You’ve probably attended some really great webinars where you took away valuable information, discovered new products or businesses, or even found new customers. On the other hand, you’ve probably also sat in on webinars where it only took you 10 minutes to decide it was a waste of time. The difference between a quality webinar and a less than valuable one is often the planning that goes into the online event.
There’s more that goes into planning a webinar than just selecting a topic and choosing a platform. Before you get started, use this webinar best practices checklist to make sure everything goes off without a hitch and that your attendees are satisfied.
Before the Webinar
It may seem like creating a presentation is the primary task at hand in the weeks leading up to your webinar, but it’s crucial to pay attention to all of the moving parts.
Plan for a backup
One of the worst things that could happen after all your hard work planning the webinar would be a technical failure. Cover your bases for any disaster by planning a backup:
- Internet source
- Webinar platform
- Camera (if you’re using one)
Prepare a few questions
To keep your attendees engaged, you’ll want to leave time for any questions. In the event that your audience doesn’t want to speak up, prepare a few common questions that would be applicable to your attendees, and get the ball rolling with those.
Choose a moderator
Selecting a colleague to moderate or host your webinar gives off a professional impression and also gives you a few minutes to prepare your presentation, rather than worrying about attendee count or testing your microphone.
Practice with an audience
No matter how effective you are at “winging it,” running through your presentation a few times beforehand with a real audience will help uncover any gaps or errors. A week before the webinar, ask a friend, family member, or colleague to listen and watch your presentation and provide constructive feedback.
Example of a webinar registration page
Create an editorial calendar
To make sure you’re attracting a large number of attendees that align with your target audience, create an editorial calendar to map out where you’ll promote the webinar and with which types of content. Be sure your calendar includes:
- Native blogs
- Guest posts
- Social media posts
- Paid media ads on:
- Search engines
- Display network
- Social media
Set a goal
Create specific goals around how you’ll measure the success of your webinar These can include:
- Number of attendees
- Post-webinar conversions or sales
- Increased brand awareness
During the Webinar
Even if you opt to hire a moderator, there will still be a lot to do throughout the presentation.
Mute the attendees
Whether you have 6 webinar attendees or 600, muting them will avoid any interruptions or echos. The webinar platform you choose should have this function.
Turn your phone off
A vibrating phone is no less distracting to your audience than one that’s ringing or dinging. Either turn your phone completely off or on put it on airplane mode or do not disturb mode.
Include a Call-to-Action (CTA)
At the end of your presentation, what do you want your attendees to do? Subscribe to your blog? Like your Facebook page? Download a resource from your website? Whatever your goal is, make sure you make it very clear both verbally and in your slideshow.
After the Webinar
The great thing about webinars is that the content continues to play a role in your overall marketing strategy long after the online event is over.
Save your recording
There are plenty of reasons you’ll want to save the recording of your webinar:
- To share with the attendees to refer back to
- For attendees to share with their networks
- To promote on sites like SlideShare
You’re sharing some very valuable information in your webinar, so why not turn it into a downloadable piece of content on your website? Create a landing page with a form to collect your visitor’s contact information in order to access the on-demand webinar. Or offer it up as a free piece of content in order to demonstrate authority and value to potential customers.
Import the attendee list into your CRM
Hopefully your registration platform links with your CRM, but in case it doesn’t, be sure you’re feeding that list into your CRM or database.
Send a follow up email
Thanking your attendees is a nice gesture and also gives you an excuse to pop into their inbox after the event! You can also use the follow up email as an opportunity to improve future webinars by asking for feedback on:
- The topic
- How valuable they found it
- The delivery (Any technical issues? Was it easy to follow along?)
- Any future topics they’d like to learn about
- Whether they have any unanswered questions
Set up a lead nurturing sequence
In addition to your follow up email, you’ll want to keep your webinar attendees engaged with your brand by creating a lead nurturing email sequence. Over the course of the next few weeks, share related content, tips, and try to learn more about your attendees.
Redirect the registration page
Ensure that anyone who happens to stumble upon the registration page after the event is over is still engaged with your business. Set up a redirect to your landing page or another conversion-opportunity page.
Find internal link opportunities
Search through your old blogs and web pages to identify where you can appropriately link to the webinar landing page.
When done properly, webinars are an engaging way to attract new leads, move contacts down the sales funnel, and help your business establish thought leadership. Print out this checklist to keep handy during your webinar planning process to ensure a successful event!