Webinars that Wow Part 1: 5 Strategies to Engage Your Audience
I hope you attended some great online webinars in the last year. Events where the content was salient, the speakers were engaging, the technology worked well, and there was relevant interaction with the attendees. At the end, you felt it was worth your time to attend.
I suspect you have also attended some ineffective online events that were not well delivered, and you tuned out, or were bored and began multi-tasking during the event. Or worse, left.
While the news is promising for expanded availability for vaccines, the reality is many of us will be attending and conducting online events for the foreseeable future. Effective online events require a thoughtful process to be impactful. After attending, planning, and delivering many webinars I want to share strategies to assist creating webinars that wow the audience.
In this post, I’ll cover five strategies for your event. My next post includes tactics to implement the event ...
- Plan relevant content
Who is the intended audience? What is relevant to them? What do they want to learn about? Help them understand “what is in it for me (WIFM)," THE key message to get prospects and customers to commit to attend your online event.
- Shorter is better
Stick to your key messages or themes. Organize your presentation with time for questions and comments while finishing in under an hour. Plan to deliver your webinar in 45-50 minutes. Give the attendees back five to 10 minutes. In the busy pace of today’s business, they’ll remember your key message, was relevant and they had a few minutes of time added to their schedule.
- Bring in the Pros
Successful online events often use a facilitator or moderator. Don’t go it alone. A facilitator serves several purposes; handling introductions, logistics, the chat and having the ability to smoothing out technology issues. This ensures the main speaker can focus on the content and delivery. A facilitator can also become part of your back-up plan if technology challenges occur during the event. Your event will be more successful with proper facilitation.
- Leverage multi-channel promotion
Plan great content and then plan effective communications to promote your event. Develop the process for communication before, during and after the event. Define a hook for your event invitation that demonstrates relevancy to your audience. A multi-channel communication approach is best. Use a webinar platform that integrates email invites and event reminders. You will need to send more than one email invite. Create social media posts with links to the event registration page. Utilize your network to share posts to expand your potential audience.
- Have a back-up plan
Wi-Fi sometimes fails and technology glitches happen. Make sure someone else can share their screen and has a copy of the slides. And can assist if the primary presenter has technology issues.
Now you have a strategy for your event content. My next post will include the tactics to plan and deliver a webinar that wows your audience.
Great online events take thoughtful planning to execute and deliver. Great webinars inform, persuade and educate participants to take action. While one on one in-person meetings are most impactful, consider how you can host webinars to support your sales, marketing and customer communications. Would you like further ideas to run a successful webinar or online event? Please email me to arrange a phone call.
Input for this piece was provided by Mark M. Fallon, president and CEO, The Berkshire Company:
Mark M. Fallon is president and CEO of The Berkshire Company, a consulting firm specializing in mail and document processing strategies. The company develops customized solutions integrating proven management concepts with emerging technologies to achieve total process management. He offers a vision of the document that integrates technology, data quality, process integrity, and electronic delivery. His successes are based upon using leadership to implement innovative solutions in the document process. You can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related story: Webinars that Wow Part 2: 8 Tactics to Engage Your Audience
Lois Ritarossi, CMC®, is the President of High Rock Strategies, a consulting firm focused on sales and marketing strategies, and business growth for firms in the print, mail and communication sectors. Lois brings her clients a cross functional skill set and strategic thinking with disciplines in business strategy, sales process, sales training, marketing, software implementation, inkjet transformation and workflow optimization. Lois has enabled clients to successfully launch new products and services with integrated sales and marketing strategies, and enabled sales teams to effectively win new business. You can reach Lois at highrockstrategies.com.