How to Host a Webinar People Want to Attend

webinar-hosting_LI-532x266 How to Host a Webinar People Want to Attend

Photo: Wes Hicks

It’s just a matter of time before your traditional marketing efforts begin to slow down. When that happens, you might consider increasing your leads and expanding your target market(s) using webinars.

Webinar Benefits

Why would you consider this, somewhat, time-intensive marketing option?

It is a great way to reach and qualify more leads, more often. It helps to build greater brand awareness, which is really important for new firms, or firms that have recently changed their name. You are able to present to more people in less time than with just about any other platform, except possibly conference speaking. With recorded webinar content, you could monetize it or simply share it for free to an even larger audience.

Checklist

Here are some best-practice tips you can use to create successful webinars.

  1. Choose a date and time: GoTo Meeting recommends hosting the webinar in Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PST and 3:00 p.m. EST.
  2. Choose a hot topic that you or someone you know can speak about. Choosing enticing headlines are sure to draw in registrations. For example, you could host a tax-related webinar called “Tax Tips for the Self Employed.” Or, consider a more exciting headline, such as “Business Tax Tips That Impact the Bottom Line.”
  3. Build webinar content with slides, polls, and post-webinar content shares.
  4. Write a script. The slides should not be the script. Good webinar speakers will tell you that the script can make all the difference when it comes to effective webinar content. It also helps speakers to stay on track with time.
  5. Choose a relevant hashtag for your target audience, such as a city, or state, plus topic hashtag. Hashtagify.me is a great resource to help you determine the top hashtags about your topic. Plus, you can see a list of top influencers related to that topic. You could ask them to share the information or even speak about the topic on your webinar.
  6. Send webinar invitations through every marketing channel you have, including email, social media, website, mail (on occasion), through influencers in your circles, Twitter lists, and if you have a budget, online ads. Remember to include effective SEO practices on the registration landing page to help increase organic search for the event.
  7. Host your webinar on a product that allows for recording. Some free tools with recording features include GoTo Webinar, WebEx, On24, Adobe Connect, and ClickMeeting.
  8. Practice the tools on your own platform and with speakers. Do a trial run well before the big day to make sure streaming and access are not issues. Also, if the tool is new to you, practice using it multiple times before the webinar event.
  9. Send email reminders to registrants that the big day is coming and ask them to share relevant social media posts about their attendance to help generate buzz. Provide the messages you’d like them to share, including hashtags, registration links, and social media-ready photos.
  10. Continue to market the event throughout the pre-webinar weeks. Remember to use a “sense of urgency” headline as the event draws near, such as “Space is limited. Register today!” or, “Time is running out to get in on this great topic,” etc.
  11. Share the recording post event with those who attended and in some cases with those who registered but, did not attend. You could also monetize the recording by posting it on your website and asking for a nominal fee to view the recording.

WordStreamsuggests some of these topics if you’re never hosted a webinar before.

  • A detailed examination of a niche topic from a fresh angle;
  • A panel discussion of a timely, news-based issue in your industry;
  • A thorough, example-driven “how-to” tutorial – this is great for things like QuickBooks and other accounting software;
  • An adaptation of a presentation you’ve already done; and/or
  • An interview with an industry thought leader.

Bonus tips for those considering this effective marketing tool:

  • Promote the webinar early and often – at least a month in advance;
  • Consider incorporating polls into the session, especially if you want it to be considered for CPE credit;
  • Add presenter bios to the registration page to help generate interest and social authority; remember to link to their social media platforms for additional support; and
  • Ask presenters to share pre-written social media posts during the registration time period.

Now that you have the checklist, tips, and suggested topics, what will your next webinar topic be?

 

Disclaimer: This post originally appeared in the CPA Client Bulletin Resource Guide, © 2018 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Reprinted by permission.

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