Did you know over 61% of B2B organizations are leveraging webinars for their marketing efforts? And rightfully so — hosting a webinar works.
Corporate webinars have become a go-to strategy that allows companies to accelerate lead capture, build brand authority, cultivate community, and convert users into paying customers.
But truthfully, running an effective webinar isn’t easy.
Webinars that lack planning, engagement, and tangible insights can make your audience feel like they’re stuck in another zoom meeting instead of attending a professional event with key learnings.
Creating a webinar that is not only educational but also entertaining takes a lot of moving parts converging together at the same time. It is a live event, after all.
Feeling intimidated? Don’t worry; we’ve got you!
If you’re going to run a world-class webinar of your own, follow these three steps so you can amplify your brand message and inspire your audience.
Step one: Dial-in your flow
The key for webinars in 2022 and beyond is quality over quantity.
Step one: program every moment of your webinar, top-to-bottom. Programming your webinar to flow smoothly is crucial for keeping an audience engaged.
You will want to decide on everything from how long the event will last to how you’re splitting up the time to how you’re going to capture leads.
To begin, start by understanding your why.
- Why are you hosting the webinar?
- What value do you intend to provide?
- What tangible takeaways do you want your audience to learn?
Review the answers to these questions with your team, so everyone’s compass points toward the same north star.
There are also many ways to structure the flow of your webinar. Here are a few we use that work best for engagement:
- 30-40 minute presentation followed by 15 minutes moderator Q+A.
- Fireside chats with an industry expert followed by 15 minutes audience Q+A.
- 10-minute presentation from multiple guests followed by 30 minutes roundtable Q+A with a moderator.
- 30-minute presentation or moderator Q+A followed by virtual break-out rooms for networking and further discussion.
Step two: Invite topic experts
Keep three words top of mind: Practical. Shareable. Actionable.
The best webinars offer insights that inspire immediate action. Your audience wants to know the information will help them level up their skills today.
Like you, your audience members have a job to do — and they likely already have a certain level of expertise. So you will captivate them by understanding their pain points and highlighting exactly how your insights can fit into their current workflow.
The best way we have found to accomplish this is by inviting topic experts who have a long history in our industry. Bonus: it also levels up your company credibility.
Topic experts can break down complex subjects into easily digestible information. They can answer nuanced questions and offer knowledge that your audience won’t find with a google search.
When you can provide an educational experience that instantly elevates your audience’s skills, you have the equation that will keep them coming back for more.
Word to the wise: please do your research before inviting someone affiliated with your brand during a webinar. An audience can smell a fake in minutes! They can see through the veil when an “expert” brings a sales pitch disguised as a cutting-edge presentation.
Step three: Continue the conversation
I’ll let you in on a secret – community is key.
Cultivating a community around your brand is what will set you apart from your competitors by leaps and bounds.
With community, you won’t just welcome new and repeat customers – you’ll be generating brand advocates.
A brand with a tight-knit community builds trust faster than any other brand-building initiative. You can leverage that trust in many ways to create even more impactful initiatives. Remember, there is strength in numbers.
Here’s how to build community fast around a webinar:
Leading up to the webinar, post the topic on the platform of your choosing and start a conversation. Ask the community what questions they would like asked, so they feel invested in the conversation.
After the webinar:
- Thank your guests and community for attending
- Share highlights for those who missed
- Continue the conversation by asking people’s takeaways and feedback
This is a great chance to show the personal side of your brand. Instead of just asking for community takeaways, offer your thoughts and opinions as well. Your interactions will encourage your audience to engage.
The top companies this decade will be the ones that focus on being more than just a for-profit entity that serves a customer base. They will be the ones that create a brand that prioritizes trust and community.
Make webinars a go-to strategy for your company and build a community that elevates your brand for years to come.
Chelsea Harris is the Head of Global Experiential Marketing at Mogul, a talent acquisition platform that works to create diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She oversees all areas of the event marketing process, including strategy, budgets, creativity, and mentoring. She has a deep love for jazz music and the color turquoise and holds a BA in Marketing from LIM College.