Let’s set the scene. It’s another day, you’re hosting your next webinar. You’re all prepared. You’ve sent out your reminders. Bam. It’s time to go live.
But wait, what’s this? There are way fewer attendees than anticipated. Your overall reach has definitely decreased since last time. And worse still, the numbers keep going down as your audience call it quits before you’ve even really got stuck into your topic.
It’s finally time to admit it. Your webinars just aren’t doing as well anymore. The reason for this? There could be hundreds. We’re all too easily distracted, nobody has enough time, often people simply forget after they’ve signed up to something. Often though, as hard as it is to admit it, it’s because the quality of your webinars has been declining. And there are already a lot of bad webinars out there.
Now, don’t get us wrong. A lot have fantastic potential, but they just miss a trick by buying into too many of our webinar pet hates, using a dodgy provider, or simply not sticking out as a diamond in the rough in amongst the hoards of content online. In a competitive world where webcasting is only on the rise, you need to learn to create webinars that your audience will love. Here’s our guide on how.
Find something meaningful to say
This may seem fairly obvious, but in actuality is where a lot of webcasters go wrong. See, the thing is, webinars as a form of content are pretty hefty. Lasting on average for around a full hour, you’ve got to have a topic that really engages your audience.
Far from the realms of three-minute clickbait YouTube videos, or filler blogs to bulk out your website (neither of which we’d recommend doing, by the way), a webinar works only when you have meaningful content. In the wise words of Sum 41, it’s all killer, no filler.
So, how can you begin to create better, more relevant webinars for your audience? Step one: ask them.
We go into more detail about this in our blog on how to choose the perfect webinar topic, but seriously. The input of your audience is invaluable. They’re the ones who will be tuning in to listen to you, so you might as well pay attention to their feedback.
Secondly, think of your audience not only as those who currently watch your webinars, but those who could be interested in them. Try and reach out to a wider audience using the power of social media, particularly networks on platforms like Twitter. Use social listening tools to gage what those in your industry are talking about and get involved.
Keep it fresh
But. (And there’s always a but.) Say digital marketing is your jam. There are already surplus webinars detailing exactly what digital marketing is and how you can get better at it. There are likely webinars on the entire history of digital marketing in the world ever. You probably do not need to make another webinar on what digital marketing is, how you can get better at it, or the entire history of digital marketing in the world ever.
Basically, stop rehashing the same content that your audience have already seen before. The reason your attendance rate may be declining? You’re picking topics that are too broad, too popular, or too tired.
Try this instead: identifying a specific, niche area of your industry that you can really hone in on. Then research, research, research. This is how you can discover the ways in which your ideas - and your products - can make a difference in the industry, and prove you as a thought leader.
When it comes to webinars, your reputation precedes you. If you become reputable as a source of quality content and innovative ideas, you’ll have more opportunities to co-host with other thought leaders in the industry, and you’ll have a wider audience. People will be way more keen to watch your webinars.
Which, in turn, will provide you with a bigger audience with which to ask for feedback, bounce ideas off and involve in interactive webinars, including Q&A sessions. The circle of life, huh?
Don’t get lost in translation
So you’ve got a topic. You’ve got a wealth of well-researched, in-depth information, and an innovative contribution of your own to add to it. Now what?
Well, now that you’ve found something meaningful to say, it’s time to find the best way to communicate it. Plan your webinar, and start by writing a script to ensure your encompassing all of your information in a succinct, comprehensive way. Freestyling may work alright for karaoke, but less so for webinars. Remember, you’re maintaining an audience’s interest for a whole hour. Unscripted webinars often go off in tangents, exclude important information or just don’t really translate well as clear ideas. Even the most informed, innovative industry thinkers would lose out in this situation.
The technical side of things
Always do a full test-run of your webinar with all of the involved speakers. Test your microphone, check your surroundings for background noise and any interruptions. Ensure you have a high quality - and reliable - internet connection. Prepare all of your accompanying slides.
Finally, don’t be let down by your webcasting provider. Too many webinars lose out because they’re using dodgy technology with no support live support. Worse still, they’ve paid into long-term plans, so they have to keep on using the technology despite knowing its unreliable. Don’t let this be you. Never subscribe to a system without testing it first in a free trial, and if the provider is dodgy about such a request then immediately blacklist. Invest in technology you’ve tested, and never host a webinar on a new provider without trialling it first. Try something like our FastCast system, which (and here’s a bit of a humble brag) allows flexible packages, a 30 minute booking-to-broadcast process, and has online support from actual humans 24 hours a day.
Host a great webinar!
Let’s set the scene. You’ve considered the input of your audience and fellow industry experts and come up with an interesting subject to cover. You’ve pinpointed an interesting area within to explore, and after careful research have found a way to engage with it in a proactive, interesting way. You’ve planned, practiced and prepared. You’ve sent out your invitations, and bam, it’s time to go live.
Your webinar is engaging, interesting, and your attendees are ready to do it all again next time. Nice one!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Knowledge Bank for all the webinar-related content your heart could possibly desire, and sign up to our newsletter to hear from us more often.