What is a Webinar and Why Should I Use Them?
There are a variety of definitions but the simplest is that it is a web-based seminar. Think of it as a live online informational or educational presentation where you ask questions, survey the audience using polls and hands raised, and share comments.
Why create and implement webinars?
A webinar is a great lead gen tool for outreach to your target demographics. You can use webinars as valuable communications tools to deliver key messages and concepts to an audience live on the web and afterward with a recording of the session. The benefit is sharing your knowledge, expertise, and insights with a large participant base without geographical constraints. Where virtual delivery boasts the beauty of flexibility, convenience, and comfort to present a webinar anywhere with little cost, without the face-to-face interaction of an audience, making the webinar as engaging and interactive as a live seminar in person is not easy!
Virtual online events or webinars are a growing tool that we are using to market and sell to a target market; train their employees or customers, and more. Even though the value of the webinars is recognized by many, it is the complex technical and logistical requirements that remain a mystery as well as how to build the interactivity to make each webinar success.
Think of your webinar program as a production. Select the right speaker as your talent to tell the story that fits your business and content. Use a checklist to make sure that you don’t miss any of the opportunities or strategies to make your webinar program and each webinar a success. Approach each webinar as a scripted presentation with engaging interactions and polling built into the plan.
My best tips and tricks for creating a successful webinar program
- Know what outcome you want and create your webinar production plan with that in mind. This includes how you will promote it, what the tone of the content will be, how it will look, what information or handouts you want to share, and have a call to action as part of your follow up.
- Pick the right webinar platform and run test events to make sure you understand how it works. Invest in a good phone and/or computer headset/microphone.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – yes, I really mean it. Practice while getting to know the webinar platform. Practice while doing a dry run of your slides. And practice the day of the event – log on early and make sure everything is working.
- Don’t forget that there is an audience out there watching. Plan interrupted breaks with questions or polling. Encourage the group to chat amongst each other.
- Do post-webinar analysis – look at the data on your platform’s analytics. Understand how interested or engaged the audience was. Were they off-screen multi-tasking? Or paying attention to your presentation.
- Have FUN!!