There’s a reason online marketing is so widely successful. The internet has made product information more readily available for consumers, and advertising is easier than ever before. This means you have the ability to reach thousands of people who might be interested in your product or service. However, it also means that you are competing for their attention against hundreds of other marketers. So how can you come out on top? While it may seem hopeless, there are several ways to grab a customer’s attention, one of the more recent (and successful) being through online webinars.
Webinars come in many different forms, but they all consist of hosting a live video that users can access through the web. The idea is that you spend about an hour giving a free training or hosting a discussion, and along the way you advertise your product or service. Your viewers get to access free content through your webinar, and you get a way to reach hundreds of people. It’s a win-win.
You might not feel like a great public speaker or a highly creative person, but webinars are a tool that everyone can learn how to use. This guide will cover some of the most important tips for building and hosting an awesome webinar.
1. Identify your Audience
Before you even start to create a webinar, you need to decide why you want to host one in the first place. Are you an up-and-coming public speaker who is trying to get your name out there? Do you have a wonderful new product or service you are trying to promote? Whatever your passion is, you need to pinpoint your goal and decide which audience will be most likely to take interest in the idea you are trying to promote. For example, if you are starting a new line of makeup, you won’t want to cater your webinar to a group of teenage boys. You will want to research which group is most likely to respond positively to your message, which will then justify you hosting a webinar in the first place.
2. Choose Appropriate Content
Once you have identified a target audience, the next step is to narrow your content for the webinar to fit a specific topic that will interest your audience. For some marketing goals, selecting content will be easy, while others are more complicated. If you are trying to sell online courses, you might offer a short class for free via a webinar. This will allow the target audience to experience your teaching style and decide if enrolling in your class is for them or not. Plus, making the webinar free will encourage more people to sign up, increasing your odds of future students. No matter what topic you choose, always select subject matter that relates back to your product or service. It will show that you are competent in your field, and it will interest the types of people who are most likely to become your clients.
3. Select a Format and Platform
There is a large variety of webinar formats, so organizing your content will be a matter of determining which option(s) will make the most sense. There are two major webinar formats: presentations, and discussions. Do you want to speak about a specific idea to a group, or hold a conversation with other people? The services you offer and your personal taste will both determine the style of your webinar. Make outlines for a variety of formats, and choose the one that best compliments your products and services.
Webinar platforms also come in a diverse range, so explore a bit and find the setup that works best for you. Platforms like skype, google hangouts, and Facebook or YouTube Live are all great for webinars, but you might prefer for a less general platform as well. Shop around and try one that you like. If it doesn’t end up being your favorite, you can always switch to a new platform later.
4. Include your Products and Services
Your webinar should not be a pure marketing session. If you want your audience to stay for more than a couple of minutes, you need to make the content worth their while. That said, there’s nothing wrong with successfully weaving in some product placement. In fact, marketing your service is probably the reason you’re hosting a webinar in the first place. The key is to make your plug as natural as possible. Where does it best fit within the content you have prepared? If you deliver all of the promises you make content-wise, then the marketing will come naturally.
5. Be Prepared
After building your subject matter, choosing a format, and finding the perfect platform, you’re ready to add some fine-tuning. When will you hold the webinar? Will you offer multiple sessions, or just one? How widespread is your audience (ie. will you need to account for different time zones)?
You also need to take plenty of time to practice delivering your content. It might sound more authentic to “wing it,” but the way you present yourself in your webinar will reflect both you and the idea you are trying to promote. If you’re giving a presentation, practice saying it in front of the mirror or to a friend. If you’re hosting a discussion, prepare a list of backup questions to use in case there is a lull in the conversation. The more prepared you are, the better your end result will be.
6. Advertise Like Crazy
You now have awesome content. You’ve got your sales pitch. Yet all your hard work will have gone to waste if no one attends your webinar. It’s time to encourage people to sign up. First, design a catchy webinar landing page that is visually appealing and offers a brief description of your content. Next, spread the word! Post to social media, tell your friends, and announce it on every platform you can think of. Use a short, catchy statement and link the posts to your landing page.
Everyone has ideas to share, and you can create an outstanding webinar that will give you the connections you need. While a webinar may not land you thousands of clients, it will help you market yourself in a fresh, new, and exciting way. And who knows? You might just be the next internet sensation!