Webinars are a major part of the modern digitized business world. This article explains how you can now create and conduct your own webinars on the basis of a strategy.
The webinar strategy is ready. You have already determined which goals you want to achieve with your webinar. The roles have been determined. The content is at least roughly planned. The software has been selected (you can find our software comparison on webinar tools here). The channel strategy for marketing is in place. Now it’s about the concrete implementation and execution of the webinar. To make sure you don’t make any mistakes with your webinar, we have prepared a checklist with the 20 biggest pitfalls when conducting webinars.
Preparing the Webinar
The Webinar Briefing
For each webinar to be created you should prepare a one-page briefing document. All persons with a role in the creation, delivery or follow-up of the webinar should have received the briefing document. Here are a few aspects that should be included in a webinar briefing:
- Title of the webinar
- Time (day and time)
- Length of the webinar
- Author/trainer of the webinar incl. background (Why can he teach this topic? Where does his expertise come from)
- Description (content) of the webinar
- Target group
- What are the benefits for the target group of participating in the webinar?
- Website for registration
- Software use
- Hardware usage
|Read here what hardware you need for a webinar.|
The Webinar Landing Page
On the webinar landing page you explain the complete webinar. All the content you set out in the webinar briefing will be spelled out on the landing page. Clearly elaborate the benefits for the participants. The following building blocks can be found on your landing page:
- Webinar description with features (see Webinar Briefing)
- Detailed introduction of the webinar trainers
- Image material
- If necessary, download material required for the webinar in advance.
- If possible, a small teaser video
- Trust injections (for example seals, etc.)
- Testimonials from former participants, if the webinar has been held before
- Registration form with DSGVO-compliant declaration
- Call 2 Action (in case of doubt, the registration button)
- If the webinar is chargeable, e-commerce functionality with payment function
The Webinar PowerPoint Presentation
Most webinars are held with a PowerPoint presentation. This requires special adjustments in contrast to the normal on-site presentation. Deleting information that is not absolutely necessary, adapting the corporate identity and the correct handling of animations are only a few points that you have to consider.
Create a webinar schedule
You have defined a time period in the webinar briefing. Let’s assume the webinar is to last 45 minutes. Calculate how long you will need in total to deliver the webinar. Also, for live webinars, always reserve at least 5 to 10 minutes at the end for questions. Structure your webinar with a table that resembles a webinar script.
|10:05-10:10||Webinar Rules||Webcam||Rule: raise your hand|
By planning through the times accurately, you will have a better sense of how much time is left before the end of the webinar.
Consider the following three phases in particular:
Unlike physical seminars, you should start on time for webinars. In the webinar invitation, you should point out to participants that they are welcome to take a seat in the digital waiting room before the webinar. Briefly introduce yourself and the topic. Keep your own introduction short. Webinar participants are not usually in your webinar to listen to your complete CV. They want to see added value quickly and clearly. If you want to include your own performance, you’d better do it according to the motto “Practice what you preach!” So don’t say what you can do, but show what you have done! Therefore, keep the introduction short and explain succinctly what participants can expect in the webinar.
Fire away for your content, which represents absolute added value for the target group. Make sure that your presentation is varied and that the main messages are pointed. Calculate how long you need per slide and make a note of when you should be through with the main part at the latest. Think about the webinar script. For longer webinars, it makes sense to enter a calculated time every 10 slides.
Summarize the main messages of your webinar once again. Communicate your Call 2 Action as far as the participants can already do something. With a manageable group, it can also be valuable to ask for feedback on the webinar. Offer participants the opportunity to ask questions via the chat function. If there are a lot of participants, offer to answer questions by email and then focus on the questions you can answer best or where you know the questioner is a potential customer.
Since you have the email addresses of your webinar participants, be sure to send an email afterwards with a thank you and further information, links and Call 2 Actions! In this context, the use of marketing automation funnels is also purposeful.
A word about sales webinars
I understand that many companies and freelancers want to use their webinars to sell their products and services. And yes, there are a lot of webinars that are completely geared towards sales and for which various blueprints exist on the web. My opinion is this: If you are targeting a B2C group who – let’s say – are not the brightest candles on the cake, then unfortunately such webinars are indeed suitable for selling the umpteenth ebook on how to get started in the market. How to get rich in 10 days. In our articles, we always focus on serious, mostly B2B-focused webinars and topics. Here, the focus is on clear added values and building business relationships. These must also be conveyed via webinars.
The webinar participation confirmation
All webinar participants who have registered for participation should receive an e-mail confirming their participation in the webinar and providing further information. This is where you can quickly set yourself apart as a professional provider, even if you only have to think once about what a professional confirmation email for webinars looks like. You should address the following aspects in your confirmation email:
- The exact start time
- The technology and the start
- The use of the webcam
- The speech (pause) and breaks during longer webinars
- Asking the right questions
- What happens after the webinar
The webinar has been produced. Now it is a matter of how to attract participants to the webinar. First of all, it is advisable to take a look at your own communication channels. Does a newsletter already exist? What about the website and social media channels? Of course, we have already considered this when developing the webinar strategy. To the extent that there is still a lack of reach, we have to think about external channels. Here we have to distinguish between paid and free marketing channels. Some online media offer to list webinars for free. This also includes contentmanager.de.
For paid channels, special attention should be paid to Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and Google Ads. Depending on the topic and target group, other social media platforms can also be considered.
|It is also possible to co-host webinars. Find a webinar host and organize a webinar day with other webinar providers. This way you can share marketing costs.|
The Webinar Automation Funnel
The use of marketing automation for webinars is highly recommended. With the help of so-called funnels, potential participants are first led to webinar-specific topics and articles. A lead diamond in the form of an eBook or directly the free webinar ensures that the participants register with their email address on the landing page of the webinar. From now on, an automated funnel can provide the potential customer with further information. This can be done before the webinar and of course also after the webinar. In the webinar strategy, we have set one or more goals. We want to approach these goals with the automated funnel. If, for example, the goal is to sell a certain software or a service, then the customer must be convinced in a multi-stage funnel. There are various funnel techniques for this. In the B2C sector, funnels are often used in which the free lead diamond – i.e. the webinar – is used first. The next step is to offer the leads a small service for a fee. If you are an SEO agency, for example, you could offer an SEO check of the website for a few euros. Once this check is done, products are offered that come with a higher cost. Mind you, the funnel should not only send one offer after the other, but also continuously transport added values.
Work with multiple monitors
If you have the possibility to work with multiple monitors, do it! In the simplest case, connect an additional monitor to your laptop and work with both monitors as an extended monitor, not a mirrored monitor. You ask yourself why? If you use screen sharing later in the webinar where you show your monitor to the webinar participants, it is helpful to have a second monitor that your participants do not see. I work with three monitors. One monitor runs the webinar software, on which I can also see the participants. The screen sharing is running on another monitor. On the third monitor I have various programs opened that I can drag onto the screen-sharing monitor if necessary, for example a Word document, an open web page in the browser and much more. I also have a separate chat open with the co-moderator and technical admin, where I can briefly exchange information that the other participants don’t need to see.
The parallel chat – your virtual button in the ear
I already mentioned the use of multiple monitors. If you open a separate chat there with the internal webinar stakeholders, you can respond to spontaneous problems and ideas. Just as the prompter whispers the lines to the stage actor, your webinar team can also whisper a few spontaneous tips to you, which you then integrate into the webinar. Even if technical errors occur, the IT manager can give you feedback on the status. You can then pass this on directly to the webinar participants.
The Webinar Waiting Room
Surprise the waiting participants with an exciting title slide. Or leave a link to a short pre-survey that participants can answer during this time. People who are waiting are bored, which you can use for your communication.
The first rule for your behavior as a webinar trainer is: Look into the webcam! I’m always surprised at webinars where the trainer feels like he’s looking out of the window somewhere, even though all the participants are waiting for a “look” in his screen. You don’t have to show your picture permanently. A change of perspective is quite helpful, so that you switch back and forth between the presentation, your webcam image and, for example, a browser window. But if you are in the picture, then you are also “looking” at the participants.
Chat use is also useful. To add a little more emotion to the lines here, work – and this tip is certainly mundane – with emoticons. A smiling smiley also transmits a positive feeling to the participants via chat.
The use of the voice is one of the oldest forms of didactics. During webinars, make sure that you speak slowly and loudly at particularly important voices. The overall rule for the webinar is that you do not speak too quickly.
For direct Call 2 Actions, especially at the end of the seminar, the use of links is very important. Therefore, provide participants with a link via the chat where you either offer follow-up webinars, products or similar. If you work with automated webinar funnels, link to such a breakpoint.
With and without moderation
The question of whether or not to run your webinar with a moderator depends on several criteria. Moderators always make sense if the number of participants is high, if the webinar trainer does not have much experience with webinars and if there is a budget for a moderator. If you expect more than 50 participants and the webinar may be chargeable for the participants, you should involve a moderator. The moderator should talk to the webinar trainer in advance about the topic, relevant questions and how the trainer would like to deal with questions arising from the participants’ chats at the end of the webinar.
Follow up webinars
The email after the webinar
The first email after the webinar should be sent immediately. The participants are still “hot” because they have just engaged very intensively with you and the content of the webinar. For this reason, the email should already have been prepared. Ideally, it is integrated into the webinar automation funnel and is sent automatically as soon as the webinar is completed. The email summarises key insights and offers downloads – for example, in the form of an EBook or the PowerPoint presentation. Depending on the topic, it can also offer a saleable product.
You have set goals in your webinar strategy. This includes a dashboard that shows the key success figures at a glance. You need to look at these figures after the webinar and derive recommendations for action for future webinars.
- Number of participants
- Visitors to the website
- Which marketing channels brought the most participants?
- Which channels brought the best quality participants?
As far as you sell products, you should also measure later which participants actually bought these products. You need to track attendees to channels and marketing activities so that you can better allocate your marketing budget to the successful channels.
Use webinar recording
You have successfully conducted the webinar and produced content with it. It would be a shame if you couldn’t use the recorded webinar further – at least as a lead magnet. Of the invited and registered webinar participants, surely not all showed up. Offer these participants in particular the recording of the webinar again. At contentmanager.de we have a webinar catalogue where we list recorded webinars on various topics. Such recordings therefore make sense. However, remember that you should not put the webinar online one-to-one. It makes sense to edit and optimize the webinar afterwards. In this way, you can integrate trailer videos, inserts and the like afterwards and cut them into the webinar completely smoothly.
Do you already offer webinars or are you planning to do so? Then we recommend our market overview “Webinar Software Solutions”. There we have compared seven providers based on over 120 criteria:
You can find the free download here.