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

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

 

1. Exceptional Value is Delivered

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

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

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

Webinar meetings take care of these issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. More Sales, Less Work

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

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

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

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

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

 

4. Webinar Meetings Knock Down Geographical Barriers

In-person meetings can substantially limit your reach.

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

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

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

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

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

5. The Audience Becomes More Engaged

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Generate New Leads

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

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

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

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

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

 

7. Guest Presenters Are Easier to Come By

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

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

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

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

 

8. Get More Return On Your Investment

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

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

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

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

 

Start Hosting!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

 

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

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.

How to Effectively Drive Webinar Registrations and Conversions

If you’re planning to host webinars in the near future, you’re probably pretty excited about their potential. Companies from all over the world and in countless industries have used webinars to increase their reach, build their authority, and, of course, turn viewers into customers.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed the result you want. While there are plenty of important parts to virtual presentations, if you don’t know how to drive webinar registrations and conversions, the actual session you host won’t do a whole lot.

A brief primer on webinar registrations

Before we go jumping into the nuts and bolts of driving webinar registrations and conversions, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page about this topic.

After all, if you’re new to webinars and/or marketing, you may not understand why having people register for your webinar is so important. Some have even worried that putting a step like this between viewers and webinars may actually be counterproductive.

Webinar registrations are important because they help you build a target market. Registration data teaches you about the people signing up for your webinar, including how they heard about it.

That’s not all. Webinar registrations provide email addresses, allowing you to contact the audience about new programs and opportunities.

All things considered, you ultimately want to drive conversions. Webinars are great for countless reasons, but if they don’t lead to revenue, what’s the point?

Conversions are ratios of how many webinar attendees become customers. It may not happen immediately and it may take you several programs, but it’s still important to drive this number.

Now that we’ve covered webinar registrations and conversions, let’s move on to talking about how you can increase both.

Understanding the relationship between webinar registrations and conversions

Understanding the relationship between webinar registrations and conversions
On the left we have registrations and on the right we have conversions…but how are they related?

The first thing you need to understand about webinar registrations and conversions is how the two are related.

You might think this is obvious: Without registrations, there cannot be conversions.

That’s true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. If you only get that far in your understanding of how the two are connected, you’re going to be very disappointed by your webinar’s results.

The people registering for your webinar will have a direct effect on your conversion rate because of the types of people who are registering.

Take this example…

Let’s say you’re a fitness coach and you specialize in coaching men older than 40 in weight loss. In an effort to sell books, courses, and more to clients, you decide to use a webinar where you cover basic topics, answer questions, and engage your audience.

After your webinar, you see that you hardly converted anyone. With a bit more digging, you learn that the vast majority of people actually dropped off early on into the webinar.

What went wrong?

It turns out your registration process set you up to fail. It didn’t mention that you were only focusing on men 40 and older. All you talked about was weight loss, six-pack abs, and easy diet plans. By trying to market to everyone, you ended up converting no one.

That’s an extreme example, but it illustrates how webinar registrations and conversions are related.

With that established, let’s dive into how to drive conversions.

Know your audience and how to target them

know and understand your webinar audience to drive webinar registrations
Different people – different goals and motivations!

Never assume you know everything about your market and your customers. It’s easier than ever before to learn more about them, so it’s worth researching which sites they visit, who they follow on social media, what their goals are, and more.

Truly understanding your audience helps you craft a message that resonates with readers and drives registrations.

At some point, you’ll have a large email list you can use for this heavy lifting, but right now, you may have to rely on ads or social media to promote your webinar.

Use ads to drive webinar registrations

It’s important to know where your audience will be and to craft an ad that will resonate. The more time you spend researching and testing this, the more effective your ads will be.

Video ads are one of the best ways to advertise a webinar and build interest. They give viewers a great idea of what to expect when they join your webinar.

So what kind of first impression should you make?

First, the audio and video must be perfect. This communicates to registrants that they will be able to see and hear the webinar.

Second, presentations must be polished. They don’t need to have expensive graphics and features, but they need to be delivered smoothly, succinctly, and confidently. This conveys that you are a trustworthy expert, and attendees will be more likely to register for future webinars.

Third, your audience should receive compelling information. Ideally, this is actionable advice that they can use right away. If you’re able to give them concrete help in an ad – even if it seems small – they’ll be incentivized to attend your webinar for more information.

Video ads are easy to run on YouTube, but what if your audience prefers Facebook or LinkedIn?

On sites that use static ads, you can redirect your audience to a shorter, teaser ad video on a landing page.

Earn webinar registrations through email

Over time, you’ll grow a reliable email list to attract registrants every time you host a webinar. If your content is always amazing, one email should be enough, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works. Webinar experts with great content still struggle to keep attendance high.

To avoid this problem, first and foremost give prospects plenty of time. Instead of emailing them for the first time a few days before the webinar, help them plan for it by announcing it ahead of time.

For best results, use a three-week period when following up with prospects. You can always make it longer, but on average, 91% of registrations happen three weeks before the webinar.

Now, what kind of email are you going to send?

To drive webinar registrations, you will want to mix it up. For example, if you were to send three invitations, you might start with an HTML email, then a plain text email, then an HTML email again.

You should also vary the promotional message you use. It’s important to understand your audience, but in this case, we’re referring to the tone and verbiage. In one message, you might be formal. In another, you might be more personable.

When you create variety in your emails, your recipients can’t predict what you’ll send next. This piques their interest and makes them more likely to register.

Before we move on to conversions, we’ll leave you with one piece of advice about the copy you use to drive webinar registrations: Promise something big.

People take the time to attend webinars because they are looking for something impactful and they believe they will gain something valuable. It is important to give them a sense of certainty that the webinar will change their lives or businesses in an important way.

The art of turning webinar registrations into conversions

improve webinar registrations and conversions
Ramp up your ratios!

As discussed earlier, if you have a strong foundation of webinar registrations, it should be manageable to convert quite a few. This will be especially true if you follow our advice from the previous section and excite people about what you have to offer. They will show up ready to convert before the webinar even begins.

You might be wondering, “What is a good conversion rate?” The truth is that there’s no way of generalizing this number across industries and product lines. All you can do is look at the ratio between registrations and conversions and continuously improve it.

Give an exclusive offer

One way to increase conversions is with an exciting and unexpected offer during your webinar. Even if your goal is to sell at the end of the webinar, it is key to provide exclusive, obligation-free offers. This will excite them and they will want to reciprocate.

It’s important to hype this exclusive freebie. Instead of simply stating the offer, build up to it for a natural yet attention-grabbing moment.

Save the sales pitch for later

Keep the product or service out of the spotlight until the very end. Again, your webinar needs to add value, even if attendees do not convert. Webinar registrations improve when you not only promise value, but you deliver. Failing to deliver, or only delivering after you sell, can negatively impact conversions.

If you jump right into a sales pitch, it’s almost guaranteed that you will sell absolutely nothing. Avoid the sales pitch, and conversions will likely improve.

Use scarcity

Finally, you can use scarcity to your advantage. This is a powerful sales technique, and a webinar is a great time to leverage it.

Scarcity works one of two ways:

  • You can tell your audience that you have a limited quantity, or that you can only accommodate a certain number of people
  • You can make a limited time offer (e.g. After the webinar ends, they have until midnight to convert)

Of course, in order for your webinar marketing to be effective, your audience ultimately needs to be exicted about what you are offering.

Final thoughts

More than anything, each webinar you host is a learning experience. If you knock it out of the park on your first try, that’s amazing! However, don’t be discouraged if that’s not the case. The more you host, the more you learn, and your results are bound to improve.

Even when you see positive registrations and conversions, keep improving. These two components make all the difference, so the better they are, the better your overall results.

Start hosting!

To drive webinar registrations, you’ll first need a webinar software that allows you to design an amazing landing page. BigMarker is a modern webinar platform, offering a full stack of marketing tools that help you capture leads and maximize the impact of your webinars.

Start your 14-day free trial of BigMarker today, or send us a message to get in touch.

 

 

Sources:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-increase-webinar-registration#sm.000011dwb1h6t8epau77f3bhms60v

https://www.thebalance.com/increase-webinar-registrations-with-landing-pages-2531490

7 Ways to Improve Your Webinars (and Conversion Rate)

The 11 Best Web Microphones for Webinar Hosting

A lot goes in to running a successful webinar. However, above all else, you need a good web microphone. Below, we’ve listed 11 of your best options. After going through them all, you should be ready to make a selection.

Understanding Your Two Main Web Microphone Options

Before we get into your best web microphone options, let’s take a moment to talk about the two main types you have to choose from.

The first kind is a “dynamic microphone”. If you’re looking for a web microphone and aren’t too sure how serious you are about hosting webinars, this is probably the model you’ll end up with. That’s because it’s the cheapest.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad. A dynamic web microphone works by using a magnetic field to sense where the audio signal is coming from and receive it. On a mechanical level, a very lightweight and usually thin diaphragm moves when it responds to sound pressure.

As a result, a dynamic web microphone will be less sensitive to sound pressure levels. The same goes for high frequencies. While they won’t record as much surrounding noise, this type of web microphone also won’t produce as rich a sound.

Is that such a bad thing?

You’ll have to decide. Again, these are less expensive and don’t need a power supply. Although, in this day and age, that last feature probably shouldn’t be a huge deal if you’re looking for a web microphone. Just plug one in.

The other web microphone option is known as a “condenser”. These respond far better to the “speed” of sound waves. They also pick up on more nuances. Condenser microphones are (by far) the choice of people who need mics to record music.

Inside of the condenser web microphone is a conductive diaphragm that is spread thin and placed closed to the backplate, which is a metal disc.

Of course, condenser mics will require a power supply, but we’ve already talked about that.

While they will cost more money than dynamic mics, the other drawback is that you will only want to use them if you have a secure area that won’t involve background noise. If you’re planning to use this web microphone in your home, you can’t have other things going on in the surrounding area or your listeners will hear it.

 

11 of the Best Web Microphones for Webinar Hosting

 

Heil PR-40

Heil PR-40 web microphone
https://heilsound.com

Our first pick, the Heil PR-40, may be the king of dynamic web microphones. It’s made with a copper-wound dynamic combined with a neodymium magnet structure. These are both high-quality pieces of material, which means you get to put out a better sound.

While this dynamic condenser web microphone is an excellent choice, it does come with a higher price tag. If you’re new to webinar hosting, the Heil PR-40 may not be your first choice. In contrast, if you’re looking to invest in high quality webinar audio technology, then add this to your short list.

 

Audio-Technica ATR2100

Audio-Technica ATR2100 web microphone
http://www.audio-technica.com/

While the Heil PR-40 may be more popular, another great dynamic web microphone that is gaining a lot of fans is the Audio-Technica ATR2100.

As a handheld mic, much of its popularity is based on preference. If you like handheld mics for your webinars, the others may not be a good fit. The Audio-Technica ATR2100 is handheld but also produces an amazing result.

It’s also both an XLR and USB, which makes it unique to the list and gives it another huge advantage. Furthermore, you can actually use both at the same time. The XLR would work best for live webinars or webcasts and, obviously, the USB would make the most sense for digital recordings.

Other reasons to love the Audio-Technica ATR2100 include the fact that it uses a Cardioid polar pattern, has an extended frequency, and works with built-in headphones. At the end of the day, if you are using multiple webinar approaches – or you’re not sure which version works best, yet – this mic is easy to recommend.

Rode Podcaster

Rode Podcaster web microphone
https://www.amazon.com/

The most expensive dynamic web microphone on our list is the Rode Podcaster. Even though it’s easy to recommend a condenser mic over this type of model, don’t sell this one short. It might be one of the best options on our entire list (which explains its price).

Internal shock mounting will help when you record, especially if you’re in a room that might let in outside noise. It also makes it very easy to isolate your voice, which is one more reason it’s a good, versatile option for those who are worried about recording a bit too much audio.

A 3.5mm stereo headphone output is also very attractive in its own right, but the jack gives you built-in volume controls, too.

Samson Meteor

Samson Meteor Web Microphone
http://www.samsontech.com/

Let’s now shift our focus to condenser microphones. The first on our list? The Samson Meteor. It’s actually very affordable despite being a condenser mic, so even if you’re new to hosting webinars, don’t write it off right away. For the price, this is probably the best deal on the list.

It’s very durable, too, so if you think you’ll be holding webinars from numerous locations, it is going to be a great choice. You can fold the legs up and it will still work very well as a handheld option, but those legs also go right back down, which will make it easy to talk into from the seated position.

Although you still have to make considerations for its condenser features, if you’re going to hold webinars and are short on space (e.g. an apartment, hotel room, small office, etc.), this web microphone won’t get in the way.

Lastly, another reason we love this web microphone for people on limited budgets is because it can connect right into your iPad and other tablets, so you can then use Garageband to edit the final version of your presentation before releasing it.

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020 Web Microphone
http://www.audio-technica.com/

In terms of price, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is a considerable step up. Yet, you’re still not spending a ton of money to get a very easy-to-use microphone that would be great for you entry-level types.

You don’t need a ton of technical skill to use this condenser web microphone. You can literally just take it out of the box, plug it in, and start using it. While you should do just as much research finding good webinar software for your presentations, this mic works with just about all of them, whether you prefer a Mac or PC.

Another thing we love about it is its low-mass diaphragm, which was custom made to work well with extended frequencies and gives a high-level transient response. Basically, this means that if you use this mic, it will isolate your sounds. Therefore, once again, if you don’t have a perfectly quit environment, the Audio-Technica AT2020 will work around it.

Blue Microphones Yeti

Blue Microphones Yeti Web Microphone
https://www.amazon.com

This web microphone is a top seller on Amazon for a number of reasons. The Blue Microphones Yeti is relatively affordable, it works well, and it has a stylish, retro design, which makes it ideal for webinar hosts who plan to be on camera.

Aesthetics aside, its bidirectional design makes it phenomenal for interviews. If you plan on talking to people on a podcast, this is the one to go with. At the same time, it was also crafted for omni-directional use, which means it is phenomenal for webinars where you might do a conference call.

If you’re worried about the work involved to execute these types of webinars, don’t be. The Blue Microphones Yeti can be taken out of the box, plugged in, and used right away without any technical skill. With an audio output right at its side, you can also plug your headphones in.

Blue Microphones Snowball

Blue Microphones Snowball Web Microphone
https://www.amazon.com

If you know anything about webinars, this one shouldn’t surprise you. Blue makes our list again with this extremely popular web microphone. It earns its name because of its simple apparatus that’s capped off with a spherical mic.

Despite the legendary manufacturer behind it, the Blue Microphones Snowball is another extremely affordable condenser mic. It also looks fantastic on camera, especially because you have eight different colors to choose from.

On a technical side, it has a dual capsule design, so you can do interviews and conference calls with equal sound quality. The -10dB Pad: A -10dB pad switch will eliminate sound either way, so you’ll have a bit more freedom to choose the location for your webinar.

Both Macs and PCs will accommodate this high-performing mic equally.

MXL990

MXL 990 Web Microphone
https://www.amazon.com

Once again, we have another web microphone that mimics the mics of yesteryear. It doesn’t get much more classic than the MXL990.

Don’t let the look fool you, though. It comes outfitted with a FET preamp, which helps create a better balance output. Add to that its nice large diaphragm and you get a professional result that offers superior sound quality, even by condenser web microphone standards.

The only real drawback with this web microphone is that it will only work with an XLR cable. You’ll need a USB mixer or XLR-to-USB converter to get it to work with your computer, but that’s to be expected with this kind of professional equipment.

CAD U37

CAD-U37-Condenser-Recording-Web-Microphone
http://cadaudio.com/

This is one of the largest condenser microphones on the list. While that adds to its looks, the fact is that the CAD U37 will also give you a nice rich sound on your webinar. Just remember that the trade-off is that you have to be careful about where you record.

That’s not all it has to offer, though. You’ll benefit from a -10dB overload-protection switch. This will make up for its ability to pick up noises from far away – at least, a little bit. That feature reduces distortion. There’s also a switch for reducing bass, which will eliminate a lot of the low-frequency white noise you may not hear until the webinar has been recorded.

All of these professional features don’t elevate the price tag much, though, which makes this condenser web microphone a solid choice for rookies.

Shure SM58

Shure SM58 Web Microphone
http://www.shure.com/

The Shure SM58 is a workhorse of a web microphone. It’s another one on the list that is very mobile, so you have some options for how you want to format your webinar. It’s also extremely durable – maybe the toughest mic on the list. While that probably shouldn’t influence you too much, if you plan on traveling with a mic a lot, look no further than this condenser microphone.

Given its price tag, you can also afford audio software or a mixer to travel with you and, therefore, leave your laptop or tablet behind.

Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic Web Microphone
http://www.samsontech.com/

Another very affordable option is the Samson Go Mic. If the CAD U37 was one of the largest on our lists, then this is definitely the smallest. As its name suggests, it’s very portable. This also makes it great for impromptu interviews when you may need to hand the mic back and forth. The Samson Go Mic can even be clipped to a desk, so though it may look like you’d have to hold it, that’s not the case.

Like other, more expensive web microphone options on our list, this one has an omni-directional pickup and switchable cardiod. Translation: its sound quality is great. It also works with Macs and PCs.

One feature that makes this web microphone especially unique is that it’s the only one that comes with recording software. Cakewalk Music Creator is fairly user-friendly and will give you everything you need to begin producing webinars right away.

Don’t take your web microphone needs for granted before hosting your webinars. The last thing you want is to spend good money on one only to get bad results. No matter what your budget or needs are, there’s a mic from the list above that will fit.

Still, if you want help making your decision, contact us. We’d be more than happy to guide your decision.

Also, check out BigMarker today to start hosting amazing webinars.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/mic-need-professional-podcast-10-best-podcasting-microphones/119254/

https://www.thepodcasthost.com/equipment/the-best-podcasting-microphones-on-the-market/

Webinar Marketing 101: A Guide To Effectively Use Webinars As Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

Webinar marketing has proven value in virtually any promotional mix.

Still, some modern business owners hesitate to include webinars in their marketing strategies, for a wide range of reasons. Some believe that their current efforts are “good enough” and feel reluctant to change their approach. Others are apprehensive about learning a new technology and fear that they will have an on-air lapse that will derail their presentation. Some may even worry about the presentation itself; they are convinced that they have nothing of value to say.

Fortunately, executives in every industry often discover that their webinar marketing fears are unfounded. From a technology standpoint, partnering with a provider of an innovative and intuitive virtual conference system quickly eliminates the fear of live presentation glitches. Additionally, many professionals are surprised to learn they actually do have a lot to share with their audience.

Whether it’s hosting an online demonstration for a new product, providing a slide deck of recent industry trends, or even just hosting a question and answer session about a current hot topic, there are limitless ways to add value with followers using webinar marketing.

 

Stop Missing Out On Webinar Marketing Benefits

If you are not including webinar marketing in your current promotional approach, you may be missing out on an extensive range of brand-building benefits. Many entrepreneurs and businesses who are late to adopt a webinar marketing strategy quickly realize that their former content marketing strategy really wasn’t enough at all. Just one webinar session can help business owners tap into a wealth of advantages.

Unlike most advertising resources that only provide a marketing monologue (aka – your brand speaking at consumers), webinar marketing opens up ample opportunity for an actual dialogue with your targeted demographic. Not only does webinar hosting grant you a chance to engage with your audience, it also provides a platform for you to inform them. More specifically, webinars are an ideal marketing channel for you to inform your customer base about services, offerings, and topics they actually want to hear about. What else in your promotional mix can do that?

Finally, webinar marketing offers long-term, sustainable brand traction. You and your team get to further your corporate exposure and reach with every hosted session as well as provide a personalized dynamic to your overall brand identity. Your audience gets to put a face and voice to your business name to help you quickly build trust and credibility. An online conference can both generate new leads as well as further nurture current prospects in your pipeline as you move forward towards the ultimate goal of any marketing pursuit – a sale.

Moving Forward With Webinar Marketing In Your Branding Strategy

Once you’ve decided to include webinars in your branding campaigns, it’s important to put together a plan on how you’ll achieve your corporate promotional goals and objectives. Much like other resources in your advertising initiatives, it’s critical to develop a webinar marketing strategy to optimize use and results. When putting together your webinar marketing approach, consider the key steps to success shared in the following paragraphs.

 

Know What You Want To Achieve

Effective webinar marketing begins with detailing exactly what you want to achieve using this medium. Sure, you may have some general ideas about number of listeners, leads, and total conversions; however, it is imperative to outline your promotional purpose as well as how you will accomplish these objectives. Webinars can help achieve several marketing goals, including:

  • New prospects
  • Lead conversion
  • Strengthening of brand identity and overall consumer exposure
  • Establish industry expertise
  • Develop mailing list for advertisements/newsletters

Beyond general objectives, you’ll also want to decide in advance what services/products you want to highlight, what type of promotions and discounts you will offer, and how many deals you’d like to close to develop a concrete tracking method of what works and what may require modification in the future. You’ll also need to decide whether to host live, recorded or automated webinars (or a combination of all three) to deliver your webinar marketing content.

 

Pinpoint The Right Topic

Never underestimate the importance of finding the right topic for discussion. The first rule in determining what you should talk about? Remember it’s not about you; it’s all about your audience. In order to connect with and captivate your listeners, you must zero in on a subject that will intrigue them. Fortunately, you don’t have to unearth the ideal focus area alone. Most business owners simply ask their consumers for input when putting together their webinar marketing presentation. Send a survey to existing and potential customers asking about what they’d like to discuss or learn more about and use it for guidance moving forward.

Remember, you don’t have to talk about everything you find on a survey. In fact, you shouldn’t. Covering too many topics in one webinar marketing session can overwhelm listeners. Stick to one relevant idea where you can establish your industry expertise as well as help your audience solve a related problem to truly add value and solidify their perception of you as a go-to resource.

 

 

Topics for your webinar marketing approach

 

Leverage Partnerships And Affiliations

Another way to rely on others to help boost your webinar marketing results? Invite guest speakers to participate in your events. Leverage the partnerships and affiliations you have to broaden the spectrum and reach of the discussion. Showcasing industry thought leaders as guest speakers during your session will instantly further the breadth of your webinar marketing efforts beyond your existing customer base and help you stretch into other relevant demographics.

Of course, before you can advertise your guest presenters, you will have to convince them to take the gig. When promoting your webinars, be sure to pitch your expected audience size and how your webinar marketing can make an impact on their marketing efforts as well. In short, be ready to sell what’s in it for them.

Even if you don’t yet have an extensive network of industry-innovating partners at the ready, or if you’re working with a small marketing budget, you can still offer guest speakers at your next webinar. Nothing says that a co-speaker has to come from outside of your company. Tap into the wealth of knowledge held by your own staff members by asking them to host various pieces of the webinar. Not only can they keep your audience engaged, having them speak adds another level of familiarity/personalization between your brand and your consumers.

 

Plan Lead Time Wisely

In order to reap maximum results from your webinar marketing, you must strategically plan your lead time to optimize your registration numbers for your upcoming webinars.

As a general rule of thumb, you will not want to wait too long between your webinar announcement and actual webinar date, as it runs the risk of having registrants forget what they signed up for. Whenever possible, allow for two weeks of lead time, especially if it’s your first webinar. Having a longer registration stretch means you can utilize a comprehensive range of resources to market the upcoming event. Consider both free and paid promotional channels to give your event the publicity it deserves.

Planning your lead time wisely also gives you the ability to carefully monitor trends in your signup numbers. Slower registration spans means you will have time to amp up your webinar marketing promotional efforts before game day. Likewise, spotting surges in attendance before the webinar may mean you’ll want to break up the event into separate sessions to accommodate everyone. Remember, when first hosting webinars, initial attendance may seem light. However, don’t let this deter you; as you continue to establish your brand as an authority in your vertical, you should see overall momentum begin to increase.

 

Reward Your Participants

If you do notice a downturn in registrations, consider rewarding guests who have signed up. Offer free perks such as e-books, downloadable materials, and even a link to view the webinar again at a later date. If you have a product line you’re hoping to promote, offer exclusive samples to everyone who registers as further incentive.

You can also run a pre-event contest on your corporate social media pages to cross promote both your conference as well as your brand. Create a fun hashtag for your event and encourage those who register to post on their pages for a chance to win a special gift even before they attend your webinar. These webinar marketing tactics not only makes registrants feel valued, it also increases the odds that they will tell others about your event, driving up attendance numbers for you.

 

Optimize Your Presentation

Yes, shamelessly self-promoting throughout the entire presentation can feel forced (as well as possibly make your audience uncomfortable). However, you should still optimize your presentation materials to make the biggest impact possible on guests.

Include specific brand imaging (both for your and your guest speakers) throughout the webinar marketing materials as a subtle way to remind your audience who you are. Also, always include Q&A segments throughout your presentation for added promotional return on investment. Fielding inquiries from your audience not only keeps them tuned into your webinar, it also provides a more organic, less-contrived opportunity to endorse the value of your services and products to a live audience.

Don’t Miss A Chance To Reconnect

Many webinar hosts do a stellar job connecting with registrant before their event. However, they fail to reengage with them after the session has ended. Your job as marketer doesn’t end with your webinar. Everyone who registers for your webinar should be considered a lead worthy of follow up. Once again, planning is critical to promotional success. You and your team should go through the list of attendees to determine where each person falls in your sales funnel. Are they an existing contact? A new referral from an affiliate? An existing client? Determining the status of every registrant can help you develop a customized webinar marketing approach for next steps.

After you’ve gone through your lead list, work with your team to develop strategies on how you should engage with each prospect.  Forwarding materials, soliciting feedback, promoting future webinars and even directly marketing products and services are all ways to reengage with attendees and help convert them from webinar lead to actual customer.

 

Webinar marketing strategy lead generation

 

Picking the Right Software

Finally, you’ll want to pick a webinar software that will maximize the ROI of your webinar marketing efforts. Luckily, the choice for marketers is easy. BigMarker is the only webinar platform that comes with a complete stack of marketing capabilities that’ll provide robust solutions for your webinar hosting from start-to-finish. To get started, sign up for a 14-day free trial today, or send us a message if you have a question about getting started.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/02/19/5-killer-tips-for-marketing-with-webinars-in-2015/2/#632c0d556139

http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/8-reasons-webinar-great-marketing-tool-01042162#yCCJzzSyeggu0xxc.97

 

What To Expect Before, During, And After Your First Webinar

A well-executed first webinar can boost your brand exposure, inform a designated consumer group, and deliver your marketing messages to a targeted demographic. The powerful combination of content, graphics, and a live, interactive exchange of data can convert prospects into actual sales as well as grant your audience an up close look at everything your business has to offer.

Despite the many benefits offered by webinars, many entrepreneurs still hesitate to host their first webinar simply because they aren’t sure what to expect throughout the entire process. They worry they won’t know how to adequately prep, execute, and follow up, so they opt to leave webinar hosting out of their marketing mix altogether. Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from reaping the benefits of running your first webinar; know what to expect before, during, and after so you can prepare for optimal success.

 

Before Your First Webinar

You should expect a lot of strategic planning before your first webinar. Pre-event preparation is often the most crucial component to an effective webinar. Some key items you will want to put on your pre-event checklist include:

 

Will Your Material Work in Webinar Format?

While webinars work well to present a wide range of ideas and materials, it’s still important to determine if what you want to announce is relevant for the webinar format. In short, if you’re asking people to clear their schedule to tune into your session, you should have a fairly significant announcement or event to share. Leave minor announcements like press releases and inconsequential service updates to other mediums. Your first webinar should focus on more relevant ideas such as:

  • Panel discussions
  • Product demonstrations
  • How-to tutorials
  • Interview with industry authority / trendsetter
  • Fresh takes on current niche topics

Taking the time to identify if you have enough to share is a key first step before hosting your first webinar.

 

Set Specific Goals

Not having any outlined objectives before a first webinar is a common mistake. You should treat webinars as you would any other marketing initiative and develop a list of specific goals you’d like to achieve with each session you host. Include both general and specific targets:

  • Further brand exposure and reach
  • Launch new product/services
  • Number of attendees
  • Total qualified leads
  • Sales conversions

Knowing what you want to achieve before your first webinar can help you fine-tune the presentation as needed so you accomplish it.

Get Writing

Once you’ve determined you have something to offer as well as your marketing purpose, you’ll want to hit the keyboard to start drafting your content. A well-rounded, engaging webinar will use a solid mix of both audio and visual material to captivate listeners.

Work with your team to develop an outline of various components to include. Once you know what you want to convey, it’s time to start writing the slides and script you will need to keep the audience tuned in from start to finish.

Send and Manage Invitations

Even the most captivating webinars fail if no one knows when to tune in and listen.

Before hosting your first webinar, you will want to develop a strategy to invite your targeted demographic to your session. Start by choosing when you will host your first webinar, remembering to consider various time zones so as many prospects as possible can check you out.

Once you’ve identified your date and time as well as desired audience, you will want to get the word out by using as many resources as possible. Emails, your website, a press release, and social media pages all prove an excellent way to help spread your announcement.

No matter what invitation forum you use, be sure to include ways to RSVP so you can manage attendance totals as well as field any necessary questions in advance.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Setting aside enough time to rehearse your session is quite possibly the most important thing to expect before hosting your first webinar.

You should host dry runs on every component of your webinar, beginning with the technology you use. Practice using the webinar software before going live to guarantee everyone involved understands all the needed functionality in advance.

You will also want to rehearse the presentation itself. Copy that reads well may not have the same desired impact when spoken. Gather up a makeshift audience to listen to your material before going live so you can adjust and edit as needed before guests beginning logging in.

Finally, as part of your practice session, you will want to setup your meeting space for optimal results. If you’re hosting from home, ensure that everyone you live with knows to not interrupt you during the conference time. If you’re hosting from the office, you should sign out a quiet room where you won’t have to worry about disruptions.

Your immediate space should be organized and clutter free to eliminate the risk you will knock something over when you do go live.

Last thing on your checklist – turn off your computer notifications and put your cellphone on Do Not Disturb.

 

Before hosting your first webinar

 

During Your First Webinar

You will want to prepare for what may occur during your first webinar. The first thing to expect during a webinar? The unforeseen can (and often does) happen.

There’s truly no foolproof way to plan ahead for the limitless possibilities of “what ifs” that can occur throughout your presentation. However it’s still important to understand some of the basics of what may go down when everyone starts logging in:

Dealing With Nervousness

Even if you are reading everything from a script, there’s still a chance that you may find yourself battling butterflies and nerves when going live. It’s perfectly natural.

Walking in place and moving a bit (as much as your webinar setup will allow without compromising the quality of the demonstration) whenever you start to feel tense can help relax you so your listeners never notice your anxiety.

Show-Up Rates

As with any audience-centric event, some of your participants will simply not attend your first webinar, for various reasons. Illness, changes in schedules, forgetting about the event, and a simple loss of interest can all play a role in guests not attending your presentation.

The key is to not take their absence personally – track those who don’t attend so you can develop a plan to remind and encourage guests to tune in on your next session.

Timing is Everything

No matter how many times you’ve rehearsed your presentation, you may still find that your live execution is off. Some newbie exhibitors run too long and risk people having to leave the demo before it’s finished; others finish up too quickly and experience the awkward tension of “dead air.”

If you do start to notice your timing is a bit off, plan accordingly. If you’re going over the planned time, you may have specific sections you can omit in order to focus on the most crucial elements of your expo. Or, if you feel like you’re racing through your delivery, slow down and insert some ad hoc Q&A sessions with your audience.

Stopping for inquiries not only gets you back on schedule, it also instantly adds an interactive component between you and your audience as well.

 

What to do during your first webinar

 

After Your First Webinar

When you finally log off and think your webinar work is over…it’s not. Managing the aftermath of your event is critical to help you achieve all those goals and objectives you identified before your first webinar. After every session you will want to:

Follow-up

Far too often, newbie presenters fail to follow-up with the leads garnered during the webinar. As soon as possible, you and your team should work through your entire list of webinar attendees to identify what type of lead category they fall into. For the most part, these lead categories will include:

  • Invited
  • Signed-up but didn’t attend
  • Attendees
  • Conversions

Once you’ve identified lead type, you will want to develop a follow-up specifically designed to bring them to the next level in your pipeline. Emails, sales links, freebies, and exclusive opportunities are just some of the many ways you can connect with and further nurture your leads.

 

Analyze Data

After hosting your first webinar, you will have access to a wealth of critical data and information. Analyze some key facts such as:

  • Attendance levels
  • How long session actually lasted
  • How many attendees stayed until the end
  • Technical difficulties
  • Areas for improvement
  • Negative feedback
  • Most powerful segments
  • Questions asked by audience

No detail is too small for consideration; gathering up everything you can will help you identify trends in your performance, what worked, and what didn’t.

Get Ready For Round Two

Armed with your newfound webinar experience and careful data analysis, you are officially ready to get started on your next live webinar.

Reevaluate your initial presentation to pinpoint how you can strengthen your brand messages and further your promotional objectives in the future. You may find there are pieces of the original presentation you want eliminate for upcoming conferences. However, you may still identify a use for relevant materials.

Go through your demonstration to determine if you can repurpose content in other campaigns and strategies.

Finally, you may also want to develop a method for storing your first videoconference (and any other subsequent sessions that follow).

Offering access to your specific demographic after the live event is an excellent way to optimize long-term marketing momentum. Live links on your website and social media pages give interested consumers a chance to review your demo at their convenience. Online access to your presentation increases total promotional impact for maximum overall return on investment.

 

Start hosting!

In order to host your first webinar, you’ll need to start with great webinar software. Check out BigMarker for modern, no-download webinar technology you and your audience will love. To get started, sign up for a 14-day free trial or send us a message to learn more about the hosting experience on BigMarker.

 

After hosting your first webinar

 

 

 

Sources

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

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/26/how-to-do-a-webinar

How to Deliver Effective Marketing Presentations During a Webinar

Effective marketing presentations are the backbone of most companies’ sales force, especially in the B2B world. Organizations rely on these presentations to get their markets excited about the services and/or products they have to offer.

Nowadays, many of these marketing presentations are given over webinars. While these can prove to be very effective mediums, you need to make sure you understand what it takes to make the most of them.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the differences between traditional and webinar presentations and also give you lots of tips specific to the latter.

 

Consider the Differences Involved in Hosting a Webinar

When most people are worried about putting together effective marketing presentations, they’re thinking about the kind you do in person.

A webinar is going to be much different. Even if it’s live and you’re allowing people to message in their questions, this is going to be a lot different than an in-person presentation.

Among other things, you won’t get the same kind of feedback you would from an actual audience. Many people simply won’t ask their questions or may save them for later.

If you’ve done presentations in the past, then you may not have too much trouble making this transition. You may simply need to practice as you would when preparing for any other effective marketing presentations, just with someone viewing elsewhere so they can give you feedback.

 

Market Your Webinar to Build Your Audience

Another big difference between traditional marketing presentations and the kind done over webinars has to do with the audience.

Obviously, all effective marketing presentations rely on receptive audiences, but these are much easier to come by with the traditional route.

It involves setting appointments with potential customers – at your venue or theirs – and then putting on the presentation for them. While getting the appointment can sometimes be tricky, once you show up for the presentation, you should most likely have a captive audience.

If you don’t, there are many ways to help rope them in and grab their attention early on before getting to the meat of your presentation.

Unfortunately, this is much harder to do with a webinar.

First of all, you won’t really be setting appointments with people. Instead, you’ll be trying to get them to set the appointment by signing up to attend your webinar.

To do this, you’re going to need to invest in ample marketing. Even once you get someone to sign up, you’ll have to remind them through email to make sure they attend. (Generally, it’s recommended to do this three times, including an email on the day of your presentation.)

Give yourself lots of time for this. Conventional wisdom is that you should spend a month marketing your webinar before you actually go through with it.

 

Make Sure You Focus on Your Audience

All effective marketing presentations are built around the people actually watching them. However, the instinct most people follow is to make it solely about themselves or their product. This is something you must absolutely be sure not to do or your presentation will be lackluster.

People want to hear about themselves. Tuning into your presentation means they’re also interested in your product or service, but keep in mind this is only relative to how it will affect them.

In other words, effective marketing presentations are the ones wherein you’re talking about what your product/service can do for the people on the other side of the screen.

Many successful salespeople understand this as “benefits vs. features.” The latter is what most people talk about. They explain to their audience about all the different bells and whistles their product/service can offer.

While this can work to some degree, it certainly isn’t the hallmark of effective marketing presentations. Instead, you should be explaining the benefits of your product/service. This refers to the effect a certain feature will have on the customer.

For example, if you were selling a new model forklift, you could explain all about its engine, MPG, wheel size, etc. These would be features. On the other hand, you could explain to your audience that this new forklift can do twice as much work as competitor models in half as much time (which is because of the aforementioned features).

Effective marketing presentations focus on the webinar audience

 

Make Sure You Know Your Audience

Along the same lines, be very clear about the types of people you’re going to be speaking to.

This is another example of how effective marketing presentations are different depending on how you’re hosting them. With the traditional version, you generally have a very good idea of whom you’re speaking to because, as we mentioned already, you set up the appointment with them.

When marketing your webinar, you want to do as much as possible to get hyper-specific about the people you’ll be attracting.

That could mean doing different versions of the webinar for different segments of your market. You’d just have to make sure you correctly market these different versions to their appropriate audiences.

If you’re able to understand the type of people on the other side of the screen, you’ll also have a much easier time speaking to their values and focusing on what they want. As we just covered, this will go a long way toward crafting an effective presentation.

Get to the Actual Value Quickly

People who give effective marketing presentations know how to get to the value of their product/service quickly. They understand that their audience will quit paying attention early on if they don’t see a compelling enough reason to keep listening.

There are many ways you can do this, but one of the best is to hit the benefits early. You don’t have to fully explain them right way, just make sure your audience has a reason to pay attention now. They should be interested in finding out more about how it’s possible that your service/product can live up to this promise.

This is even more important to do well when trying to give effective marketing presentations during webinars.

Since your audience isn’t right in front of you, nothing is really keeping them from simply getting up and walking away. They could open up another browser window, jump on their phone or just decide it’s not worth it anymore to listen to your webinar and close out the window altogether.

Just because someone has signed up for your presentation is not a promise they’ll actually attend. And just because they attend is no promise they’re actually going to pay attention or stay.

Don’t take this for granted. Effective marketing presentations work because they get the audience’s attention immediately and keep it.

 

Consider Telling a Story

Another way you can get your audience to sit up and pay attention is with an engaging story.

As humans, we naturally love stories. They can even be quite effective as sales tools.

Just be sure you give people reason to listen. Before beginning the story, give them a hint of what to expect or, once again, make a promise.

“I want to tell you about how I was able to pay off all my debt and become a millionaire in just five years” would be a great way to begin your webinar presentation. It’s certainly a compelling story, but you also told your audience exactly what they have to look forward to by sticking around.

Be careful with stories, though. If your story drags on and on, people may become bored and quit paying attention. Keep the narrative lean and tight.

Also, don’t exaggerate when making your promise. If you get to “The End” and your story was clearly didn’t live up to the hype, why should people keep listening?

Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Your Slides

One reason webinars can make for such effective marketing presentations is because you can use visuals. Slides are often very popular for this. You can display anything from photographs to charts.

However, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Think about how traditional presentations work. They generally involve visuals, too, but the presenter still needs to say plenty.

Visual after visual is going to be boring. This is especially true for graphs and charts where the viewer may have to do a lot of the work to decipher them.

Whenever you use visuals, make sure you add plenty of context through your narrative. This will keep them interesting and ensure your audience pays attention.

 

Make Sure to Include a Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is how all effective marketing presentations end. That’s because you need to literally tell people what you want them to do next.

This might seem like odd advice. You might think we’re not giving your audience enough credit.

The evidence on this subject is quite clear, though.

When you don’t end with a strong CTA, you risk people simply logging off your webinar page and returning to what they were doing. They may go to your website and look around a bit but not make a purchase like you had hoped.

They might like your webinar but not think to share it because you didn’t bring it up with a CTA.

Again, it might seem odd to get so specific with your audience, especially after you may have spent 30 or more minutes trying to sell them on your product or service. Shouldn’t they know you want them to buy?

Maybe, but why risk it?

Furthermore, you want to make sure they know exactly where to go or click to make sure this happens. Effective marketing presentations that convert don’t leave anything to chance.

 

Record, Edit and Republish It

Now, an advantage you have over “traditional” or in-person marketing presentations is that you can record your webinar and then use it again and again. This is especially good news for people who don’t like getting up in front of people and giving presentations.

To really make the most of these effective marketing presentations, though, you may wish to consider editing them. This could entail anything from sharpening up the audio levels to simply cutting out any dead air or slips you made.

Follow Up with Your Audience

Another reason to love webinars for marketing presentations is because of how easy it is to follow up with your audience. In order to secure access to your program, you should have required that a viewer supply you with their email address.

After your webinar, you can then follow up with them for any number of reasons. It might be to reiterate your CTA after a day or two. You might want to see if anyone has any questions. You could decide to offer them a special deal.

Down the line, if you host another webinar, you can email your former audience members and let them know about your new one coming up. Remember: half the battle involved with effective marketing presentations is making sure people show up, so this can be a huge help.

 

Make Sure You’re Using the Best Possible Tools

While your budget will definitely be a factor here, it’s important that you use the best possible hardware and software for your webinars. You’ll have no shot at creating effective marketing presentations if the people on the other side of the screen can’t hear you or make out your visuals.

The good news is that these important tools are extremely affordable these days. Even the webcams required for webinars can be purchased for less than $100 to $150 (you can spend a lot more, too).

 

Effective Marketing Presentations

Effective marketing presentations are important for the ongoing success of your company, as either a sales tactic or simply a means to increase your company’s mindshare.

Whatever reason you have in mind, if you’re going to be doing these presentations through a webinar, make sure you use the above advice to do so. BigMarker would also be happy to help. Check out our website or send us a message to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/sales-presentation.htm

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inspiring-slideshare-presentations-for-marketers-list

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234832

https://www.customshow.com/marketing-strategy-presentation-ideas-that-work/

http://blog.gotomeeting.co.uk/2017/03/08/a-guide-to-building-effective-marketing-presentations.html

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/winning-webinars-13-tips-producing-effective-webinar/141732/

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/26/how-to-do-a-webinar

Why and How to Host a Q&A Session During Your Webinar

Live webinars offer a model forum for speakers to deliver information and innovation to the masses, all in a single online session. However, many webinar presenters miss out on one key advantage of real-time communication: audience interaction. To avoid losing the interest of your participants, hosting a webinar Q&A session is an excellent way to engage your audience.

 

The Why: Benefits Of Hosting a Webinar Q&A Session During Your Webinar

 

More often than not, webinar hosts simply run through their slides and notecards, hoping that their message somehow sticks without encouraging a dialogue with listeners. In other words, they talk at the audience, rather than with them. As a result, they miss out on the chance to make a meaningful connection with the listeners and may risk losing their attention before the presentation ends.

 

Benefits Of Hosting a Webinar Q&A Session During Your Webinar

 

Generating an intentional webinar Q&A dialogue between you and your audience that yields sustainable impact can be a surprisingly straightforward fix. If you feel like you’re simply racing through a planned itinerary without actually connecting with your crowd, using a webinar Q&A in your next live session can prove an easy solution.

In this section, we’ll share the reasons why you should start integrating webinar Q&A sessions during your live webinars. Beyond enhancing interaction and engagement with listeners, allowing for a question and answer segment in your conference yields a wide range of benefits, including:

 

Hold Attendee Interest

Hosting a webinar means working hard to command and hold audience interest from start to finish. Allowing for inquiries throughout your session via webinar Q&A can pique guest interest and encourage listeners to stay tuned in so they don’t miss an opportunity to ask for the specific information they need.

Boost Energy Levels

Not only can a webinar Q&A hold audience interest, it can also prove a major mood boost throughout your session. As you hit various time milestones in your web conference, you may find that energy levels take a dip. However, you’ll notice an instant upswing in energy levels when you take a break from speaking and ask others for input.

 

Watch the full Wednesday Webinar Wisdom episode on hosting a webinar Q&A session 

 

Personalize Your Brand

Webinars provide an excellent way to help your listeners put a face to your brand…without an actual face-to-face meeting. Fielding questions via webinar Q&A is a great way to humanize the session and achieve a more personal connection with your audience. The audience collaboration can ultimately further strengthening brand identity and exposure.

 

Establish Industry Authority

Anyone can read a script. However, subject matter experts can effectively answer most ad hoc inquiries. Providing information during a webinar Q&A can establish your credibility on any given topic as well as build trust (another key ingredient to developing brand identity) with your participants.

 

Emphasize Message / Promote Brand

Every question you take acts as another opportunity to reinforce your message and most salient selling points. Directly promoting your specific products/services in the presentation segment can feel forced and set an awkward vibe. However, during the webinar Q&A section, with its more informal tone often lends itself to a more comfortable way to market your brand.

Best of all, every audience member will have a chance to hear your answers, further reinforcing your overall speaking objectives.

 

Strengthen Your Future Webinar Presentations

Most importantly, including a webinar Q&A segment in your presentation can deliver a major return on investment for future webinars. Write down every question you field; each inquiry grants you invaluable insight on information that interests your audience. Additionally, writing down the questions you receive will help you strengthen your delivery the next time someone asks it.

 

The How: Optimize Results With Your Webinar Q&A

 

Now that you understand why you should include a webinar Q&A segments in your webinar, it’s important to know how to effectively implement them throughout your conference. A successful inquiry session requires strategic planning and preparation. However, don’t let the process intimidate you. Knowing a few easy-to-implement tips can help maximize impact with your webinar Q&A.

 

Optimize your webinar q&a session

 

Put Inquiry Segments On The Agenda

Don’t simply verbalize you’ll allow for questions; list these segments on your webinar agenda or on one of your introductory slides for all participants to see. Putting the webinar Q&A session in writing lets them know what to expect during the presentation. Knowing when you’ll pause for input can encourage your attendees to stay focused on what you have to say until it’s their turn to speak again.

 

Know Your Audience

Every webinar has a specific targeted audience. Knowing who’s tuning in allows you to modify your presentation for your participants. There are many factors to consider when customizing your session for each individual listener. Think about details such as:

  • Attendee demographics (geographic location, age, etc.)
  • Degree of formality
  • Relationship to attendees: Peers, clients, students, etc.

Knowing this information prior to your live webinar can help you create a final session that truly resonates with your guests and prompts thoughtful inquiries.

Also, when speaking to multiple people at a single company, you will also want to customize your online conference to suit each individual organization. Modify your template to include brand-specific information; tailoring every webinar will provide a comfort level to listeners and encourage them to participate in the webinar Q&A segments of your presentation.

 

Come Prepared

If it’s your first time hosting a webinar on a specific subject or topic, you will want to proactively anticipate some potential questions so you can come prepared with articulate answers that help further emphasize your main points. Similarly, if you’ve presented on an upcoming topic before, you should think about questions that have been asked in the past. Use any notes as a guide (and not as a script) so you sound natural when answering.

Going forward, put a plan in place to have someone take notes of all questions asked during the webinar. Tracking trends in what people want to know more about can give you insight on tailoring your exhibition in the future.

Pro Tip: Come prepared with a few relevant questions you think your audience would likely ask. Then, if none of your attendees ask questions at the beginning of your webinar Q&A, you’ll have a few backup questions to share to keep the momentum going. Oftentimes, webinar Q&A sessions are slow to start, so preparing a few canned questions will help break the ice.

Include Panelists

Nothing says a live webinar should only have one speaker throughout its duration. In fact, adding panelists into the discussion can have a significant impact on the session’s results, particularly during the webinar Q&A segments. Co-hosts with unique areas of expertise can offer invaluable insight to listeners beyond the basic scope of your demonstration.

Guest speakers can also deliver an added dynamic to the webinar Q&A session, further entrenching your brand with everyone who has tuned in. Finally, adding panelists during the questioning can add a very practical perk; it can provide an opportunity for you to rest and catch your breath a bit before you have to start presenting again.

 

Offer Instructions

Yes, really.

If you’re hosting a webinar Q&A session via chat submissions, you’ll want to tell your audience how and where to submit their questions.

If you opt for a live audio Q&A, sharing instructions is even more critical. You may be surprised to learn just how often background noise and the inability to un-mute a microphone adversely affect a webinar. Fortunately, high-performing software programs make the entire process fairly intuitive; however, you always run the risk of barking dogs and unplanned “dead air” silence ruining the flow of your speech if users aren’t given a little advance instruction. Give your participants a quick tutorial before beginning the session so they will know how to quickly go from listener to speaker when the time comes for inquiries.

 

Set Time Limits

It’s important to set upfront time limits with your webinar Q&A sessions. You have limited bandwidth to get your information to the group. Fielding questions for an extensive stretch not only gets you off track, but you also run the risk of losing the attention of audience members who simply want to keep moving forward with the demonstration. Worried of having to cut questions short? Don’t be; tell listeners who haven’t had a chance to ask their questions that you’ll happily connect with them after the webinar.

 

Offer Topic Suggestions

If you distribute webinar Q&A sessions throughout your presentation, you may want to offer topic suggestions for each segment so it’s relevant to what’s been most recently outlined in the demonstration. Also, when giving your audience a focus, it’s okay to also outline subjects that will not be discussed, such as confidential information or products/services not yet available.

 

Expect The Pregnant Pause

Sometimes a crowd needs a little push to actively participate in your Q&A. Nerves and fear of asking something irrelevant can prevent people from speaking up. Make it as easy as possible on them; combat the prolonged pregnant pause by proactively offering up various topics that often warrant questions. They will welcome you getting them started. Even a gentle nudge can encourage them to keep the momentum going.

 

Value Attendee Input

Your audience wants to feel like you actually value their input. Go beyond just answering what they ask. Give them encouragement by thanking them for their inquiry and showcasing to the audience the thoughtfulness and insight behind the question. Not only will valuing their input encourage them to ask again during other webinar Q&A segments, it will also inspire others to get in on the conversation as well.

 

Be Honest

Honesty is always the best policy when managing your webinar Q&A. Many speakers feel tempted to embellish or over-promise as a way to captivate the audience. While you may gain some momentary attention during your webinar, exaggeration will generally bring backlash. Always give straightforward, honest answers to establish credibility and build trust amongst your audience. Additionally, don’t be afraid to let a questioner know if you didn’t understand what’s being asked.

Whether you need further clarification or it’s simply a technology issue hindering your audio, take the time to let listeners know you didn’t quite catch what’s being asked. Most importantly, if you don’t know the answer, say so. Not only will your guests appreciate your honesty, it also gives you a reason to follow up with them once you have an answer, for future conversations, the ultimate webinar win.

 

 

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Sources

http://blog.clickmeeting.com/10-ways-to-make-your-webinar-qa-rock-the-house

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/8-benefits-having-qa-session-during-your-webinar-karen-repoli