In our first article about creating a webinar, we discussed many of the tools and options available for creating, staging and implementing a webinar that will draw an audience. Now it is time to pull it together so, where do you start?
The first hurdle is to decide if you can produce something that will draw an audience. We understand how important and interesting your brand, product, or service is to you. But be sure you are marketing a viable webinar that will pay off for your business in the end. Make the information it delivers useful to your audience and craft exciting additions to it that will keep your audience engaged.
In Part 1 of this series about webinars, we discussed different ways to keep a good pace going. Remember not all content can support a webinar so consider the value of the goals you set out to achieve. There are two distinct parts of this project, technical and content, so plan accordingly.
In the perfect scenario, the webinar you produce will contain valuable information for your audience. Carefully define the objectives, be it a product launch or promotion of your business achievements. You might have to involve a few people; a facilitator and presenter are key individuals responsible for developing content and focusing on development and delivery. It’s nice to have someone who can help research questions that might arise and technical issues, such as an assistant. Then target clever ideas, set a goal and define the topic. This just sounds easy, to hone a topic from broad to specific, but it’s a challenge you should try to meet.
Talking for any length of time is difficult if you do not have a script, the guiding document that will keep everything on track and monitor the time elements. Even if the subject is something you are passionate about, a script is a valuable tool to help you stay on track, the first hurdle to see if this will work effectively for your business. Attempt to discover a fresh angle to your topic, make it timely and thorough, keep the topic information compelling, fresh and new.
Pick a Platform
Once you have targeted your objective, and it feels comfortable to move forward, investigate the best platform that will work for you. I outlined some in our earlier article, but there are many ways to forge ahead and leave it to your assistant to outline mode of production, be it GoToWebinar, GoTo Webcast, Zoom or WordStream the size of your audience will dictate your hosting solution. Project the size of attendees most likely to attend. Of course we would love thousands but be realistic with your estimate.
Set a Location
This is the point where you have to consider location to conduct the webinar, equipment and what you will need for back-up. Needed to insure complete back-up is a fully charged laptop with the data uploaded and stored, a landline telephone, headset and microphones that are developed to improve the quality of the sound. I suggest some research on a reliable microphone to ensure the presentation is clear, this is the most important aspect of any webinar. I have provided a few links with reviews on microphone equipment that should be helpful if needed.
What Time Works Best?
When you are at the point to decide scheduling date and time be aware of different time zones. You want to be sure the specific choice will allow maximum number of attendees. The best way to determine this is to target the demographic audience. A poll conducted by CN24 suggests best days of the week are Tuesday and Wednesdays. You can also survey potential attendees to gauge the most convenient time slot that would enable their attendance.
Follow a Format
Format time! Pick the format that best highlights the subject. If you need slides, create a slide deck that will entertain and engross. No boring stuff included here. Make it sparkle and grab and hold the attention of the attendees. Will one moderator run the show? Maybe you want a panel discussion with numerous speakers on associated subjects. Is it possible an interview will do the trick? Make that decision and expand your opportunities. In order to speak authoritatively, you need experts in the field you’ve chosen. They should be very well versed on the topic in order to come across successfully and answer whatever questions might arise. Experience and expertise work best to your advantage here.
Get the word out! Begin promoting at least 7 days in advance. How to publicize? That takes concentrated effort, will it be only your existing customers? A webinar is only as good as its popularity and attendence, so promote, promote, promote. Take to social media, via emails lists, email blasts. Consider content promotion and track responses so you have a handle on numbers. It is very possible trusted alliances and partners will help spread the word too. All promotion and marketing questions should be dealt with before you begin the webinar. It is only as successful as attendees make it. And remember to add bios and head shots of presenters and or panelists, this draws in an audience.
Have a Trial Run
Make sure you do a complete rehearsal so you can test your equipment and time factor. So with all your numerous checklists and back up equipment under control, you can now focus on the logistics. Be available early, don’t keep your audience waiting in the wings. A dry run will not only make sure things are running smooth but will give you a chance to tweak little fine points if needed. Be sure to keep cellphones and computer notifications turned off.
Keep practicing, relax and make it happen! Try to follow up with your attendees afterwards and use feedback to evaluate all of your hard work. Make the webinar you present be organized and well planned, exciting and thoughtful, knowledge driven and visually captivating.