- Michael Kerman
5 Tips for Better Webinars
Not a day goes by when I don't get an invitation to attend a webinar. With everyone working from home and all travel- and face-to-face marketing and sales not possible, it's no surprise that everyone is turning back to the tried-and-true webinar.
Webinars are great. They're cheap to execute (most of the time) and require little effort from the attendee. A couple of clicks is all it takes. They can also multi-task... do email, have lunch.. the list is endless. But let's face it, most webinars are either dull or are blatant infomercials for a product or service. Nobody likes that.
Obviously, your choice of topic as well as date/time play a huge role in the success of your webinar. Similarly, your invitation cadence can make a huge difference. Most marketers I know do something similar to this:
Initial invitation: 4-6 weeks prior to webinar
Follow up invitation: 1 week before
Last Call: day before
Beyond all of that, here are some things to consider:
Use the EQ-IQ-EQ Approach. This is particularly important if a large segment of your registrants are prospects. Most webinars jump right into the content. This isn't a surprise since most of the presenters are product/solutions people who LOVE to talk about their product or service. However, most presentation experts advise a different approach. EQ stands for "Emotional Quotient". Your audience won't listen to all of your great product capabilities if they don't know or trust you. This is why most experienced presenters open with a story. They do this to build that trust and break down the presenter-audience barrier. You want the audience to be thinking "Yup, that sounds like me/us". Once this is done, they go into the "IQ" or "Intellectual Quotient" of the presentation. This is all of the great things your product and company can do for the audience. Instead of ending there, skilled presenters end with another "EQ" segment. This can be another story, brief case study or some other anecdote that show the audience how they too can be a hero to their company.
Use a Panel. Most webinars are a single speaker, occasionally there are 2. One way to jazz-up your webinar is to have a panel of speakers. This can provide different points of view, especially if you combine this with the following point.
3rd-Party Speakers. Sure, you have great subject-matter experts but if all of the speakers are from your company, it's easy for prospects to think "Great, another product pitch". If you involve customers, partners and/or industry thought leaders, you can can typically see registration and attendance rates increase by 20%-40%.
Use Video. Sure, I know most presenters don't want to be on camera for 45-60 minutes, but it makes a difference. Humans have a bias towards seeing faces, particularly eyes. Using video keeps your topic, presenter and even company real, something critical today.
Engage Your Audience. All webinar services have the capability to insert surveys, videos or even whiteboarding capabilities. Use these. Sure, it takes more practice but with a little advance preparation, they can be tremendous and keeps the audience wondering "what's next".
Yes, all of this requires more thought, planning and rehearsal than your "Powerpoint is done 5 minutes before the Webinar" approach. However, you'll be amazed at the improvement in registration, attendance and re-engagement on following webinars. Good luck!