Webinars can be a highly effective way to connect with your target audience. Being able to directly interact with your attendees, engage with them in real time, and answer their questions makes your content captivating and memorable.
Unfortunately, producing a successful webinar can be a tricky proposition. Even with high-quality content and an engaging host, a webinar can fall flat if details are missed. But don’t be intimidated! Webinars drive quality leads to your sales team and position your brand as the expert in your field, as long as you remember to avoid a few common pitfalls.
Download the "10 Steps to Creating a Successful Webinar Checklist"
Rushing the promotion
It’s easy to get excited about your plan for a webinar and try to schedule it for a week or two in the future. If you already have easily accessible expertise on your topic, it may seem like a webinar can be executed relatively quickly. But taking the time to create excellent content and properly promote your webinar will boost your ROI every time.
Yes, Sales wants leads yesterday and the pressure to deliver can be stressful. But failing to properly promote your webinar will be counterproductive and costly. Plan to spend at least two weeks building your content and a minimum of an additional three weeks of promotion between the time you announce the webinar and the webinar itself.
Does that sound like a long time? It shouldn't. Paid ads need to be written and designed, and their targeting must be refined over time. Viable metrics on those ads won't be available for at least a week after their launch. Look for new lists or opportunities to cross-promote your content with brand partners. Give yourself a chance to send multiple emails, A/B testing subject lines in your invitation emails to your email lists. No one wants their inbox blown up for a week before a webinar because the people running it are desperate for attendees.
Take your time to promote your webinar. The best content in the world won’t generate ROI if there’s no one around to appreciate it.
Takeaway: Give yourself at least three weeks to promote your webinar.
Failing to rehearse
The presentation is ready, your webinar host is an expert, and your attendees are excited to hear what she has to say. What could go wrong? Quite a bit, actually.
Think of putting on a webinar as producing a play. Anything that happens in real time in front of an audience requires careful preparation and can leave a lasting impression. Technical details of microphone levels, call-in bridges, electronic logistics, and in-platform transitions all have to be checked. But more than that, details that are difficult to plan or script will surface during a dry run. Who speaks first once the webinar has started? If the webinar is hosted by a panel, who will curate the questions coming in? How can transitions between co-hosts sound smooth and natural?
Every format, topic, and type of content can have its own challenges. But practicing a webinar several times over the days leading up to it can dramatically improve the audience’s perception of your brand.
Takeaway: Practice your webinar until the flow is smooth and natural.
You did it! You ran a fantastic webinar. Your attendees were informed and impressed and your sales team is inundated with high-quality leads. Before you break out the streamers and high fives, remember that the content you just created doesn’t have to stop generating value.
Not only do you have a webinar recording to edit and post to various channels, but you also have new leads that need to be nurtured and qualified.
Contacts who have just engaged with your brand for the first time are especially valuable. But just because they’re new doesn’t mean they should be MQLs sent to your sales team. Consider your lead qualification carefully, and have a plan in place to nurture those leads. Have relevant content built into automated workflows. Remember to follow up with all your registrants and send them links to the on-demand recording of the session and other relevant content.
Takeaway: Increase your ROI by planning out your follow-up and leveraging your on- demand content to further your investment
Webinars don’t have to be a one-time peak in your lead-generation metrics. With careful planning before the day of your webinar, all that hard work can continue to pay off for weeks or months to come.
Planning and executing a webinar might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Click below to download Crawford Group’s guide, 10 Steps to Producing a Successful Webinar.
For more than 15 years, Crawford Group has successfully managed webinar programs for enterprises across a range of industries. Whether you need technical production assistance or start-to-finish program management, we can help. View our webinar program management services or Contact us to discuss your organization’s unique needs.