to the effort you put into marketing them.

A lot goes into getting people to sign up. While it’s a bit different for everyone, it generally includes a landing page, emails and maybe a few promo videos.

Again, these aren’t just arbitrary tools you’re using to get people to sign up. They are absolutely vital to the expectations you’re setting for your audience.

If your promo videos have anything other than perfect audio, why would anyone want to risk paying money to listen to more of that?

If your landing page has misspelled words or otherwise looks amateur, people are not going to be impressed.

Reminder emails that show up every day for the week leading up to the event seem desperate. At the same time, if the text is off, even a little, you’ll probably find poor attendance or that people otherwise drop off.

In other words, manage your marketing strategy wisely, or people won’t consider signing up for your paid webinars.

 

So what can you do to ensure your paid webinars are a success? Follow the tips below to effectively prepare for your premium webinars.

 

premium webinar software for paid webinars

 

It Takes Premium Software

Obviously, we’re a bit biased here, but it’s probably pretty easy to appreciate that people who pay money to attend your paid webinars want it to be a high-quality experience.

It’s really easy these days to find “free webinar software.” However, you’ve probably heard that you get what you pay for.

Imagine if you paid good money for a personal trainer only to find out that your sessions would take place in their unfinished basement with some “free equipment” they had picked up somewhere. Wouldn’t you be a bit upset? You paid good money and they couldn’t even invest in your success?

This also applies to the slides you create and any graphics you use for the event, as well. This shouldn’t look like a second-rate PowerPoint presentation. It has to look like you put a lot of effort into developing premium content.

Paying for quality software isn’t enough, either. Go the extra mile to become proficient in it so you’re able to put on a truly impressive event.

 

You Need High-Quality Equipment

This is pretty much the advice we just gave except it’s about web cameras and web microphones. Fortunately, you can get a really good webcam for under $200, and a great web mic for even less. Then it’s just a matter of getting the lighting right and practicing with it – nothing too difficult, but again, the results are definitely worth it.

You Need to Target a Specific Group with a Specific Need

Generally speaking, this is good advice for selling any product or service, but it’s easy to forget when it comes to paid webinars. Usually, you’re going to be talking for 30 minutes to an hour. This can be an intimidating prospect, one that many people think they can only overcome by covering huge topics.

For example, they might host a webinar on “online marketing.” There are entire books written on the topic. College kids all over the country take 101 classes on the topic that last whole semesters. Professionals sign up for courses that go on for just as long – or longer – to get a grasp on what online marketing entails.

Yet, someone thinks they’re going to do the topic justice by talking about it for about an hour.

That’s not going to happen.

Our advice is to pick a topic you know your market cares about and list out the subtopics you’re going to cover. Then, see if you could talk about one of those topics for 30 to 60 minutes or however long your paid webinar hosting is going to be.

Then, list the subtopics and see if one of those can be covered in the same time period.

You get the idea.

This kind of specificity will ensure that you’re far more likely to satisfy the people who pay for your webinar. Remember what we said at the beginning about the importance of your reputation. This is especially key when you’re just starting out.

Drill down to the most specific topic you can think of and then blow people away by covering it better than anyone else ever has.

Even though this could lower your enrollment numbers, it will mean potentially increasing the satisfaction rate and rave reviews you receive.

Also – and this goes back to our point about marketing yourself – you may need to really go into detail about why this niche topic is so important that it’s worth paying to learn about for an hour or so.

 

You’re Dealing with a Smarter/More Experienced Audience

For the most part, anyway, the people who will be attending your seminar are going to be fairly learned on the topic.

There are exceptions, of course. You might be hosting a webinar “for beginners” but even then, if they’re paying, they’re showing up with a certain amount of expectations (see our first point).

Taking this into consideration, you’ll need to think about what they’ve already seen/heard in the past. You can’t hope to get away with offering the same advice everyone’s heard before. Even if you have a new twist on some of these tips, you’ll have to really make sure it resonates with your audience as truly helpful.

Clearly, this is something you need to think about long before you begin advertising your webinar. If you want to make money from it, you’ll have to offer something truly valuable in return.

 

You Need to Absolutely Nail the Performance

It’s no secret that public speaking tends to be the most prevalent thing people fear above all else across all populations. Unfortunately, this may also pertain to public speaking that happens through a webcam.

This is where we’ll recommend, yet again, that you host free webinars to help yourself prepare for a paid version sometime in the future.

Otherwise, simply practice them for coworkers or, if you’re a one-person company, get honest feedback from your friends.

You simply can’t afford to do webinar hosting and not speak clearly, become nervous, lose your train of thought, etc. It should go without saying that, if this happens, it will be the last time your viewers ever pay you for a webinar.

 

You Must Understand Sales

Here’s a tip that not nearly enough people take advantage of: good paid webinars are almost always the result of a host who understands how to sell to people.

While you’re probably not using a paid webinar to sell people on a product or service, but you still need to be convincing.

If you’re trying to teach people about how to sell themselves as freelance animators, you better convince them and get them to take action.

If you’re trying to show people how to fix their back pain from sitting down all day, they better leave your webinar ready to do the exercises you showed them and achieve comfort.

Get the point?

Don’t fall into the trap of just reading off information to your audience. Even if you’re the world’s foremost expert on something, you can still fail miserably with your webinar hosting if your audience isn’t convinced of your “argument.”

Many people will even want their money back. More than a few might let their network know that your paid webinar really wasn’t worth it.

Take some time to learn a bit about how to influence people so they appreciate the information you’re sharing with them and are able to use it in the very near future.

 

It Takes Work to Optimize the Event Once It’s Over

If you’ve made it this far, the good news is that you’re ready to put on an impressive webinar that you can actually charge people for (provided you actually follow the advice we gave).

This last tip isn’t so much a challenge involved with the task, but we think it’s bonus information that we’d be remiss to leave out.

Imagine you’ve just finished hosting an amazing webinar. You came up with a great topic, marketed it well, correctly set expectations, charged enough and then delivered in a big way.

How do you think your audience is going to react?

They’re going to be pretty happy, right?

After all, you gave them a lot of good information that they can use to improve their lives in some way.

Whatever you do, do not leave this opportunity untapped. Do not fail to take advantage of this positive reaction to all your hard work.

You should be looking for people talking about this on social media (search for the name of your event, company, etc.) and then sharing those sentiments with everyone else. You’re effectively telling them, “Look! Other people really liked my event!”

This will encourage more people to sign up for your next webinar.

You should send out follow-up emails to ask people for their thoughts. You should make yourself available to answer questions if people have them down the line.

In short, your job doesn’t end just because your webinar went well. You need to capitalize on this success in any way possible.

Don’t let the above intimidate you. Just because paid webinars are hard to do doesn’t make them any less worthwhile. Keep the above in mind as you begin working on your paid webinars and you’ll have a much easier time succeeding.

At the same time, if you’d like help with your paid webinars, our marketing team at BigMarker is available. Aside from our suite of software, we specialize in teaching people how to market their webinars and make money from them. Send us a message!

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dottotech.com/4-key-tips-for-creating-a-successful-paid-webinar-100k-subscribers-48/

https://bigmarker.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204283639-Hosting-a-Successful-Ticketed-Webinar

https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/ultimate-guide-creating-running-kick-ass-webinar/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginners guide to hosting webinars for your creative business.

The 11 Best Webcams for Video Conferencing

A lot goes into making the most out of your video conferencing duties. For one thing, you need to put together well-organized and interesting content. Of course, then you need to deliver it flawlessly. There’s also all the work that goes into marketing the conference and making sure people actually show up to it.

However, you can tick the box on every one of these video conferencing requirements and still end up with a mess if you forget about the key ingredient: your webcam.

Maybe you’ve seen someone else suffer through this experience. Their video conference is perfect, but the image isn’t crisp. Sadly, you may have even found out the hard way – after your conference was done and you watched the recording – that the camera you entrusted with your video conferencing needs didn’t do a very good job.

We’ve covered how to find the right webcam before, but in this article, we’re actually going to list your 11 best options.

pick one of the best webcams for video conferencing

 

Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Webcam

We’ll start with the most affordable device on our list: The Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Webcam. You can usually find this one for about $25. It produces clear 720p HD video and uses TrueColor technology to deliver bright and colorful images to your viewers automatically, regardless of the lighting conditions.

This camera comes with a universal attachment base, so it can be placed on your desktop, clipped to your laptop or used just about anywhere else.

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p

A step up from that option is the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p. It’s only about $20 more and comes with a lot of similar features. However, it shoots at 30 fps (frames-per-second), which is great for streaming your video conferences live. The high-precision glass lens also helps in this department.

Despite how affordable this camera is, it comes with a built-in noise-cancelling microphone, so you won’t even have to spend extra money on this vital piece.

The 73 degrees of flexibility for tilting up or down with this camera is very helpful, too. You can clip it to your desktop or laptop and not worry that you need to contort yourself to line up with the lens. It can also spin halfway around in either direction.

Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam for Business

The final step up in this series is the Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam. As the name suggests, this one has a few extra bells and whistles to make it appropriate for companies and their professional needs. Even still, you’re only going to spend about $60 or so to make this camera yours.

Like the models before it, this one was made with TrueColor technology, giving you bright, colorful videos without requiring a lot of work on your end.

Whether you choose the 1080p widescreen option for sharp recordings or want to stream live in 720p, you get an HD result either way.

If you plan to use this camera for Skype, this one is certified by the popular company, so you know it will work well for video calls on that platform.

Finally, it was also designed to pair with Microsoft’s Lync. This unified communications platform provides a wide range of benefits and you’ll be able to make the most out of them with the Microsoft LifeCam Studio 1080p HD Webcam.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

Logitech has become known for their many cameras that are great for webinars. There are a number on our list but we’ll begin with a reliable standby: The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. This is a great option if you don’t yet know how much video conferencing you plan on doing. It runs between $75 and $100, so you’re not going to be breaking the bank with this purchase, yet it won’t let you down when it comes to filming.

It has mechanical auto-focus features, which are essential for making sure you’re in frame and perfectly displayed. The picture quality is excellent, too. Even if you plan to do a webinar every week, if you have a smaller budget, the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is very easy to recommend.

Logitech C925e

Next, we have another popular Logitech webinar hosting solution. The Logitech C925e is just a bit more expensive than the last model; typically, you won’t find it for any less than $100, but, again, it’s worth every penny.

Your video conferences will be delivered to viewers in HD no matter which setting you choose. It’s also a great webcam for those who are new to video conferencing because of its RightLight 2 technology.

This feature makes sure that the camera adjusts to low-light or backlighting so you get the best possible visual quality. Most rookies aren’t adept at making changes to their lighting for the optimal picture. For what it’s worth, a lot of veterans aren’t either. However, the right lighting is essential to a good video conference, so this technology is fantastic.

Logitech Webcam C930e

Using the Logitech Webcam C930e for your video conferencing will run you about $130. This is another model that will give you an amazing picture. It’s actually very popular for telemedicine because of this reason. It features a 90-degree diagonal point of view and offers a very smooth HD experience for your videos. The pan-tilt-zoom feature is also great for all kinds of different video conferences. If you need to show the audience how to do something with your hands, for example, it will be easy to adjust the camera during your video conference and then bring it back to your face when you’re done.

Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam

The Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF was a fairly popular video conferencing solution. It was discontinued, though, and replaced with the Logitech BCC950 Conference Cam. With one look, you’ll immediately notice it’s a bit different from the majority of other webcams out there.

That’s because of its stick mount that stands up nine inches from the base. This makes it easy to put the webcam on something like a table and have it sit at eyelevel without needing to add anything below it.

The cord length was also improved to eight feet (from six feet) over the prior model, which makes it very convenient to use in a number of locations. If you do use it for a conference call, the cord length allows you to move the camera around the table as necessary.

The replacement model also gets a remote to control it. This cool feature is something we hope to see from more video conferencing solutions going forward as it can look unprofessional to have to manually adjust the camera when you have people on the other side.

Typically, this webcam goes for $250, but you may be able to find it for a bit lower than that.

Razer Stargazer Depth-Sensing HD Webcam

Next on our list of video conferencing cameras we recommend is the Razer Stargazer Depth-Sensing HD. Obviously, right in the name, you can tell that it will give your audience HD videos. If you’re hosting your video conferences live, the 60-frames-per-second will also produce an incredibly lifelike video.

These features are enough to make this webcam a phenomenal choice but we also love that its depth-sensing features allow you to decide what kind of background you’ll have on your webinar. You can get rid of it completely or decide to switch it out for another image altogether.

The Razer Stargazer Depth-Sensing HD Webcam can sit on its stand or you can remove it and clip it to the top of your laptop.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910

Another Logitech video conferencing camera to make our list is the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910. It offers HD recording with 1080p video and 720p when streaming. The Logitech fluid crystal technology ensures your viewers get a smooth, crisp image.

This is also helped to physical components like the Carl Zeiss lens this camera uses. Autofocus and auto light correction take the guesswork out of the producing the most visually appealing video.

The special feature that really makes this video conferencing solution stand out, though, is its one-click video uploading option. If you’re regularly hosting conferences because they’re a major part of your content marketing plan, you’ll probably get to the point where they come quite naturally to you and you don’t need to spend another hour or two editing or otherwise perfecting them.

With this feature, you just click a button and the video can be on YouTube or Facebook ready for your viewers to watch.

Finally, the built-in noise-canceling mics on this webcam are a great touch. You’d otherwise want to invest in some on your own.

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect Video Conference Webcam for Small Groups

Depending on your needs, this video conferencing camera may be exactly what you need. Fair warning: it’s a bit more expensive than the others on the list so far. You’re looking at spending between $350 and $400.

This device films in 1080p video and auto focuses. It’s another camera that comes with fantastic noise-cancelling built-in speakers. Full duplex omni-directional mics ensure you come in clear, as well.

You can also mirror the screen of your mobile device with this camera. If you’re doing a presentation on how your app works, for example, this would be extremely easy to do with the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect Video Conference Webcam. The same is possible with your TV or computer screen, too. Just about any screen you want to share with your viewers is an option.

Finally, the remote control that comes with this webinar hosting solution is really handy.

HuddleCamHD-3X G2 USB 2.0 PTZ 1080p Video Conference Camera

Last, but not least, on our list of video conferencing cameras we recommend, this model will cost around $400 but has a lot going for it. For one thing, you get 3x optical zoom, which means you can have a variable focal point, something that’s impossible for a fixed camera to match.

This is another webcam that comes with a remote. The remote can change the focal point as much as you please without any manual adjustments during filming. It can also be used to turn the camera left or right and up or down. The camera can wide zoom out 81 degrees and has a 36-degree tele-zoom field of view.

Amongst other things, these kinds of capabilities make this webcam an ideal solution for filming in anything from your office to conference rooms to larger spaces. No matter how much room you need for your video conference, this camera can accommodate the demand.

Obviously, this makes it an ideal solution for teleconferences, too. You can have as big a team as you want in on the call.

As you’d expect from this high a quality of camera, it shoots in full 1080p at 30 fps. Its megapixel image sensor also helps to deliver a crystal-clear image.

Even with this kind of attention to detail, this camera has received high marks for its ability to pick up a whiteboard without producing lots of glare. Whiteboards are very popular for video conferences, so if you have plans on using one, this camera won’t let you down.

Conclusion

Video conferencing can be a challenge. It’s not just as easy as sitting in front of a camera and talking. There’s a lot more to it. However, if you don’t have the right camera sitting in front of you, the rest of your efforts will not only go to waste – they may be counterproductive.

Take your time choosing from the 11 we’ve listed above, as this decision will affect how well your webinars are received. Then, if you want help hosting video conferences feel free to contact us.

 

Sources:

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/peripherals/what-webcam-5-reviewed-and-rated-1027972

7 Best Webcams for Video Calling

5 Things You Must Do Before Hosting Your First Webinar

Hosting a webinar is a project that should take careful thought, deliberation and focus – all of which involve time. You’re not doing your company a favor by haphazardly throwing together a webinar presentation and hoping it all goes well. Taking the time to prepare for a first webinar that you can be proud of, and leaves your audience engaged and excited should be your end-game. It’s important to remember that a webinar is not for you, it is for people watching the webinar.

Putting together a webinar sounds scary, particularly if it’s your first time! You’re not sure where to start, what to say or how do properly get your message across.

We put together a list of 5 things you must do before hosting your first webinar. Each of these steps will help you focus on the people attending the webinar and ensures you meet your own business objectives. These 5 things don’t even cover the meat of the webinar and how to put it together – these are just the things you need to do first before beginning that process! Building a great webinar is an art form, and we can help you do it the right way.

5 Things you must do before hosting your first webinar:

  1. Determine your webinar goals and objectives
  2. Select your webinar target audience
  3. Select a webinar topic
  4. Pick a webinar software
  5. Pick your webinar speaker(s)

These 5 things can even be considered your ‘prep work and must-do’s for each webinar.

 

#1: Determine Your Webinar Goals and Objectives

Ask yourself, ‘what are my webinar goals?’ When you are putting on a webinar, it should not be for your benefit only. The webinar should also be for those attending. Your first thought should always be, what topic would be useful for registrants, and help achieve my goals? For each webinar, you should come up with 1-3 goal statements.

Sample Goal Statements for Webinars:

To generate 50 new leads

To convert 5 prospects into customers

To build brand awareness for product ABC

To be a thought leader in our industry

To help with your goal of lead generation, for example, webinars are a great way to do this and use as a means of communication with prospects and customers. It is very common for an organization to build webinars that touch on pain points their audience is experiencing and in these webinars, they will then provide ways to alleviate this pain. Typically, this pain is solved through their product and service offerings.

When putting on a webinar, your goal should always be top of mind, but you don’t want a sales-y webinar or product-demo based webinar. Those are incredibly annoying AND boring for all participants involved.

Now that you have selected your goal(s), you need to pick what objectives will help you to achieve your goal.  If your goal is to generate new leads and build brand awareness, the way to do that is to not present your audience with just the features and benefits of a product. Instead, you want to provide webinar attendees with useful information that they can bring back to their job, all the while showing how to do that using your product. Even if you don’t bring in new leads, you are still providing your existing clientele with awesome information – which is a win/win!

When you are promoting a webinar, knowing the webinar objectives will go a long way in your messaging and you can better tailor your webinar invites, landing pages to these objectives and thus your target audience, which we will discuss below.

During this planning stage, you should also write a few objectives statements for why someone should attend your webinar and what they can expect to get out of it. This content will also help with the event registration write-up portion!

 

#2: Select Your Webinar Target Audience

Selecting your target market for the webinar is key. You must figure out what audience you want to speak to. Going back to your goals and objectives, if your goal is to generate 50 new leads then getting your webinar invite and registration page in front of the people who are more likely to be interested in your product and actually buy, will be crucial. If your organization has done the work to determine your buyer personas, this is exactly who your target audience is.

If you have not developed buyer personas, make that a to-do, as it will be highly beneficial for all marketing initiatives. Click on this link for more information on buyer personas and helping in your building yours!

Your target audience could be titles like Chief Marketing Officer or Director of IT, but your target market could also go by industry, such as education or government. If your goal is to generate new leads for the sales team, narrowing down your target audience will go a long way in ensuring the right people are attending your webinar and that the sales team is not wasting time in following up with unqualified leads.

Choose a topic for your first webinar that resonates with your audience

#3: Pick a Webinar Topic

When building your first webinar (or really any webinar!) picking a relevant topic is very important. The topic and title alone will be the deciding factor on if someone is interested in your webinar content and if it even applies to them. Go back to your target audience, and who the best fit for your webinar is… what topic is meaningful to them? How can you help them excel at their job or make their lives easier? If your audience can get a tangible takeaway from attending your webinar, you’ve done your job.

Picking a topic should be well researched and thought-out.  If your topic and content come from just one to two people, you are doing it all wrong. The best way to ensure a webinar is successful is to understand what is important to your target audience.

Here is a couple of ways to determine what is meaningful to your target audience:

  1. Survey your customer support & sales team. Do they notice any trends or top questions being asked? What are the biggest pain points they hear on sales calls?
  2. Survey your existing customers on pain points. Why did they pick your product and solution? How did your product solve that pain? And even just ask what topics they are interested in and likely to register for.
  3. Survey existing sales prospects to ask questions on why they had an interest in your products. From their answers, you can find trends that you may need to speak to help prospects learn more about how your product/business will be beneficial for them and lead them down the buyer’s journey from a prospect to a customer.
  4. Research current market trends on your industry and ask subject matter experts in your field.

As a follow-up after your first webinar, it’s a good time to also survey your webinar registrants what next webinar topic they are likely to attend – this will help in planning a series of webinars and building a consistent schedule. Your best content will come from your prospects and customers – make sure you keep those ears open and listen!

With all of this surveying and research complete, you should then have a list of potential topics or pain points to select from. Take a step back, and review this list and see:

  1. What is an interesting topic that people would be excited about
  2. Do you have someone that can speak to these topics

 

pick software that meets your first webinar needs

 

#4: Pick a Software to Host Your Webinar

Now that you’ve determined the goals, objectives, target audience and potential topics for your very first webinar you need to figure out how you’re going to actually deliver your webinar! There are tons of web conferencing, webinar hosting and video conferencing solutions out there to choose from. Knowing the goal of your webinar will help you to pick the best webinar hosting platform for your organization.

Far too often webinars are a simple screen share with little to no engagement with your audience outside of a chat box. This is not the route you want to go if you really want to develop a relationship with your audience and encourage further interactions.

When picking a software to host your first webinar pay special attention to the experience your registrants will have.

Things to think about:

  1. Is it easy for them to register and attend the webinar? Do they have to download plugins?
  2. Are there email reminders?
  3. What engagement tools is included in the webinar software? Chat, polling, Q&A options? Social media engagement opportunities?

Remember: A webinar is about your audience, it isn’t about you. When picking a webinar solution, keep your audience top of mind, always!

Additionally, what additional webinar services does the potential solution have? Are you on your own if should you run into an issue with the platform? How can you get help when you need it? There is nothing more embarrassing than being unable to manage your webinar live. Make sure your webinar provider has your back. This can be the difference between a good experience or a bad one that hurts your business’ reputation.

 

#5: Pick Your Webinar Speakers

Once you’ve decided on the above #1-4 things, one of the biggest deciding factors in a successful webinar is your webinar speaker!

Your speaker or speakers should identify to the target audience you picked. They should be relatable, speak their language (meaning, has similar experiences to those attending the webinar) and have a strong, confident presence both in the tone of voice and how they look on the screen should they turn on their webcam.

Another important thing on selecting the right webinar speaker is deciding if they are tech savvy! Your speaker might have to run the webinar software, do they have the skills to be able to manage this platform AND present? Some web conferencing providers offer webinar services that can help you manage the platform during the live event, but what if your budget doesn’t allow for this? Ensuring the speaker is well prepared in managing the conferencing software in and out is imperative for the success of the webinar.

Another final note on selecting a webinar speaker is making sure the speaker is a professional. Do you know if your webinar speaker will show up on time for dry-runs and even the day of the live event? The webinar speaker can’t show up late! When preparing for your webinar dry-runs (which you should do at least 3-5 dry-runs per webinar to work out all the kinks), does the speaker have their content ready, are they prepared to run through the entire presentation? Having the answer to these questions before picking your speaker will go a long way in ensuring your webinar is a smooth process and that they are prepared for your audience and leave a positive, lasting impression.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read through our top 5 things you must do before your first webinar you are ready to begin this new, exciting initiative. Putting on a webinar is a great experience, especially if you’re prepared. Think of your webinar as a show – preparation for any show is key, and should you do this prep work you’ll be sure to get a standing ovation from your audience.

If you want to host your first webinar on modern, easy-to-use software, check out BigMarker and start your 14-day free trial today! Have a question? We’re here to help! Send us a message.

How to Scale Your Webinar Audience From 10 to 1000 Attendees

Webinar hosting is a powerful and proven marketing resource. Executives in virtually every field can integrate webinar services into their business development strategy to broaden brand recognition, strengthen existing partnerships, and establish (or reinforce) their organization as an industry authority. Most importantly, webinar attendees can associate a human face and name with your company, instantly making it more relatable to consumers and affiliates alike.

Despite the extensive advantages offered by webinar software, many speakers still struggle to optimize results with their overall participation totals. This goes far beyond simply boosting registration numbers. Increasing your webinar attendees isn’t just about getting participants to signup…it’s also about ensuring they actually show up.

It can be a common occurrence for people to register for an event, only to pull a no-show on actual broadcast day for a wide range of reasons. Scheduling conflicts, forgetting about the discussion, or just losing interest can all deter prospective listeners from logging in when you launch. This “absentee audience” trend can negatively impact any presentation.

While demonstration drop-off can be frustrating, it is preventable. You can develop a strategy to boost webinar attendance and game day participation. Follow these tips to scale your next webinar’s turn-out:

 

Know The Numbers/Set Some Goals

It’s not enough to say you want to increase attendance. Get specific about your objectives and create actual goals for yourself. A good place to start? Create both a registration goal and an actual attendance goal. You should begin to notice trends in the number of registrants who eventually attend your session. Use this information to gauge how many registrants you will need for future webinars to ensure you hit the number of webinar attendees you’re striving for.

 

Choose Your Topic Wisely

Perhaps the best way to get people plugged into your webinar is to deliver a topic your prospective webinar attendees are interested in hearing and learning about. This isn’t always easy. Many business owners have a diverse range of consumers within their demographic. What intrigues one sect can repel another. Zeroing in on a subject that engages, informs, and proves useful to participants can trigger a positive response in attendance.

 

poll webinar attendees

Poll Previous Webinar Attendees

Don’t automatically assume you know what your targeted audience wants to hear. Ask them. Before putting together your presentation, send surveys with specific questions regarding topic to past audience members. You can also send post-webinar polls to ask about ideas not originally discussed to gain insight on future focus areas.

 

Create An Attention-Grabbing Incentive

As a webinar host, you have to give registrants every reason possible not to miss out on what you have to offer…and it can start with an enticing participation incentive. Think about what motivates your targeted webinar attendees and develop a giveaway they will not only appreciate, but will actually use. Viable suggestions can include a free gift, eBook, product promotions, and even discounts on future services. You could also offer access to various “members only” pages and reports on your website to generate interest in attending your webinar.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of a social media contest. Create a special hashtag and encourage participants to post on their pages leading up to your webinar for a prize drawn at the conclusion of your presentation; this both markets your webinar as well as offers an incentive to attendees for a win/win. It doesn’t have to be an expensive giveaway to command attention; you only have to offer something that will have perceived value with your webinar attendees.

Time Matters

Think about the time you generally schedule your webinars. Are you competing for attendance during “prime time” business hours? Oftentimes, speakers attempt to host their webinars during early morning or late afternoon hours to grant as many participants as possible the opportunity to attend. However, this often means your webinar isn’t the only one vying for their presence on any given day. While you definitely want to select a time that accommodates all necessary time zones, shifting your schedule, even by an hour or two, can instantly free up enough bandwidth for listeners to actively tune in.

Scheduling Tip: Schedule business or “work-related” webinars between 11am and 3pm CST during the workweek. Or, if you’re hosting “lifestyle” (non work-related) webinars, schedule them after 6pm CST on weekdays or on the weekend.

 

Day Of The Week Matters

Of course, it’s not just the time of the day that can make an impact on the number of webinar attendees you get; the actual day itself matters. Mondays can prove a busy day for prospective participants to catch up on outstanding action items. Additionally, no one wants to be committed to a work-related presentation of any length during weekend. Once you’ve pinpointed the right time, schedule your webinar on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays to improve the chance of participation.

 

Promote On Your Website

Help get the word out about your upcoming session by creating a specialized landing page on your website. Here is where you can outline all specifics including the who, what, where, when and, most importantly, why. Give details on the specific problem you will solve and the advantages offered simply by attending your webinar. You can also provide information about any giveaways or contests held during the presentation on this landing page.

promote your webinar to webinar attendees on social media

Promote Via Social Media

You can promote your webinars directly on your social media pages as well. Your social media accounts are an excellent method to consistently market to both existing and prospective webinar attendees, without fear of them feeling “spammed.” While social media pages provide a direct channel to consumers, it’s still important to carefully consider how you will promote your event using these resources. Beyond relevant hashtags, include imagery whenever possible. Graphics can quickly grab attention as followers scroll through their feeds, making a bigger impact than just content posts alone. Also, whenever relevant, tag presenters and participating brands in your posts to optimize the reach of updates.

Use Your Manners

Don’t only send a registration confirmation – send a thank-you note with it. This adds a personal touch to your session, as well as serves as a periodic reminder of the upcoming webinar in their inbox. Some of your registrants will automatically copy and paste the details of your confirmation email directly into their schedules; be sure to focus on the highlights to encourage participation so they aren’t only reminded when it’s time to go…it also reinforces why they want to go.

 

Short Really is Sweet

For so many of us, long meetings are the equivalent of corporate kryptonite. Don’t buy into the belief that your webinar needs to be a specific length or it won’t add value. If you can create an impactful presentation that only runs 20 minutes, do it…and then tell everyone you know about it. You may find your shorter sessions actually get a better response rate than your longer demonstrations.

 

Leverage The Blogosphere (And Other SEO Channels)

Use SEO content to promote an upcoming webinar. Online articles, blogs, and even press releases can all use optimized copy to get your message out to people actually looking for what you do. No matter what online forum you use to market an event, always provide links to your website and registration page to drive attendance numbers.

 

Know What Not To Advertise

While you will want to advertise relevant details to the masses to scale participation, there is some information you may not want to offer in order to keep as many guests as possible in their seats during your live presentation. For example, if your goal is an exponential attendance surge, you may want to hold off letting guests know that their registration allows them access to the slide deck and recording after the event. Letting your audience know their registration means they can listen and read your material whenever they want instantly allows them to view your live session as “optional.” Only post links and details about materials covered after your webinar to encourage peak participation.

 

Showcase Panel Experts

Nothing mandates webinars must be run as “one-person-shows.” However, many presenters do exactly that; they manage the entire process alone, relying on their own marketing efforts and internal networking capabilities to generate webinar attendees. Broaden the scope of your presentation by allowing a panel of industry experts to offer their insight during the demonstration. Ask your panel to post information about your conference on their websites as well for an added promotional push. Each speaker will deepen the discussion dynamic and also increase the reach of your message within their specific networks to grow your attendee numbers.

 

Advertise Q&A Opportunities

Your question and answer sessions should absolutely be marketed as the distinctive opportunity it is. Don’t merely plug your presentation as “interactive.” Instead, get specific about the access the audience will have with all of the speakers, as well as planned Q&A sessions spread throughout the conference. Knowing that there’s an opportunity for genuine dialogue and exchange of information can prove enough to not only get listeners to log in, but also keep them engaged until the very end.

 

Send Customized Reminders

Email/text reminders offer an effective tactic to keep your conference on registrants’ radars. It’s not enough to merely blast out the date and times. Chances are, your registrants marked their calendars the day the signed up. However, they may have forgotten why they registered in the first place. Customize your reminder to include information on the value your event lends and why they won’t want to miss out on your message.

 

Follow Up With Future Sessions

Pre-webinar promotions can help you develop an attendance upswing for future events. Once again, customization is key; create emails with relevant details that will resonate with your intended audience to ensure they don’t end up unread and, worse yet, deleted. Follow up emails can build marketing momentum within your existing network of listeners and scale webinar attendees exponentially for noticeable results at your next webinar.

 

Start Hosting!

At BigMarker, we offer robust, modern webinar software that can scale to accommodate webinar audiences of all sizes. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today or send us a message if you’re interested in learning more.

8 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Free Trial on a Webinar Platform

Having a webinar program as part of your marketing or customer success initiatives is a big deal! It means you are making a concerted effort in getting in front of your prospects and clients to speak to their needs and provide quality information. Making the decision to have a webinar program is the easy part but selecting a platform to start your free trial can be difficult. To help optimize your search we’re sharing our top tips for making the most out of free webinar hosting during your trial.

Before you choose a software, make time to research all the best webinar solutions on the market. There are a bunch of companies out there offering free webinar hosting as part of their trial period! With a little bit of research, you’ll no doubt come away with a list of 3-4 webinar platforms that stand above the rest. Once you have your top pick, you need to start a free trial to really dig into the experience of how it would be to manage a webinar on that platform, but also to see what sort of experience your attendees will have.

Note: if one of your top picks doesn’t offer free webinar hosting during their trial period – run far away! Any webinar software company worth a dime would feel comfortable showcasing their product and letting a prospect go for a free test drive before signing on the dotted line.

 

Our Top 8 Tips for Making the Most Out of Free Webinar Hosting During Your Trial:

  1. Develop a comprehensive checklist for your ideal webinar platform usability functions and features
  2. Make a list of pros & cons during your test drive
  3. Plan for a live webinar during your trial
  4. Test the Audio Capabilities
  5. Review if the engagement features are really… engaging
  6. Spend at least 5 hours working with the free trial
  7. Actively engage other end users and hosts in your trial
  8. Schedule a training or demo of the webinar software with the company

Let’s dive deeper into each of these tips for actionable steps in making the most of free webinar hosting during your software trial! Keep in mind that you want your webinar to be successful, follow these tips and you’ll certainly find the best platform for you to host a very successful webinar!

#1) Develop a comprehensive checklist for your ideal usability functions and features

Before you start a free trial, take some time to think about what is important to you in a webinar software. What are your must-haves and nice-to-haves in a webinar platform? Coming up with this list will help you to look at each webinar platform fairly and not get caught up in an overly zealous sales pitch or fancy features, that might not actually do much for you.

When working on your comprehensive checklist come up with 5-10 features you need to check and compare against other webinar software solutions. For example, if having customizable landing pages is important for your marketing promotion efforts, add that to the checklist!

We recommend that you create an Excel spreadsheet for comparing your top platforms. With this spreadsheet, you can then easily see which platform has more of the features you are looking for!

 

#2) Make a list of pros & cons during your test drive

As you work through your free webinar trials, it could get fuzzy on all the nitty gritty details in each webinar platform. Along with your comprehensive checklist, you need some detail to refer to as you are making your final decision!

What features backup your reasoning for wanting to go with a particular webinar platform? Why was that feature better? Having this detailed pro and con list will provide that comprehensive overview. And if you’re not the one making the final decision on the webinar platform purchase, your boss will be impressed with your thorough review and reasoning for picking the webinar software you did, and make it easy for them to decide as well!

#3) Host a live webinar during your free trial

The best part of your trial period is the free webinar hosting! What better way to test out the software than to produce an entire webinar from start to finish on the platform? This will help you to take a hard look at the pros and cons outside of the features listed on a webinar software’s website. During this exercise, you might run into issues or bugs you didn’t consider would be a problem during the planning and execution of a live webinar on this platform.

Using our example above of customized landing pages, say you are testing two webinar platforms, and both say they offer this. The only way to know what webinar software has the better landing page option is to test it out thoroughly. Just building a test landing page isn’t enough to learn if the landing page looks good and works as it should. Creating a real landing page and sharing that is the best way to see if the experience is a good one for the registrants who sign up for your webinar. That will give you some real, concrete takeaways!

Considering you haven’t fully vetted these webinar platforms yet, I wouldn’t recommend that you send your webinar invite out to the entire country, instead plan to hold a small webinar to be able to test out the experience with a small sample of just 5-10 attendees.

Best Practice: I would still test your landing page a few times yourself before pushing it live (if you use this example as part of your testing)! If you find your tests not going well after a few tries, it might be a good idea to abandon the trial if it is not salvageable. You can always start another trial on a different software to try their version of free webinar hosting!

 

#4) Test the Audio Capabilities

Audio is something many people don’t think about, yet during the live webinar is said to be the biggest headache if it doesn’t go right. If your participants can’t hear the webinar speaker, or if the audio is poor quality… it will not be a good time! It is not unheard of for people to tweet a company complaining about the poor quality of the webinar, and that is not a good look.

When testing out your free webinar hosting trials, make sure you get all the details on how to best use their audio capabilities and how to share this with participants, whether it is VoIP or directly dialing into an audio line. Run the audio through a few test drives as well, because as said above – this will make or break your webinars! Webinar software’s that invest in providing secure, quality audio are the platforms to take a closer look at.

Utilize interactive features when trying free webinar hosting sites to see if your audience will like the platform, too.

 

interactive features with free webinar hosting sites

 

#5) Review if the engagement features are really… engaging

Many webinar platforms promote that they have awesome engagement features and will provide an experience like no other – but that is just often not the case. You owe it to your future webinar attendees to truly test out if the engagement features of the webinar software match up with the competition and your expectations! Testing out your top 3-5 platforms will give you a real sense of which platform is built with the best intentions when it comes to your attendee’s experience.

spend time and practice with free webinar hosting

 

#6) Spend at least 5 hours working with the trial

At the end of the day, a trial is a test! You are testing the capabilities and functions of a webinar platform where you can expect to spend a good chunk of your time in the near and far future. Don’t slack on the testing process because you could just be hurting yourself if you don’t fully understand what you are getting into.

As with any test, you should be spending a few hours studying before the test day, right? Same goes for a software free trial. We recommend you spend at least 5 hours working with a trial to get a real feel for the platform. If you follow tips 1-4, committing to these 5 hours will be easy to achieve! Note, if at any point, you are having a bad experience with the trial and don’t see yourself ever committing to that webinar software, abandon it immediately! The 5 hours should only be dedicated to a webinar software you are truly interested in.

 

#7) Actively engage other end-users and hosts in your trial

Two or three brains are always better than one! Bring in your co-workers to test out the platform with you. Particularly anyone who will also be engaging with the platform on a semi-regular basis. They are likely to have questions or have difficulties in areas that you might not have. Be sure to have these other people test out the platform as a host and as an end-user to get a variety of feedback on both ends.

 

#8) Schedule a training or demo of the webinar software with the company

My final tip is to schedule a training or demo with the company! Personally, I like taking a test drive of a platform before I engage with the company. I like to think that I am tech savvy enough to figure most software’s out, so I want to see if the platform is indeed user-friendly and intuitive. This would be one of the items on my own comparison checklist that is important to me.

Regardless if you have the training or demo before or after your free trial, it is always a good idea to get this deep dive session with a live person before you decide. The people putting on the demos are the expert of the product, and so there will likely be features and functions you didn’t read about or notice as you test drove the webinar platform. Some of these features could be the coolest ones or unexpected ones that make your life easier as your start your webinar journey!

Additionally, during this demo, it is important to notice your experience with the company! Is the person running you through the demo helpful, pleasant, accommodating? Or was the support you received lackluster and uninformative? Most likely, you can expect the rest of your experience with a webinar software to match this initial meeting.

These tips have one theme in common: testing, testing, testing! Take the time to dig into your trial and take advantage of free webinar hosting. Get to know the platform and even what additional webinar services the company might offer. The goal is to ensure you pick the best webinar software to produce and host a successful webinar!

 

Start Your Free Trial

At BigMarker, we offer a robust 14-day free trial of our modern webinar software when you sign up for any of our premium hosting plans. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today or send us a message if you’re interested in learning more.

Webinar Hosting Mistakes You're Probably Making and How to Avoid Them

Quality webinars are great for building up an audience, selling products and services and getting your name out there.

However, if you don’t avoid the following mistakes, your webinar will be more trouble than it’s worth.

 

Not Hosting Webinars

If you’re here reading this, you’re probably not going to make this mistake, so we’ll keep it quick. If you’re here because you’re thinking about hosting a webinar but aren’t sure if you should, we would heartily recommend it.

Any time you can leverage another form of media – whether it’s webinar hosting, infographics, podcasts, etc. – you stand to win in a big way. You now have one more channel for reaching your audience.

Sure, it might make you nervous at first, but that’s no reason to write off webinar hosting entirely. You’d hate to find out that it was the exact medium your market loves most after a competitor was so successful with it.

Using the Wrong Webinar Technology

“If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

We’ve all heard this line before. It definitely holds true, though, when it comes to webinar software.

If you’ve ever seen a webinar done with a low-quality camera and/or software, you know that it’s like the world’s slowest train wreck. It’s incredibly sad, too, because, most of the time, the person hosting the webinar has put a lot of time and effort into what they were going to say. They may even have a lot riding on the results.

Unfortunately, their technology stood in the way.

Whether it’s fair or not, people will judge your webinar hosting abilities based on the result. They’ll do the same for your company and its products/services. No matter how much you know or how great your products/services are, if their webinar experience is poor, your attendees will leave with a bad impression.

The good news is that high-quality webinar software doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. Premium hosting packages start at just $19/month, which won’t break the bank if you’re hosting webinars on a small budget.

Not Hosting a Practice Run

Presumably, one of the reasons people go ahead with hosting a webinar even when they’re using unreliable webinar technology is because they don’t know about it. This wouldn’t be an issue if everyone did a practice run first. By doing so, you’ll get an opportunity to check the visuals and sound levels. You can also test to see how the webinar displays for your audience.

Aside from ensuring your webinar technology is working properly, doing a practice run will help you work through any nerves you might have or simply troubleshoot your script. Something that sounds good on paper or in your head may come off a lot differently when you say it aloud.

Sharing Too Much Content

If you’re going to make a mistake with your webinar hosting, this may seem like a fairly forgivable one. Nonetheless, it’s still a problem that will negatively impact your presentation, so do your best to avoid it.

This issue often manifests itself when the webinar host uses text-heavy slides. Regardless of how much content you’ve planned to cover during your webinar, slides containing lots of text often run the risk of losing the attention of your audience.

Every time a slide changes, that’s an opportunity to bring people back to what you’re talking about. Any change of scenery will do this (more on that in a moment). It’s only natural for your eyes to be drawn to a sudden movement like that.

Take advantage of this by keeping the text on your slides lean.

There’s no magic formula for this. Everyone’s presentation is a bit different. When you practice, though, try to get a sense for if you’re spending way too much time on a slide or if it’s otherwise becoming stale.

Not Mixing Up Your Media

A webinar that features nothing but you speaking into the camera is probably not going to be very interesting for your audience. Sorry. Get as dressed up as you want, but it’s just not going to be enough.

Think about it: people are on their computers watching you, right? Your webinar hosting is competing with everything on their mobile devices, notifications from social media, emails and more.

Aside from using lots of slides, you also need to think about other ways you can grab their attention.

This could mean photos, illustrations, videos, graphics, animations, etc. Slides with text are great, but even then, use some color and an appropriate font. If your slides are nothing but black and white, you have some work to do.

marketing and promotion tips for hosting webinars

Not Doing Enough Marketing/Promotion

Depending on how you look at it, webinar hosting might be a lot harder or a lot worse if no one is watching. On the one hand, there’s no pressure if you hardly have anyone signed up. Of course, that kind of defeats the purpose of the webinar.

If you agree that it would be better to have the pressure that comes with a large audience, then please make sure you thoroughly promote your webinar.

Regardless of how big or small your social media following is, push yourself to continuously share your webinar on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn two weeks before you go live. Refrain from sharing too much further in advance, though, as people may not want to add a webinar to their schedules if it’s too far out in the future.

Aside from spreading the word on social media, you should be leveraging the traffic on your website. Every single person who comes to your site should immediately know that you have a webinar coming up.

If you don’t have a lot of traffic, try guest posting on popular industry blogs. This can help bring traffic to your site. Just make sure you’re talking about a topic that’s relevant to your presentation.

You may be able to buy ad space on these sites, as well. Don’t just tell people you’ll be webinar hosting in the near future, though. Make sure your ad brings them to a landing page where they can sign up.

Obviously, these types of approaches will take a bit more time, but if you’re starting with nothing, they’ll be worth it for the sake of your hosting efforts.

Not Reminding People About Your Webinar

Everyone’s busy these days, so you shouldn’t take it personally when you start hosting webinars and find that a lot of people who signed up for it aren’t present. Many people will simply forget because they have so many things going on.

Also, keep in mind that, for free webinars, the majority probably won’t turn up. Statistics vary, but conventional wisdom seems to be that if 30% of the people who signed up for your webinar hosting program actually show up, that’s acceptable.

Nonetheless, make sure you’re sending out reminders anyway. When people sign up, you should get their emails so put them to good use.

Make sure you remind people a week before, a day before, the morning of and an hour before your webinar.

On the day of, your emails should include a link they can click to be taken directly to your webinar’s page. You want to make it as easy as humanly possible to get people to your event.

Forgetting to Follow Up

What?

More emails?

Yes!

If you want your webinar hosting efforts to be worth it, then yes, more emails.

You should be sending one out to everyone to thank them for their attendance. If you did a Q&A session (more on that in a minute) after the formal presentation, then thank those who asked questions and add anything you didn’t think of on the fly.

This is also a good email to get more people to watch the replay of your webinar if you recorded it.

People should read the thank you message and think, “Wow. That sounds like it was really informative. I guess I’ll go ahead and watch it.”

A follow up email is a great way to get your webinar in front of even more people.

If you’re hosting webinars to sell a product, this is a no-brainer. You have an objective ROI tied to your presentation, so one or two more emails are definitely worth it if they increase your purchases.

This is why one final email a week or two after the follow up is okay. Again, give some more information to your readers or offer an insight from the webinar and then link to it again.

hosting webinars with interactive features

 

Ending Without a Q&A

No matter how much you prepare for your webinar– including a practice run – you’ll never cover every single piece of information possible. There’s just no way there won’t be people in the audience who want more or need clarification about a certain topic.

Now, think about one of these people on the other side of your webinar. They’ve enjoyed themselves and they like a lot of what you’ve said, but they just can’t seem to make sense of one of your points.

Unfortunately, if you get to the end of your webinar and simply thank everyone and sign off, they’re sitting there with no resolution. Maybe they’ll be able to find their answer online, but that certainly won’t help you.

This is why you should leave time for a Q&A at the end. If your webinar is supposed to be an hour, make it 50 minutes and then ask for questions. Tell your audience you’ll stick around for as long as questions keep coming in, too. If this means 15 minutes, fine. If it means an hour, so be it.

Q&As are such important forms of engagement that you should never host a webinar without them. Again, if you’re doing one to sell a product, you could potentially miss out on a customer because they had question and you weren’t around to give an answer.

Never Hosting Live Webinars

There’s no doubt about it: webinar hosting can do a serious number on your nerves. Most people don’t like to do public speaking to begin with, much less the kind that can be seen all over the world by a group of faceless thousands.

If you want to record your first one or two, do it. However, as soon as you’re even remotely comfortable, start hosting your webinars live.

We already covered the main reason for this: it allows you to do the all-important Q&A sessions.

Live webinars simply flow better, too. There’s a different energy when you know you only have one take and can’t always word everything perfectly. People who are watching will feel a stronger sense of connection to you, too.

You can always record them live and put them online for people to watch, as well. As we mentioned earlier, you should be encouraging people to come back and watch again and again.

Forgetting to Have Fun

We’re dead serious about this.

If you hate hosting webinars and view them as a chore, that will come across to your audience. No matter how much you smile or how much awesome information you cover, it will be clear that you’d rather be somewhere else.

Don’t be hard on yourself for having nerves about doing a webinar. It’s natural. Practice will help a lot, but you’ll still probably feel some butterflies the first time you see the light on your camera and know you’re live.

The trick is to have fun with it, though. Not only will your audience appreciate it (they know they’d be nervous too, by the way), but it will make things that much easier when it’s time to do it again.

Conclusion

Webinars are an art form and, like any form of art, they take practice to get good at. Fortunately, you don’t have to be perfect to put on an effective webinar. Just remember to avoid the above mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to success.

If you want help with this, BigMarker is here. Check out our blog for more free advice or leave a question in the comments below.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2015/02/19/6-common-webinar-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them/#712666f14229

http://communications.on24.com/10-common-webinar-mistakes

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/education/white-paper-library/10-common-webinar-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them-white-paper/

http://www.smartsimplemarketing.com/7-common-webinar-mistakes-avoid/

5 Rookie Webinar Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

How to Host Webinars on a Small Marketing Budget

Are you interested in integrating webinars into your content marketing strategy but feel limited by a small marketing budget?

Fortunately, you don’t need a large budget to host effective webinars.

Below, we’re going to give you simple tips for hosting a successful webinar, even if you have a limited budget.

Pick Cost-Effective Webinar Software

This should come as no surprise, but if you go with expensive webinar software, then you’re going be straining your small marketing budget before you even start hosting.

Luckily, it isn’t very hard to find affordable webinar software that fits your marketing needs and budget. There are plenty of solutions out there that are similar to, and often better than the most expensive webinar tools on the market. Webinar platforms like BigMarker offer plans and pricing that can fit a diverse range of budgets without compromising on features. Still, take your time with this decision. Consider the features you absolutely must have and don’t automatically go with whatever’s cheapest.

If you still can’t afford webinar software that supports the features you need, get creative. Try reaching out to the webinar company directly to ask if they’re running any promotions or if they would be willing to come down on price in exchange for a featured quote or case study to use on their site. It may not always work, but it never hurts to ask.

Choose Topics That You Can Cover In-House

One way to host your webinars on a small marketing budget is by choosing topics that you can successfully cover without spending a lot of money or time on to develop.

Brainstorm as many ideas as possible that wouldn’t require lavish graphics, paid experts, videos, animations, etc. and then do your best to make the most out of these topics.

Obviously, you need to make sure these topics will actually generate sufficient interest in your target market, but if you choose wisely, you should be able to cover your content in-house.

The point is that you don’t want to pick something like, say, doing an interview with an industry expert when you can’t afford to pay said expert for an interview. Some companies end up trying to pass off whomever they can afford as an expert and the results are often, at best, underwhelming.

topic-list-for-small-marketing-budget
Create a Robust List of Webinar Topics

Research What Has Worked for Others

Another way you can address this problem is by seeing what is already working within your industry. This could mean watching competitors’ webinars or looking at which of their blog posts get the most shares and engagements. Read through their comments for ideas on where they fell a bit short.

This is no guarantee of these affordable ideas, but they’ll definitely help your brainstorming sessions considerably.

Ask for Help with Your Idea

One more tip on coming up with ideas for your webinars: simply ask for help. If you already have a decent social media following, you should have no problem getting your followers to tell you what they’d love to see in a webinar. The best part is that it won’t cost you a dime to just ask.

If you don’t have a great social media following, your webinar hosting dreams are far from over. You’ll just need to do a bit more work. Namely, go on forums and social media pages in your industry and ask people that way. This can be a little more challenging to track, but the results will be worth it and, again, very budget friendly.

Do Guest Posts

The longer you have to plan your first attempt at webinar hosting on a small marketing budget, the more options you’ll have for making sure it’s a success.

For example, if you have a few months or more, begin guest posting on industry sites. Talk about subjects that will build your authority and generate interest. You should begin seeing a difference in your social media following and/or web traffic to your site.

Of course, both of these things could be leveraged into greater revenues, which might then be helpful where your small marketing budget is concerned.

At the very least, though, you should be able to transform this increased reach into an increased audience for your webinar.

Partner with an Influencer

Before, we mentioned that some people use expert interviews. While this often means spending money on getting them to show up, this certainly isn’t always the case. Before you settle on a webinar hosting idea, think about the experts in your industry who may be interested in partnering with you on the presentation.

You might find out that their price is way out of your small marketing budget, but it never hurts to ask. In fact, we wouldn’t even bring it up. Just reach out to various experts in your industry (non-competitors, of course) and ask about their interest in hosting a webinar on whatever topic they like best (provided it’s somehow related to your business).

No matter what kind of budget you’re working with, this is always a great idea. Experts will extend your reach by helping to increase exposure for the webinar you’re doing together. After all, they want people to know that they’re seen as experts, right?

This webinar hosting idea is also great because it aligns you with this expert. Even if they never endorse your company or your product/service, you still get the benefit of becoming associated with their expertise. Continue to interview experts and this will continue to happen.

partner-with-a-thought-leader
Partner with an Industry Expert

Go for Branding, Not Selling in Your Webinar

There’s a big misconception in content marketing – which includes webinar hosting – that the goal is to sell products. Many companies make this mistake. They have blog post after blog post that talks about their products and services without really doing much to actually educate their would-be customers.

Sadly, this doesn’t work. That kind of content is great for sales pages, but elsewhere, like with blogs and webinars, the idea is that you’re supposed to be helping the person on the other side of the screen. Successful content marketers know that the better you help your audience, the more likely they are to become customers.

If your webinar hosting plans revolve around pitching viewers a product or service, it’s probably going to be a waste of money and reduce your small marketing budget even further.

Now, if you market it as such, that’s a bit different. If you are explaining to viewers that it’s basically going to be an advertisement for something you’ll be selling them, you’ll have a much easier time finding success. However, you also have to expect that far fewer people will be interested.

Make Sure People Can Watch Your Webinars On-Demand

More and more, webinar platforms are making it possible to record your presentation live – if you want – but also to give people the opportunity to watch it on-demand whenever they please.

Some people prefer this simply because they don’t want to host it live. They may be new to webinar hosting and want some practice first, so recording a presentation and letting people play it when they desire makes the most sense.

In terms of your budget, though, you’ll get the most return if you don’t force people to be around at a specific time to watch your webinar. Many of your viewers will be otherwise detained at this time. For those from other parts of the world, it might be an inconvenient time to get to their computer.

Take Advantage of Your Free Trial

Don’t spend a dime on webinar software before testing it out. Most webinar platforms offer free trials of their service that allow you to host test webinars without entering a credit card. Take advantage of your free trial by scheduling and hosting as many test sessions and dry runs as you can to make sure that your goals for a webinar will be met by the solution you choose.

Even after you’re satisfied with the webinar software you chose, host a dry run. In fact, you may want to do two or three.

At the very least, though, one rehearsal is necessary to ensure that you like how it turns out. You should go back and watch it on your computer, checking for the audio levels, ensuring you’re being articulate and watching how the visuals worked.

Then, try watching it on an iOS and Android device. Assuming you’re using a mobile-friendly webinar software, you’ll want to confirm it shows up correctly on these devices. “Mobile-friendly” webinar platforms don’t always live up to their names.

Plan Content Around the Webinar

Earlier, we mentioned how blogs should be aimed at helping your audience and that, usually, this means giving them educational, actionable information.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use this type of content to promote your webinar hosting efforts, though.

For instance, leading up to the event, you should create posts that cover similar topics as the one you’ll be talking about in your webinar. You can bring that up as a type of call-to-action at the end of your post.

Therefore, once you’ve established yourself with your audience through a truly helpful piece, you can bring up that you’ll be holding a webinar on a related topic in the near future and then giving them a link to click on in order to register.

You can also do this after your webinar. If you recorded it, the same practice applies. Give your audience something truly helpful and then provide them with the link if they’d be interested in learning about a similar topic.

Furthermore, you can repackage some of the content you used in your webinar into a blog. If you allowed for interaction, you may even have been inspired to create a blog post based on some of the questions or responses you received. Those who attended will appreciate that you went back and create entirely new pieces of content based on what they had to say.

Not only are these ways of marketing your webinar completely free, but they stand a real chance of actually increasing your ROI, as well.

Don’t Pay for More Attendees Than You Need

Most webinar hosting services come in packages depending on the number of webinar attendees you’ll need to support.

If you have never hosted a webinar before, it may be challenging to guess how many you need to anticipate having. Of course, you could wait on committing to any webinar package until after you have people sign up. The problem is that, on average, only about 30-40% of those who sign up will actually attend. For this reason, it might be impossible to make an accurate estimate.

The good news is that, if you guess small, you’ll save your small marketing budget and you can always host another webinar later.

It will also look good for your company if you have to tell people that you can’t accept any more webinar registrants because of so much demand. Ask for their email addresses and tell them they’ll be alerted the moment you hold an encore performance.

Monetize Your Webinars

If you’d really rather have a more accurate number of those who will actually be attending your webinar, you could always charge tickets to attend. This way, you’ll know which package you need to purchase from your webinar provider.

Sure, it’s possible that fewer people than the amount that paid show up, but, if they’ve already paid, that shouldn’t be too big of a problem.

This tactic is also great because, well, it can help with your small marketing budget. As you probably could have guessed, you’re really going to need to come up with a compelling idea for your webinar if you want people to pay you to attend, but this is hardly impossible to do.

Companies across every industry have made money from their webinars by charging. In each case, it has meant successfully choosing the type of topic that gets people to loosen up their purse strings.

Even though webinars involve a number of moving parts and can promise enviable results for your company, that’s no reason to assume they can’t be accommodated by your small marketing budget, too.

While it’s true that there are all kinds of webinar hosting solutions and services currently out there, if you just follow the tips above, you’ll be able to make the most out of this popular form of content on your small marketing budget.

 

Start Hosting

If you are in need of affordable, feature-rich webinar software, BigMarker is an ideal solution for all your hosting needs. With plans starting at just $19/month, we can accommodate your company’s small marketing budget without compromising on the features you need to host amazing webinars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.techwyse.com/blog/content-marketing/webinar-hosting/

http://www.moneycrashers.com/create-host-webinar-benefits/

http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/14-steps-to-hosting-a-successful-webinar/

https://smartblogger.com/your-first-webinar/

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

5 Ways to Host More Effective, Engaging Webinars

Webinar software grants the unique opportunity to connect with the masses instantly, making it an effective way to expedite the impact of any specific message. However, if you want your audience to retain your message it is imperative to structure a presentation that encourages attendee interaction. In this article we will share five tips for hosting more effective, engaging webinars.

Know The Challenges Associated With Video Conferencing Solutions

Despite the many benefits offered by webinar hosting, it’s important to remember that this particular medium is still, at its core, a meeting. Like other meeting formats, web conferencing often faces one formidable opponent: distraction.

Attendees of both virtual and live gatherings face a multitude of potential disruptions at any given moment, and often simultaneously. Incoming emails, text messages, and phone calls can inundate your audience throughout your time together, tempting them to tune you out and focus on other things.

Also, unlike in-person meetings, these online conferences don’t provide real-time attendee responses and visual cues. The absence of body language and facial expressions from your attendees can sometimes make it challenging to determine how well a presentation is going, or effectively gauge crowd focus. In order to achieve maximum success with your listeners, it’s critical to carefully craft an engaging webinar that commands (and holds) attention from start to finish.

 

5 Tips to Keep Webinar Attendees Tuned-In

Once you recognize some of the similarities and differences between live and virtual conferences, you can proactively strategize ways to keep your audience captivated and engaged.  When putting together your presentation, consider these five important suggestions to create compelling material that resonates with attendees and leaves a lasting impression.

 

hosting engaging webinars boost longterm focus

 

Tip #1: Pick an Enticing Webinar Topic

Topic selection should top your priority list when developing your presentation. The best way to choose a pertinent subject is to know your targeted audience. Rather than settling for a generic, (read: overdone) theme, familiarize yourself with your attendees so you can chose a distinctive topic that adds a perceived value.

Don’t strive to simply inform; instead, make your ultimate goal to address and solve a specific problem your viewers may face. Beyond knowing your audience, you should also know your subject matter. In short, teach what you know. Select a focus area where you can establish yourself as an invaluable resource to gain the crowd’s trust.

Even if you know your audience and subject matter, you still may struggle to identify a relevant focus. Tap into available resources to help with your search, beginning with your existing blog and social media accounts. Scan through your articles and page updates to find topics that proactively solicited follower comments and subsequent shares. These popular posts can offer an invaluable starting point for material that your guests will want to learn more about.

If you find you’re still struggling to find something worth discussing, ask your audience. Send out a questionnaire with specific inquiries about existing trends and issues they’d like to learn more about. Asking for their input can prove a powerful way to get their buy in before you kick off your event.

Bonus Topic Note: Once you’ve designated your topic and created your outline, get the word out. Use social media to connect with the crowd well before your lecture date. Create a unique hashtag for your workshop and begin sharing it on all your pages to promote the value and benefits your session will deliver. Relevant posts that use your designated hashtag can help pique interest, encourage followers to share information about your event and even serve as a way to interact with attendees after your webinar for added influence.

 

Tip #2: Remember Content Is King

Choosing an enticing subject is not enough. In order to ensure successful, engaging webinars, you must develop high-quality, relevant content to truly captivate your attendees and hold their attention. When creating your materials, employ both visual and audio strategies to deliver an optimal sensory experience.

Start with your visual presentation. Incorporate eye-catching colors, bold images and easy-to-read graphs to command attention. Use concise text on each page that you can elaborate on verbally throughout your lecture. When using graphs and charts, don’t embellish; use proven data and statistics to establish trust with listeners. Finally, refresh slides often (a general rule of thumb is to refresh to a new slide every 2 minutes) to maintain a dynamic, stimulating visual throughout the meeting.

You should also carefully consider your verbal content component. Talk to your guest, not at them to encourage their investment in your message. Resist the urge to dive right into your list of action items and meeting agenda; it runs the risk of kicking off your web conference with a giant virtual yawn.

Instead, start your time together by sharing a compelling, yet relevant, anecdote that sets an inviting tone and grabs your audience’s focus. Once you’ve garnered their interest, move forward with your presentation, addressing them as individuals (rather than a group) as often as possible to personalize each listener’s overall experience. 

Bonus Content Note: Many speakers hand out all webinar slides and notes prior to the session, for various reasons. Some want guests to familiarize themselves with the material in advance. Others send the material as a backup in case something goes awry with their online connection. Whatever the motivation, many attendees may simply view an advanced glimpse of a presentation as an invitation to multitask (read emails, answer calls, etc.) during the conference, confident they can catch up on the information later. Build their anticipation by keeping your materials to yourself until after the initial discussion.

Tip #3: Encourage Participation

Perhaps the quickest way to lose listeners? Failing to recognize that it’s not a video monologue, it’s a video conference. Audience interaction and participation are two major advantages of implementing engaging webinars. Yet, many hosts fail to engage guests in an active discussion; instead, they race through their presentation by rote, without allowing for questions and comments.

Don’t miss out on the chance to connect and interact with your audience. Online polls and surveys offer an excellent way to stimulate dialogue and collaboration. You can also ask questions directly as needed.

Strive to acknowledge your attendees in some way at least every 10 minutes by strategically dispersing interaction opportunities consistently throughout your demonstration.

Also, nothing says you have to wait until the end of the demonstration to host an official Q&A session. Breaking up your Q&A segments allows listeners a chance to ask questions while the content is still fresh in their minds. As a result, you instantly keep guests tuned in and mentally engaged throughout the session. 

Additionally, focusing too much on yourself can hinder crowd participation in a major way. Taking too long to outline your professional bio, prolonging details about your company and elongating professional accomplishments not only throws out a slightly self-absorb vibe, it also makes your guests feel like you don’t value their time. Go into your conference assuming that everyone attending has already looked up everything they want to know about you (because they have), keep your intro short and get right into hosting your engaging webinar as quickly as possible. You can always include links throughout your presentation so guests can check out relevant details about you after the session has ended.

Tip #4: Practice Your Delivery

Online trainings and workshops often require just a little extra rehearsal on your end. From a technology perspective, you have two vital components to master before you go live: your slide deck and your webinar software. Hosts of engaging webinars should work to master both in advance of the conference to avoid any glitches that may distract listeners.

You will also need to practice your presentation style before the big day. Consider your speaking strengths and weaknesses to develop the best delivery possible. For example, nervous speakers tend to rush through the lecture too quickly. If you find yourself getting anxious, take a breath and try to transform your nerves into excitement about the topic.

Also, don’t underestimate the value of moving while hosting engaging webinars. While it may seem counterintuitive to move around when you’re the only one in a room, it can offer invaluable benefits, both to you and your listeners. Movement can quickly minimize your nerves; it can also keep your energy levels up, allowing you to maintain momentum and stay dynamic.

Finally, when rehearsing engaging webinars, remember that in-person presentations often allow for an occasional “dramatic pause.” However, when you aren’t sharing space with your listeners, a dramatic pause can quickly transform into dead air. When practicing the delivery of engaging webinars, keep in mind that your guests can’t read your mannerisms and gestures; everyone logged-in is completely dependent on your voice alone. An interruption longer than just a few seconds can prove enough of a distraction for them to question the quality of your connection and move onto to something else on their action item list.

 

Tip #5: Create A Call To Action 

Keep the conversation going long after the webinar ends by creating calls-to-action for your audience. Before signing off, direct the crowd on the next steps you’d like them to take. Make your directives clear and concise – attendees should know exactly what to do and how to do it. At the conclusion of your web conference, share a custom URL that will walk them through the process, or provide a phone number they can call for follow up.

Indecision and procrastination can prove major obstacles in call-to-action success. Creating a sense of urgency can motivate listeners (no one wants to miss an invaluable opportunity). Put a deadline on when listeners can reap the benefits of your additional information. Or, offer a discount on additional materials and products for a limited time. A compelling call to action can strengthen the session’s overall impact and may prompt users to share your information with others for the ultimate webinar return on investment.

 

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 begin leveraging our powerful webinar technology or send us a message if you’re interesting in learning more.