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The pandemic prompted most of us to get familiarized with and accept the webinar format as an instrument for meetings, classes, events, and other knowledge-building opportunities. Webinars were the most popular marketing tool during the pandemic; according to a GoodFirms study, over 74% of businesses increased the use of webinars since then.

So, are webinars still effective in 2023? Yes, webinars are still relevant in 2023. In fact, a Content Marketing Institute report said 64% of B2B marketers hosted a webinar in the last 12 months.  The same report highlighted that virtual events/webinars/online courses were rated as the content type that produced the best content marketing results. 

Webinars as a marketing tool

Webinars are a low-cost, targetted, engaged medium of marketing, a combination that’s rare to find. It allows us to actually interact with potential customers and clients in a captive environment, making it a high-converting addition to the sales funnel.

How to plan a high-converting webinar?

1. Select your Objective

Identify the goal and key metrics you are pursuing through a webinar marketing strategy. Where in the sales funnel does it fit in?

Goal:
Do you want to test a product you’re launching? Do you want to generate leads for your service? Do you want to start a conversation with customers?

Metrics:
Do you want to increase your database of interested customers? Do you want to track link clicks to your website? Do you want to sell your subscription or packages live on the webinar?

2. Pick a Webinar Format

Webinar formats can be tailored to suit specific goals, topics, and audience preferences. The choice of format can depend on the purpose of your webinar and the desired level of engagement and interaction with the participants.

Find out which webinar format is best suited to the objective below. You can even mix and match them to enrich the customer experience further. Some common webinar formats include:

  1. Presentation: This format involves a single presenter delivering a slide-based presentation or lecture on a specific topic. Add in a Q&A element, and you’re golden. It is one of the most common webinar formats and is suitable when sharing a lot of information and insights.

    Recommended for:
    Product or Service Launch
    Thought-leadership Educational Content
    Product or Service demos
    Workshop

  2. Interview: In this format, a host interviews an expert or guest speaker on a particular subject. The audience can participate by submitting questions, making it an interactive and engaging format.

    Recommended for: 
    Expert Validation
    Thought-Leadership Collaboration
    Product Demo, Customer Testimonials
    Partner Spotlights 

  3. Panel Discussion: A panel webinar involves a group of experts or speakers discussing a specific topic. A moderator facilitates the discussion and manages the flow of the conversation. Panel discussions allow for diverse perspectives and audience interaction.

    Recommended for:
    Thought-Leadership Collaboration
    Reviews
    Discussing Industry Trends
    Problem-Solving, Community Building

  4. Q&A Session: This format focuses solely on answering questions from the audience. The speaker or panel responds to queries related to the webinar topic. Q&A sessions encourage audience engagement and provide valuable insights.

    Recommended for: 
    Customer Education
    Product Launch
    Market Research/Feedback Gathering

  5. Hybrid Webinar: A hybrid webinar combines elements of both live and pre-recorded content. It can include a mix of live presentations, pre-recorded videos, interactive polls, and Q&A sessions.

    Recommended for:
    Product or Service Launch
    Product or Service demos. 
    Workshops
    Conferences

3. Assign Roles to Your Team

A webinar requires cross-functional skills. You will need the following skillset:

Assemble and delegate tasks to team members based on their expertise. 

Pick a webinar toolWebexDacastZoomZoho MeetingGoogle MeetYouTubeeWebinar

4. Pick a Webinar Tool

Select a webinar platform that suits your needs and budget. Consider factors like the expected audience size, recording capabilities, budget, and customization options. Start internal trials with free subscriptions or tools before spending on premium features. 

Here are some tools you can try out

5. Prepare the Necessary Equipment & Space

Recce your location and equip yourself with reliable equipment, and don’t forget to test it a few hours before you go live! 

The basic equipment you should consider for running your webinar includes;

6. Plan and Produce Your Content

Depending on your chosen format, create a compelling content flow that keeps attendees engaged throughout the webinar. Surprise your audience with a great script, creative visuals, concise slides, multimedia elements, and interactive elements like live polls.

Spend extra time choosing the right title for the webinar. Research trending topics, popular blog posts, and audience interests to determine a compelling topic. Craft a clear and takeaway-focused webinar title, utilizing lists, “how to” formats, 101 introductions, or workshop-style titles.

Promote your Webinar1) Create a Registration or Landing Page2) Time it right3) Utilize your own platforms4) Leverage the power of email5) Get Social6) Tap into employee networks7) Optimize your registration page8) Utilize retargeting ads and paid media

7. Promote your Webinar

  • Create a Registration or Landing Page: Design a registration page with clear goals, information about the online event, and a clear call to action. Utilize landing page templates from tools like Typeform or JotForm to simplify the process.
  • Time it right: Start your promotions 3-4 weeks before the event for optimal registration rates. Keep pushing for more registrations even if you have achieved your attendance goal because research suggests out of 100 registrants, you can expect an average attendance rate of 40-50%.
  • Utilize your own platforms: Feature upcoming webinars on your website pages, use banner ads on your homepage and blog, and advertise on thank-you/confirmation pages.
  • Leverage the power of email: Send promotional emails 3-4 weeks before the webinar and increase frequency as the event approaches. The best time of the day to send emails promoting your webinars is between 8 am and 12 pm. Email drives 79% of registrations, making it an effective marketing channel.

8. Practice makes Perfect

Conduct rehearsals with your team to address technical issues and familiarize everyone with the content. Test audio, framing, recording, and resolve any potential internet disruptions.

Schedule the webinar day in advance with timings and delegated responsibilities, with emergency protocols in case of disruptions.

9. Post-Webinar Preparation

After the webinar, send a thank-you note to attendees with a link to the replay and consider offering incentives to move prospects further down the sales funnel. You can consider gating the replay behind a lead form to generate further engagement from attendees who did not make it or want to rewatch the webinar. 

By following these steps, you can maximize the effectiveness of your webinars and achieve your marketing goals. Your business could even create its own series! Here’s wishing you the best of luck on your webinar marketing journey. 

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