You usually rely on face to face engagement with prospects and clients, but for now, that’s off the table. Is this pandemic the catalyst for you to venture into webinars? If so, then boost your webinar for better business exposure by avoiding common flaws and embracing innovative registration and engagement strategies.
Deliver a better webinar with our 4 fixes to common flaws.
Webinars can be… dull. This leads the audience members to half listen, give the screen the occasional glance, but inevitably work on other projects. This could be because they are too time poor to spare their full attention, but more likely because they have not found the speakers or content sufficiently engaging.
Find topics that your audience will want to hear about then ensure your speakers are dynamic! If you will be presenting the content yourself, get some feedback from friends or family (those capable of brutal honesty) and if using an external speaker, seek out videos and see how you feel about their delivery before committing.
Adding interactive elements can be beneficial if relevant. Avoid polls for the sake of polls and look for ways to add to the audience experience, not just your data capture! If you plan to use slides and visual elements, think about how they will present. Animation, 3D props or real-time diagram drawing will have greater impact. Consider eluding to detailed concepts in context then showing a link onscreen for those who are interested to learn more, rather than taking the whole audience on a long and winding tangent.
Webinars can feel impersonal. Particularly to those who value the connection they make with peers, exhibitors and panels at physical events.
Promote your webinar with home-delivered registration packs! Use the registration form to capture the additional information you need to send a pack prior to the event date. Packs might include snacks, a branded mug or drink bottle, mouse mat, anything you think will add to their experience. Go one step further and monogram a notebook (or other item) – they can’t find that impersonal!
Work merchandise into the speaker’s dialogue for added audience connection. For example, ‘I bet after that technical jargon, you all need the chocolate from your webinar kit! I’ll give you a minute to rustle the wrappers.’ Or capture T-shirt sizes at registration and get people dressed for the occasion. Make a game of it with team colours and include puzzles for them to solve or questions to answer.
Webinars can be sales spiels masquerading as education. You know the ones. They promote topics that sound like quality content, topics you’ve been wanting to learn more about to expand your knowledge. But once you register, then login, you find yourself watching what is essentially an infomercial for software or a service to perform the tasks for you, not teach you at all! And now they have your data, too.
Don’t push too hard. Yes, this may be a marketing exercise in that you are boosting brand awareness, staying connected with clients and generating leads. But if the content has no real substance then what you are really doing is damaging your brand.
Your target market has pain points they need resolved, interests they want to explore and opportunities they didn’t know existed. If you know your market, then you should be able to identify these and create an event that offers value. Think of your webinar as an exercise in giving. Giving informative content. This doesn’t mean you should forgo your call to action in the final minutes!
The exposure you receive is your reward, but the leads generated are your icing on the cake. Delivering a high-quality webinar positions you as credible and knowledgeable in your field. Your sales funnel will be fuller than if you lured an audience under false pretenses.
Webinars with technical issues cause frustration. Say you’re insanely busy but have somehow managed to make yourself available. You settle in and the connection is poor, you can’t hear the questions being asked, the speaker appears to have techno-fear and cannot resolve the issues!
Use a checklist as you prepare and quadruple check everything works! Have a backup plan for those who may have technical issues at their end, like a recording available later, slides to be emailed to all registrants, off-line Q&A options post-event.
If you are not confident with the software and will be hosting the event yourself, practice with staff or family. If you are hiring speakers, ask them for feedback on their experiences with various webinar service providers to ensure you get the product that best suits your needs.
Above all, if hosting a webinar remember that time is precious.
An audience giving your theirs is a pretty big deal, so respect that by delivering something you can be proud of and the benefits to your business will follow.