A lot of businesses are turning to webinars as a way to present information about themselves and their businesses. Many see them as an opportunity to display their expertise. Some are looking for ways to capture informational video they can repurpose via YouTube or other video sharing channels. And still others want to find ways to display happy clients and successful projects.
Those are all viable reasons for having a web seminar. But a good goal does not a good webinar make. There are some critical steps you should consider if you're thinking of a webinar for your business.
- Establish goals. Make sure that you know what you want to accomplish. A clear goal will help define and focus your presentation. Making your goals clear to your prospective audience will create a presentation best able to attract potential clients or customers. Also ask how you will measure success? Webinars should not be sales presentations - they should be "YOU" presentations. Learning about you through your case study or discussion of key issues in your area of expertise will help potential clients see you as a business partner. Obtaining leads and increasing your recognition are more likely results.
- Identify your meeting style. Once you know what your goals are, you can determine the kind of presentation you want to have. If your intent is to promote a product, a beneficial case study approach might best serve, especially if you can bring a client in to present their experience with your services or product. If you want to show expertise on current topics of law, finance, business consultation, etc., you may find a moderated panel discussion could work best. But it's important to recognize that event events that appear casual and spur of the moment, aren't. They are well planned and practiced.
- Don't scrimp on promotion. Promotion is critical. If you have a strong email list, you need to make sure you are putting out at least two or three good email promotions for your event. They should not all be in a row and they should all have different subject lines. But people need to see things several times before they take action. And that's not the only way to promote - use your social media and networking channels liberally and hope for your contacts to help you publicize your event. If your own contact lists aren't great, consider teaming up with one of your partners. Getting the word out is important.
- Make sure you repurpose. Having a big audience on the live event isn't your only chance. A recorded webinar can continue paying dividends long after the event is over. So long as you keep publicizing it. There are companies that build entire online libraries with recorded webinars. Don't miss the opportunity.
- Capture, capture, capture. Although the event may be free - and one can argue that most webinars should be free. The price of admission is normally - and acceptably - your contact information. That should also be the price of viewing the recorded file. If your webinar platform doesn't allow you to put a registration form in front of the archived recording, then find another programming option such as an online form that delivers the link after the email and other contact has been provided. There are ways to do it. And you need to do that.
- Be prepared and practiced. As with all things, expect the unexpected and be prepared for as many hiccups that can possibly occur. You're deadling with computers, internet and telephony systems - something eventually will go wrong! Be operationally prepared to work around the issue so that your audience doesn't even know it happened.
- Follow up. You took the time to capture the email addresses of everyone who attended or signed up. Make sure that you follow up with "drip" campaign after the event. A thank you email, a follow up link to the presentation or the archived video, a call or email post event are all important steps. You can't assume that attendees will be lining up to hire you as soon as the event is over. You've got work to do and you can make the webinar presentation work for you as well.
These keys may be overlook - in full or in part - because you or your team are trying to juggle day to day functions, along with this new responsibility. As is often the case with technology, it seems very accessible and you may assume that you can just jump in and do it yourself. To put your best foot foward and make the most of your efforts, make sure you have experienced personnel with the time and experience to monitor the promotion and logistics and know what issues to look out for.
For more information about planning and producing a great webinar, check out our free white paper.
Portfolio can help you plan, prepare and produce your successful webinar. With experienced support services in delivering onlilne meetings and web seminars for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses - like yours - put us on your team. Call us at 864-213-6314 or email us to get started.