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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Understand the Benefits of B2B Webinars

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

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

 

Streamlined and Affordable Production

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

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

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

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

 

Connection with a Broader Audience

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

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

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

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

 

Dialogue with Interested Participants

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

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

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

 

New Lead Cultivation

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

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

Customize Webinar Registration

 

Strengthened Current Partnerships

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

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

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

 

Establish Industry Authority

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

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

 

Live Demonstrations

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

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

Sustainable Marketing Impact

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

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

 

Tips To Reach Your B2B Market Online

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

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

 

Determine Preliminary (But Important) Logistics

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

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

 

Create Original Content


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

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

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

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

 

Promote Your B2B Webinars

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

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

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

 

Rehearse Your Delivery

Never go into live B2B webinars without practicing beforehand.

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

 

Follow Up

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

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

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

 

Repurpose B2B Webinars

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

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

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

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

 

Start Hosting!

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

Resources

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

How to Scale Your Webinar Audience From 10 to 1000 Attendees

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

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

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

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

 

Know The Numbers/Set Some Goals

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

 

Choose Your Topic Wisely

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

 

poll webinar attendees

Poll Previous Webinar Attendees

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

 

Create An Attention-Grabbing Incentive

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

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

Time Matters

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

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

 

Day Of The Week Matters

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

 

Promote On Your Website

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

promote your webinar to webinar attendees on social media

Promote Via Social Media

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

Use Your Manners

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

 

Short Really is Sweet

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

 

Leverage The Blogosphere (And Other SEO Channels)

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

 

Know What Not To Advertise

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

 

Showcase Panel Experts

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

 

Advertise Q&A Opportunities

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

 

Send Customized Reminders

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

 

Follow Up With Future Sessions

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

 

Start Hosting!

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

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

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

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

 

Not Hosting Webinars

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

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

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

Using the Wrong Webinar Technology

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

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

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

Unfortunately, their technology stood in the way.

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

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

Not Hosting a Practice Run

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

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

Sharing Too Much Content

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

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

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

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

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

Not Mixing Up Your Media

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

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

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

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

marketing and promotion tips for hosting webinars

Not Doing Enough Marketing/Promotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not Reminding People About Your Webinar

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

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

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

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

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

Forgetting to Follow Up

What?

More emails?

Yes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hosting webinars with interactive features

 

Ending Without a Q&A

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

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

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

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

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

Never Hosting Live Webinars

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

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

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

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

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

Forgetting to Have Fun

We’re dead serious about this.

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

5 Rookie Webinar Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

How to Host Webinars on a Small Marketing Budget

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

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

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

Pick Cost-Effective Webinar Software

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

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

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

Choose Topics That You Can Cover In-House

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

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

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

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

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

Research What Has Worked for Others

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

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

Ask for Help with Your Idea

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

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

Do Guest Posts

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

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

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

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

Partner with an Influencer

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

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

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

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

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

Go for Branding, Not Selling in Your Webinar

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

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

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

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

Make Sure People Can Watch Your Webinars On-Demand

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

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

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

Take Advantage of Your Free Trial

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

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

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

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

Plan Content Around the Webinar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Pay for More Attendees Than You Need

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

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

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

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

Monetize Your Webinars

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Start Hosting

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

5 Ways to Host More Effective, Engaging Webinars

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

Know The Challenges Associated With Video Conferencing Solutions

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

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

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

 

5 Tips to Keep Webinar Attendees Tuned-In

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

 

hosting engaging webinars boost longterm focus

 

Tip #1: Pick an Enticing Webinar Topic

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tip #2: Remember Content Is King

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #3: Encourage Participation

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #4: Practice Your Delivery

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

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

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

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

 

Tip #5: Create A Call To Action 

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

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

 

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

3 Foolproof Ways to Host an Amazing Webinar

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

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

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

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

Poor planning is the reason why so many webinars fail.

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

1: Define your audience

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

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

2. Accommodate and entice your targeted audience

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

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

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

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

3. Engage your audience

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

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

 

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

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

Ready to get started? Host amazing webinars on BigMarker.

Using Effective Calls to Action to Improve Social Conversions

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

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

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

call-to-action
Create an effective call to action

How to create effective calls to action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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