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How to webinar – a guide by fledgling webinar-ers

We’ve recently jumped on the webinar bandwagon. Why? Well, with event spaces well and truly locked up for the foreseeable future, we had plenty of content ready to be rolled out, including a couple of keynote presentations for expos that had since been postponed. So why wait? We decided to jump in headfirst.

We’d never done a webinar before so we were a little dubious and actually downright scared. And we were right to be as,

according to Medium

, only around a third of sign-ups will actually attend your webinar. With this statistic in mind, not only was it important to reach as many people as possible, but also we were keen to beat that statistic and encourage more bums on virtual seats. As with any new marketing venture, we had plenty of learnings after the event, so we’ve split them into two parts. Part 1 of this blog focuses on the planning stages and promotion of the webinar, while Part 2 covers data collection and the all-important follow up.  

Picking the right webinar software 

With plenty of options out there, choosing the right webinar software for your company is an important step in the process. After attending demos of four different pieces of software (Webex, Livestorm, Zoom and Gotowebinar), we opted for Zoom Webinar. Having an easy-to-use interface was important, plus the team was already comfortable using the Zoom Meetings functionality, so it felt like a natural choice. An important factor to consider when choosing your software is cost and how many people you are expecting to join. From a privacy perspective, we opted for software that allowed us to keep our attendee details private from other attendees. 

How to get the theme and tone just right

Once we had chosen our software, it was time to develop our content into an online format. A catalyst to dipping our toes into webinar-ing was a member of our implementation team, Hannah, had been due to deliver a talk at the B2B Marketing Expo in March. With the expo postponed, we felt that a webinar would be a great way to utilise the content she had worked hard on preparing. 

Working in the tech industry, often webinars are focused on the tech itself. Sometimes the benefits for the people using the tech are left out of things, so there seemed to be a gap for a webinar focused more on the importance of supporting clients and ensuring they have the tools at hand to enable change in their organisation. We had recently written an eBook on how to

encourage positive adoption of new Martech tools

, so the natural next step was to continue this narrative in a webinar format.

How to promote to the right audience

You’ve decided on your theme and it’s time to tell the world – yes that’s right, with a webinar there are no boundaries for your online reach, except perhaps time zones! It’s important to see your audience as being global and ensure that date and time information is written correctly, e.g. we stated clearly that our kick-off time would be 11am BST.  

Identify your audience personas 

Our first point of call was to alert people from our existing customer and prospect database. These people were either using our software, or had expressed an interest in what we sell, so we knew they were engaged and potentially would like to join the webinar. We sent out a dedicated newsletter promoting sign-ups to the webinar which got a great response. The subject line was: “Let us entertain you! We present the webinar you’ve been waiting for”, which resulted in a healthy 23% open rate. We also looked at the audience who would have been attending the B2B Expo (via their social channels) and merged this information along with our current marketing personas. This gave us a strong set of characteristics to use within our social media paid targeting. 

Utilise partnerships or PR 

If you have partnerships, media buying or PR activities in your budget, then promoting the webinar can slot into these nicely, especially if it is part of a larger campaign. When your spokespeople within the company are asked for comments or are interviewed, make sure they are briefed to comment on your upcoming webinar wherever possible.

If you’ve got this far, take a breather and some time to reflect, as Part 2 of our webinar guide will take you on the journey of creating a cracking webinar landing page to encourage your audience to sign up. It will also outline how to ensure you make the most of all your new contacts post-webinar. 

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