Webinars have been around for a while and their popularity only continues to grow. In fact, this effective marketing tool is poised to approach $1 billion in the next decade. And yet, webinars aren’t always treated with the attention they deserve. Sometimes they come across as overly scripted or just plain boring. So, the challenge for those looking to host a webinar becomes, how do you make your presentation more engaging, personalised and interactive? Here’s everything you need to know about creating a webinar.
But, before delving into how to make a webinar less boring, we first need to tackle the best way to promote your webinar so you can speak to the masses.
Email Is the go-to for promotion
When it comes to marketing webinars, promotion is key to their success. You should focus heavily on unpaid promotional tactics – the most effective being email. But don’t overlook your blog, website and social media accounts to help get the word out. When possible, partner with an influencer or well-known company in your space and leverage their email list to drive sign-ups.
Promote in advance, on Tuesdays and in the morning!
Promoting at least four weeks in advance of the live webinar results in 12% more registrations on average. But the week leading up to your webinar is when promotion matters most. When it comes to marketing webinars, put extra effort into promoting a week before your event, and don’t be shy with your promotional social posts and emails the day of the webinar. For an extra boost, resend emails to everyone who didn’t register or didn’t open the initial email.
Look at promoting on a Tuesday as more people register for webinars on Tuesday than any other day of the week!
Together, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday attract 63% of all registrations. Lastly, the time of day makes a big difference, so ensure you’re sending emails between 8-10am for effective mailbox cut through.
Now, how do I make my webinar super engaging?
Think about your presentation and what do you want to deliver; consider the presentation tools that you use and remember that these are only an extension of yourself, rather than the key storyteller.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old adage of staring at a text dense PowerPoint, eyes glazed and mind adrift – we don’t want that and neither does your audience!
Use a proven title format
Research into webinars has found those who drew the biggest crowds presented in a list format, i.e. “10 Underused Methods for [blank]” performed the best.
List formats are a long-time marketing favourite and the numbers continue to back it up. Lists convey clear value to the audience and have obvious takeaways.
The next best format was “how-to,” which, again, communicates from the start that there will be actionable takeaways. “101” titles also did well. These work best when you’re covering a trending topic that people want to learn about. All this may sound obvious or, well, boring but if you want results, it’s best to go with what the data tells us is most effective.
Use strong images when creating a webinar
Powerful images are the backbone of a good presentation. Filling an entire slide with a single high-res, attention-grabbing picture, with just one or two words in front of it will pique the attention of your audience. It also provides the hidden benefit of giving a visual cue for you, the presenter, if you happen to lose your train of thought.
As for the pictures themselves, pop culture always works, since it’s an easy, common reference point. If you’re looking for something more striking, great sources for images include Pexels, Unsplash and Free Pik, which host freely usable images from artists around the world. Another option is mining the internet for memes and gifs, which are always entertaining.
Finally, in terms of visuals, don’t forget to follow the basics – keep the slides clean, use a large font and include as few words as possible. People can read faster than you can present and you want them engaging with you, rather than reading.
Engage with polls, prizes, handouts and surveys
Q&A sessions are just one of several tactics for engaging an audience. Another one is prizes – early on in the session, tell your audience that you will offer a prize for the most engaged participant. Awakening your attendees’ competitive spirit makes the webinar more memorable, while incentivising people to ask more questions turns the session into more of a conversation. A great way to do this is through the use of gift cards or vouchers as they can be shared over email with the winner. Alternatively, if you would like to handout something small to all attendees, a discount codes can work well here.
Another great method of keeping your audience engaged is through the use of live polling. This enables audience members to participate and cast votes via the webinar software you are using, in real time. The results are then collected and can be displayed directly into the presentation.
Show personality when executing and creating a webinar!
Turn on your webcam and be more than a faceless voice. Showing yourself as a real person is a great first step toward getting people to pay attention to you and care about what you have to say.
Lastly, have fun. You may take your presentation very seriously, but that doesn’t mean you have to take yourself too seriously. If you get nervous, don’t forget that the more preparation you do beforehand, the more comfortable and present you’ll be when the day comes, allowing your personality to shine through.
So, get out there and start creating a webinar and make the most of this amazing tool!
About the author
An experienced Customer Success Manager, Stephanie works closely with customers to optimise their use of LogMeIn Unified Communication services. You can read their recent study here. With more than 14 years in Customer Success Stephanie provides a particular focus on the customer experience and utilises a consultative approach to drive product adoption and managing complex implementation of client-specific initiatives through collaborative project management.