How to Make a Webinar that Works in 2020
HubSpot recently shared an article about the future of webinars in 2020. Read the highlights here or go to their site for the full article.
As an acquisition marketer, I hear questions like this all the time: “Is the PDF dead? Is the webinar dead now too? How should we continue generating leads for our sales team while continuing to innovate on the content formats we produce and gate behind a form?”
It’s 2020, and the way our prospects and customers find and consume content has certainly changed. While I would love to say that there’s one new, highly optimal content format that all marketers should use for lead generation instead of older formats, I can’t — it’s a little more complicated than that. Instead, I’ll make a bold claim: webinars aren’t dead, and neither is the PDF ebook.
What has changed, however, is a saturation of mediocre PDF ebooks, webinars, and other forms of gated content available online. So while webinars aren’t dead, that doesn’t mean marketers should continue running the same, tired playbook.
Luckily, HubSpot and GoToWebinar teamed up to bring you the ultimate guide, “How to Produce Webinars Your Sales Reps and Prospects Will Love.”
Make sure you’re following these steps to create an effective webinar that works in 2020.
Webinars Drive Sales
According to InsideSales.com, 73% of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. Why?
- They are highly engaging. According to GoToWebinar, the average webinar attendee viewing time is 61 minutes.
- They work across the entire customer journey. From thought-leadership panel discussions to weekly live demos, webinars are a dynamic and effective way to move prospects down the funnel from awareness to closed deal and beyond.
- They generate high-quality leads for Sales. Webinars come with a ton of information about your prospects you can use to identify high-quality, sales-ready leads. With each webinar registrant, you can collect lead and engagement data your sales team can use to initiate personalized outreach.
We know planning and promoting a webinar can be difficult if you’ve never done it before. That’s why we’ve compiled a guide, template, and checklist for you to get your webinar off the ground – whether its your first or fortieth. Click here to download the kit for free.
1. Brainstorm the right topic.
Before you can get started on making your webinar, you’ll have to decide the topic you want to speak about.
The topic you choose should answer questions that your audience typically asks and preferably be highly specific. For example, if you’re hosting a webinar on email marketing, you can choose to focus on subject lines in particular.
Overall, your webinar should provide value to your audience. Think about your company as a whole and your unique value proposition. What topics are you an expert on? What topics can you provide value on? Those are the topics you’ll want to use for a webinar.
2. Choose a webinar tool.
When you’re researching a tool to use, consider your objectives. How many people do you think will attend? Do you need a tool that could allow over 1,000 attendees? How much does it cost? And how easy is it to use? These are questions that you should look in to when you’re deciding on what webinar tool to use.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the tool can handle the type of webinar you want to host — can it handle video chatting for panel or Q&A webinars? The right tool for you will depend on the overall objectives of your webinar.
3. Produce the content.
Once you find a tool and you know the topic you want to present on, you’ll have to decide what type of webinar you want to host. Will it be a PowerPoint and talking head presentation? Or perhaps you want to do a live panel Q&A? Either way, you’ll have to produce the content and prepare for the big day.
For example, if you’re creating a PowerPoint, you’ll need to create your slide deck. Make sure that the slides emphasize your points, but don’t include a script. These slides should be visually appealing and include interesting graphics, such as images or GIFs.
If you’re hosting a discussion-style webinar, plan out your speakers, gather audience questions, and prepare any other questions you might have so you can prioritize your time during the webinar.
4. Select the right day and time.
You’ll want to consider where your audience lives. Use tools like Google Analytics to see where people are, so you can choose a convenient day and time zone.
According to ON24, Tuesday from 10-11 a.m. GMT is the best day to host a webinar. This is because it’s great for a wide range of time zones, and should avoid most commute times or work hours. Typically, this time avoids conflicts with the most amount of people.
However, if your audience is solely in the United States, then you wouldn’t need to worry about global time zones. Instead, you can focus on planning a time when most people aren’t commuting. For example, early afternoon or after work hours are generally good times.
5. Promote your webinar.
Now that you’ve done the backend work, it’s time to ensure you have people who want to attend.
To promote your webinar, you can create a landing page where people can sign up and then distribute and promote that link in several ways.
For example, you can consider running ads through social media and search engines. Additionally, you’ll want to use free promotion tactics as well — you can post on your own accounts, on your website, and send an email to your subscribers. It’s important to use your own follower base to get people interested.
Additionally, reminder emails are also helpful. Consider sending “Don’t Miss Out” or “Seats Are Filling Up” emails as the day gets closer.
And when people do sign up, you’ll want to remind them leading up to the day. You should send them the webinar link about an hour before so it’s top of mind and they don’t have to go looking for the link in their registration email.
6. Follow up with your audience.
Webinars are obviously a great sales opportunity, and you don’t want people to leave your webinar and never think of you again.
That’s why you’ll want to send them a thank you email and gather feedback from attendees so you can plan better webinars in the future.
Additionally, attendees generally like to have a recording, so you can send them a link to the recording afterwards so they don’t have to take fervent notes during the webinar. This also means you can send it to registrants who wanted to attend but weren’t able to.