In 2021, webinars continue to be a top outreach strategy for those organizations trying to increase leads and reach a global, virtual audience. But, you may need some help implementing a web-based event that stands out among competitors. With that being said, here are some great tips for hosting a captivating webinar this year.
What Is A Webinar?
With the rise in video streaming over the world wide web came the birth of online seminars – otherwise known as “webinars”. Webinars can come in the form of video workshops, conferences, lectures or other presentations that are hosted through a virtual platform. Generally used by businesses, these events can open up content to a global audience, while acting as a way to implement a line of communication to that audience. When implemented correctly, it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to bring potential leads into your pipeline.
There’s a lot of competition on the internet, so prepare yourself with the proper knowledge to stand out in such a saturated environment. Let’s take a look at some best practices that will help you scale your event and maximize your investment.
1) Design Content For Your Target Audience
A webinar is only as good as its content, and the success of that content depends on its ability to connect with a specific target audience. Before you find speakers, schedule a date or start selling tickets, make sure you’ve clearly defined your target audience. Answer the following questions to get started:
What are the demographics of ideal target persona(s)?
What are their jobs, duties, responsibilities, salaries?
What challenges do they face and what are the solutions to those problems?
How does your webinar content help them in their personal or professional life?
Where are they located?
What are their hobbies?
2) Develop The Right Content
Following the development of specific personas, you’ll need to find the right topics to discuss during your webinar. Keeping a virtual audience engaged can be challenging, but it’s certainly made easier with the right content. When hosting an online seminar in 2021, make sure to keep your presentations to-the-point to ensure remote viewers stay engaged. With so many distractions to deal with as people “attend” from the comfort of their home or office, highly focused content is bound to better hold the attention of your attendees.
Remember to mix up your presentation with rich formatting. With presentations, include visuals like slides, custom graphics, special audio segments or video clips. Use a platform to assist with live polling, Q&A sessions and one-on-one chatting. And always back up your claims with the necessary research and data. In general, keep your webinars to approximately one or two hours, as remote audiences tend to check out during longer sessions.
3) Choose An Event Platform To Make It Easy & Effective
With the best event platform, you receive the ability to automate and improve several webinar hosting processes. From engagement tools that let you directly interact with attendees to customizable production capabilities to unparalleled data collection for organizing leads, there are a number of benefits you get with a virtual platform. When hosting a webinar in 2021, make sure you have the proper support by choosing specialty software that gives you complete control of your event.
4) Choose The Right Speakers & Moderators
When it comes to staffing your webinar, there are a few crucial positions that need to be filled. Of course, you’ll need to find the right speaker(s) for your event, whether it’s a C-level executive or another industry influencer. Choose someone that isn’t just knowledgeable about the given content, but can properly engage the audience. Don’t hire a speaker that drones on and on, while attendees slowly exit your webinar.
Next, you’ll need to find moderators to keep the virtual event on track and mitigate common event risks. From Q&A sessions to technical troubles with registration to post-event follow-up needs, there are a ton of things that online moderators may need to deal with.
5) Develop The Right Webinar Marketing Plan
You can’t host a webinar in 2021 and expect people to just show up. You must first develop the right event marketing plan. The tactics you employ will depend on your target audience and the channels they use. At the very least, you’ll want to create a specific landing page for your webinar to sell your event and track registrations. Make sure to include the following on your sign-up page:
Time, date and access information of the webinar.
Specific details of the topics to be covered.
Names, bios and social accounts of your speakers or hosts.
Other webinar event features – e.g. live Q&A, giveaway prizes, networking opportunities.
Other promotional opportunities include social media posts, teaser videos, email campaigns, press releases and so on. You’re only limited by your creativity!
6) Practice Makes Perfect
If this is your first attempt at hosting a captivating webinar, make sure you do a thorough dress rehearsal. Your lead generation efforts will only be as strong as the presentation you or your speakers give. Since the majority of webinars are hosted live, you won’t have the chance to chop-and-screw content to your liking before it’s presented to the public. That’s why it’s so important to master your presentation well before the big event comes around.
Beyond your own performance, make sure to test your technology, as well. Make sure all devices, from cameras to microphones to lighting, are working properly for an online venue. In case of technical issues, always have a backup plan that can be quickly implemented. This may include a hard-wired internet connection, extra cameras or audio equipment, or imagery that can replace broken video streams.
Are you ready to take your webinars to the next level?
Turn to the event specialists at Second Stage, the world’s leading hybrid event platform. It’s our job to help you take control of the virtual experience so you can better engage your audience. With such features like lead capture, data management, production capabilities and so much more, we’ll give you the power to boost the performance of your next webinar.
Craft a memorable event that improves the connection between company and consumer – contact us today to learn more about our solutions or speak with a representative.