3 Foolproof Ways to Host an Amazing Webinar

All hail the amazing webinar. The successful content marketing medium and effective lead generation tool that continues to grow in popularity each year. In fact, over 60% of marketers were using webinars as part of their content marketing programs in 2015 and we’re seeing that number continue to rise in 2017.

What makes webinars so valuable? We asked BigMarker’s Director of Customer Success, Hannah Scherer, to explain why webinars have become the gold standard of content marketing.

“Webinars are super effective because they position you as a thought leader in your industry and break down geographical barriers that previously prevented you from directly reaching potential consumers.” In other words, the sky’s the limit when it comes to reaching your most engaged audience, and marketers are taking advantage of it.

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

Poor planning is the reason why so many webinars fail.

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

1: Define your audience

In order to engage your audience, you’ll need to first make sure you’re attracting the right people to your webinar and planning your content accordingly.

Before you even schedule your webinar it is imperative to ask yourself, “Who do I want to attend my webinar?”, “Why do I want them to attend?”, “Why should they attend?” and also, “How can I best reach this audience?” Asking yourself these questions will not only help you define your audience but will also help you structure your content and your outreach strategy effectively.

2. Accommodate and entice your targeted audience

The main objective of any webinar is to get your targeted audience to register for and attend your event. To do this, you must accommodate your potential guests’ needs by scheduling your webinar at an appropriate time.

So when is the best time to host a webinar? It depends (again) on what you’re hosting and who you’re targeting. For example, the best time to host a career-related webinar is mid-week (Tuesday through Thursday) between 11:00am and 3:00pm CT. Conversely, lifestyle-related content is better scheduled for after working hours or on the weekends.

Regardless of the content, all webinars should be scheduled about 2-3 weeks out in order to properly promote the event and give potential registrants enough notice.

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

3. Engage your audience

Think back to grade school when your teacher would just talk, talk, talk for 60 minutes straight. It was so boring, remember?  Well, that’s exactly what you DON’T want to do when hosting a webinar.

Instead, you should continuously present your audience with questions, polls, and other opportunities for engagement to keep them mentally present and interested in your content during your webinar. It’s also critical to remain animated and excited when talking to keep attendee interest piqued.

 

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

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

Ready to get started? Host amazing webinars on BigMarker.

Using Effective Calls to Action to Improve Social Conversions

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

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

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

call-to-action
Create an effective call to action

How to create effective calls to action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Full list of upcoming Webinar Success webinars:

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

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

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

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

 

To register for this upcoming series, click here.

To learn more about Ken Molay, visit Webinar Success.

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

b2b-marketing-webinars
Successful webinar hosting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  1. What is your upcoming webinar about?  

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

  1. Who should attend this webinar? And why? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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