A quick look at recent statistics for webinar use suggests that the current growth of the platform is more than a temporary adjustment to pandemic restrictions that have expired or will expire soon. With an expanded remote workforce here to stay and more professionals seeking information through online channels, knowing how to conduct a good webinar should be a feature in any event marketer’s toolkit.
Looking at the numbers, webinar use has grown rapidly in the last few years alongside reports of high rates of success and satisfaction among users:
- The use of webinars increased 161% in 2020
- The global webinar market had an estimated value of $547 million in 2015 and will top $800 million by the end of 2023
- An impressive 85% of marketers who have used webinars in the last year report that webinars have become integral to their marketing strategies
To capitalize on this valuable potential, aspiring webinar hosts will need to learn the tools and methods to deliver webinar content that effectively attracts and engages audiences. In this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to conduct good webinars that connect you and your audience.
- Webinars have become an increasingly important part of digital engagement with customers and buyers
- Conducting an effective webinar requires a small investment in essential equipment
- A checklist for preparation and delivery can help you keep audiences engaged
What Do You Need to Host a Webinar?
While you could conduct a webinar from the front seat of your car with just a smartphone, creating quality content that projects professionalism and competence requires a few logistical choices and a moderate investment in the right equipment.
- Location: To start, you want to choose a hosting location that’s either soundproof or at least predictably quiet for the time you’ll be presenting. Unwanted background noise introduces distraction that could cost you attendees.
- Internet Connection: Test the Internet connection you intend to use in advance. You can run free bandwidth and latency tests online and host a virtual rehearsal in the same time slot. If your wireless connection is unreliable, consider using a wired connection.
- Software: While it’s not strictly necessary, most webinar hosts use dedicated webinar software. These platforms offer the benefit of being device- and operating system-independent. Your audience members can join how they want—by phone, laptop, or desktop—and you get a more webinar-specific interface to work with than those offered by video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
- Microphone: As your voice is the primary medium of communication, high-quality audio should be among your top priorities. For between $50 and $300, you can purchase microphones that are noticeably superior to those built-in to desktops and laptops. Your attendees will thank you for this.
- Lighting: Depending on your options at home or in the office, setting up good lighting for your webinar can be a matter of picking the right location or investing in a basic softbox kit.
Checklist for Conducting Effective Webinars
Once you’ve settled on an appropriate location and procured the necessary equipment, you can begin conducting webinars. Here’s a checklist of six targets to hit in your preparation and delivery.
Because webinars are live and interactive, you should attempt to schedule yours at the optimal time slots for your audience. While this will likely vary for different industries and content types, certain days and times appear to have slight statistical advantages.
Middle of the Week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays each draw nearly twice as much attendance as Mondays, Fridays, or the weekend.
Middle of the Day: Approximately half of overall attendance is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Registration Landing Page
Creating engaging webinar content takes a considerable amount of time and likely some other upfront investment. To communicate to your potential audience that your content has value and that you speak from an informed, authoritative position, you should require attendees to make a small investment of their own.
Driving traffic from where you advertise to a landing page with required registration information elicits a conscious choice from attendees. It also associates the value of your content with the value they place on their personal contact information.
Naturally, you’ll want to promote your webinar through your existing social media networks and email databases. If what you have is insufficient to get started, it may be worthwhile to invest in paid social media marketing or lead generation programs.
Assuming that you already have valuable, relevant content for your audience in some other format— blogs, webpages, white papers, and such—you’ll want to take time scripting your message for live, spoken delivery.
You don’t want to give your audience the impression that you’re reading previously written material. A well-conducted webinar should feel like an informative personal conversation for each attendee. To accomplish this, you should set two specific goals:
- Improve with Practice: Practice in advance. Deliver your spoken remarks to a mirror. Better yet, record yourself in the platform you intend to use and experience your delivery as your audience would.
- Hold Their Attention: Attention spans are in free-fall in an increasingly digital world. Try to frame your core message—your data, statistics, and graphics— inside a few carefully chosen attention-grabbing analogies or anecdotes.
To maintain audience participation, break up your own remarks with time for Q&As. Giving your attendees the chance to ask questions helps them get the specific information they came for, which will ultimately increase the metrics you’re seeking to improve such as sales or leads. It also helps you read the room and gauge how effectively you’re delivering your message and holding audience attention.
Images and Video
While live, interactive video is the medium that separates webinars from other channels of digital engagement, incorporating images and video in strategic places remains important.
If your core message relies on numbers and statistics, for example, you’ll want to deliver those with the help of visual aids. Visual learners account for two-thirds of the population. Even with a well-scripted delivery, you run the risk of your message being misunderstood or quickly forgotten if you neglect to enhance it visually.
Exclusive Multi-Vendor Webinars with ActualTech Media
Attracting targeted audiences to webinars can prove challenging even to experienced marketers and content creators. ActualTech Media specializes in producing single- and multi-vendor webinar events with broad audiences of committed technology buyers.
To request booking information, visit ActualTech Media.