A seminar given over the web allows convenience, interaction and can save valuable time.
Done well, they can breathe life into a dying business and make sales soar.
The latest CMI research indicated two-thirds of B2B marketers used webinars and 66% found them effective.
A good webinar takes planning. Using this outline may make it easier for you. Every webinar is different, so “mix and match” the items on this list.
It’s not just about technology. It’s about people too, and their ever-changing schedules. It’s also about aligning business goals and desired outcomes. So, what’s the solution? A strong methodology that includes deadlines, and a commitment that uses proven practices. Emails and webinar metrics will provide benchmarks across the entire webinar cycle. Webinars have cycles? Time for Part 1.
Part 1 – Prep Work
Good preparation often leads to a good webinar. Your objectives should include:
Determine objectives and desired outcomes.
Determine the technology tools and skills required.
Construct a project plan and then follow-through.
Your “To Do” List
Determine the type of webinar: case study? tutorial?
Determine your target audience.
Create a working title.
Identify your audience.
Determine if your webinar is considered “must have” or “nice to have.”
Identify content sources.
Determine the business objectives.
Identify success factors and your desired outcomes.
Decide on the “call to action” (before, during and after the webinar).
Determine the best time to go live.
Construct a project timeline.
Identify who will be on the team.
Determine the speakers.
Choose the hosting platform best for your webinar.
Check audio requirements.
Conduct a “kick off” meeting to set the mood with your team.
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Attracting the correct audience is imperative. Here’s your objectives:
Using email, develop the invitation and campaign schedule.
Check your house list and identify any list-sourcing options.
Carry out the email campaign.
Your “To Do” List
Take time to select a winning topic that will motivate your target audience.
Construct an audience profile. Look at job titles/functions, revenue thresholds, industries and the geographic region of your audience.
To meet registration goals, look beyond your house list. Look for additional sources, ie: trade shows, purchased lists.
Determine email invitation format, ie: HTML, text?
When writing the email, make sure it cites the problem and what people will learn.
Construct the webinar registration landing page.
Determine how many email you need and starting date.
Determine benchmark metrics and daily registration tracking. Implement when ready.
Ensure that emails are CAN-SPAN compliant.
Identify which channels of social media you’ll use.
Test email and social media campaigns prior to launching.
Start email campaign and begin tracking.
Part 3- Time To Engage Your Audience
This is vital to a successful webinar. Here’s your objectives:
Analyze your registration data into workable intelligence.
Brainstorm with your team to decipher structure and flow.
Gather your team to perform an initial “walk-through.”
Your “To Do” List
Prepare the agenda for webinar-day
Ensure any polls, survey and any questions are included in the webinar platform.
Go over the slide deck one last time
Perform a sound check. (Make sure you have a “Plan B” should a problem arise.)
Meet with your team one hour before to ensure everything is going smoothly. Include a time/date for the team to discuss the results post webinar.
Fifteen minutes for a post webinar conference should be sufficient.
Before going live, put up a splash screen. One to two minute before the webinar, issue a welcome message.
Ensure all ringers are off. Mute all non-speakers.
Start on time. Enjoy yourself and your audience will pick up the positive vibe.
To measure engagement, use real-time tracking of performance metrics.
End on time. Make sure you thank your audience and speakers.
Edit your webinar to the best degree.Carry out the post webinar meeting with your team.
Remember to send thank you emails 24-48 hours after the webinar.
Part 4 – Converting Your Audience
The webinar is over, but your job is not. Now, it’s time to convert your audience. Here’s your objectives:
Prepare the final analytics and metrics.
Convert these into valid sales follow-up.
Determine if the webinar was a success.
Your “To Do” List
Analyze these 6 key areas: click-through ratio, attendee ratio, audience retention, online surveys, exit surveys and on-demand viewings.
Prepare a report that includes the above and a summary that includes actionable sales follow-up.
Consider any lessons learned and determine if there is a need for subsequent webinars.
Good prep work accomplishes a lot of things. It helps deliver a good webinar which can increase sales. But, it can also help you identify where you need to make improvements. It’s a “win-win” situation all around.
From The Desk Of Denise O’Connor
Director of Business Development of Criteek
153 W 27th Street | NY NY 10001