Is it time you learned how to create and host a webinar?
For years, webinars have been gradually making their way into the marketing mainstream. Convenient, effective, and brimming with value, the webinar promises a host of benefits for companies and customers alike. Businesses get to showcase their thought leadership and attract new clients, while consumers get valuable information and education.
Since the pandemic of 2020, demand for webinars has increased drastically. Business buyers and consumers alike need access to valuable digital information when in-person interactions aren’t available. Here’s your guide to taking advantage of the webinar revolution.
Why Create a Webinar?
61% of B2B companies now say they’re using webinars as part of their content marketing strategy.
The demand for webinars is increasing, offering companies a dynamic way to connect with their target audience on a new level. Although webinars take a decent amount of time to plan and produce, the outcomes are well worth the work, with up to 40% of attendees turning into qualified leads.
Webinars offer users an immersive experience, where they can gain valuable knowledge and insights while learning more about your product, service, or company.
Ready to jump in? Here’s how to create and host a webinar.
Step 1: Choose an Attractive Topic
First, you need to decide what your webinar is going to cover.
Webinars need to be engaging, informative, and relevant to your target audience.
The right webinar will simultaneously stimulate the intellectual curiosity of your viewer while showcasing what makes you special as a brand.
Choosing a topic is simpler as it seems. Start by:
- Evaluating your audience: What kind of topics will they be interested in? Do you have any conversations with customers you can look at to discover common pain points or queries? What’s currently trending in your industry? Using tools like Google Trends and Buzzsumo can help to expand your ideas.
- Knowing your brand: The topic you choose should align with your brand and your expertise in your industry. If you’re a company selling social media marketing, it doesn’t make sense to host a webinar about cars. Make sure the topic aligns with your business.
- Outpacing the competition: Don’t just cover the same topics as your competitors. Find out what companies in your industry are talking about and look for gaps you can fill. Alternatively, bring a new perspective to a crucial concept.
Step 2: Find the Right Tools for Webinar Recording
Recording a webinar is a process that demands investment in a handful of important tools.
First and foremost, you’re going to need a camera and microphone to collect spoken audio, and video of you, or your presenter. Make sure that the camera is high-quality so that you’re not distracting viewers with fuzzy pixels, or making it hard to see the information you’re sharing.
Your audio should be clear and crisp, so invest in a microphone with noise cancellation built-in and a pop-filter to reduce distortion. It helps to record in a bright room where you’ll be free from interruptions too. Once you have your physical devices ready:
- Choose screen capture and presentation software: Webinar recording software comes with various tools as simple to help you bring your educational experience alike. You’ll need a software with things like the option to export files in a range of formats, and display content in different ways. Make sure you learn how to use your webinar software before you begin recording anything.
- Find a webinar platform: Webinar platforms are where you can stream your webinar content. Some options come with things like live-chat interactions, commentary, downloads, and even landing pages for people to learn more about your webinar. Look for a service with plenty of engagement and interactive features like “raise hand” functionality, to get your viewers involved in the experience.
- Download editing software: We’ll come back to this later but video editing software will be necessary to make your webinar look as professional as possible. Fortunately there are tons of free and premium products to choose from.
Step 3: Choose Your Schedule
Now it’s time to decide when you’re going to host your webinar. Choosing the right timing is crucial, because it ensures a better turnout, and more attention for your brand. Your existing knowledge of your target audience will give you some insight into times that may be suitable.
You can check your website analytics, email opening times, and social media reports to see when people are usually active and online. Make sure you know where your audience is logging in from, so you can tailor your webinar to their time zone.
According to ON24, Wednesdays and Thursdays are often the best days for hosting webinars. It’s worth trying one of those days if you’re not sure where to start. 11 am is the most popular time for hosting, followed by 10 am. Try to avoid obvious commute times or working hours if you want to get as many people online as possible.
You can also consider making a downloadable version of the webinar available to people who might miss out on the first few minutes – just in case.
Choose the data of your webinar far enough in advance that you still have time to practice and build hype for the event.
Step 4: Run Your Webinar Sign-Up Campaign
Now it’s time to get people excited about your webinar.
Since only up to 45% of people who register for a webinar actually attend, you need to get as many people interested as possible. Start by creating a newsletter announcement for your existing subscribers. Offer an exclusive sign-up discount or early-bird gift to people who sign up straight away. This will immediately start generating buzz for your events.
Make sure you include opportunities for your existing customers to invite other attendees from their social and professional circles along too. Referrals are a great way to get more attention.
Next, create a landing page for your webinar. It needs to showcase what your webinar is going to be about (without giving too much away), information on how much it’s going to cost, and where it’s going to be, and plenty of insights into the benefits of attending.
Ideally, you’ll want to start promoting this landing page on every channel as early as possible, including social media, through guest blogs, and on your website. Give people a reason to sign up, and ask them to enter their email address, so you can keep them informed on the run-up to the date.
You can boost your chances of sign-ups with:
- Tangible benefits: Use reviews from previous webinars, case studies, and statistics to show people the measurable benefits they’ll get from taking part.
- Lead magnets: Offer something for free just for signing up, like an eBook or a checklist that the user can take with them to the webinar.
- FOMO: Use countdowns, limited time offers, and limited spaces to leverage the fear of missing out.
Step 5: Get Prepared!
With your webinar date coming ever closer, it’s important to ensure you’re well prepared. There are plenty of ways you can build your confidence in time for the event and reduce the risk of things going wrong. For instance, it’s always a good idea to have a script for your webinar.
Even if you want the event to come across as informal and laidback, your script will keep you from going off on a tangent. It’s how you make sure you’re covering the most important topics your audience wants to know about. Practice your script with friends and colleagues to determine whether anything is missing before the day.
Other ways to prepare include:
- Testing your audio and video: Make sure everything looks and sounds perfect before the event. Think about the lighting in the room, and how easy it is to see you. Will people be walking around and making noise if you’re at home? What kind of background will your attendees see when they log in?
- Explore the platform: Log into your chosen webinar platform and explore how everything works. Do you know how to present your content using available slideshows, and how to stop unwanted attendees from getting into the event?
- Check your internet speed: Make sure you have the right bandwidth to deliver a webinar without any lag or disruptions. If you’re going to have issues with your connection, you’ll need to fix this before the event.
If you’re nervous about the webinar experience, it might be a good idea to perform a practice version. This gives you a chance to evaluate your presentation (via recording) and decide whether you’re happy with how things look and sound.
Step 6: Host Your Webinar in a Fun and Engaging Way
When it comes to learning how to webinar creation process, hosting the actual event is often the most nerve-wracking experience. The main thing you need to focus on is keeping the experience as engaging as possible for your audience, so they have a great time.
Start by greeting your participants. You could use engaging webinar facilities like polls and questionnaires to break the ice in this initial session, or just introduce what you’re going to talk about in an exciting way. Make sure you remind your audience of the benefits of being there.
If you’re running a learning experience, you could get the audience more involved by setting aside time periods where you split them into breakout groups and ask them to come up with responses to challenges. This is a great way to make sure the people in your webinars actually take some notes away with them.
Other ways to have fun in your webinar include:
- Being spontaneous: Share your own anecdotes and stories to make the conversation feel more authentic and ask people to join in and give their feedback to certain ideas. Many webinars even allow you to share the stage with participants, turning them into temporary co-hosts so they can discuss concepts with you.
- Bring in surprise guests: Arrange for a few surprise guests to drop in. These could be members of staff who have unique perspectives to offer, or influencers that you’re currently working with in your space.
- Host competitions: Get people excited by hosting competitions, and giveaways. A quick quiz at the end of a webinar could be a great way to determine how many people were really paying attention, while generating buzz about your event.
- Use slide decks and presentations: Make sure you have plenty of visual data and insights to share. Most webinar tools come with presentation modes which allow you to showcase your idea in slide-show format.
Step 7: Edit, Trim and Improve Your Webinar Recording
Once the live webinar event is over, it’s time to transform the experience into something you can share online. Load up the video editing software we mentioned earlier and think about how you can slice your webinar up into valuable segments for your audience.
You might want to remove bits like the audience Q&A segment if it won’t be relevant to your other customers and focus on the explanation sections instead. Trim down anything that isn’t going to be useful, and make sure the finished webinar recording looks professional.
Most editing tools will help you to deal with things like straightening your frame and removing redeye. You could even overlay effects and transitions into different segments. While you’re editing, look for snippets of the webinar that you could use to inspire future blog posts or videos. It’s also worth creating a few bite-sized chunks you can use to share on social media and in your email marketing efforts.
These “chunks” will also be useful when you’re generating excitement for your next webinar event. You’ll be able to give people an idea of what to expect.
Step 8: Publish and Learn
When your edited webinar is perfect publish it with your webinar platform.
It’s up to you how you deliver this edited version to the public. You might ask people to sign up for a chance to see the full thing, so you can collect more email addresses for potential leads. A webinar can be an excellent lead magnet.
Alternatively, you might just place sections of the webinar on your website for people to search through in their own time. Whatever you choose to do with your evergreen webinar content, make sure that you have a system in place to track the results of your efforts.
Pay attention to metrics like sign-up volume, download numbers, and engagement levels – how many people watch the whole webinar, and how many only focus on a certain part? If people aren’t watching your entire webinar, where are you losing their interest?
The information you collect from this webinar will help you to improve your efforts next time around. You might even learn a little more about your audience, so you know who to target next.
Step 9: Keep People Engaged
When your webinar is finished, and you’ve published your Evergreen content online – your work isn’t done. Aside from evaluating your metrics to improve your content next time, you can also ask your attendees to give you their feedback with reviews and testimonials.
These will offer some valuable insight into what worked in your webinar – while also giving you a social proof to share on your next sign-up page.
Share snippets from your webinar online and encourage people to sign up to your newsletter so they’re the first to know when the next one is available. For people who want to learn more about your business after the webinar, make sure you provide links to your contact forms and relevant product pages.
If you’re not sure what to create your next webinar on, start collecting information. Put a poll on your website and social media pages asking people what they’d most like to see from you in the future. This is an excellent way to start generating ideas, and you could even get some inspiration for your content marketing plan too.
Creating and Hosting the Ultimate Webinar
Webinars are quickly emerging as some of the most valuable tools for audience engagement, entertainment, and education. The good news for business leaders, is that these assets are also surprisingly easy to create. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the steps above, you’ll be creating a wide selection of amazing webinars in no time.
Feel like getting straight to it? Find the best webinar software for your needs with our buyer’s guide.