When hosted correctly, webinars deliver tremendous value to your company and customers. Not only do they allow you to create long-lasting relationships with your clients, but they also position you as an expert in your field. But, how do you run engaging and efficient webinars with hundreds of attendees? Well, here are eight best practices to help you out:
1. Take Advantage of Your Email List
It’s a no-brainer that you should create awareness about your webinar in every way possible such as on social media or your website. However, there’s one communication channel that you should never overlook: email, which drives more than half of webinar registrations.
2. Invite People More Than Once and Always in the Morning
How many times have you received an email for an event that was happening the following month and thought to yourself ‘I’ll register tomorrow’ and never look at that invitation ever again? Well, that’s what is going to happen with most of your attendees. 60% of registrations occur in the week before the webinar, with the highest amount happening on the day of the webinar. This way, although you should start inviting people around four weeks in advance, you should send reminders in the following weeks, especially during the final days. Moreover, most webinar registrations happen between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., so schedule your social media posts and emails to go out during this time of the day.
3. Schedule Your Webinar to Go Live Between 10 A.M. and 11 A.M.
There are 24 hours in a day, but people prefer to attend webinars in the middle of the morning. Almost 50% of people are more attracted to times between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and this percentage drops tremendously during the afternoon.
4. Keep Your Webinar Under One Hour
While webinar software allows you to host live sessions for hours on end, that doesn’t mean you should. Our attention span is getting smaller by the day, and no one is able to stay entirely focused throughout 3-hour long webinars. The best length for a webinar is one hour, where you should use half of it to present your idea, and the other half to engage with the attendees.
5. Always Include Time for Q&As
To host a successful webinar it’s essential to engage with your attendees. One favorite technique is to have a Q&A at the end of a live session. It’s a perfect way to understand who is more interested in your service as they will have plenty of questions to ask.
6. Rehearse, Rehearse, and Rehearse Some More!
If you were hosting a seminar or a live presentation, you would practice until you knew the session backwards and forwards. You should do the same for webinars too. It’s vital that you show confidence while hosting a webinar – you’re the expert after all – and rehearsing is the only way to ensure that your mind doesn’t go blank for whatever reason. The same goes for the equipment you’re using. Of course, there are always unexpected problems (and you should have customer support details nearby), but testing your camera, microphone, and the software itself beforehand is essential to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
7. Don’t Hard Sell
There are plenty of occasions to hard sell a product; webinars aren’t one of them. These live sessions are meant to be educational and should be around a subject that’s interesting for your target audience. Sure, you can explain how your product can solve a specific problem that your attendees face. But in general, a webinar should be about the topic and not you. This also means that you shouldn’t bore anyone with long introductions about your company. If people are attending your webinar, they’re already invested in you, which means they will do their own research.
8. Have a Call to Action at the End of the Live Session
If you’re hosting a webinar, then you probably have an objective in mind. It can be to warm up leads, have people subscribe to your service, raise awareness about a new feature developed by your team, among others. Consequently, it’s essential that you don’t forget to tell your attendees what they’re expected to do when the webinar ends. At the end of the live session, share a call to action so that attendees can take the next step immediately.
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