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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Understand the Benefits of B2B Webinars

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

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

 

Streamlined and Affordable Production

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

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

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

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

 

Connection with a Broader Audience

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

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

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

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

 

Dialogue with Interested Participants

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

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

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

 

New Lead Cultivation

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

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

Customize Webinar Registration

 

Strengthened Current Partnerships

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

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

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

 

Establish Industry Authority

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

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

 

Live Demonstrations

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

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

Sustainable Marketing Impact

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

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

 

Tips To Reach Your B2B Market Online

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

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

 

Determine Preliminary (But Important) Logistics

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

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

 

Create Original Content


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

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

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

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

 

Promote Your B2B Webinars

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

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

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

 

Rehearse Your Delivery

Never go into live B2B webinars without practicing beforehand.

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

 

Follow Up

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

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

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

 

Repurpose B2B Webinars

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

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

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

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

 

Start Hosting!

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

Resources

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

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

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

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

Identifying the Challenges

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

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

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

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

 

What’s Your Point?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Get Specific About Your Benefits

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

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

 

Command Attention Right at the Start

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

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

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

 

Make it a Dialogue, Not a Monologue

allow webinar participants to submit questions and responses in real time

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

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

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

 

Stay Charged!

Don’t underestimate your responsibility to keep everyone listening.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Give Your Online Audience Bragging Rights

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

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

 

Diversify Your Speakers

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

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

keep your online audience engaged with diverse webinar presenters

 

Test Your Audio

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

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

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

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

 

Manage Your Time Wisely

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

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

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

 

Set Aside a Specific Q&A Section

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

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

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

 

Save the Best for Last

Reward your attendees for tuning in throughout your entire presentation.

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

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

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

 

The Keys To Preparing And Managing A Webinar Panel Discussion

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Consider Audience First

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Select The Right Speakers

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

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

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

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

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

 

Get To Your Pre-Game Preppin’

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

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

Some relevant tips when you get to prepping include:

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

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

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

 

Plan Your Opening

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

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

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

 

Practice

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

You’re The Moderator

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

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

 

Introduce Each Speaker

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

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

 

Allow For Q&A Sessions

use Q&A sessions during a webinar panel discussion

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

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

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

 

Ask Your Own Questions

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

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

 

Prevent The Dreaded Pitch

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

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

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

 

Host Your Own Webinar Panel Discussion

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

 

 

 

 

References

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

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

Webinar Production Essentials: A Complete Technology & Equipment Checklist

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

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

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

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

 

Essential Technology for Webinar Production

 Technology for Webinar Production

Webinar Software:

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

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

 

Fast Internet Connection:

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

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

 

Marketing Automation Platform:

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

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

 

Audio Conferencing:

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

 

PowerPoint:

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

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

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

Video Editing Tool:

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

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

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

Image Editing Tool:

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Equipment for Webinar Production

Equipment for Webinar Production

High-quality webcam:

Audiences like to see webinar speakers on webcam.

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

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

 

Lighting:

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

Backdrop:

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

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

 

Microphone:

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

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

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

Laptop or computer:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Webinar Production Budgeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Top 4 Webinar Production Essentials:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Get started!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2. People Will Only Commit to One Webinar Per Week

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

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

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

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

 

3. Morning is Best for Hosting Webinars

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

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

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

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

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

 

4. Tuesdays Are Best for Hosting Webinars

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

6. Be Passionate and Interesting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

8. Send Your Emails Midweek

send webinar emails midweek

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

10. The Average Number of Webinar Attendees Is 148

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

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

 

11. Record and Replay Your Webinars for Best Results

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Sources:

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

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

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