What is a webinar and how can it enhance business marketing efforts? Depending upon what you do, webinars are best used to share knowledge with people worldwide. Webinars can be utilized for internal training, marketing a product, generating leads and answering questions. They are a valuable tool that enables participants to share audio and video with participants either by live streaming or pre-recorded utilizing published content. A key feature of a live webinar is the ability for a presenter to discuss information in real time.

Keeping the audience engaged

The main objective of any webinar depends upon the presenter’s goal. But note there are many different tools available for functional use. A text chat is a good interactive tool that will enable your audience to ask related questions, in real time, like a traditional meet-up. Instead of screen shots, screen sharing can come in handy to make real time demonstrations so your audience can follow along and then respond with questions if necessary.

Interspersing a Power Point slide deck provides imagery with clear concise information providing background context. It can be used as a visual part of the story you choose to tell during the webinar. It can provide quotes, numbers, and formulas, to help your audience interconnect to your message. It’s a handy tool to engage and give the audience something to leave with as you can provide this slide deck as a handout or downloadable file for reference afterwards.

If using this option, know that every audience is very visual. Keep the colors in your slideshow in harmony with your brand in order to create an overall cohesive appearance. You can go one step further and produce an animated presentation slide presentation. Google Slides and PowerPoint has customization features you can also incorporate into the webinar.

Whiteboards are impressive and will enhance the overall presentation. From adding notes to prerecorded animation, it adds a powerful new aspect to video content. You can use it to make on screen drawings for educational purposes to explain a complex topic or draw arrows to demonstrate a process. Of course, this can also project the “Parking Lot” where you can keep questions visible for everyone’s later reference.

An effective webinar

We have provided some options to use to engage your audience by interactions and multiple ways to present your topic. Some webinars are just plain boring and you now have a handle on ways to interact and present your topic while holding the attention of your audience. Polls and surveys give your audience a way to engage with your presentation and interact in a quick and orderly manner, while keeping the interest alive. Strategically place the interaction possibilities throughout the presentation to build anticipation during interactive segments by informing your audience that a poll or survey is coming up.

Where do I start?

To host or participate in a webinar, a computer, tablet or mobile device is required. A good internet connection, a web cam, and audio microphone are essential and a webinar platform is also needed to host webinars. Typically, it is a one-way communication system in which the presenter speaks to a remote audience with limited interaction with the audiences. There are a few vehicles to use that will make your challenges easier. Zoom and WordPress have options you can use. Zoom has super audio and video qualities that can enhance your presentation. It is a view-only platform where the attendees cannot see each other, and the Host cannot see the attendees. A Zoom Webinar is a paid service from the company. It also offers an excellent free service in video calling for up to 40 minutes between 100 participants maximum.

Webinar licenses start at a capacity of 100 participants and scale up to 10,000 participants. As the host you can share your screen, video, and audio during a webinar. Attendees can use the chat or question and answer options to interact with the host and panelists. Webinar attendees do not need their own Zoom account to join. They can join through a browser or the Zoom client from any desktop, laptop, mobile device, or Zoom Room. The GoToWebinar app for Android allows you to join webinars directly from your Android device while on the go!

Integrating ZOOM in WordPress

What about the option to use Zoom directly from your WordPress website? The functionality extends to Webinars. Your web designer can help you install that option with a plugin that would create meetings directly from your internal WordPress dashboard. It allows users to join with just a click of a button.

The Zoom Video Webinar allows you to broadcast a to up to 10,000 view-only attendees and is dependent on the size of your webinar license. Webinars can be held once, can reoccur in a series, or can be the same session held multiple times.

Integrating WebinarPress with your WordPress website allows you to easily organize and host both live and automated webinars directly. The exciting features included with this plugin are so basic, you do not need technical skills to use it. Main features included is the ability to interact with people attending your webinar, send email reminders, and your attendees can access the webinar from a tablet or mobile device. A big plus is that there are optional replays, so those who missed the timeslot can still replay and attend.

To boost your CRM this plugin will also collect attendees’ name, along with email addresses and import them into your third-party email provider. Using this tool provides automatic thank you pages with social media shareability. A Pro version of the plugin fully integrates with tons of third-party extensions and gives even more functionality.

As a webinar host, it’s important to look at the many wonderful options available to engage a happy audience. Carefully planning the webinar will manage to keep your audience engrossed in your presentation for its duration. This leads to a better experience for everyone since a webinar attendee who doesn’t stick around to the end isn’t going to buy your product.