Done right, webinars can help you nurture your new subscribers and leads as well as turn existing subscribers into customers.
However, if you don't follow webinar best practices, you run the risk of leaving your audience frustrated which means your webinar won't help you achieve your goals and it'll be a waste of your time.
If you've ever wondered how to do a webinar that people want to sign up for and attend, then you're in the right place. In this post, we'll share the essential webinar best practices to follow that'll help you not only learn how to make a webinar, but also leave your audience raving about you and your brand.
Is Creating a Webinar Right for You?
While webinars are a great marketing strategy, they're not the right choice for every business out there. Unfortunately, many business owners and marketers dive first into webinar production before taking the time to understand whether creating a webinar is right for them.
This leads to webinars that offer no value to the audience and leaves the business with an email list full of subscribers that isn't the right fit for their services or products.
To help you avoid that pitfall, here are a few points to consider before you decide to research how to make a webinar.
- Can you offer a new and detailed outlook on a particular aspect of your niche? If yes, then a webinar would be a good fit. If you plan on covering a very broad topic (and especially a topic that was covered before) without adding more value or a unique insight, then a webinar isn't a good fit.
- A webinar would be an excellent fit if you plan to offer a thorough explanation of a new concept in your industry. This applies for any industry news as well as for a detailed tutorial or a how-to that teaches your audience how to perform a certain task or achieve a certain goal.
- If you know your audience's burning problem and can provide them with an immediate solution or an improvement through your presentation, then a webinar is a great fit for your business.
- A webinar isn't for you if you plan to do nothing more than talk about your services or products with a straight-up sales pitch throughout the webinar. A webinar should provide value to your audience and build trust so that they choose to buy from you when the time comes for you to make your sales pitch.
Now that you know whether you should consider using a webinar, let's take a look at the best practices for webinars when it comes to creating the content, setting up the tech, and marketing and promoting your webinar.
Webinar Checklist: Best Practices for Content and Structure
The first set of best practices deals with the content and structure of your webinar. You'll find tips and advice that'll help you come up with an interesting topic, create your slide deck, choose your speakers, and more.
1. Understand Your Audience
Before you do anything else related to your webinar, make sure you understand and know your audience well. Knowing what they need, what they struggle with and, what their goals are will be crucial when it comes to planning your webinar as it'll dictate everything else; from topic to marketing your webinar.
2. Choose the Right Topic
As mentioned earlier, the right topic will help your audience overcome their biggest obstacles or educate them about what they need to solve their problems and needs. It also needs to raise their awareness about your offer and position you as the expert, which will help build trust with the audience. Ideally, you want to offer your unique insight on a topic specific enough to relate to your audience’s needs and your services or products.
A few good places to start looking for potential topic ideas include:
- Customer support requests
- FAQ section or questions asked by your existing clients
- Replies, comments, and questions by your social media followers or the comments section on your blog
- Facebook or LinkedIn groups in your industry
- Google Analytics and your most visited pages/blog posts
3. Consider the Format
You also want to consider and choose the right format for your webinar. You can choose between a single-presenter format, Q&A interview with a guest expert or a presentation with several panelists and a moderator. The format will be dictated not only by your audience's preferences but also by the complexity of your topic.
4. Choose the Right Speakers
If you've decided to have one or more guest speakers on your webinar, you need to make sure that they're familiar with the topic and are confident on camera. Their expertise will be needed once your audience starts asking questions in order to get a better understanding of the topic so you want to make sure the speakers know about what they’re speaking on.
5. Save Time With a Slide Deck Template
When it comes to creating your slide deck, it's best to use a premade PowerPoint template. Doing so will save you time since you don't have to start from scratch, not to mention you'll already have all the individual slides and presentation elements such as icons and graphs. You can find lots of premade templates that are helpful for creating a webinar on Envato Elements.
Another benefit of a premade template is the fact that they've been designed by professional designers which means you don't have to worry about your presentation looking unprofessional.
Key points to remember when it comes to customizing the template are:
- Use your branding assets throughout the template to start building brand recognition—this includes your colors, fonts, logo, patterns, and other brand elements
- Keep the slides short to avoid the risk of your audience losing interest
- Use graphs, images, icons, charts, and other visual elements to make your slides more appealing
6. Prepare a Script
The last tip for the content and structure of your webinar is to prepare a script to follow during your webinar. This will help you remember all the key points you need to cover and keep you on the topic as well as make it easier to keep track of time.
Webinar Checklist: Best Practices for Marketing and Promotion
Once you're clear on the topic and structure of your webinar, it's time to tackle the marketing and promotion. Here are the recommended best practices to follow.
1. Create a Dedicated Webinar Landing Page for Registrations
While you might be tempted to allow people to sign up for your webinar with a generic form on any page or blog post on your website, you won't get the full benefit and relevant insights as you would with a dedicated landing page.
A dedicated landing page for webinar registrations allows you to accurately track your marketing campaigns as well as perform a split test so you can optimize the page for the best possible conversion rate. Learn how to create one in this tutorial:
The good news is that you can easily create a landing page for webinar registrations even if you're not a designer. There are dozens of landing page templates on marketplaces like Envato Elements and ThemeForest, so all you've got to do is find the right template for your brand.
2. Use Several Channels to Promote Your Webinar
To maximize the number of people who attend, you’ll want to promote your webinar on as many online channels as you can. This includes:
- Your social media profiles where you can use status updates as well as links in your bio or profile description and pinned posts or tweets to point people to your webinar registration page
- Publish a blog post that invites people to register for the webinar
- Consider guest posting on an influential blog in your niche and using the webinar registration page in your byline
- Send an email campaign to your email list with the webinar details and a link to register
To learn more about how to promote your webinar, study this tutorial:
3. Check Your Email Automation and Campaign Tracking
Make sure to check any email automation or campaign tracking before the webinar to ensure everything works as intended. Your automation should include a confirmation email and your promotional campaigns should be able to tell you which one of your social media or other marketing channels is driving the most registrations.
4. Send Email Reminders the Day Before and the Day Of the Webinar
In the days leading up to your webinar, you’ll want to send email reminders the day before the webinar as well as on the day of the webinar. Be sure to include a few reminders on the day of—best practices recommend emailing people an hour before the webinar and just as you're going live.
Webinar Checklist: Best Practices for Tech Setup
Next, there are technical considerations to keep in mind when it comes to planning and preparing your webinar.
1. Choose the Right Platform
When it comes to choosing your webinar platform, you can choose between free and paid platforms. If this is your first webinar or if you're on a budget, using a free platform like YouTube Live Streaming is a good way to get your feet wet. If you're ready to invest in a platform that offers more features such as the ability to have a live chat, automated email confirmation, and reminders, the ability to automate your webinar, and more, then consider using a paid platform.
Aside from the budget, make sure the chosen platform supports the features you need and allows visitors to dial in from their phones or access the webinar on a mobile device.
For more details about choosing your webinar platform, study this tutorial:
2. Invest in a Quality Camera and Microphone
A quality camera and microphone will ensure the audio and visual quality of your webinar are crisp and without any distortions. This will improve your audience’s user experience and leave them with a positive impression of your brand. This article can help you find the equipment that's right for you:
3. Improve Your Wi-Fi Connection
During the webinar, consider using a wired connection or plugging your computer directly into the router. If that’s not feasible, consider putting your other devices in airplane mode, turn off any file syncing services such as Dropbox, quit other browser tabs, email clients, and any other programs that use your Internet connection.
4. Do a Test Run
Lastly, don't forget to do a test run prior to your webinar to ensure your equipment is working correctly and there are no issues with your Internet or webinar platform.
5. Dial-In Early, Start A Little Late
You'll want to dial in early to your own webinar to ensure you've got plenty of time to launch the software, the camera, and set up your presentation. However, start the actual webinar about two minutes after the scheduled time to allow attendees to tune in without missing any important information from the webinar.
Webinar Checklist: Best Practices for Follow Up
Lastly, once you've hosted the webinar, you need to follow up with your audience. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind for webinar follow-ups.
1. Email the Replay Within 24 Hours
Send out the webinar replay, slides, downloadable PDFs or any other additional materials within 24 hours after the webinar. This will allow you to stay top of mind and make it easy on your audience to get more information as well as to take action on your special offer.
2. Survey Your Audience
After the webinar, it's crucial to survey your audience and get their feedback. This will help you improve your presentation as well as allow you to understand which parts of your webinar your audience loved and which ones need more work.
Plan and Prepare Your First Pro Webinar Presentation
Creating a webinar might seem daunting but when you take the time to understand whether hosting a webinar is the right strategy for your business as well as to learn the best practices for creating a webinar, you'll see that it's not so difficult. Now that you've learned how to make a webinar, use our webinar checklist of best practices for content, marketing, tech setup, and follow up to plan and prepare your first pro webinar presentation.