Webinars are great. In fact, 83% of marketers found webinars an effective strategy in 2022, according to Wyzowl. Webinars enable marketers to bring a remote audience together and engage with potential customers who would otherwise be difficult to reach. Time and place no longer form blockers to attending. So, the question is no longer if you should add webinars to your marketing mix, but rather how to stand out from the large crowd of mediocre webinars and engage and convert your audience into leads. Hosting webinars done right.
- What does hosting a webinar mean?
- How to host a webinar – a step-by-step guide
- Host your webinars on Kaltura Webinars
What does hosting a webinar mean?
Webinar hosting has changed a lot over the last few years. In the not-so-distant past, it used to be a complex endeavor that required a lot of technical know-how and expensive hardware. Today, hosting webinars is entirely cloud-based. Dedicated webinar platforms like Kaltura Webinars take care of the entire technical side, making hosting webinars 100% a marketing job.
In marketing terms, hosting webinars means brainstorming questions or issues your target audience may have and inviting them to receive expert advice to solve that question during an online seminar, in which you also demonstrate the value of your brand, product, or services in solving that issue better, easier, or faster.
How to host a webinar. A step-by-step guide
Ok, so how do you go about hosting webinars, step by step? We’ve broken it down for you in 7 straightforward steps.
Brainstorm ideas for your webinar
Like with most things in marketing, it’s not about what you would like to talk about. It’s about what your audience needs. If your webinar doesn’t hold any value for your audience, no amount of promotion will make them register.
Do a quick Google research to understand what’s on your audience’s mind. The “People also ask” and “Related Searches” sections on the Google pages provide valuable information to that effect. Answerthepublic.com is an excellent tool to find out what people are asking about your subject.
But you don’t have to reach out to external sources alone. Your Customer Support department and your Sales team know exactly what type of issues your audience deals with.
As soon as you locked in on a specific issue you want to address, you should also be able to choose a presenter or instructor for your webinar. Do you have an in-house expert on your topic? If not, are there any external experts you can invite for a panel discussion or an interview?
Choose a webinar format
A webinar doesn’t always have to be a talking head. Other webinar formats include panel discussions, Q&As, and interviews. Your choice of format greatly depends on your resources and your topic. If you have an in-house expert, it makes sense to set up a single-speaker presentation or maybe a Q&A. If you rely on external speakers, you would choose an in-house host to moderate the conversation during a panel discussion. In the case of a single external speaker, an interview might make more sense.
You can always combine formats to make your webinar more compelling –an interview following a single-speaker presentation or a panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. In fact, we recommend adding a Q&A session wherever possible. It will add a touch of interactivity and your audience will enjoy a complete experience answering all their questions. A Q&A could also be a great source of ideas and topics for future webinars.
Schedule a date and time
Scheduling your webinar isn’t at your sole discretion. You want to accommodate your audience as much as possible and choose a date and time that creates the least amount of friction for your audience. Your webinar shouldn’t fall on a weekend or a holiday, obviously. But other factors seem to play a role, too. Online sources report that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to host webinars. People seem to favor the late morning (10 or 11 am).
Take time zones into account, if you’re taking your webinar global. Depending on where your audience is located, you might want to offer a second date for your webinar or maybe offer people in different time zones to view the recording of your webinar after the event.
Create content for the webinar
With your topic, speakers, and format in mind, you can start producing the content for your webinar. Your content can take the form of a slide deck, multimedia material, links, etc. In the case of a discussion panel or interview, you will also have to prepare questions to guide the conversation in the right direction.
You should also be familiar with the features and tools of your webinar platform. If your webinar software offers the option of including polls, for instance, then you should consider enriching your content with that.
If you’re working with external speakers, make sure to include them in the process.
Start promoting your webinar and invite potential attendees
In principle, you should start promoting your webinar from the moment you have a topic, a date, and a registration page. Start with your email list. Invite them to the webinar with compelling copy that will convince them they need your webinar and include the link to your registration page as the Call-To-Action.
Launch ads on social media and Google, include an item or a banner in your newsletter, post a banner on your homepage, write a blog post about your webinar, etc. As you progress in the content creation of your webinar, you’ll be able to send updates about it. Amp up your communication in the last days leading up to the webinar.
Don’t let your registrants “cool down”. They might forget about your upcoming webinar. Make sure to send them reminders, including a reminder an hour or so ahead of the webinar with the webinar link.
D-day: Host your webinar
Make sure to perform a dry run of your webinar before the event and have contingency plans in place in case of equipment malfunction or other issues.
This is a key step in webinar lead generation. Send your participants a thank you email. Include a link to the webinar recording along with a call-to-action. This can be a request for feedback in the form of a survey (to improve on future webinars), a membership registration, a link to your website for more info, a call with a sales agent, or a discount coupon on your products or services.
First time setting up a webinar? Then you might have to add the initial step of choosing the right webinar platform for your needs. This is an important step. What you want to achieve with your webinars might be limited by the technology you use.
Host your webinars on Kaltura Webinars
Kaltura Webinars is all about the experience and making a lasting impression on your audience. Create webinars that engage and generate leads with automatically generated branded landing pages for registrations, a minisite that incorporates your virtual room along with all the key information of your webinar, engagement tools like polls, moderated Q&A, chat, and audience reactions, and cloud recording that is viewable from the same minisite.
That’s only the gist of it. Discover all the webinar tools and features first-hand with a 14-day free trial. Click on the banner below.
Create webinars that stand out… With Kaltura Webinars!