This comprehensive guide to hosting a successful webinar will take you from a replaceable commodity within the industry to a professional, trusted, high-valued advisor, educator, thought leader, and consultant.
The vast majority of people think that a webinar is just a shared screen that enables one person to talk to an audience—a modern-day version of an amphitheater talk. And a fair number of people do just that type of webinar. But it can be so much more, which is probably why you are here today. You want to implement this marketing and educational tactic but just aren’t sure how.
Let’s get started learning how to host and run a successful webinar.
Why Webinars Work
While anyone can implement the steps and create a webinar, to run a truly successful campaign is something completely different. Let’s start with the very granular practical beginning.
When talking with clients or colleagues, being able to talk knowledgeably about a topic gives you a position of authority. Anyone who can talk about the history of something, typically, is the one leading the discussion on its current state and has the support of evidence to direct and drive it. It is this knowledge that drives a webinar and increases your value to clients and the company you work for.
What Is a Webinar Exactly?
At its core, a webinar is a workshop presentation. Its name is a hybrid of “seminar” and “web,” thus it is an educational seminar that takes place online. While it is often used as a sales communication channel, it is by design a seminar that is educational and interactive. It’s a platform to take your knowledge and illuminate others.
The vast majority of people don’t think of a webinar as being interactive, which it not only needs to be, but absolutely should be. The typical benchmark for a webinar is anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes. The webinar should include some level of interaction and engagement, typically through Q&A.
Forms of Engaging Webinar Content
The format of the webinar is very empowering. It’s visual. It’s entertaining. It’s educational. It can really drive home what it is that you’re trying to offer. It’s also used with different desired outcomes.
The goal of most webinars is to sell something, be it a point of view, a service, or something more tangible. When we say, “sell something,” in Uhuru’s way of thinking, it technically means a call to the audience to take an action. The webinar gives them food for thought to drive them to the next stage in the funnel.
If we are trying to drive a client toward a decision stage, the webinar is going to be a sales pitch. That’s what the vast majority of webinars are, especially when we do our outbound efforts. When you look at the industry norms, you see that webinars are presenting a product or service, and pitching it right after, either to get the attendees to take advantage of a free trial or to hop on a call with a sales rep.
We’re not saying that this is bad or good. We’re just stating that’s what 80% of webinars are being used for. They’re not being used just to run training sessions. They’re typically run as some level of sales conversion point where a business is trying to present visually what it has to offer.
This gets even more emphasis when you talk about high-value products and services. The higher value the interaction is—whether that be the B2B side or even direct-to-consumer—the more interactive and visual you have to be to communicate your value proposition. Again, that’s why webinars and these sessions are very powerful tools for us and many like us.
It can also be used for new customer/client onboarding. Many companies host webinars once a client has converted, after they have purchased, to relay what it is that the client needs to know in order to use this service, software, product, or solution effectively.
At Uhuru, we use telecommunication for almost every major client communication. You may not think of our online meetings as webinars because we’re not always sharing our screen, but when we show our agenda, we run through topics. It’s basically the same fundamental infrastructure. That’s made obvious by the fact that GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar are essentially the same platform.
Webinars Allow for Passive Participation
Another really powerful thing that makes webinars so effective is passive participation. In a sales conversation with anyone, you have to have active participation. It’s not a great conversation if it’s passive.
In webinars, you create a safe environment where individuals don’t have to disclose information or feel pressured on a sale. This is because webinars also allow for viewing after the live presentation. A webinar can be viewed without interrupting a daily schedule or meetings and we’ve found that people feel much more comfortable converting without the pressure. It’s important to realize that there’s a reason why attendance to the webinar itself is typically low because your target audience is passive rather than active.
Leveraging a Webinar
This leverage of a one-to-many communication platform is very much at the core of—and required for—B2B and SaaS companies.
When you’re looking through your program marketing channels, you say, “How many opportunities are we leveraging in one-to-many communications?” We have advertising. We, to a degree, have content.
Are we missing a sales communication opportunity? Are any of these from an interaction where they see us as humans? Are we leveraging any one-to-many communications? If you’re not doing it on a regular basis, including webinars would be a powerful pillar in your marketing efforts.
Why the Webinar Format Works
The majority of people attend webinars because they’re really programmed to learn. They’ve been trained through decades of school to sit down, be quiet, and listen to a teacher present subjects. That’s it. It’s second nature.
Webinars just flow easily versus a sales conversation where people can get uncomfortable. Sales conversations tend to be more adversarial, and people are never sure how to feel about whether or not they need to take it, or whether or not they’re going to get value out of it.
Great Webinar Examples
When looking at great webinar examples, a great resource is companies that do conversion rate optimization, landing page funnels, e-commerce, and marketing automation.
You can also see the software companies and what they build around webinars; the different levels of effort from Adobe, Zoom, and GoToWebinar. Look to see who they feature as success stories with their platforms.
You can also look at companies like Leadpages, which focus on landing page optimization and conversions. Then, in their own right, built a company based upon webinars.
Again, look at the best practices these successful companies employ, and you’ll notice they are consistently followed by these companies, even during each stage of the buyer’s journey.
But really, the best way to become proficient in something is to participate more as a fellow magician, rather than the audience. I talk about this a lot where you’re either a part of someone else’s show, a part of someone else’s sales process, or you’re the magician noticing a fellow magician’s magic trick. When viewing other webinars, when viewing other people’s sales funnels, it’s very important to step out of your current need, the trigger that drove you to attend and evaluate it for what it is.
Understand Your Target Audience/Buyer
Everyone reading this knows what a target audience/buyer is, but not everyone creates their webinars with this target in mind.
Who to Target Based on Sales/Marketing Goals?
If you are seeking a one-to-many communication channel, you have to be crystal clear about who your target is and what it’s going to take to get them to convert. Therefore, you need to know exactly who you are targeting.
The interesting thing with this—and there are right and wrong answers to it all the time—is that you always need to target based upon your sales and marketing goals.
You’ll see companies create webinars around their products, but they’re trying to do lead gen, and it’s not converting. You’ll see content-rich webinars that are informational and useful, but they’re trying to drive decision in sales in the short term.
The effort isn’t matching the desired outcome.
You want to make sure that there’s alignment between what the webinar is designed to do for you in regard to outcomes and overall objective to the sales and marketing of the organization, and the actual impact it needs to have in a certain time domain.
Who Is Your Target Buyer Persona(s)?
The first and foremost thing to determine when creating a webinar is who your target buyer persona is. This is a crucial step and you need to identify them properly in order for your webinar to have an impact.
Knowing your target buyer persona will help you understand how getting access to them on the webinar is actually going to give you in the way of conversion opportunity. It will allow you to craft a webinar that fits in with their needs and your desired outcomes and to understand what the call to action should be.
PRO TIP: Need help crafting your buyer persona. Don’t miss our guide and outline: Create Buyer Personas For Your Business
What Stage of the Buyer’s Journey Is Your Target In?
The next step is to take your target buyer persona and identify what stage of the buyer’s journey they are in.
When we look at how effective webinars are, we don’t normally make a recommendation to do awareness-stage webinars. Typically you would do an awareness stage video to address needs or concerns. It’s typically too far from your value proposition to make it a productive use of energy, unless you have the available internal resources to execute.
Consideration-stage webinars are more common and are a great sales and marketing tool. Of course, decision stage is where a target is more prominent, as it feeds into the sales process more natural.
These are things to keep in mind when making recommendations for a webinar. Make sure you have an internal discussion to understand your buyer’s awareness stage, consideration stage, and decision stage so you can make a decision on where the webinar needs to exist in your buyer’s journey.
What Are the Triggers/Pain Points?
Two other important factors in creating a successful webinar are addressing the triggers and pain points. These are critical to creating content and making it meaningful and impactful to your audience.
Defining the triggers isn’t easy but it can help determine if a webinar can be tailored to it. Not everything or every trigger is a good fit for a webinar. If you have a successful blog post on a trigger, don’t just repackage the content. Provide something new, fresh, and worthwhile of someone’s time.
A webinar needs to properly provide useful information to your target market and buyer. By recycling blog posts into a webinar, you’re not giving them enough of a reason to take time out of their day. Your buyer’s time is valuable and you need to be mindful of that.
The trigger has to be strong and the commitment that they have to provide needs to be worth it.
Where You Can Find This Target
During the planning stages, you need to know where you can find the target(s) for your webinar.
Ask yourself, “Where and when does this webinar fit into their day-to-day? What channels can we find the targets? What communication is appropriate? How is this going to add value in the flow of their already busy schedule?” If you don’t know these things, then the webinar is not going to be effective.
So, where’s the list of potential targets? Who’s going to receive the invitation to this webinar?
- Is it your database?
- Is it a cold list?
- Do you look for potential targets with LinkedIn advertising?
- Is it using LinkedIn InMail and sending messages?
- Is it Facebook Advertising?
- Twitter Advertising?
- Is Instagram a way of getting in front of more users, and amplifying the reach of your webinar?
Narrowing down your potential channels for targets is a good first step, and something that requires a bit of lead time before designing and hosting a webinar.
All of these factors need to be defined before jumping in. Successful webinars really take time to properly set up. Typically we use 8-12 weeks lead time for creating a great webinar. It can be done quicker, but the best ones are well thought out, defined, and mapped out according to this type of structure.
Provide Value Upfront with No Obligation to Buy
Another main tenet that we stress all the time is to provide upfront value to your targets without any obligation to buy. This is critical.
Companies ask: How do we move up the value chain into not being seen as a commodity? How can we get noticed within the industry as a company that provides greater value than our competitors?
Value means it has to be valuable and useful to the person you’re providing it to, not valuable to your company. If the webinar is about your product, no one cares about your demo. It’s all about what value someone will receive from the information you’re providing. If that’s not clear you’re not going to be effective.
Always hold a very strict focus on this expectation. Is what you’re providing really offering value? Yes, your content can rank for search queries and bring you traffic. Yes, it can do this, but is it providing value? If it’s not, it’s not going to be effective in creating demand. It might be effective at creating an impact of some metric, but it’s not going to be impactful for creating conversions on sales and, usually, that’s the true goal behind this webinar effort.
No Obligation to Buy
We feel strongly that the value you provide in your webinar is not tied to any obligation to buy. This is a big switch for many in sales and marketing to make, but it can be a successful tactic.
Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab. Jab. Jab. Right Hook, talks about give, give, give. He equates the boxer’s mantra of jab, jab, jab, right hook to give, give, give, then ask. This method has been proven in the social economy, where the idea behind creating content in any form to provide value to others is based on reciprocity—where you give so much to the marketplace that it positions you in a positive light to make your ask.
You evaluate clients. You evaluate marketing. You evaluate advertising. You evaluate the design. You say, “How much are we giving to the marketplace before we’re asking them to buy?” If it’s not heavy in the giving, it’s heavier in the selling, and you’re probably not being effective at achieving your greater goals.
This big one also ties into what I said earlier regarding what webinars are generally used for. At the end of one, it’s usually selling something. Well, if I feel like I’m taking a call because I’m going to get sold, I’m not going to want to take the call. If I feel like I’m joining a webinar, and there’s going to be a cliffhanger, a value that requires me to make a purchase action or an appointment after, that’s not leaving them in the best state. We are going to be mindful of that.
A webinar is a form of communication, and at its best is providing massive value. So if you are going to have an ask at the end, the audience is going to feel like that they just have to take advantage of it because of this. They’ve received so much value that even if they didn’t take action on it, they leave the call feeling great, and feeling empowered, and totally motivated to identify you as that thought leader.
Setting Up a Webinar
This next section is all about setting up a successful webinar. This is where we get into the nuts and bolts. We’re going to delve into the things that are more practical for everyone reading this.
How to Plan a Webinar
When you’re planning a webinar, you first take into consideration all of the components we mentioned above. Then you need to get into the internal resources associated with executing it. What are your assets?
Something that is critical when creating any map, is to look at where you want to be, and you deconstruct that future state. Then, lay it out back to get you where you are now.
What that means is that if you are a hosting a webinar and you want 100 attendees, you would look at the typical conversion rate of attendee to registrations, which is anywhere between 2% and 10%. I know, that’s really low. It can be higher in small segments, small or niche markets, or small communities.
Typically, it’s small. If you look at that, you have to then extrapolate the math around all the rest of your efforts and say, “Is that achievable with who we have access to? Who, then, are we going to target? What are we going to say to them?” By starting with that end, not the content we have to present, then you’re starting with a metric-driven plan rather than a content-driven plan (topic).
That then leads to what we do in agile marketing and Scrum. It’s time to write out the specific tasks (stories) that it will take to build a webinar.
If you are trying to launch a webinar, but you don’t have every sub-story delineated—in non-scrum terminology, with tasks defined—you’ll miss something, and you’ll hit impediments. You don’t want to do that, especially when you’re building something of value like a webinar that can be at a frequency and a cadence that it can have a dramatic impact on your company.
This leads us to the thing that sells the webinars…the webinar landing pages.
Webinar Landing Pages
The landing page is the first thing that gets someone to actually sign up for your webinar. You don’t advertise a webinar per se, you advertise landing pages. You don’t advertise ebooks, you advertise landing pages to that ebook.
An ad can never really sell a webinar by itself. It’s been shown that longer-form content has this ability and hits the check marks in regard to information, social proof, and a guarantee. This is what a user or buyer needs to get comfortable in order to convert. Landing pages for your webinar are going to be more successful than short-form content or a direct ad.
What does a landing page need to have? When we evaluate design and copy, these are the things that a good webinar landing page should contain:
- Benefit Statement(s): This is the value that people will receive by attending your webinar. Be specific each benefit that is included.
- What They Get: People need to know exactly what they are receiving by attending your webinar. It’s called a promise.
- People: This includes the people behind the webinar; the experts who are presenting the topic and their background. You position the people and give them a face. People connect with faces. So it’s a face, first name, last name, description of expertise and maybe even social proof to provide positioning for the presenter.
- Call to Action (CTA): The call to action is asking the reader to opt in to the webinar.
Webinar Thank-You Page
Thank-you pages are confirmations of what they will receive. It is repetitive. If your thank-you page isn’t repetitive of your landing page, you’re missing something. It needs to remind them what they signed up for with an appreciative tone since you have now actually converted them. It’s reassuring them that this was the right thing for them.
- Confirm What They Are Getting: If you look at copywriting godfathers like Dan Kennedy or prominent writers who position health and wellness, like Tony Robbins or Napoleon Hill, you’ll see that they always remind you of what you just signed up or paid for and that you’re amazing and it was such a smart decision. This helps to stave off any buyer’s remorse and encourages them to complete the webinar.
- Next Action Step: We call this one “Do you want fries with that burger?” Everyone in advertising knows that one of the boldest and smartest marketing moves ever was done by McDonald’s. When they sell a hamburger, they just ask, “Do you want fries with that?” It was an easy upsell offer. When someone converts on something, there’s a higher probability that they’re going to convert on something else. If your thank-you page doesn’t have a next action step for them that connects with the offer of that webinar, you’re missing an opportunity. It can be aggressive. You can A/B test going directly into a sales environment or content offers. If you find that your downloadable offer or upsell offer isn’t converting, that doesn’t mean it’s not working. It just means it’s not resonating. You need to test to find out what will work. That’s something that’s really critical for progressive profiling, because when you have an active participant, you have their attention, and they just converted on something, so there’s a general tendency for them to convert on something else.
Webinar Landing Page Tools
You may already know a lot of the tools.
We focus building full funnels and typically use HubSpot. We prefer HubSpot over Marketo, mainly because Marketo’s landing pages can be difficult for a lot of users to implement correctly with close-loop data.
When it comes to the most commonly used landing page tools for a webinar look to Leadpages. This landing page builder and lead generation software provides you with a quick way to generate the landing page for your successful webinar, as well as the best practices that are inherently built into the tool.
If you ever want to get deep into webinars or webinar funnels, Infusionsoft has positioned itself within the thought leadership domain, and you’ll find many of these thought leaders using Infusionsoft as a part of their marketing automation. It’s perfect for small- to medium-sized businesses.
You can also implement your webinar landing page with WordPress, using simple forms sa well.
How to Create a Webinar Presentation
One of the big areas that people can get stuck on is how to create a successful webinar presentation.
It’s really easy to get lost in boring presentations that have a solid background color and white text. You want to make sure that you make something visually interesting, beautiful even, using simple programs like Google Slides, Apple Keynote, or Microsoft PowerPoint.
You need to make sure that you have a designer’s eye on it. When webinars are created by sales reps, marketers, or even internal product or domain experts, you have to have a way of extracting the information from them, and then giving it to more creative people who know how to present it in a way that’s not going to leave everyone’s eyes bleeding dry out of boredom.
Outline without Writing (Uhuru Process)
You can create the same level of idea extraction of content using Uhuru’s process of creating an ebook without writing a word. This process works with webinar presentations, where you outline the webinar in bullet form first without worrying about the presentation.
Creating a Webinar Email Sequence
When it comes to an email sequence to promote your webinar, there are best practices, best case, and then the horrible way that the majority of people do it.
Let’s look at the right way, the way that will be most beneficial to the success of your webinar and to the attendees. The basic requirement is six emails, which is pretty typical. While there are different approaches, the goal with the email sequence is to remind attendees about the webinar. People have busy schedules. That’s why we have notifications on our phones. That’s why we have notifications from our calendars.
When we build email sequences for clients, we feel that they should have at least six emails that execute their webinar funnels, as we’re trying to get people to show up at a specific time, on a certain day, to receive the value you are providing.
Email #1: Webinar Registration Confirmation (Immediate)
Your first email will be confirmation of the attendee’s registration. It should be sent immediately after sign-up and be very appreciative. A lot of tools do this for you automatically.
Email #2: 24-Hour Reminder
This follow-up email is a reminder that the webinar is scheduled for the next day. Include time and URL. This gives an attendee time to rearrange their schedule, if necessary.
Email #3: Today Reminder
This should be delivered first thing in the morning, again with time and URL.
Email #4: One-Hour Reminder
Tick, tock, it’s almost time for the webinar to start.
Email #5: Starting Now
This is a big one. This is why a lot of companies will do a Facebook Live and Instagram Live associated with the webinar. They will announce, “We’re hopping on to our webinar,” because there’s a lot of people who may not have signed up but now found that they have time. We’ve also found that a lot of people still use their inbox as a window that’s up on their screen all the time. If they see something pop up there, it catches their attention.
Email #6: Thank You
The last email is a thank you for attending, but should also contain a special offer, be it a next step or some sort of upsell.
It’s not a “Hey, you joined. Now, if you have questions, contact us, so we can talk to you.” Instead, “It’s because you’ve joined, and you’ve learned about this, we have something for you. It’s only for you, the people who attended this webinar.” If you’re doing webinars with any level of frequency, yes, it’s okay to have the special offer repeated, but at the end of the day, you need to have that special offer. If you don’t have a special offer for those attendees, you’re really missing the next step in converting them.
There is a variety of webinar software available on the market: GoToWebinar, Webinarjam, Zoom, and BrightTalk. Lots of tools.
We recommend GoToWebinar. It works and has become the standard in the industry. However, it is a little bit more of a premium investment. But, when you look at the purpose of a webinar, you really have to factor in the worth of that investment.
There’s constant improvement in the tools you can use for webinars. And you should constantly evaluate, even if you don’t plan on switching. This is just a general best practice, so you don’t fall behind with the technology you have.
Now, if a company is publicly traded, like HubSpot, you know that there’s investment in their progression. They’re going to want to stay on top in the industry. Compare what they have with others.
When you’re looking at the tools you use for communication for these webinars, keep an eye out, test, feel free to even deploy a small level, but just make sure it’s fully integrated into your email communication platforms. That’s why GoToWebinar is so widely used. Their tooling often has issues, but it has a lot of integrations that make it easy for information to get passed to the databases where sales and marketing happens.
PRO TIP: BrightTalk is closely related to online training sites. For example, LinkedIn’s Lynda.com or creativelive.com. It’s like hosting your written content on Medium – you’re looking to gain access to their community and pass that authority to your content. The objective is rather different than the webinar streaming platform.
Something that a lot of people don’t do, is they just don’t practice, they don’t review film. They don’t record sales calls and listen to them back, or record meeting calls and listen to them back and see if they can improve. They just go blindly charging forward with enthusiasm and energy, but with no patience to review or to practice.
You need to practice. You need to do full dry runs, full energy without interruption, without, “This is practice. Let me take notes.” You need to run through it completely with the full effort and energy. We call it practicing at full speed.
Do a Dry Run
One critical aspect of a successful webinar is to prepare by doing a dry run. This means you have to use all the tools that will be in operation the day of the actual webinar. You need to make sure your equipment is working properly, the slides are in order and the speakers know what they are doing.
You have to practice using the internet connection that you’re going to use the day of the webinar. You need to use the same machine, computer, support staff. The environment needs to match the situation just like you’re implementing it.
Then you need to practice your delivery style via this new virtual environment, at full speed, so that you can increase your comfort level. Use your full energy, despite there being no real audience on the other end. Flip through all your slides to make sure they look nice in the virtual webinar room and go through the motions of each interactive activity you have planned so they go smoothly and seamlessly on the day of the event.
Webinar Presentation Tips
1. Master the technology: Make sure that you are familiar with the technology you are going to use. This includes the internet connection, computer, microphone, slide presentation program, etc. Mastering the technology helps assert you as an authority. The people who have authority are those who come in with the position of power. The thing that will devalue your power is having to apologize because you’re not savvy with technology. Master the technology. Own it. Do it. If there’s a technology issue, that’s normal. Again, you should fully understand the tool you’re using when you’re using it.
2. Have photos of yourself and other presenters: Most likely you’re not going to share your webcam, even if you have the bandwidth to do so. That’s okay. But personalize your presentation and make a connection with your audience by showing who you are and those that are presenting with you. It really helps build energy, rapport, and communication with the people you’re presenting to.
3. Slide etiquette: Avoid any slide that you’re only going to show for a few seconds. Try limiting the slides to the ones that are interactive and engaging, not just things that are reminders for you on the subject. The slides and presentation are for your attendees, not for you.
4. Add interactive features: Interactive features add a nice element to a webinar presentation. Add a few in gradually, like sliding website pages. Just don’t do it right off the bat or excessively. Let the presenter speak first and delve into the subject before going deep.
5. Timeliness: Make sure that you boot up your webinar early. There’s always a few attendees who will show up before the actual start time. Make sure there is something on the screen that alerts them that they are in the right place. Do not wait until it’s time to start to boot up; it will make you look disorganized. So, 5 to 10 minutes prior to launch, get set up and ready to welcome people.
Promote the Webinar
If you write a book and no one reads it, no one gives a damn that you wrote a book. If you do a webinar, and no one attends, and no one sees it, the webinar investment of time and energy is wasted. Without amplification, the vast majority of content is not productive.
Email Series to Your Current Database
When we look at promoting a webinar, one of the basic essentials is going to be an email series to your current database. There’s a lot of jazzy language out there on how to generate leads when you don’t have a list. Those aren’t your prospects. You want to use a dedicated list of prospects from your database.
Outbound Training Invitations – Cold Outreach
The next component of promotion is outbound training invitations, which can be done on many channels.
The top channels are email and LinkedIn InMail.
When you’re inviting people to join a webinar through advertising, it’s not a great ad. I’ll touch on what elements need to be in a typical webinar type of ad and a training session ad. When you’re just generally saying, “We’re hosting this session, and you’re invited to this subject on this day to do this,” those ads aren’t going to convert. Just as a general performance metric associated with any type of content like that that’s being amplified, there’s just no value being presented to me.
Let’s talk a little bit about webinar ads and some of the best practices that surround them because this is a critical part of promotion.
Usually choosing a basic ad design is going to be more effective. We typically test showing a photo of the presenter and include an abstract of the webinar. You can also try an animated or illustrated version vs. a photo, but you need something that is eye-catching. You just don’t want to get excessive into ad creative that you’re not really confident.
Then there is the scent principle. The ad scent. It’s a conversion scent across the experience. Whatever you’re doing in the advertising needs a matching landing page. It needs a matching thank-you page. It needs to match the deck that you’re presenting. You need to package that entire branding, the entire experience, start to finish.
You also don’t promote the webinar directly in your ad; you want to promote the landing page. That landing page content is what needs to sell the webinar registration (not the ad itself).
You can pull people in to learn something through the text on a landing page. You can start teaching them things and aligning their pain point and triggers. You should delineate the benefits that they will receive. This type of wording on your landing page will pull them in vs. going straight for the jugular and say, “Hey, we have this webinar. It’s on this day.” That’s probably not going to convert at the higher rate that you want.
In your ad, you want to have questions that introduce. Want to know more about this? Does your company have this? Are you facing this challenge? You want to have a question that allows them to say “yes.” It’s called progressive acceptance, which is really useful in sales where you make the person you’re interfacing with say “yes” incrementally to small things, that then gets them to a bigger “yes” at the end. You want them saying “yes” throughout the experience.
You want to make sure you tell them the results or outcome that they can get from your webinar. You can add cliffhangers. They’re okay. I’m not a big fan of them the vast majority of the time. In ad copy specifically, there is still a level of click through that we have to generate, not clickbait. Clickbait basically means the thing that they clicked on is not what they expected. Don’t miss that terminology. Clickbait means I wanted to click on it, but when I went there, it was crap. It wasn’t what I expected, which is why I left. Cliffhangers mean the story continues on another page.
The headline of your ad needs to include the summary of what you can expect and how the information will get taught. Then, anything else is just something to catch their eye. It has to align. It has to be something that resonates. You need a visual that matches the persona type.
Running a Successful Webinar
This section is the meat-and-potatoes portion of this guide. Let’s start with some tips.
- Start a couple minutes early. I mentioned this earlier, but it begs repeating. People show up early. Attendees like to get booted up, and they can go about their work on a different screen. You need to be there. Ten minutes early is usually proper.
- Try and find out something from your audience. Ask them to tell you where they are from in the chat box. It gets people talking about something that they know and they’re comfortable with, not something that requires them to share a lot of information about themselves.
- Start the formal presentation 3 minutes late, so everyone has a chance to join in. Sometimes people are running late, maybe they didn’t notice calendar pop-up reminder or had technology issues. So start the overall webinar 10 minutes early, but start the actual presentation at least 3 minutes past the posted start time.
The introduction is very important. It needs to get them interested in staying for your full presentation. It’s not video advertising or introducing yourself. It’s something impactful that leaves them hanging or wanting more.
Tell them why they need to stay at the very end. The language that would work is, “If you stick around to the end, we will answer all your questions with these benefits,” or “We’re going to choose an audience member, and that person is going to get a complimentary [fill in the blank], or access to [fill in the blank].”
Tell Them What They’re Going to Learn
Remind them of the value of the webinar. Just like I said in the copy, you need to constantly reassure and remind people how valuable the thing is that they’re experiencing. With children, you say, “Aren’t you having a great time?” and they say, “Yes.” If you ask, “Are you having a good time?” then they might say “No.” If it’s an easy acceptance of the energy you’re putting out there, the vast majority will just follow. You’ll rub off on them.
Tell Them Why They Need to Stay to the End.
Give them specific bullets of what you’re going to include, what they will learn. If you stick around, by the end of this webinar we will answer all your questions. Tell them clearly about the benefits. List out Benefit #1, Benefit #2, Benefit #3, etc.
Tell Them About Yourself
In Japanese culture, when you go into a boardroom or meeting, you hand out your business card first before you say your name because it’s more important who you are than what your name is. They need to know what level, or what seniority, what mastery, what experience you have before your name. Your name isn’t who you are. Your name is something to call you. Who you are is your expertise, what you’re bringing to the table, your authority. That is who you are.
Once you’ve done that, humanize yourself and build some rapport. Nothing gimmicky like “I was voted most likely to [fill in the blank] in high school.” Share something deeper—It doesn’t have to be emotionally deep, but personal, that they will feel comfortable with.
Maybe it’s a fun fact that’s interesting and makes you seem more than just a professional. “I spend my weekends climbing mountains and running triathlons,” as an example, or you have children, “Fun fact. My kid is this, and it’s been this for me.” Then, you’ve built rapport, so they then can share with you.
Tell Them Why They Can Trust You
This goes into client communication. All customer communication is, “Sir, I’m going to do this. I hope you can trust me because I have this experience. I’m going to show you this or that service.” You need to communicate and reassure. Talk about your professional qualifications, achievements, and experience in order to really present value. If you don’t, it’s like going to a random doctor you don’t know. You probably aren’t going to trust what they have to say.
Share a Relevant Struggle
I think what makes storytelling really resonate with people is when you have a similar struggle yourself, and you figured it out. Now, you’re teaching them something because you know how to do it. That’s a successful way of communicating, especially when you’re talking to business owners, even marketers. “Hey, we had trouble doing this ourselves. We’ve systemized this process. We’re going to show you exactly how we did this, so you don’t have to go through the same struggles that we went through.”
This also helps to build trust, because now you have hands-on experience solving the problem that they have. You’re not just presenting information that could have been aggregated elsewhere. Use your own struggle to set the explanation. It’s like weight loss; you’re more likely to listen to someone give nutritional advice who has already lost 100 pounds than the overweight person who hasn’t.
Tell Them How to Connect With You
This is not a call to action. This is a personal/professional connection that you as a presenter need to make. Tell them how to find you, via email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. Provide your company email address. This gives them avenues for follow-up questions, which in turn gives you more access to them to progress them through the funnel to a buying stage.
Simple Tactics to Keep Them Interested
You can state a known fact that is true. This is getting into the psychology of communications. When someone doubts your expertise and authority, the way you build that authority is stating things that you know are factual that they can agree to.
Yes, you’re getting them to acknowledge that things coming out of your mouth, things that you say are factual, and they agree. Then you’re going to be more successful in sharing the content that you have next.
Tell them a story, the reason you created this webinar for them. Again, this is all in the intro. You have to really sell it and remind them of why they are there and the value they will receive. “We created this webinar because we’ve experienced this, this, this, this. We built this for you, so you can have this.”
Talk about a mistake or mistakes that are typical and what benefits they will receive if they change the way they do things. This is a great way to position your webinar. You can also ask a question that leads into the problem that they have, that this webinar addresses. Questions overall are good for reassurance or follow-up. “Does this make sense? Is this clear? Do you have initial questions on this? Please leave them in the chat.” Also, a question like, “Have you ever experienced this situation, and this was your outcome?”
Finish up your introduction by telling them about the results that they are going to get once this problem is solved. Again, another reason why they need to stay to the end. They need to understand by solving this problem what they’re going to get.
You may have noticed that the introduction portion of the webinar is long and detailed. This is because the intro will make or break your webinar. It can mean the difference between abysmal failure and future sales. The rest of the webinar is tailored to your own content, which we cannot write for you. It’s your expertise put into a form that is valuable to your attendees, so let’s move on to the content section.
Deliver Valuable Content
This is where you deliver the content you create, the very valuable content that will convert your attendees. You run through all your information clearly and concisely in a way that engages your audience, with appropriate visuals.
Then you add a benefit to those attending. You say, “You’re going to do these things,” or “These issues are present, do this, and you’ll get this action.” The benefit doesn’t need to come from you as something that you provide. It just means, “If you take action in this, this is what you’re going to see.”
You’ll also want to add scarcity. Maybe you tie it to something you are providing, like a free consultation. You’re only going to give it to two people. If you, as an attendee take this action, you will get [fill in the blank]. It has to be a really small segment to make it have more value in their eyes.
Finally, list out why doing business together would be a good fit. You don’t want prospects that are not qualified taking that next step. But there will be prospects attending the webinar that are a good fit and learning something they need to know. You need to say, “We’re offering this free consultation. You’re a good fit if this is the type of situation that you have. If these are the problems you’re facing, and you’re looking for someone to help you with this, take advantage of our free consultation.” You set the criteria for the action that you’re taking, so they weed themselves out.
Then open for a Q&A session. This is really important. You have a huge opportunity to get feedback, to further communicate with the attendees. It can be one of your greatest resources.
You get to dialogue with people who just sat through the content you presented. Then, you will either advance them in the sales process or it will provide you with greater insights to improve your content in the future.
With all these understood and implemented, you can now run a successful webinar that drives results.