Your Webinar Sucked And You Know It

By February 3, 2016Strategy

Be honest with yourself: your last webinar was terrible. Your registration was low, you didn’t generate any strong leads, and don’t even get me started on attendee engagement. Face it — you managed to create the worst webinar EVER. However, there is still hope! This doesn’t mean that all is lost for you in your webinar game. You just need to spruce things up a bit.

Creating a webinar can be a daunting task. You want it to be successful. You spend hours sifting through ideas, creating content (both for the webinar itself and as marketing collateral) and fretting over every metric that could possibly turn out less than ideal.

Stop fretting. The solution is here.

Below, I have listed five things that will help your webinar be more successful.

  • Stop pitching your service and start pitching ideas. This is the most common error that I see companies make when it comes to creating a webinar. They sit in a marketing meeting and say, “Hey we want people to buy our service, product, widget, whatever… Let’s tell them what we sell and how they can use it.” If this is you I want you to put your hand out in front of yourself and slap it. STOP IT. No one is going to give you an hour of their time to listen to you pitch your product. And god forbid you market your webinar as educational, then spend the next hour pitching your viewers — drop-off rates will skyrocket. This is the digital equivalent of going on a free trip, only to have to sit through 6 hours of timeshare sales pitches. The key to creating awesome webinar content is creating a webinar that is educational. Give your audience what they want: tools, tricks, cheap hacks, anything that will make their business more successful. If you help them achieve success they will be sure to come back for more, and begin to see the value in your business.  By avoiding pitching your product directly, you open the door to pitching it indirectly.
  • Market appropriately. What I mean by market appropriately is: don’t lie. Far too often I will come across a webinar that is marketed as one thing and delivers another. Guess what you’ve done now? You’ve lost me not only as an attendee but as a potential lead as well. Make sure your marketing copy is direct and in-line with your webinar topic. If you have a bulleted list of the expected takeaways, you need to make sure that all of those things will be actual takeaways. And for the love of god, stop using big ticket marketing terms like “actionable insights from best practices.” That doesn’t mean a thing.
  • Cross-promote on all channels. You can’t expect to simply blast an invite out to your entire mailing list and get a high registration rate. Cross-promoting on all channels allows you to reach the largest audience possible. Update your Facebook, tweet it out, post a blog that links to the registration page, and email. Rinse and repeat. Not only do you want to make sure that you send out registration thank yous, but, you also want to make sure that you send reminders. And you can use all of your channels to do this. Tailor your messaging to each channel but make sure your marketing narrative stays the same. One of the things I like to do when I have an upcoming webinar is update my Facebook header image and change your call-to-action button. It would also behoove you to have a regular “webinar” page on your site, where you host all your upcoming and past webinars. This allows your company’s webinars to be easily searchable.
  • Engage your attendees. This is in line with my first point made as it relates directly to creating an educational webinar rather than just a sales pitch. However, this takes it one step further: not only do you have to create engaging content that gets your audience to sit up and pay attention, but, you also want to create content that gets them to actually engage with you. This can be done in a number of ways. An example of this is don’t ever host a webinar that doesn’t have a Q&A at the end. Sometimes audiences are hesitant or shy to be the first person to ask a question so make sure you have a few pre-loaded and ready to go. This usually greases up the wheel and gets things moving. Outside of a simple Q&A it would also be beneficial for you to create space within your webinar for audience input. Don’t be afraid to ASK your audience to be engaged, whether it is through asking them a question during the webinar, running a survey, or simply reminding them that something is important throughout your presentation. If you are using a webinar platform that allows you to monitor attention levels, try saying the phrase “this is really important to remember…” before making a point and you will see attention rates shoot up. As your audience engages further with you take that opportunity to tailor your presentation on the fly.
  • Have a follow-up plan. You’ve followed all the steps and you still aren’t seeing a solid response. So what now? FOLLOW UP! Your post-webinar time requires a solid follow-up plan. This plan can include a simple email drip campaign, hard outreach from reps for people who expressed more interest, or social media outreach. At the very minimum you should be sending all of your attendees a copy of the webinar (deck, recording or both). Don’t hide behind wanting to keep the information you shared in your webinar “proprietary.” Even if your attendees share your webinar with friends and colleagues that only increases your reach long term. Don’t let all the hardwork you put into your webinar go to waste.

These steps may all seem simple enough, maybe you even are already doing some of them, but it is important to create a webinar strategy that reflects all these steps as well as your brand.

If you have any other questions feel free to reach out. Hawke Media is happy to help you setup and manage your content strategy.
@christopherayan

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