• How To Host Valuable Webinars That Benefit Prospects

How to Do a Webinar

Have you thought about hosting a webinar? You’re likely aware that they’re great for engaging with your audience. Not to mention nurturing prospects in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. To accomplish those goals, there are many things you need to take into account. Read on to learn how to run a webinar is packed with the value that your audience needs. By using the following process as a framework.

How to Do a Webinar

What is a Webinar?

A webinar is like an online class that members of your target audience can attend. The idea behind a webinar is to provide useful information—information that people (the right people, aka your ideal customers) will take the time to sign up for and tune in to. A webinar is primarily an audio presentation accompanied by a slideshow, but can also include videos within the presentation or even video of the speaker.

Depending on the goals and style of your webinar, attendees may be able to see a list of who else is attending, ask questions via chat messaging, or even call in with voice input.

Steps for Running a Successful Webinar

First, Choose a Worthy Topic

Avoid discussing things that are common knowledge among your audience. You’ll also want to avoid topics that are too advanced or are of no interest to them at all. Too, explaining out-of-date concepts provides zero value. The same goes for ideas that have been explained repeatedly by everyone in your industry.

What, then, are worthy topics? These are subjects that:

  • Interest people. Ideally, they relate to the problem or opportunity that prospects are currently considering.
  • Your audience can understand with concise, reasonable explanation
  • Are relevant now in your industry
  • You can put a new twist on instead of restating the same old angles

Can you think of some topics that meet the above criterion?

These posts on coming up with blog post topics and newsletter topics might help to jumpstart your webinar topic brainstorm.

Second, Decide on the Right Format

Once the subject is chosen, you must also consider the best way to present your information. Not every format works for every topic or every group of people. So what would be the most effective way to get your message across loud and clear? There are several formats that may work. For example, you could:

  • Provide an example-based tutorial that will help prospects to take a beneficial action.
  • Conduct an interview with a respected influencer or thought leader in your industry. Surely, they will have a fresh and insightful perspective to share
  • Host a panel discussion on a current trend with several industry experts
  • Offer a condensed version of a presentation from a recent speaking engagement. Those who couldn’t attend in-person will appreciate access to the same valuable insights

Third, Choose Your Speaker(s)

The next logical step is to choose your speaker(s). Keep in mind that not all are equal. Some have more expertise on certain topics and, thus, may not be the right fit for what you want to talk about. Others may not be as outspoken and might do better as one of several speakers. Still, others are more lively and personable than most. They may bring life to not-so-exciting topics and make prospects feel comfortable.

You should factor in expertise, personality type and strengths as you narrow down your options. How do you know when you’ve chosen the right people? When the topic and format play to the strengths of those you pick. Choose wisely!

These guidelines for choosing a speaker don’t necessarily apply to influencers or other industry experts. You and your employees make for perfectly fine webinar speakers.

Fourth, Build the Foundation For Your Webinar

Whoever is speaking will have a major bearing on the foundation for your webinar—your slides and script. You want your speakers to sound natural, so the script should match their style or manner of talking.

While it shouldn’t be read word for word, it should keep the discussion on track. You want to make sure it flows in a way that’s easy for people to follow.

What about the slides? They should emphasize main points and provide supporting evidence. That said, your slide deck should not double as a script. You need both to pack the greatest value into your presentation.

In some cases, you may not even need a script. This is why choosing someone who is familiar enough with the subject matter and comfortable speaking on the topic is key.

Fifth, Create a Promotion Strategy

You’ve put together what you know will be an outstanding webinar. You can’t wait for the day to roll around so that you can share what you’ve created with your audience. As was just highlighted, having an audience is a central part of the whole idea of webinars. Really, how good is the best presentation in the world if no one attends? This is the importance of promotion.

When to Promote Your Webinar

You’ll want to start spreading the word at least seven days in advance. This gives prospects time to make arrangements to be available for the event.

How to Promote Your Webinar

That covers the when, but how should you go about promotion? There are a variety of ways at your disposal:

  • Send invitations to those on your email list.
  • Generate excitement through social media—LinkedIn, in particular.
  • Reach out to business partners or other network connections who would be willing to promote it?

Getting the word out is as essential to success as developing a quality presentation.

The framework above will help you create and execute an exceptional, power-packed webinar for your target audience. The more valuable it is, the more credible your business becomes. In turn, people are more likely to continue to engage with you. Then, as they move from the consideration stage to the decision stage, you’ll find yourself with an influx of new customers. Are you ready to get to work planning your next webinar?

Nia Gyant
Nia Gyant
Nia Gyant is passionate about helping small business owners create and execute solid marketing strategies, and writes blogs with a particular focus on inbound marketing and branding.

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