Before lockdown happened we’d never hosted a webinar before, and now we’ve hosted three and are planning our fourth as we speak.
Knowing that webinars would be a great way to communicate with our audience throughout this unusual time, we decided to give it a go! Not only that, but we also saw fantastic results after our first one!
That’s why we want to share our top tips on hosting a successful webinar as well as achieving those brilliant results.
#1 Pick your webinar platform
Before you begin, it’s important to choose a platform that you’re comfortable with and that you trust. Here are just a few options you can choose from:
- Facebook Live
You want your chosen webinar platform to make it easy for people to register, provide analytics after the event and offer a variety of features such as Q&A and polls. We would also recommend checking that you’re able to record your webinar so you can provide it to those that weren’t able to make the live event.
At Ambleglow, we use Zoom to host our webinars and couldn’t recommend it enough! If you opt for Zoom, we’ve created a really handy Pre-Webinar Checklist for you to download.
#2 Select your date and time
It’s important to host your webinar on a day and time that allows for the maximum number of attendees.
The best time for your business will always depend on your target audience. Although studies suggest that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days for hosting webinars, so bear that in mind when you’re planning your webinar timings.
If you’re just starting out with webinars, I’d suggest that you try a few different days and times over your first few webinars to find out which works best for your audience.
#3 Use effective equipment
Faulty equipment can really affect the success of your webinar. If your audio is too quiet or your visual isn’t clear, your attendees are going to get frustrated and are likely to switch off.
Here are a few of our top tips:
- Use an external microphone such as a headset or lapel mic.
- If you’re using a laptop, make sure it’s fully charged or you’re plugged in.
- Print out your slide deck in case the screen sharing feature plays up.
- Sit in front of a window or light source so your attendees can see you clearly.
- This is the most important tip – do a practice run with your team before you go live!
#4 Promote the webinar in advance
This may sound like an obvious one, but you should always promote your webinar.
To begin with, make sure you have an easy-to-use registration form, this is what all your promotion will link to. The webinar platform you’re using should provide you with a form, and a lot of these are also customisable so you can add your own branding.
We would recommend promoting your webinar to your email list, on your social media platforms and, if you have enough time, you could also do some paid promotion on Google and Facebook.
Now we all know that video is the best way to capture your audience’s attention on social media, so why not create an engaging 30-second teaser video of what your webinar is going to include to go alongside your call to action.
When you’re creating a series of emails to send to your email list, we would advise drafting 5 emails:
- Initial invite – 2 weeks before
- Invite – 1 week before
- Invite – 5 days before
- Invite – The day before
- A reminder the webinar is going to begin soon – 1 hour before
Just like your social media promotion, you want the email to be catchy with a clear call to action. The series of emails will ensure that your audience won’t miss out on registration.
#5 Choose a topic that engages your audience
As a marketer, you’re likely to know what sort of content engages your audience, so use your knowledge to choose an interesting subject.
If you’re struggling to find an engaging subject to talk about, ask your audience what they want. Put out some social media posts and give them 3 or 4 options in a poll to choose from. This way you’re still offering subjects that you have deep knowledge on but you’re also involving your audience in the decision.
#6 Capture your audience’s attention and keep it!
Onto the webinar itself!
When you’re creating the script for your webinar, make sure you’re reading it aloud to ensure it has a friendly and conversational tone, you should also allow for adlibs here and there.
It’s also important to engage with your audience every now and then to show them that you appreciate their input. You could do this by incorporating polls and Q&As, many webinar platforms offer these features.
#7 Practice makes perfect
As we said earlier, practice is so important.
Practise your webinar script a few days in advance. By practising your webinar a handful of times, you’ll also be building your confidence. You should also conduct a technical rehearsal to ensure all your equipment is working.
Word of warning though – don’t over practise!
#8 Follow up with attendees
Follow up is just as important as the webinar itself.
Within 30 minutes of the webinar finishing, send your attendees an email thanking them for their time and include any links or resources you mentioned within the webinar. You could also ask them for some feedback.
You should also aim to get the webinar recording out to anyone that missed it as well as your attendees within a couple of days.
#9 What comes next?
Amazing news – you just hosted a webinar!
Now it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your efforts and check your analytics.
If you asked your attendees for feedback, now’s the time to look over this and make note of anything you need to change or do differently next time.
You should always check the in-platform analytics too. By doing this, you can analyse registration, at what point people logged off and a selection of other metrics.
The only thing left to do? Start thinking about your next webinar!
As we said earlier, webinars are such a fantastic tool that we have at our disposal. Especially during such a challenging and strange time where talks, exhibitions and meet-ups aren’t possible.
If you’re nervous or you’ve never done one before, our advice would be to take the plunge! Plus, after the first one, you’ll feel so much more confident and you’ll want to do another.
We’d welcome any tips you’ve picked up when hosting webinars, and if you’re planning your first one after reading this – let us know how it goes!