The Definitive Guide To Creating Professional & Engaging Webinars
For a business owner, there are few tools that are more powerful, more impactful, and more persuasive than the webinar.
There is a caveat of course, when it comes to pulling off a professional and engaging webinar the learning curve can be pretty steep and many small business owners find the idea of presenting their first webinar daunting.
There is no reason to let a bit of stage fright hold your business back from experiencing all of the benefits that a webinar can provide. We have created this useful guide to provide everything you know to start wowing your guests, clients, and customers with a top-tier, memorable webinar experience.
Let’s start with the basics…
What Is A Webinar & How Will It Benefit Your Business?
A webinar is a short, one-off educational meeting that is designed to provide an information-rich presentation on a specific topic that is of interest to a select group of individuals. Businesses use webinars to add value for their clients, to draw attention to their brand, and to potentially sell potential customers on their products or services.
A good webinar should be brief and focused. Aim for a length of around 60 to 90 minutes. The webinar should concentrate on providing high-quality information on a specific subject and should be presented by speakers who are experts in the particular subject matter. Unlike a commercial or advertising video, a successful webinar should provide knowledge first, with a marketing or sales pitch woven into the content if desired.
We will discuss the various types of webinars later in this article, but first, let’s take a look at the basic tips to help you pull off a top-tier webinar with confidence.
Planning Your Webinar
As with any project, careful planning is the key to achieving an end result you can be proud of. This is especially true with webinar production. Webinars are live events conducted over the internet. This means that there are plenty of variables that you will need to plan out meticulously to avoid any mishaps when your webinar goes live.
The tips below will help you avoid many of the most common pitfalls that can occur when trying to host any online live event.
Get To Know Your Audience
Webinars are generally invite-only events targeted to a specific audience. That being said, that audience could be a relatively sizable group invited to attend the webinar through social media or forum marketing efforts, or it may be a select group of individuals who have been individually invited through email or personal outreach efforts.
Regardless of the size and scope of your webinar, it is crucial that you spend some time at the start considering who your target audience is, what their pain points are, what message you are hoping to convey to them, and what they are likely to find most interesting or engaging.
When you have identified your target audience you will be able to fine-tune your webinar format, structure, scheduling, and content to best attract, and engage with your ideal audience members.
Choose Topics That People Want To Hear About
Now that you know who it is that you want to engage with, you will need to spend some time choosing a primary topic, and perhaps a few sub-topics that will generate strong interest among your target audience and encourage people to attend your webinar.
Remember, the chances are good that your target audience members have busy lives, and you will be asking them to commit to spending 60 - 90 minutes listening to your presentation. This means that you are going to need to give them a reason to get excited about attending. The key to generating enthusiasm is to ensure that you select a subject matter that is timely, and impactful, and that you provide useful information or solutions that your target audience needs in the course of your webinar.
Picking The Right Platform
When it comes to choosing the right platform for your webinar there are a few things to consider. How many people will be attending? How important is branding? How are you handling webinar registration? Do you plan to use an event platform for networking or asset sharing?
Answers to these questions often take businesses down two distinct paths; Zoom Webinar or a virtual studio production. Both options offer great options for your webinar needs.
Zoom Webinar is a single solution that allows attendees to register and access the webinar in one place. It allows for individual chat and Q&A as well as separate speaker and attendees panels to make people management super easy. The caveat to all this is that branding capability is minimal and Zoom has limitations on the number of attendees that can attend. You can pay more to increase the access, but if you increase it to 1000 and 450 show up, you could have wasted money. It’s therefore important to know how many people you expect to attend and make an educated guess. .
Using a virtual studio opens up a whole host of customization to your webinar such as full screen video playback, intro videos, customized layouts, and onscreen graphics. However, the trade off here is you need to stream into a third party video player such as Vimeo or YouTube. While these players can broadcast your webinar standalone, typically we see those players be embedded in an event platform, e.g. Brella, for greater user interaction, networking, and data collection.
Both options will provide you with a great webinar experience and it is up to you how much you want to increase that experience with additional tools.
Create An Attention-Grabbing Title
With your target audience, and the subject matter decided, it is time to craft an attention-grabbing title for your webinar. Your title should generate excitement while clearly communicating the topic to be discussed, and the value that your attendees will gain by attending.
If you will have a subject-matter expert, or well-known speaker presenting your webinar, be sure to build that person’s name and credentials into the title in the form of a byline or by adding “...with (insert your expert’s name here)” to the title, and don't forget to ask them share the registration link on their social channels like LinkedIn
Select The Perfect Date & Time
Choose a date and time for your webinar. You will want to choose a date that is far enough out to give yourself time to prepare and script your webinar and create any graphics or media that you may be adding to the webinar. You will also want to allow a bit of padding to handle any unexpected hurdles that often arise when dealing with technology and live presentations.
It is important that you take time zones into consideration when planning your event as well. You will need to choose a time and date that is convenient for your speaker, and your attendees. Late-morning and mid-day webinars tend to work best for the largest number of attendees. Evening events are difficult to plan as they may occur too late in the night for those on the East Coast, or overseas.
Checklist For A Successful Webinar
Enlist Professional Help
Determine The Format Of Your Webinar
Choose A Professional, Engaging Speaker/Presenter
Select The Right Webinar Platform For Your Needs
Include Multiple Media Formats To Keep Attendees Entertained
Run Through A Dress Rehearsal
Helping Your Webinar Be Effective
At Parasol Video, we are enhancing the virtual experience. Planning webinars can be intimidating and time-consuming, and very technical. If you don’t have a technical background with audio/video equipment, ease some of the burden and choose an accomplished webinar service, like ours.
We want you to host successful, effective webinars that bring value to your viewers. That is why we offer a streamlined, easy process. We take care of all of the execution and production work and let you focus on the content. The day of your event, we handle all of the tech, and you can enjoy and engage with your viewers. Book a brief meeting with us now to learn more.