Webinars can be a powerful tool for lead generation and brand awareness -- when done right. But you need to know how to create a webinar and promote it so that people will actually be excited to attend.
Of course, webinars have been around for years, but we’ve seen a recent surge in their use and popularity.
Since 2020, when remote work became a necessary part of life for many brands, webinars have flourished in popularity. Not only did many in-person events turn virtual, but people became eager to add to their skillset.
But, as some brands are figuring out, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3-webinar.
Let’s look at how to create a webinar that works for your brand, including what you need to do behind the scenes to create a stellar course and promote it so that people actually show up -- and even bring their friends.
How to Create a Webinar That Excites Your Audience
1. Know Your Audience
That’s right. Your webinar can’t be all about you and what you want to talk about. It needs to reflect the interests and needs of your audience.
Take the time to visit social media and other online forums to see what questions your audience is asking and what common problems they face. Check in with your customer service division or sales team to see what your clients commonly bring up to them.
Create a list from all of these sources that represent the most common issues and questions that your audience has. Look for a common theme or topic that might address most, if not all, of these. This will make your webinar more likely to excite your audience.
2. Determine How You Will Structure It
There are many ways that you can conduct your webinar. You could make it a…
- Panel discussion.
- Q and A.
- Interviews with industry experts.
- Presentation with slides.
- Case study review.
All of these are great options, but each will take time to put together. You will need to assemble questions for a Q and A and invite industry experts for your panel discussion or interview.
Even if it’s a simple slide presentation with one speaker, you need to assemble the content for the presentation.
You will also need to determine where you will host this webinar. You might do it on a webinar-focused platform like Zoom, GoToWebinar, or ClickMeeting. From these platforms, you will be able to send a link to each registrant.
You might also host it as a live event on Facebook or LinkedIn, if a large segment of your audience uses one of these networks.
All of these options work equally well, but your choice will largely depend on the makeup of your audience and their preferences.
3. Create Your Content
Now it’s time to actually create the content for your webinar.
With your topic and questions in mind, comb through your past blog posts and other content to see what you might be able to recycle. This will cut down on the time it takes you to create the course. But you will also need to cut this content down into snackable tidbits for a webinar audience and add images that will engage them.
Depending on the structure of your webinar, you might keep this content as a script. But remember, you don’t want to appear as if you’re reading a script verbatim. Cut it down into an outline format that you can reference -- this will make your presentation feel more natural.
If you choose to use a slide presentation, such as PowerPoint, you can incorporate your content onto slides. But remember, you don’t want to appear as if you’re just reading off of each slide -- make your slides image-centric with visuals and graphs, along with some key points from your content. The rest, such as anecdotes and examples, you can share verbally.
4. Choose a Day and Time
This can be tricky, since you want your audience to attend this as a live event, so you need to make sure they are actually available to attend.
Look at your analytics to see where your audience is from -- Europe? Australia? Throughout the US? Take all of these time zones into account as you decide a time that will work for most, if not all of them.
Something else to consider is to avoid times when your audience might be commuting or starting their day. Most often, 10 or 11 AM will be a time when most are settled into work and have time to focus on a quick, business-related webinar.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
A live webinar is not the time to “wing it”. You want to work out all of the kinks before you go live.
A couple of practice sessions will allow you to get comfortable with your material as well as the platform that you will be using.
You might even do a dry run -- create a fake event and send it to a trusted colleague. Have them log on and view your presentation, delivering feedback and criticism once it’s over. You might even record it to see where you want to improve.
6. Promote the Heck Out of It
Everything’s in place, you know exactly what you’re going to say and where you will say it...now it’s time to let everyone else in on the party.
Start by creating a landing page where people can sign up. Once this landing page is set, you will have a link to share across your channels.
Create an email campaign to go out to your email list. You can send out an email specifically to promote the event or even include it as a bullet point in one of your newsletters. Shortly before the event, you can send out another reminder email with the subject line, Don’t Miss Out or Space Is Running Out!
Social media is also a key place to promote your webinar. Share it with your followers and include a visual that lays out the highlights of what you will discuss. You can also use social media’s paid targeting features to let additional people know about it.
If your webinar includes an interview with an industry expert or other members of your team, make sure everyone has the link with plenty of time to promote it to their audience.
For those who have signed up, you will want to send them a reminder email the morning of the event, including the link to where the webinar will play.
7. Don’t Waste Time After The Webinar
After the webinar is over, follow up with your audience. You might send them a quick survey with a few questions to see how your webinar was received and how you can improve in the future.
Remember, the time immediately after the webinar is when your audience will be the most engaged. It might be the perfect time for a call-to-action, encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter, visit your blog, check out your book, or some other action that will nurture them as leads.
Webinars are still a vital tool for brands to reach and engage their audience -- especially now when many people are still working from home. It might just be the ideal moment for your audience!
Now that you know how to create a webinar that people will actually attend, I look forward to seeing what beautiful webinars you create -- and wish you all great success!