The Components of Basic Webinar Design from Start to Finish

If you are planning to host a webinar, you should know that it requires a great deal of organization. In order to prepare yourself for your webinars, check out these key components of a basic webinar design.

 

Make Sure That a Basic Webinar is a Good Fit for Your Needs

 

Before choosing to use a basic webinar as your presentation platform, you need first to make sure that it aligns with the goals and objectives of your audience.

When you are trying to determine if a basic webinar is a good fit for your needs, you will fist want to consider the participants, your subject matter, and how long you will need to deliver the presentation.

Webinars work great for the right topic, but they are not suited to every type of presentation or training opportunity out there. Keep in mind that most audiences attending an online presentation will tend to lose interest after one hour.

If you are uncertain if a basic webinar is the right fit for you, consider contacting other experts in your field to inquire if they have conducted their own basic webinars. If they have, ask them for some advice relating to how you can maximize the effectiveness of your own.

You can also gauge the interest level of your potential audience by sending out a survey and making sure that they will be interested in what you have to offer.

Assemble Speakers and a Solid Support Team

 

If you are going to do your webinar right, it is suggested that you have at least three main people involved from the outset. This will include the organizer and facilitator of the basic webinar, the presenter, and an assistant.

Of course, the bigger the scale of the webinar, the more people you will want to have involved. Each person, however, will generally fall into one of these three categories.

The organizer of a basic webinar is the person who will develop the topic for the presentation. This individual will also locate the speaker, promote the webinar, set up the registration protocol, and communicate with each participant before the webinar and again once it has completed.

The facilitator will also introduce the speaker at the beginning of the basic webinar, and he or she will engage subject matter experts in an interview, moderate questions from the audience, and encourage the audience to participate in the presentation fully. This is a big commitment, as it can require up to 20 hours of time from start to finish.

Naturally, your basic webinar will include at least one main presenter. Many people will refer to this person as a subject matter expert. It is this person who will devote most of his or her time to the quality presentation of information.

If you are able, you will also want to have some assistants ready to help. This is particularly helpful if you plan on hosting a basic webinar that is expecting a large number of participants. Assistants can help members of the audience with any technical problems that they may encounter.

 

Choose an Appropriate Format for the Webinar

 

As you prepare your basic webinar, it is very important that you choose the proper format that works well for the topic and the audience.

There are several popular formats that you can choose from, beginning with one speaker. This is where a single presenter will speak and demonstrate the topic of the webinar. This individual will also be responsible for answering questions that the participants may ask.

An advantage of this format is that there will be fewer people involved the process that you will need to train to use the basic webinar program and online tools. A disadvantage is reflected in the lack of variety the results from having a singular voice and perspective.

Another popular webinar format is the interviewer. This is also where a moderator will come into place. He or she will ask a series of questions to a subject matter expert in a predetermined fashion. Members of the audience can also get involved by chatting in their questions during a live webinar.

An advantage of this is that the audience will stay more alert when they hear multiple voices. A disadvantage is that this format requires more people in order for the basic webinar to be scheduled properly, and these people will need to trained and well coordinated.

Two other formats that you can choose from include a moderated panel discussion and an interactive basic webinar. The former will involve multiple people participating in the online webinar at the same time, with a moderator serving as a facilitator to the discussion.

An interactive webinar will actually get the members of the audience to participate in a series of exercises and a discussion that is facilitated by the host.

 

Carefully Select Visual Aids

 

Since a basic webinar is online, you will need to make great use of audio and visual techniques in order to keep the audience engaged.

You do not have the benefit of gauging their physical reaction, so you need to do everything possible to ensure that participants remain interested and involved.

You will want to include graphics, animation, and pictures as appropriate. In sales presentations and business meetings, you can include colorful charts and graphs to illustrate your main points.

Choose Your Basic Webinar Tool

 

One of the primary considerations in developing an online presentation is the selection of the actual webinar software that you intend to use.

Within this realm, there are many aspects of the presentation itself to take into account. This begins with a determination of how many people you plan on having attend the webinar.

In determining your basic webinar tool, you will also want to consider the type of features that you require. This will determine your ultimate selection. For example, many programs will allow participants to dial in, while others will deliver the audio over the Internet. Some will even allow for a combination of the two.

 

Develop an Agenda for the Webinar

 

An agenda is a very important part of a basic webinar.

You have to remember that you need to have a hook to get people to attend the presentation, even for those who have registered long in advance.

This is often accomplished with the distribution of a detailed agenda that effectively builds the interest level in the webinar itself.

Be sure to outline the timing of the full presentation. Don’t forget to factor in any Q&A sessions you plan to host during the webinar.

 

Host a Practice Webinar

 

If you do not have a great deal of experience hosting webinars, it is important to host a practice session to make sure that everything is working properly.

This is also important just to ensure that all of the tools are working as they should and that everyone involved in the presentation understands his or her role in the process. You do not want to encounter any technical issues when the live webinar begins, so a practice session is a way to help avoid this eventuality.

A practice session should include an introduction to all of the tools and resources that your webinar platform contains.

Everyone who has a role in the basic webinar should be a part of the practice session to make sure that they have an understanding of the available features.

They also need to know who to turn to during the webinar if any issue comes up.

This is also the time to do a complete equipment check to make sure everyone has properly functioning equipment on his or her end.

Each presenter will be online from his or her own location and must attend a the practice session.

It is important that everyone has the proper equipment to perform his or her own part of the webinar well. Finally, a practice session is a way to go over the agenda, review the visuals, and make sure that everything else is in order.

 

Reserve All Necessary Equipment and Space

 

You do not want to overlook the importance of securing all necessary equipment and space to host a basic webinar. If you are in a business setting, you want to make sure that you have a quiet location free from distractions.

Everyone involved in the webinar presentation itself will need a working headset or web microphone.

You will want to avoid conducting any basic webinar using a speakerphone, as the quality of the audio is usually quite poor even if the room is quiet as a mouse.

If you are using a laptop, remember to have a power cord. Running out of battery power before the presentation ends could ruin an otherwise effective webinar.

Establish Registration Procedures and Payment Mechanisms

 

Now that you have everything in place for an effective webinar, it is time to establish registration procedures.

You will want to begin by determining if you are offering a paid or free webinar. This depends on the scope and purpose of your presentation.

Registration, at a minimum, will need to involve participants sending in their name and email address.

 

Market the Webinar

 

Marketing your webinar is a critical last step in this process.

You can put as much effort into the creation of a great presentation as you want, but it will all be for naught if nobody ever hears about it.

You can start with your existing email list.

Send out a blast that informs everyone of what you have to offer. You can also begin a social media campaign that revolves around Facebook. Digital marketing is an effective way of engaging and captivating a global audience, so you will want to put that into play as well.

As you market your basic webinar, you want to have prepared links that can take interested individuals right to an online registration form. This will increase your exposure and draw people into your presentation in higher numbers.

 

Conclusion

 

Following this suggested pattern of designing a basic webinar will maximize your chances of success.

Remember that webinars do have many advantages over in-person meetings, but must be properly executed to be effective.

Take your time in the planning process and make sure that you have all of your bases covered. Having done that, you are well on your way to an effective basic webinar, no matter if you have only two participants or thousands.

Also, sign up for a 14-day free trial of BigMarker to host amazing webinars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1710034

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.

 

 

Get started!

To begin hosting your own amazing webinars, check out BigMarker.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial today! Or, send us a message if you have any questions.

 

 

 

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

BigMarker Partners With Drip to Bring Email Marketing Automation to Webinar Hosting

If you're looking for a marketing automation tool to help you create and send custom email campaigns with ease, Drip fits the bill. If you're looking to integrate Drip with your webinar software, you can have your cake and eat it too. BigMarker now integrates with Drip. bigmarker-drip-integration

Why Drip?

  With all of the hard work you put into setting up a high-converting webinar, reaching your audience should be the easy part, right? Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Oftentimes, marketing efforts can become disjointed when using several different tools. A problem that many marketers struggle to resolve. Luckily, BigMarker and Drip have partnered up to streamline email marketing and webinar hosting into one simple process. Drip's easy-to-use email software not only allows you to create beautiful, custom emails, but also helps you segment your email lists into different funnels to help you target your messaging even better. Leveraging Drip's integration with your BigMarker webinars will help you trigger email workflows based on your webinar registrants’ and attendees’ behavior. And the best part? The integration is automated. Simply walk through the steps below and you'll be ready to go in just a few minutes.

How to Integrate With Drip

  1. Log in to your BigMarker account and go to the Promote & Manage section of your webinar. Click on “Drip” under integrations. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.12.29_PM.png   2. Click on “Authorize with Drip” This will redirect you to Drip’s website, where you can authorize BigMarker to access your Drip accounts. Click “Authorize” to continue. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.14.12_PM.png   3. First, pick which Drip account you want to access. This will give you access to all contacts, workflows, and campaigns in your Drip account. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.15.37_PM.png   4. The following steps are all optional. If you would like to add webinar registrants to a campaign in Drip, choose an item from the “Campaign for Registrants” dropdown list. To add webinar registrants to a workflow, select a workflow from the dropdown menu. To apply a tag to registrants, enter a tag in the “Add Tag for Registrants” field. Press Enter to apply multiple tags. If you want to add registrants to your Drip contacts without doing any of the above, check the “Add New Registrants Automatically?” box. If your workflows or campaigns were just added and are not showing up in the dropdown menus, try refreshing the page. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.16.25_PM.png   5. The next section is for webinar attendees.If you would like to add attendees to a campaign in Drip, choose an item from the “Campaign for Attendees” dropdown list. To add webinar attendees to a workflow, select a workflow from the dropdown menu. To apply a tag to attendees, enter a tag in the “Add Tag for Attendees” field. Press Enter to apply multiple tags. If you want to add attendees to your Drip contacts without doing any of the above, check the “Add New Attendees Automatically?” box.  Refresh the page if your campaigns or workflows are not listed. Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_5.17.20_PM.png 6. Finally, click Save at the bottom of the page to submit your changes.     BigMarker also integrates with Salesforce, Infusionsoft, HubSpot and over 500 other marketing tools. Any activity or action around your BigMarker webinars can trigger tagging prospects, adding data to customer records, or logging activity in whatever platform you use to manage customer relationships. Don't have a BigMarker account yet? Sign up for a 14-day free trial today.

11 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Webinar Recording

Have you finished a high-quality webinar recording?

If so, it’s important that you don’t rest on your laurels. Be sure to use the following 11 methods for getting even more from it.

Post a Transcript of the Webinar

This isn’t necessarily a “creative” way to repurpose your webinar recording, but it’s important enough to do that we’re going to bring it up here just in case.

Webinars are great and can help your company in all kinds of ways.

However, one potential drawback would be that your webinar recording doesn’t do a lot for SEO purposes.

Google definitely loves that you went to the trouble of using a different form of media on your site, but it can’t do a whole lot to understand what your webinar recording is about past the title.

The result is that your rank in Google may not receive the full benefit it deserves from the quality piece of content you’ve just recorded.

Fortunately, there’s an easy enough workaround to solve this problem: post the transcripts of your webinar recording.

It might take time (you can always outsource the job), but by publishing a transcript of your webinar recording, Google will have no problem understanding what was talked about. You can even post it on the same page as your webinar recording if you like.

The other great thing is that posting a transcript will make your webinar recording accessible to the hearing impaired.

 

do a follow-up post of the transcript for the webinar recording
Transcripts aren’t necessarily a “creative” way to repurpose your webinar recording, but it’s important enough to do that we’re going to bring it up here just in case.

 

Use Your Webinar as a Content Upgrade

Another potentially powerful form of content is a blog.

However, this one also suffers from a common problem: it’s very difficult to measure the ROI of a blog. Companies can spend all kinds of money and time developing their blog and not really know how much new business it’s helping to bring in.

One way to get a better sense of the popularity of your company’s blog is to use a content upgrade.

In short, this means that, at the end of a post, you offer your reader more content in exchange for their email address.

For example, if your post was about “9 Easy Ways to Lose 10 Pounds” you might finish by telling your reader that you have one more, surefire tip that’s easy to do and that you’ll give it to them once they enter in their email address.

Aside from the benefits of having a new email address to add to your list, you also have proof that a blog you published truly resonated with someone. You’ll want to continue posting similar content in the future.

A webinar recording would be a really great option for a content upgrade. It’s obviously a very substantial form of content – definitely more so than just another paragraph or two of a post.

 

Turn Your Webinar Recording into a Trailer

Here’s a great way to continue drumming up interest in your webinar recording long after you finished it.

Seeing as how most webinars are at least 30 minutes (and sometimes much longer), it can be difficult to truly do them justice with a short description. This isn’t always the case, of course. For example, if you’re going to interview someone famous, their name may be all it takes to get people excited about attending your webinar.

Usually, though, it can be a bit of an uphill battle to convince people to set aside time and attend.

Whether or not that’s the case during the initial airing of your webinar, you can stand a great chance of attracting further viewers if you create a trailer for it.

You only need one that’s about 30 to 60 seconds. Then, you can put it on your site and set it up to play the moment a guest arrives. You can pin it to your profile page on Twitter and make sure it’s shared elsewhere across your social media pages.

Obviously, you want to highlight some truly compelling moments that occurred during your webinar recording so people get excited about tuning in and seeing the rest of it.

 

Make an Infographic

Over the past couple of years, infographics have exploded in popularity. It’s not hard to see why. They’re visually attractive and do a great job of summarizing large amounts of data. This also makes them extremely easy to share on social media.

This is why you should think about taking the information you discussed in your webinar and turning it into an infographic.

While webinars are great, they don’t always lend themselves to getting shared. They definitely don’t get as many shares as infographics do.

By turning the data from your webinar recording into an infographic, you can make up for this by getting numerous shares and driving traffic to your webinar recording. Just make sure you include some information on the page somewhere that lets readers know the original source of the information was a webinar. Then give them the address to find it.

Create Micrographics

“Micrographics” are snapshots of a larger infographic. They’re great because they make data even easier to immediately consume and share. You can also share it with people on social media who have specific questions and may not want an entire infographic in response.

Still, make sure you include some room on your micrographic for your webinar recording’s URL.

 

Do a Follow-Up Post

Depending on the nature of your webinar recording, you may have the opportunity to do a follow-up post.

Again, this isn’t necessarily repurposing the webinar recording, but it absolutely will bring more eyes to it, so we think it’s worth mentioning here.

All you’re doing with this technique is adding an addendum to whatever your original webinar was about.

For example, let’s say you did a webinar about how to set aside money into an IRA. Then, after you published the webinar recording, you received a lot of questions. Maybe you didn’t host it live or maybe the webinar was live and you offered a Q&A, but you couldn’t get to all of the questions at the time.

In any case, you now have a follow-up post.

You can either title it something like “10 Questions I Received After My Last Webinar” or you could simply do one post per question. Someone may have asked about using an IRA to pay for their kid’s college, so you could make a post entitled, “Can You Use Your IRA to Fund Your Child’s College Education?” Then, inside that post, you would mention that this question was asked by an attendee of your webinar and link to it.

This is a smart tactic to make a habit of. Basically, going forward, whenever you can, link to your webinar recording from other forms of content so you keep driving traffic to it.

 

Upload the Slides to SlideShare

If you’re not familiar with the site already, SlideShare is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a site dedicated to slideshows.

It sounds simple and it is. That’s the beauty of it and people enjoy it so much that LinkedIn actually bought the site.

Now, there are many positives to putting the slides from your webinar recording on SlideShare but also one major drawback you need to think about: without the corresponding audio, your slides may not make a lot of sense.

This means you should provide some context where SlideShare allows so people aren’t left in the dark about what your webinar recording covered.

That’s not really too much of a drawback, either, especially not when you consider that SlideShare can greatly increase your site’s exposure.

It automatically takes the text from your slides and posts it as a transcript so, as we covered earlier, you can immediately take advantage of any keywords you used.

 

Record a Podcast Based on Your Webinar Recording

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity. If your company hasn’t already taken advantage of this medium, you should think about doing so immediately.

Fortunately, if you already have a webinar recording done, this won’t be a problem. Unless you used lots of visuals, the webinar should be easy enough to convert into straight audio and then upload as a podcast. Now people can listen to it while they work out or during their commute to work.

If you used a lot of visuals and this simply wouldn’t be helpful, you’re not out of luck. You can still do a podcast that ties back to your webinar; you’ll just need to be a bit creative.

For example, you could play part of your webinar recording for listeners, perhaps on a specific subject. Then, for the rest of the podcast, you could cover the topic in greater depth. This is similar to the tactic we recommended with follow-up posts.

Likewise, if you had a guest on the webinar, you could interview them further on a podcast.

The list of options goes on and on. Hopefully, though, it’s become clear that a podcast could prove truly helpful. You may also want to think of investing in an ongoing podcast so you can continue to take advantage of it in the future.

 

turn your webinar recording into a podcast
Turn your webinar recording into a podcast!

 

Use it to Hype Up Your Next Webinar

All it takes is to do one webinar and you immediately understand how hard it can be to properly advertise it and then get people to actually show up.

While this is always going to be a challenge, you can use past webinars to help market your next one.

There are two ways you can do this.

The first is by simply going back and adding some type of ad to a previous webinar recording. Pick the most popular one you have. You can do it to every webinar recording you’ve ever done, but if you’re pressed for time, just make sure the most popular one is used to drive traffic to your new one.

Another option is to take your previous webinars – or, again, just the most popular one – and make them private if they weren’t already. No longer let people view them without getting approval first.

Then, when it comes time to start marketing your new webinar, let people know that you’ll be briefly unlocking your old programs for the public. You’re doing this for a limited time to help people prepare for this new, improved webinar you’ll be launching shortly.

This would also be another opportunity to collect email addresses. Once someone sends you theirs, you send them a URL to the old webinars they want. These webinars should all have ads marketing the new one. Of course, you can also use these emails to alert people when your new webinar recording is available.

Use the Webinar Recording as Part of a Bundle

If you sell products – especially information products – you can use a webinar recording to sweeten the deal a bit when trying to make a sale.

Say you’re selling an eBook on how to get better at sales. Let’s also say that in the past you did a webinar recording where you described a certain sales tactic or maybe you interviewed a very successful salesperson.

Whatever the case, you can add that to the deal. Tell potential customers that if they order now, they’ll also receive this very informative webinar for free.

To do this, you’ll have to make it private as in the last example, but turning it into premium content like this could definitely be worth it.

Send the Webinar to Potential Guests You’d Like to Interview

Webinars are great for interviewing experts in your industry and providing the information to your market in the most user-friendly format possible.

Once you have a solid interview done, we recommend using that webinar recording to try to schedule more interviews.

Instead of just emailing people and asking them if they’re available, send them to your webinar recording so they can see what it entails and how well it will reflect on them. If your webinar did especially well, make certain the share stats are located near the top and easy for them to see.

 

Final Thoughts

Recording a great webinar is a fantastic way to increase your company’s revenue, but its usefulness hardly ends there.

You should also consider the 11 ways we’ve just covered that you could repurpose your webinar for even more results. If you’d like help with any of them, BigMarker is at your service. Click here to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://blog.98togo.com/internet-marketing-expert/8-steps-to-repurpose-your-webinars-into-dozens-of-pieces-of-content

http://xtalks.com/5-ways-to-repurpose-your-webinar-content.ashx

https://www.smartbugmedia.com/blog/10-ways-to-repurpose-webinar-content

https://www.brainshark.com/ideas-blog/2014/February/five-ways-to-repurpose-webinar-content

How to Craft a Compelling Webinar Invitation to Drive Webinar Registrations

Putting together a webinar can typically take hours of work and collaboration with your team and webinar speakers. Not putting in the same level effort for your email webinar promotions is doing a disservice towards all this initial effort. The whole idea of a webinar is presenting to an audience. With that, you need people! And that starts with a compelling webinar invitation.

Typically, webinar invitations are done via email. You can also invite people to your webinar via social media campaigns, pay-per-click campaigns in AdWords and LinkedIn, or word-of-mouth. The webinar invitation has an opportunity to be seen by thousands and thousands of people, yet it is sometimes the piece of the webinar planning that is overlooked and rushed. Email inboxes are flooded each day, or even every hour at this point with emails trying to encourage you to do something, register for this, buy that, read this, or eat here. With so much noise out there putting together a strong email webinar invitation is imperative to be heard and have high attendance.

 

Many companies will promote their webinar invitations a few different ways. Here are a few opportunities to get your webinar invitation out via email:

  1. Internal database
  2. Industry newsletter
  3. Partner promotion

 

Your internal database, which could be a lead list in Salesforce or HubSpot, is a sure way to get webinar registrants. You likely already have a list of people who opted to receive your emails or prospects you’re actively engaged with. Webinars are a great way to continue connecting with prospects and customers alike. Don’t miss an opportunity to reach out to them.

Many industry newsletters or associations can send out the webinar invitation on your behalf. There is usually a fee associated with this. But with a cost comes better targeting. You can usually pick filters to select the best audience that relates to your content to receive this webinar invitation. You might be able to filter by industry, title, company size or skill-set, for example.

Many companies have partners that resell their product or may work with partners to provide a complete solution. Using your partners to promote your webinar invitation to their internal database is an excellent way to get more visibility for both companies, and they are incentivized to send out the invite as people who attend the webinar might become a customer, or provide up-sell opportunities for existing customers.

As one webinar invitation can be seen in many different instances, it might be a good idea to target your webinar invitation based on where the email is being sent. If it is coming from a partner, make sure they don’t take your specific webinar content and just press send, they may want to add text in there that references this is a partner webinar and why they love working with you, just as an example.

Before we get into the elements of a perfect email webinar invitation, I want to point out the importance of targeting when driving people to your webinar. Before writing your email content, think about who should be attending your webinar. You don’t want to blast the email to every single person in your database. For example, if your webinar is on, ‘How to Use Google AdWords to Increase Lead Flow’ – you will likely send this webinar invitation to marketing professionals. If you happen to have finance professionals in your database, it will not make sense to send this email to them and they will likely see your email as spam and might unsubscribe from your email list.

 

There are 9 elements to building the perfect email webinar invitation. Include each of these elements in your emails to encourage stronger webinar registration.

 

1. Subject Line

It is recommended that a subject line is 50 characters or less so that the receiver of the email is more likely to read the entire subject line, regardless of what type of device or email platform they are using to read the email. Even so, I find that subject lines that are 30 characters or less do even better. The shorter the subject line is, the more likely a person will read the whole line versus skimming over it. And people are more likely to open a webinar invite if they know what the email entails via the subject line. I like putting in my subject line this phrase “[webinar]” – so that there is no guessing what my email is about. The words following [webinar] should be specific to the purpose of the webinar.

Subject Line Example:

[Webinar] Convert Email Leads Faster

 

2. Preview Text

Creating compelling preview text copy will absolutely enhance your email click through rate on your webinar invitation. You can play up your preview text to align with your subject line. For example, since you only have a few words to say in the subject line, in the preview text you can add on to the value of the email and why they might want to open.

Preview Text Example:

Join the webinar on May 6th at 10 a.m. MT to learn 5 ways email marketing can increase lead conversion rates for B2B businesses.

 

3. Banner Image

Adding a banner image to the top of your webinar invitation is a great way to personalize the email. If you plan to use a banner in your webinar invitation, there are a few things to consider:

  • Image relevance: does the image relate to your webinar topic?
  • The quality of image: Does the image look good? Is it pixelated? Or fuzzy?
  • Overlaying text on banner image: Optimize space on the email by overlaying text on the banner image – you can include the header text we will discuss in #4. If you do this, check that you can read all the letters over the image. Does the image overpower the text? Does it show up correctly on mobile?

 

customize your webinar invitation with banner images and header text

 

4. Header Text

While you don’t always need a header, it can certainly draw the attention of a prospective webinar attendee if the copy elicits strong emotion and piggybacks off what pain the webinar might be solving. Another copy option for a header could easily be the webinar title, date and time, or the webinar speaker’s name if they are well-known in your industry.

Header Text Examples:

  • 5 Ways Email Marketing Can Increase Lead Conversations

   May 6th, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MT

  • Stop wasting time on bad emails that don’t convert!

 

5. Personalized Greeting

It is a best practice to include the receiver’s first name in the email. It has a more personal touch and less likely to be seen as spam. Of course, internal databases are not always clean, so you may not even have all the first names for some of your contacts, or maybe it’s just the first letter of the name. If you use a marketing automation tool like HubSpot, there are settings where you can filter your contacts who don’t have first name’s and instead it will say “there” in the first name field as shown below for these contacts. While not ideal, it is still friendlier than having no greeting.

Greeting examples:

  • Hello, <First Name>!
  • Join us, <First Name>.
  • Hello, there!example when using the filter from marketing automation tool.

 

6. Introduction

After your greeting, you will want to include one to three short, concise sentences that share why you are hosting your webinar, who your speaker is and what value people will get from attending the webinar. You may also want to include a picture of the speaker next to this section.

Introduction Example:

Join our webinar on May 6th to learn from email marketing expert Sally Waters as she shares her 5 ways to use email marketing to convert prospects into leads. This webinar was developed to help B2B marketing teams increase lead conversions and ultimately impact sales for their organization.

 

7. Objectives & Goals

Following the introduction, you should include a bulleted list of why someone should attend your webinar. This list will help someone determine if any of the objectives and goals of the webinar align with their own pains or needs in their business.

Objective & Goals Example:

By attending this webinar, you can expect to come away with:

  • Best practices for using email marketing to convert leads
  • A set of action items to implement into your own email marketing program
  • 10 email samples that have proven to convert leads

 

8. Call-to-Action (CTA)

Craft a stand out CTA button on your webinar invitation that your prospects can click on to take them to a landing page to register for the webinar. Make use of graphic design to enhance the CTA button, and not just link text as your primary CTA. The goal is that they will always see the CTA and know what will happen when they click. There are a few resources linked at the bottom with examples of great CTA copy and button designs you should check out.

Pro Tip: Link some of the standard text in your webinar invitation as some people do not enable photos to populate upon an email opening. If that is the case, they will not even see the CTA button, as it registers as an image.

CTA Copy Examples:

  • Join the Webinar
  • Save your Seat
  • Register Now!

 

9. End With a Closer

We’re almost done perfecting the webinar invitation, the only thing left to add is a closer! I don’t like a lot of text in my webinar invitations as I want prospects to only focus on content that shares why they should attend (objectives & goals) and the CTA to get them to take action.

I suggest a quick, personal goodbye and have opportunities for them to share the webinar registration page with social buttons after your closer to increase your webinar promotion.

Closer Example:

Hope to see you on May 6th, Mark(<First Name>)!

Cheers,

Theresa O’Neil (Your name)

ABC, Inc. (your company)

 

Think your network might find value in this webinar? Give it a share!

[insert social buttons]

 

 

Full Webinar Invitation Example

Subject Line: [Webinar] Convert Email Leads Faster

Preview Text: Join the webinar on May 6th at 10 a.m. MT to learn 5 ways email marketing can increase lead conversion rates for B2B businesses.

 

(Banner Image)

5 Ways Email Marketing Can Increase Lead Conversations

May 6th, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MT

 

Join us, Mark!

Join our webinar on May 6th to learn from email marketing expert Sally Waters as she shares her 5 ways to use email marketing to convert prospects into leads! This webinar was developed to help B2B marketing teams increase lead conversions and ultimately impact sales for their organization.

By attending this webinar, you can expect to come away with:

  • Best practices for using email marketing to convert leads
  • A set of action items to implement into your own email marketing program
  • 10 email samples that have proven to convert leads

 

(CTA Button) Save your Seat 

 

Hope to see you on May 6th, Mark!

Cheers,

Theresa O’Neil

ABC, Inc.

 

Think your network might find value in this webinar? Give it a share!

[insert social buttons]

 

—-

 

One last thing I must mention is testing! Testing webinar invitation emails should not be a quick exercise. Before sending the webinar invitation, have yourself and at least one other person receive a test invite and then check all links, social buttons, CTA’s, and registration page experience. Also, have that person read through the full email for spelling or grammar mistakes. Test the email experience for users on multiple email platforms, devices and browsers as well.

Start hosting!

To design your own robust webinar invitation emails as well as host your own amazing webinars, check out BigMarker. BigMarker is the only end-to-end webinar solution with all the marketing tools you need to spread the word about your webinars. Start your 14-day free trial today. Or, send us a message if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Other resources:

https://www.slideshare.net/BrittanyGunter/nail-the-webinar-invite

http://blog.wishpond.com/post/103290853633/the-25-best-words-to-use-in-your-call-to-action

https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/15-great-examples-of-calls-to-action-for-lead-generation

 

10 Best Practices for Preparing Your Guest Webinar Speakers

When planning a webinar, a crucial piece for pulling off a successful event is adequately preparing your guest webinar speakers for all the possibilities that come with a live production. We’ve put together a list of 10 best practices to thoroughly prepare your webinar speakers before, during and after the webinar.

 

Best Practice #1: Schedule practice sessions for each webinar

Practice makes perfect! Three to four dry-runs might be overkill for a reoccurring webinar, but for each brand-new webinar, if you are not making changes and updates after each dry-run, you’re not collaborating enough.

Dry-runs are the time to find all the gaps in content, ensure the presentation is smoothly transitioning throughout the entirety of the webinar and see if the webinar speakers have any issues with managing the webinar platform or connecting to audio.

 

Best Practice #2: Coach your webinar speakers on effective presentation skills

More people are likely to engage and pay attention when there are energetic and lively webinar speakers. Webinar attendees will take note if your webinar speakers’ delivery of presentations are engaging, easy to follow and have periods of interaction.

Ensure your webinar speakers don’t “talk at” attendees, or give a “death by PowerPoint” presentation. Similarly, ensuring there is something new to look at every minute or so on the screen will help to keep attendees engaged. Make sure your webinar speakers don’t sound like they are reading from a script either. Watch out for a monotone voice and those nails-on-chalkboard “um’s”.

Coaching your webinar speakers until they are comfortable speaking to a live audience and practicing all the above items will go a long way in having a successful webinar.

Best Practice #3: Train guest webinar speakers on your webinar platform

In many cases, your webinar speakers might have to manage the webinar platform in some context. Whether it is to advance their PowerPoint slides, type a question in the chat or put themselves on mute. Without proper preparation and training before a webinar, you’re likely to have confused webinar speakers if they are not familiar with your webinar platform. Likewise, if you have webinar speakers that are “technically-challenged” make sure you have multiple training sessions until they have it down.

 

Best Practice #4: Review and collaborate on all webinar content

Don’t let your guest webinar speakers plan the entire webinar, including content and engagement. As the primary webinar host, you oversee the whole webinar and its success. Make sure the guest webinar speakers are not putting together a “death-by-PowerPoint presentation.” And ensure that they are including multiple engagement opportunities with webinar attendees to keep them entertained. Similarly, encourage your webinar speakers to use powerful images in their presentations that align with their content.

During your dry-runs see what engagement tools are being used with the content, are they using the chat, Q&A and polling features to their advantages? Does the text in the polls align to the content and goals of the webinar?  A webinar is more than a webinar speaker spewing words; it’s an opportunity for a webinar speaker to interact with prospects or existing clients and to make a positive impact.

During your dry-runs, review the agenda and objectives of the webinar content to ensure it aligns with the text on the webinar registration page and that it fulfills the reason people are attending! Also during your dry-runs, it’s important to have at least one full dry-run to see if the content is long enough to last the entire length of the webinar.

 

Best Practice #5: Review webcam best practices

It is best practice to use a webcam when you’re live on a webinar, it gives a more personal touch and can feel more like an in-person event. Yet, there are many things to consider when you put a person on webcam.

Make sure the webinar speaker selects a nice solid colored shirt to wear the day of the live event, preferably not black. Also, ensure that whatever is shown behind them on the webcam screen is neat and tidy. I’ve seen messy beds in the background of a webcam before. Awkward!

Another best practice is to ensure there is a light set-up behind the speaker. This will make everyone look better on webcam. Before the live event if the webinar speaker is using a portable webcam, make sure they have the best angle on the camera, so it’s not too low or not too high. Lastly, give the webinar speaker a few tips about how close to move in on the webcam, don’t want to get too close, that would look strange – and too far away would be hard to see them.

 

Best Practice #6: Review all technical possibilities and create a playbook

Not only should you review what could potentially happen during the live webinar, like an audio failure, but you should also put together a playbook for how to react to every type of error should a technical error happen. This playbook should have a list of all error types and then a response for options of what to do.

 

guest webinar speakers should have a list of technical webinar errors and proper responses

 

With the audio failure example above, if their audio line is cut off, a playbook response could be to make sure they have a second phone available to dial in at any time. Likewise, if there is an internet failure an option in the playbook would be to have an alternative option nearby, like using a cell phone as a hot spot. These are the types of items to include in your playbook, so when something happens (and it inevitably does!) you know that the situation is covered.

 

Best Practice #7: Prepare a webinar script

A webinar script is like a map. Its function is to keep you on the right path throughout the length of the webinar and not find yourself on the wrong path halfway along the trip.

This script should be in the webinar speakers voice and cover all the main sections of the webinar. Ideally, a good webinar script is written from the initial introduction down to the goodbye and thank you for attending.

The script should include when to ask webinar attendees a question or request that they answer a poll. And highlight sections that are important to add a little extra energy, for example. With a solid webinar script, your webinar speaker will walk into (or sign into) the webinar fully prepared and ready to go without any hesitations on where to begin.

 

Best Practice #8: Prepare webinar speaker for post-webinar Q&A

Depending on who your webinar speaker is, an internal employee or an outsourced industry expert, you should prepare them for what type of questions may come up during the Q&A part of the webinar. You might want to bring in some internal help to answer questions that are beyond this person’s knowledge base, particularly if they are an outside industry expert, but might not be an expert on your offering.

Having the webinar speaker offer their contact information to webinar registrants to be able to reach out directly to ask questions after the webinar is a best practice as well. Some webinar speakers might not be keen on having their information distributed, so this option should be discussed beforehand.

As a side note, you might want to offer your webinar registration list as a thank you or payment to your webinar speaker. Before offering this as an option make sure you aren’t “selling your list” to a speaker who is just going to email spam them, ensure it could be just as beneficial for your webinar registrants to hear from your webinar speaker too.

Best Practice #9: Login to the webinar at least 30 minutes beforehand

This piece is very, very important – I cannot stress it enough! Make sure all key players of the webinar login to the webinar at 30 minutes before the start of the webinar. When this doesn’t happen, you never know what could take place throughout the webinar.

Use this time to do a last review of the content, ensure your engagement tools are set-up, test the sound quality and check that the audio is working. Have someone do a test to make sure that webinar attendees can access the webinar without a problem as well.

Doing this before the webinar start time will allow you to begin right on time and know that the webinar will most likely get off to a good start. Never hurts to have a few extra minutes to “pump” up the webinar speaker too, give them a little burst of energy to knock the webinar out of the park.

 

Best Practice #10: Help webinar speaker prep a sheltered space for the live webinar

If your webinar speaker is doing the webinar from a home office, ensure that their kids, pets, neighbors, mailman, or whoever, won’t interfere or make any noise during the live webinar. I’ve been on a webinar where a handyman accidentally walked in the path of the webcam, while funny, it took the whole webinar off track.

Alternatively, if they are doing the webinar from a work office, have them find a quiet room with a door where they won’t be disturbed. Perhaps even put up a sign saying, “live webinar in the process, please keep your voices down.” Have them keep this space clean and free of clutter.  Have them also potentially shut down their cell phone, email and IM apps on their computer. Just eliminate potential distributions, then it can never become an issue.

xx

 

Make the time to follow these best practices and ensure your webinar speakers are fully prepared for the live event. Your webinar speakers might believe they are seasoned speakers, even so, all you need to do is ensure they check all the above 10 boxes and then you will have the confidence in their speaking and presenting abilities to move forward with them as webinar speakers. A webinar speaker makes or breaks a webinar. They can have the best content, but if the delivery is poor, your company’s reputation can be on the line, not to mention the webinar speaker’s reputation, too.

 

To host your own amazing webinars with as many webinar presenters as you need, check out BigMarker. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today or send us a message to get in touch!

20 Questions to Ask a Webinar Provider Before Signing a Contract

Deciding on a webinar provider means you are a committing to one webinar platform for the long haul, or at least until your contract is finished.

Making this commitment shouldn’t be taken lightly, as a poorly researched decision could be the difference between a positive experience that enhances your brand’s reputation to a negative experience that hurts your reputation and does not generate the intended results. Sure, destroying your brand’s reputation might be an extreme example, but it has happened and will if you don’t choose your webinar provider wisely.

Picture this: you spend thousands of dollars promoting your webinar with the intention of driving targeted prospects and hoping that these folks convert into a customer at some point. You found the right prospects, and many of them were able to make this webinar, yet when it is time to go live your audio doesn’t work. Or there are glitches with seeing the screen, your host’s webcam keeps freezing, or maybe your attendees can’t even find their way into the webinar room! All of these scenarios are technical issues that can happen with a webinar provider.

As you do your research, you want to select a webinar provider that highlights your brand and what you have to say. If you pick a platform that is lackluster and doesn’t allow you show off your brand in a positive way, you’re not during yourself any favors.

Before you ask a webinar provider the crucial questions I detail below, you must first determine what your goals are in creating webinars that you will share with the world.

 

Sample Webinar goals:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Connect with existing customers
  • Share thought-leadership
  • New avenue for producing leads for a sales team

 

The questions you ask a webinar provider should highlight your own webinar goals to ensure you are picking the best platform to highlight the goals and objectives you select. The sample goal questions I stated above are common reasons companies decide to start a webinar program. These sample goals might even match your own webinar goals. If that’s the case finding a robust webinar provider that can help you achieve these goals is key. I am going to assume for this blog that you began the journey of producing webinars with all of these goals in mind. Therefore you require a robust webinar platform to help you achieve these objectives.

Through clarifying your goals and with a little bit of thoughtful research, along with asking the right questions, you’ll no doubt be able to select the best webinar provider for your company.

 

With that, here are the top 20 questions you must ask a webinar provider to determine if they are the right fit before signing a contract.

 

  1. What does your onboarding and ongoing training program look like?

Training is a critical  element, as the quality of your webinar will reflect how well you know the platform. Having a deep dive training of the platform will help to eliminate any silly technical errors or features that might be confusing.

 

  1. What ongoing support do you offer?

This is similar to the above question, but what happens when you have an urgent question about your webinar platform, and you also happen to be live on a webinar? Does your webinar provider offer 24/7 support?  Is the support outsourced? Or is it in-house? What is the typical turnaround time for any technical issues or bugs? Knowing the answer to these questions will greatly reduce your frustration level with a new webinar platform.

 

  1. What custom branding opportunities are available with your platform?

If branding is important to you, this is a really big question! Some webinar providers offer custom landing pages or room layout options. How much of the platform can you customize to show off your company’s logo or messaging? Having these types of features available will also greatly enhance your lead generation abilities.

 

  1. What audio options are available during a live session?

If you have a preferred audio option, such as dial-in – this will be an imperative question. Your webinar provider may only offer VoIP. Asking this early on in your research process will help to eliminate providers that are not a good match.

 

  1. What unique features do you offer and how do they differ from your competition?

Asking this question to a potential webinar provider provides an opportunity to see how honest your sales person is. Will they give you accurate information on their competition? Or will they avoid the question altogether?

 

  1. What type of reporting and analytics are available?

If connecting with your existing customers is an important goal, having visibility into the reporting and analytics of a webinar are key! You will want to see what customers are interacting with the webinar, and what questions they may have asked. If a question they ask implies they are an unhappy customer, this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to them outside of the webinar to try and resolve their issues.

 

  1. What security options do you offer?

It might be beneficial to you if a webinar provider has different security access levels. For example, maybe you want a speaker to be a host, but you don’t want them to have access to certain features for fear they could mess with an important element of the webinar. Or maybe you are a government agency, and you need to ensure your webinar provider is Fed Ramp certified. Whatever your reason, make sure you get a full debrief on a provider’s security options.

 

a robust webinar provider should be mobile, desktop, and tablet-friendly

  1. Is your platform mobile and browser friendly?

Your webinar attendees are likely busy people and on the go – with that, you need to ensure they can access a webinar from any kind browser and any device. From mobile phones to tablets.

 

 

  1. What webinar recording capabilities are available?

After a live webinar, how can you re-watch the webinar recording? Will a recording be saved automatically? Or will you have to manually press record for each webinar? Is this recording saved on-demand and you can access it anytime, or will it automatically delete after 3 months?

And finally, ask how the webinar recording works with their audio options. Sometimes a webinar provider can have advanced technical set-up functions to ensure the live webinar screen integrates with the audio to properly record.

 

  1. What does your social media integration look like?

If you’re hoping to use webinars to generate brand awareness, having social media capabilities will be important. To double down on your brand awareness opportunities, you can have webinar attendees tweet their favorite statistics or quotes directly from the webinar provider to greatly increase their social media engagement with a webinar.

 

  1. What lead generation opportunities do you have?

Some webinar providers promote their customer’s webinars on their behalf! This is a great value add for those wanting to increase their lead generation efforts. Additionally, having the ability to create registration pages will be key as well for webinar promotion.

  1. How does a webinar registrant get into the live webinar?

Understanding the user experience of a webinar attendee before picking a webinar provider is crucial to making a good impression. Make sure you fully understand how a webinar attendee signs into a webinar for each webinar provider you are researching. Would they have to download a plugin? Will this plugin take 5 minutes to download? If so that is a poor experience, and they are more likely to be late for a webinar. Or perhaps they just have a URL to sign-in to webinar and have instant access. This would be a good experience!

 

  1. What are the video options of the webinar platform?

We cannot escape videos, are they are everywhere today, and their use cases keep increasing! Videos are often used in webinars, and even if you don’t have a need right now for being able to play them, you’ll want to understand your options for the future when you are more likely to use one. Can you integrate YouTube with the webinar platform? Do they offer HD video? These are some examples to check out!

  1. How much attendee engagement is built into the platform?

Interacting with webinar attendees is important to ensure they are paying attention and understanding the content they are listening to. Ask what engagement opportunities are available, such as chat, Q&A, polling, etc.

 

ask a webinar provider about reminder, follow-up, and thank you emails

 

  1. Are there opportunities to send a reminder, follow-up and thank you emails for webinar registrants?

Nowadays there is so much noise that you need to utilize any opportunity to be in front of a prospect or client. Having an easy way to send webinar invites and reminders will go along will in ensuring your webinar registrants attend! Also, maybe they don’t have a built-in email option, but they might have integration options available to use your existing email programs, like MailChimp or HubSpot.

 

  1. Do you have any e-Commerce integrations for attendees to pay to attend?

There are many use cases for having webinar registrants pay to attend a webinar. Maybe they are getting a training they couldn’t get anywhere else. Regardless, having the ability to use webinars to generate extra revenue for your business is a great option!

  1. What third-party integrations are available to enhance the webinar hosting and attendee experience?

Marketers use so many platforms nowadays to tackle marketing initiatives, HubSpot, MailChimp, Salesforce, etc. it will be helpful if you can integrate your webinar platform with your other tools for optimizing reporting and visibility into your marketing activities.

 

  1. What are common technical errors your existing customers complain about?

I love asking this question! You’ll throw the sales rep a curveball, and they probably won’t have an answer ready for this and are more likely to answer honestly. You might hear about a technical situation you never considered, regardless this is an excellent way to get some real, honest feedback.

 

  1. What is a common reason someone is no longer a customer?

Like the above question, another opportunity to get some honest feedback on the webinar provider.

 

  1. What does your future product roadmap look like?

Every software company should always be working on innovation and to enhance their existing platform and offering for customers. They might have a feature coming down the roadmap that really interests you and could be the reason you go with that webinar provider. And it’s also a way to see if there is open communication at the company, all sales reps should understand what is going on with the product they sell – this question will be a way to learn about the culture of the organization.

 

 

Use this list as your starter list and make sure you incorporate other questions that apply to your goals and objectives for starting a webinar program! Don’t be dazzled by funky features and a strong sales pitch – make sure you get to the meat of the webinar provider to ensure after you sign on that dotted line, you don’t have buyer’s remorse.

To host powerful webinars you’ll need a robust webinar provider that can accommodate ALL of your needs. BigMarker is a leading webinar tool for marketers, educators, and everyone in between. Start a free 14-day trial today or send us a message if you have any questions about webinar hosting on BigMarker.

The Role of the Webinar Moderator: How to Be an Effective Co-Host

Webinar hosting has firmly established its foothold as a viable promotional tool in any company’s specific marketing mix. Webinars, especially when hosted with a webinar moderator, allow businesses of every size the chance to engage with their targeted demographic on a simultaneous, global level, with remarkable results.

The interactive nature of webinars affords organizations an unparalleled opportunity to generate dialogue with interested prospects and develop sustainable industry partnerships, all while giving the consuming masses the chance to put a name, face, and voice to any hosting business. Few other resources allow brands to both promote and personalize in such a tangible, scalable way.

Benefits Of Utilizing a Webinar Moderator

Due to the comprehensive range of potential advantages, corporate leaders recognize it’s critical to optimize efforts and execution during every webinar.

Enter in the webinar moderator.

A webinar moderator helps mediate a live conference in a wide range of ways. Unfortunately, the role of webinar moderator is often underestimated. Many assume it’s simply completing a behind-the-scene checklist that requires little more than rote response; a technical support person who merely clicks buttons, grants permissions, and confirms everyone can log in at the appropriate time. These business owners believe if they have the technology down cold, they have no use for a second-in-command during their webinar.

Others misjudge the sheer amount of work that goes into creating a captivating, compelling live webinar. They enter into the process believing they can shoulder all of the many responsibilities on their own, only to discover (often too late) sharing the workload can yield a comprehensive range of benefits.

Veteran webinar hosts recognize an effective webinar moderator manages a slew of tasks and operations that require strategic thinking, planning, and preparation, making it in invaluable component to any successful live session. Using a webinar moderator for assistance during any video session can help business owners attain the many advantages offered from just a single live webinar. During any given video conferencing session, the webinar moderator will coordinate responsibilities including:

  • Audience welcome message
  • Agenda outline
  • Discuss relevant session protocol
  • Speaker introductions
  • Permissions for shared information
  • Track inquiries in chat windows
  • Administrate Q&A sessions
  • Manage unexpected system glitches
  • Close out conference

 

These are just some of the many responsibilities potentially performed by a webinar moderator during a live conference. Due to web conferencing’s immense popularity, the webinar moderator role will likely continue to evolve, further emphasizing the importance of having a secondary point person to ensure any function proceeds as smoothly as possible.

 

Tips To Bring Your Moderator A-Game

In order to ensure you are an efficient webinar moderator, it’s important to understand some critical steps to success. Following just a few simple tips can keep you focused on your obligations and guarantee the session maximizes audience participation and overall return on investment.

 

#1: Understand The Host’s Goals and Objectives

The first step in webinar moderator victory is gaining a firm grasp of what the actual host hopes to accomplish. Don’t simply assume you already understand the desired outcome for any given assembly. In order to fully support the company or person running the webinar, you should meet with the principal presenters to familiarize yourself with their top goals and objectives. You will want to know what the point of the session is, the targeted demographic they hope to reach, and what results they want to achieve.

You will also want to gain insight on the presenter’s specific voice. Everyone has her own presentation style and tone. In order to successfully support the webinar, you will need to pinpoint the individual’s/company’s approach to live webinars. Is the vibe laid-back and casual? More polished and professional? Somewhere in between? Recognizing style can play a key role in ensuring stay on brand throughout the meeting for a seamless transition between you and your co-host.

Beyond familiarizing yourself with your co-host’s voice and pace, you should also ask to review any current marketing materials used by the business. Websites, press releases, blogs, and even printed resources can offer an expedient way to assess brand identity and further assure you align your support services with existing corporate language and overall delivery tone.

 

#2: Find Your Voice

While understanding the client’s professional voice is critical, it’s also important to find your own delivery style and tone as well. Blandly reciting your piece with no personality is a surefire way to give listeners permission to tune out. As webinar moderator, your primary mission is to make the session proceeds as smoothly as possible. A welcoming and engaging delivery can play a key role achieving a seamless conference from start to finish.

Additionally, keep in mind that when you go live, unforeseen mishaps will inevitably occur; things such as schedule incongruences, slides placed in the wrong order, presenters missing their queue, technical difficulties and other unexpected events can quickly fluster even the most polished announcer. Your job as webinar moderator is to effortlessly connect with the listeners and redirect as needed should things get off track. Knowing your specific voice can help you do whatever is needed with poise, personality and confidence to keep the session progressing.

#3: Identify Host Expectations

Beyond an understanding of host goals, you will also want to discuss what the lead presenter will expect from you throughout the webinar.

The role of monitor is fluid; sometimes it may be strictly behind-the-scenes, reactive coordination. Other times, a presenter may want the webinar moderator to take the lead on certain segments and actually present to the audience. Schedule as many calls as necessary before the event to gain the insight you’ll need to provide optimal support and meet your host’s overall expectations.

 

#4: Identify Audience Expectations

A successful webinar moderator recognizes the importance of meeting audience expectations as well. It’s critical to gauge attendee interests before creating the slides and visual presentation. Work with the host to review any distributed marketing material and invites for the upcoming function. Familiarizing yourself with what’s being promoted and promised to participants can help you develop a plan to effectively highlight relevant details and deliver what everyone is expecting.

 

#5: Create An Agenda

Once you’ve discussed objectives and overall responsibilities, it’s time to create a webinar agenda. Putting together a summary before the conference will keep everyone on task with individual obligations as well as maintain focus throughout the preparation and strategizing.

When developing your agenda, go beyond outlining just the major talking points; utilize the power of listening points as well. Always allow extra time to include several strategically placed Q&A sessions throughout the presentation. It’s no secret that long webinars run the risk of losing listeners at various intervals. Permitting inquiries throughout the conference proves an excellent way to keep listeners tuned in and on their toes. Highlighting these more interactive segments can prevent their eyes (and ears) from glazing over and encourage them to participate and engage with all of the speakers during your event.

 

the role of a webinar moderator can play a key role in maintaining focus

 

#6: Schedule Rehearsal(s)

Web conferencing can incorporate a diverse scope of technological components in any given session. Don’t assume your guest has mastered everything he or she will need to use of the course of the event (even if he insists he’s an experienced whiz at managing all the webinar features you will incorporate).

Schedule a dry run a few days before the live session to jointly determine everyone’s area of expertise. Use this time together to not only test the innovation but also go through the entire presentation as many times as needed. You will inevitably pinpoint weak spots in your exhibition or identify salient details that have been omitted entirely. These rehearsals will allow you to iron out any hiccups and smooth out rough patches before going live with your participants.

#7: Game Day Practice

Also, you will want to connect prior to going live on the actual day of the event. This will give you a final opportunity to go through your host’s presentation as well as run a last minute audiovisual test. No matter how many rehearsals you’ve had, you shouldn’t squander the chance to get everything set up before participants begin logging in.

It’s important to practice one final time just to confirm the technology being used is working the way it should; one malfunctioning microphone or a misaligned camera can quickly impact audience attention levels. Spending precious time identifying and trying to fix an issue once you’ve gone live can give your participants the authorization they need to tend to other pressing items on their agendas. Or, worse yet, it can instantly make you and your host seem unprepared and unprofessional.

 

#8: Attend Other Sessions To See What Works (And What Doesn’t)

As webinar popularity and marketing momentum continues to increase, the role of webinar moderator will continue to change, making it vital for co-hosts to consistently up their support game. Perhaps the best way to add maximum value during a webinar? Attend other events that utilize a webinar moderator as often as possible.

Every session brings with it its own unique voice, tone, and overall delivery. Participating in other meetings will grant you invaluable insight on new resources to use and different approaches to implement. Beyond learning what works in a webinar, you will also determine methods that don’t work. This knowledge of what to include and exclude can enhance the overall quality of your next session and ensure you always effectively fulfill your co-hosting responsibilities.

 

 

If you’d like to host your own amazing webinars, check out BigMarker. BigMarker helps you share meaningful content and build your brand with modern, user-friendly webinars. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today or send us a message to get in touch.

 

 

 

Sources

https://www.slideshare.net/GoToWebinar/5-steps-to-moderating-a-webinar

http://www.webattract.com/demand-generation/the-role-of-a-webinar-moderator/

 

The Pros and Cons of Hosting an Automated Webinar

When it comes to hosting a webinar, you have two main options: you can do it live or you can record it and play it for viewers later. Before you make a selection, keep reading about the pros and cons of the latter version, an automated webinar.

What Is an Automated Webinar?

Before we jump right into things, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page about the definition of an automated webinar.

Simply put, an automated webinar is a webinar that is prerecorded. Therefore, it’s not “live” when people see it. As you can then continue playing it whenever you like (e.g. based on actions from another person), it’s referred to as an automated webinar.

Pro: You Can Use It Again and Again

This leads nicely to our first pro of using an automated webinar, which is that once you have yours done and recorded, you never have to go back and do either again. You’ll always have this great evergreen content on hand.

Companies that utilize live webinars have to host them over and over. This means that someone has to take time out of their day to stand in front of a camera for 30 to 60 minutes. If there are graphics involved or any other part of their presentation, those have to be synced up and played, too.

With an automated webinar, that’s not the case.

 

automated webinars evergreen content 2

 

Pro: Automated Webinars Can Be Viewed 24/7, 365

It’s because of this that your company can use an automated webinar around the clock and around the year.

Another drawback of the live version is simply that you’re leaving out a whole lot of people who would like to attend but can’t because of scheduling conflicts.

This includes people who may have prior obligations, but we’re also talking about whole countries in other time zones for whom it might simply be too inconvenient to attend your webinar.

By recording an automated webinar, people can watch yours whenever it makes the most sense for them. Never again lose viewers because of timing issues.

Pro: There’s No Need to Be Around

This is similar to the last point but worth bringing up by itself, too. Some of you may be small business owners or entrepreneurs who are pretty much going at it alone.

Among other things, this means you’re solely responsible for doing the work it takes to keep your company afloat.

If you have a webinar recorded that you can play whenever it’s needed, all of a sudden you have some serious time freed up. You could use it for any number of productive activities.

Pro: You Can Make It Absolutely Perfect

The biggest fear most people have before hosting a webinar is that they will screw up. This isn’t hard to believe given that the majority of people’s greatest fear is public speaking. Just because they’re not directly in front of an audience doesn’t necessarily make things any easier.

Some people definitely do screw up, too. While no one’s perfect, you don’t want to have your company poorly represented because the host of your webinar isn’t able to deliver when you go live. This could make your business look amateur, especially if competitors are doing much better with their webinars.

An automated webinar not only erases this problem but actually gives you quite the advantage, too. You can take all the time you need to create the perfect webinar. You can even edit the best shots from multiple versions so you get the most impressive version possible. Obviously, this would be impossible to do live.

Pro: Your Sales Funnel Just Received a Valuable Component

Some companies use webinars as standalone solutions. Others use them as a source of revenue (more on that in a moment).

Still others rely on webinars as part of their sales funnel. When qualifying potential customers, a webinar can be an attractive method for moving customers from one step in the funnel to another.

If you only ever do recorded seminars, this can be a bit trickier. They’re still helpful but because you need to make your prospect wait until the next time you’re giving one, you run the risk of losing them.

With an automated webinar, the moment they make the qualifying decision, you can send them the next webinar.

Pro: Automated Webinars Can Mean Automated Incomes

As we touched on a moment ago, an automated webinar could also mean a reoccurring source of revenue for your company.

After all, as you’re probably aware, lots of companies charge viewers to watch their webinars. Just because yours is automated doesn’t mean you need to charge any less. Although you definitely want to be honest with them about this, if you have some powerful testimonials to advertise from people who gained a lot from your webinar, this won’t be a problem.

Pro: You Can Produce Them Whenever You Want

Finally, just because you record a webinar doesn’t mean you have to keep using it for the remainder of time. Although one of the strengths of automated webinars is definitely the fact that you can use them over and over, this doesn’t mean you can’t create new ones whenever you want.

Look at people with YouTube channels who regularly create new content. They don’t let their preexisting library limit how much content they create going forward. You shouldn’t let this stand in your way, either.

As time goes on and you get better and better at recording webinars, it will become that much easier to launch a new one whenever you like. If you have an email list, it will also be easy to put these webinars in front of people who have already enjoyed your earlier efforts.

Now, that being said, automated webinars aren’t perfect, either. There are some serious potential drawbacks to think about, too. Let’s look at them now.

Con: No Urgency

One very powerful way to get people to sign up for your automated webinar is by emphasizing a sense of urgency. Many companies do this by letting people know they will only let attendees sign up until a certain day or up to a certain amount of people. After that, no more people will be allowed to attend.

As you can imagine, this can make a webinar “sell out” quickly, even if the sense of urgency created is completely artificial.

This is difficult to do with an automated webinar. It’s not impossible, necessarily. You could say that you want to keep attendance to a minimum to make it easier to answer people’s questions afterward, but you’d have to make a pretty good case for this.

Otherwise, it will look suspect. People will also know that you’ll most likely be offering your webinar again later, so what’s the point of rushing?

Con: Lack of Interaction

One big drawback you really can’t overcome when hosting an automated webinar is that you can’t count on the same level of interaction as you would get during a live version. There’s just no way for someone to ask you a question while a recorded webinar is playing.

If you were to somehow allow this, it would just make more sense to do the webinar live in the first place.

This is no small drawback, either. Many people look forward to webinars because they know they’ll get a chance to ask questions of an authority figure.

Other times, someone might be a bit confused by a certain point and now have no way of asking for clarification. You’ll most likely lose these people even if they were originally quite enthusiastic.

Con: They’re a Lot of Work

Any webinar is going to take a lot of work. The difference is that, as we just touched on, during a live one, you can answer questions, ad lib and roll with the punches as necessary to create the best possible experience for your attendees.

With an automated webinar, you need to do your best to anticipate what people may be thinking as they watch your program. You also have to do your very best to limit the questions someone could possibly have.

After you launch your first one, you should receive sufficient feedback for making necessary changes that result in a better product. Nonetheless, this can be a bit frustrating and definitely requires a lot of work.

Con: If You Don’t Do Them Well, There’s No Point to Doing Them at All

Along the same lines, your automated webinar needs to be perfect. The people on the other side can usually tell that your program was prerecorded so they won’t have much patience for anything other than a flawless delivery.

If you mess up a word or screw up a line even a little bit, you’ll have to start over. No matter how small the mistake may be, it must be redone.

Otherwise, your viewers are going to feel like you don’t really care. Even when the automated webinar is completely free, remember that they’ve set aside 30 minutes or more to listen to you, so you have to make a sufficient effort.

Con: You Can’t Reference Time-Sensitive Events

Depending on how dynamic your industry it is, you may have to stay away from references to time-sensitive events during your prerecorded webinars. Otherwise, they’ll quickly become outdated, which definitely will not help your cause.

For example, say you mentioned a certain regulation that plays a big role in your industry, but it is repealed or otherwise modified within a month or so. Your webinar is now going to confuse people or, again, make your business look out-of-date.

Con: They Can Come Off as Cheap

Finally, there are a couple of reasons your automated webinar may come off as cheap, which is just about the last thing you want.

We’ve touched on these to some extent or another, but we’ll summarize them here.

First, the lack of engagement can make it seem like you weren’t concerned about your viewers and just wanted to put something together. As live webinars continue to grow in popularity, this will increasingly become the case. Someone who attended a webinar last week where audience members could ask questions will be shocked to find they can’t at yours.

Also, as engagement continues to be seen as a premium, not having it will look like a rip-off.

Second, being able to access a webinar 24/7 is great, but it also makes it look less valuable. Unfortunately, humans tend to correlate exclusivity with value. Therefore, by trying to be helpful and make sure people can watch your webinar whenever you want, you’re actually hurting your chances of impressing them a lot of the time.

How to Have the Best of Both Worlds

We’re going to end with this final section about how you can have a webinar that benefits from both versions.

To begin with, if you’re nervous about recording, either have someone else do it or practice until you get it right. Also, as we’re going to recommend you do a live version, don’t expect too much from yourself at first. Know that you probably will make a mistake or two, but that it’s okay because you’re going to be improving.

Once you have the live version done, you’ll then take the recording and offer it to people. Just like with an automated webinar, this can be incredibly helpful for those who can’t attend when you hold the live version.

Don’t keep it up indefinitely, though. To ensure you leverage the power of urgency, only leave it up for a week or so, depending on your market.

Also, make sure you’re gathering emails in exchange for access. This introduces a certain amount of exclusivity but is also just great for building that all-important email list.

If you have the time to put out new webinars regularly, continue using this formula. Your list will make it easy to keep bringing in new viewers.

Overall, as long as you put time into your automated webinar and understand your market, it should be a major asset for your company. To start hosting effective, amazing automated or live webinars, check out BigMarker to get started. Or send us a message if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-benefits-using-automated-webinars-kevin-o-connor?articleId=7962487576932234805

http://www.automationcore.com/pros-and-cons-of-automating-webinars/

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ewlaunchcontent/6-Money-Making-Features-And-Benefits-Automated-Webinar-Platform.pdf

5 Best Practices For Creating a Killer Automated Webinar

How Webinar Hosting Can Help You Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry

Using webinars to become a thought leader in your field is an extremely smart and efficient way to gain new followers and boost your credibility.

Before we begin suggesting ways you can become a thought leader by hosting webinars, we want to be sure you understand why this is a good goal in the first place. Make no mistake about it, nothing will increase your credibility (and sales) like becoming a thought leader in your industry.

You’ll also greatly reduce the amount of money you have to spend on each new customer.

So what exactly is a thought leader? Well, another way of thinking of the term “thought leader” is as an influencer. People with this kind of stature in an industry can influence everything from buying decisions to major trends.

Think about people like Warren Buffet, Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk and Mark Cuban. People hang on their every word. It’s not surprising, then, that they all make a lot of money.

Now, to be clear, we’re not saying this article will turn you into a thought leader by the time you finish reading it, but you will have a much better idea of how a webinar can help you reach this level of influence in your market.

Below are a few reasons why you should start hosting webinars to position yourself as a thought leader in your space.

 

Use Webinars to Build Social Proof

One of the most important ways you can become a thought leader is to prove to others that you’re a respected member of your industry.

Unfortunately, doing this usually takes decades of hard work and unparalleled achievement.

While that’s certainly one route to take, most people would rather opt for the shortcut to becoming a thought leader: rubbing shoulders with other thought leaders.

With webinars, it’s easy to put together interviews with these people. The more you do this, the more people will begin associating you with this level of success.

Another huge benefit is that you get to network with these thought leaders and will most likely learn some helpful lessons simply by doing so.

Of course, you could always network and interview these experts in a blog post or on a podcast. However, a webinar is far more dynamic. As it’s still a fairly uncommon form of media, it also works well as a method of distinguishing yourself from the crowd.

Not Everyone Hosts Webinars

Let’s expand on that last paragraph a bit. As we said, you could interview a thought leader and turn that into a blog post if you wanted. This would most likely produce a beneficial result, too. It certainly couldn’t hurt things.

That being said, a webinar is next-level media. Any company could post a blog right now if they wanted to. Most people could also send a list of questions to a thought leader and then reprint what they had to say.

There’s something about actually interviewing someone and presenting it as a webinar that makes the people involved look so much better. The audience can automatically tell that the company behind this approach is doing more than their competitors.

Webinars Are an Effective Tool for Building Email Lists

Here’s another great way webinars put you in a unique position to become thought leaders.

Again, let’s compare it to more common forms of content. With a blog, people may read what you have to say and decide to come back later to read more. They may even decide to subscribe so they can get updates when you post again in the future.

How confident are you that they’ll do this, though?

After all, they don’t have to subscribe to view your blog. Most people will do anything to avoid another email in their inboxes, too.

What usually happens is the vast majority of readers simply sidestep that request.

You can still become a thought leader by regularly posting your blog, but it should be obvious that this is going to involve a steep uphill climb.

On the other hand, by using a webinar, you can require people to first provide you with their email address in order to gain access.

This is so helpful because now you have a method for directly communicating with them. You can use this opportunity to consistently build yourself as a thought leader. Show them case studies that speak to your successes; introduce groundbreaking ideas; let your list know about upcoming interviews with more great thinkers in your field.

The list is endless and, while you do want to be smart about how you leverage it, an email address makes it all possible.

Webinars Make It Easy to Cover Complex Ideas and Demonstrations

One way that webinars beat out every other form of content marketing is the combination of visuals and their duration. In short, you can show people how to do things and you also have plenty of time to explain complex ideas.

Going back to the popular blog post, it’s generally impossible to do either. Obviously, your use of visuals is limited, which, in turn, limits what you can teach people.

Likewise, if an idea gets too complex, you can’t do it justice. No one is going to read a post that keeps going and going, especially if it’s about something that could risk becoming confusing.

With a webinar, any topic is fair game. It’s worth coming up with a list of things your market wants to know – ideas that could make you a thought leader – and then covering them in your webinars.

 

become a thought leader by explaining complex ideas and concepts with webinars

 

Webinars Provide Live Help

A big part of becoming a thought leader is establishing connections with your audience. They should look at you as a reliable source of information and also someone they can truly trust.

Don’t underestimate this. All other things being the same, the person who clearly has their audience’s best interest at heart is going to win the most market share.

With a webinar, you can build this connection by holding Q&As where you answer viewer’s questions. If it’s a live session, they can literally type them in while you answer others. If you’re not up for a live session, keep an inbox open for people to provide their questions in between sessions.

The other nice thing about this is that you’ll know exactly what your market is interested in, which can help you create other pieces of content in the future.

While your competitors are doing their best to analyze feedback from their posts, you’ll have your market telling you exactly what they care about and you’ll be seen as the authority figure who’s kind enough to provide them answers.

Your Webinar Can Become a Profitable Product

That alone should be enough reason for you to become interested in doing webinars. People from every industry are doing them solely as a source of income.

The interesting thing is that charging for your webinars can also help you become a thought leader.

One reason for this is the level of exclusivity you’re providing. Everyone is more interested in things they can’t have for free. This should come as no surprise. By charging for attendance, then, you may actually enjoy larger audiences in the long run.

The second reason involves another psychological principle, which is simply that we tend to associate value with price. Therefore, if someone says they’re giving a free webinar, many people may attend, but most will also assume that this opportunity is going to be underwhelming. After all, it’s free.

If you charged $50, though, people will adjust their expectations. Now they are more likely to believe that your webinar is worth $50. Of course, this also means that they’ll think your webinar is worth more than anything that’s being given for free.

To be clear, you still have to deliver. If you don’t, people will be upset and ask for refunds. As long as you do, though, you’ll be well on your way to building your profile as a thought leader.

Recording Regular Webinars Will Keep People Coming Back

Although this may be difficult for you, we encourage you to schedule regular webinars if you want to speed up your path to becoming a thought leader.

Sure, it’s going to be a challenge to come up with this much content, but consider two things:

  • After you build up your audience, you can always just hold Q&As; you can even invite guests on to answer questions.
  • Along the same lines, you can continuously bring on other influencers from your market (and, as we mentioned at the beginning, increase your own profile by doing so).

Over time, content creation will become easier, too. As you see your audience grow and begin experiencing the benefits of this new level of success, you’ll also find it’s much less of a chore to come up with content.

Anyway, the point of this section is that holding regular webinars will help you become a thought leader in your industry by increasing your attendance numbers. If people know you go on every Thursday at 2 pm, they’ll be more likely to leave that slot open.

This is also a good way of taking mindshare in your market. Every Thursday, you’re going to be on your market’s mind because they’ll remember you’re about to speak at 2 pm.

Webinars Are Easy to Repackage

A moment ago we talked about the importance of mindshare. You definitely don’t want to lose this to anyone else on your path to becoming a thought leader in your industry.

By providing your audience with lots of content, it will be easy to hold onto and grow the amount you have, too.

Webinars are obviously a phenomenal form of content, which we’ve covered already. Despite our love for them, though, they’re definitely not the only kind you should be using.

In fact, you want to diversify your content marketing approach as much as possible. Google loves this for SEO purposes, but your audience will appreciate it, too.

Therefore, after each webinar, consider typing up a transcript. Unless you’re going to include closed captioning on your webinar, this will be very helpful for the hearing impaired.

Some people would appreciate having a transcript simply so they can take notes and reference your webinar later in an easy way.

You can also include show notes. These are links to anything you may have brought up or touched on during the show.

Having all of this typed out on your website will give Google plenty to scan. At the moment, the search engine doesn’t have the ability to understand what your webinar is about, so this is a very smart move. The fact that it can help increase your rankings doesn’t hurt, either.

Someday, Everyone Will Be Hosting Webinars…So You Better Start Now

One word we used at the beginning to help describe what a thought leader is was “influencer.” They’re someone people look to because they’re constantly influencing their industry and also aware of new trends before they become widespread.

Webinars continue to grow in popularity and, someday soon, companies that don’t do them will be the exception, not the rule.

If you take a look through your industry, you might even see that this is already happening.

You don’t want to be left behind. There is absolutely no way anyone will think of you as a thought leader if you’re only producing blog posts while others are putting out regular webinars. You’ll look old-fashioned and out of touch – two terms no one wants associated with their brands.

Start now before you have to launch a webinar just to keep up. You want the rest of the industry to look like they’re the ones trying to stay current while you’ve been doing it for years.

Webinars are important to do for a number of different reasons, many of which we’ve touched on in this post. One of those with the highest potential, though, is to become a thought leader. If you’d like help with this, BigMarker is at your service. Hosting amazing webinars on BigMarker is easy! Sign up today for a free 14-day trial or send us a message to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/russalanprince/2015/05/19/why-thought-leadership-is-absolutely-essential-to-professional-services-firms/#664d23704776

https://www.forbes.com/sites/russalanprince/2015/06/08/the-two-key-benefits-of-thought-leadership-done-well/#4d0d7e534aaa

https://aec-business.com/eight-benefits-aec-thought-leader/

http://www.megameeting.com/Benefits_to_holding_a_webinar.html

http://www.chrisg.com/reasons-webinars/

https://hbr.org/2010/11/how-to-become-a-thought-leader

https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/10-ways-to-become-an-industry-thought-leader

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/9-ways-to-become-a-thought-leader.html