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Getting Started With Webinars Or Virtual Events To Optimize Your Marketing Strategy

Leverage social media and SEO as an organic strategy

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

I have been attending a lot of webinars, and at the same time, organizing and hosting webinars. I love how an ordinary webinar can be extraordinary and how it can be an effective demand generation strategy and a way to connect and engage customers through virtual events.

To some it may look easy, but to have a successful webinar also requires good planning and strategy. I will be sharing a few points that we need to consider in planning and executing webinars, to have a more productive and meaningful event. 

What is a webinar? A webinar is an interactive virtual or online or web-based event, seminar or conference. Through webinars, we can provide resources to engage and share information with our customers and target customers, and we are not limited to a physical event venue to broaden our reach. By doing webinars, not only are we saving costs on venues, but we are also saving the time of our audience and resource speakers to travel and be at our event. Webinars are excellent tools to grow our marketing capabilities, increase our demand generation and create leads beyond the walls of your business and deliver content.

A webinar can be an 8-in-1 modern marketing strategy

  • Event
  • Demand generation
  • Brand awareness
  • Content marketing
  • Story telling
  • Online marketing
  • Account-based marketing
  • Influencer marketing

Here are some topic ideas to consider before setting up a webinar

  • An interview with an Industry thought leader
  • How-to tutorials
  • A panel discussion about a timely concern
  • A niche topic from a fresh angle
  • An adaptation of a presentation from a conference

So how long should a webinar be? Considering these ideas above, we also need to keep in mind the length or duration of webinars depending on your program. While some webinar attendees don’t mind longer webinars, it is equally important to find ways to engage with your audience and make sure to have enough time for a Q&A session. 

There are various platforms to choose from, and your choice may depend on the purpose, type of webinars you are hosting, and audience size. These can be used as team collaboration and webinar hosting at the same time:

Other webinar platforms include:

  • BigMaker
  • BrightTALK
  • Clickmeeting
  • Demio
  • EasyWebinar
  • GetResponse
  • GoToWebinar
  • Livestream
  • Livestrong
  • On24
  • Streamyard
  • WebinarJam
  • WebinarNinja
  • Zoom

Now that you have the basic things to know about a webinar, it’s time to create your own webinar. 

Plan

Define your objectives, target audience, timelines, resource persons, KPI and how you can reach your target.

Prepare

  • Design the workflow
  • Choose the topic that fits your defined audience
  • Select the best images for your content, social media and promotions
  • Design and plan the contents for landing pages, emails and registration
  • Decide which platform to use and configure according to your plan of activities and content
  • Create the program or outline for the webinar
  • Create the presentation deck according to the content and topic
  • Have a practice session before the event

Promote 

  • Start executing the promotion plan by sending email invites to target audience
  • Post on social media to spread awareness about your event and attract more attendees
  • Publish blogs and articles with call to actions referring to registration for the webinar
  • Implement SEO to optimize traffic to your blogs and registration landing pages 
  • Use paid media for wider reach to complement with your organic strategies
  • Leverage your speaker’s connections and influence to get more reach

Deliver

  • Send in time reminders to confirmed attendees few minutes or an hour before the webinar starts
  • Run the webinar according to the plan
  • Livestream on social media
  • Engage with the audience and monitor webinar activities
  • Seek for feedback by asking attendees what they like or wish they heard, and future topics they might want to attend
  • Send thank you and we missed you emails, with promotions of upcoming webinars or events
  • Provide video recordings, white papers, schedule one-on-one meetings or offer free trial sign ups

Measure

  • Analyze data and make actionable points to improve execution for future webinars – How many people were invited, registered, attended, and sources of registration
  • Leverage platform analytics to improve engagement and further improvement of future activities – how much time actually the audience spent in watching the webinar, how many left without completing the webinar
  • Get in touch with your registration leads & attendee leads
  • Analyze and learn from feedback 
  • Track and learn video replay view metrics, like watch time, average percentage viewed, average view duration, re-watches, unique viewers, engagement, clickthrough rate, traffic sources, keywords

Quick Tips and takeaways? According to BrightTALK, the average engagement per webinar is 39 minutes. While the average viewing time for webinars is at 43 to 48 minutes, not including the 10 to 15-minute Q&A. According to On24, the best days to hold a webinar is during mid-week, during Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Depending on the audience locations, the best time to run a webinar is between 10 am to 12 noon and 1 pm to 3pm.

Leverage social media and SEO as an organic strategy. Keep invitations short and concise, personalized and include speaker’s bio. Your speaker’s profile and connection might also attract more attendees. Don’t forget to have a dry-run or practice session. And lastly, run a speed test, make sure that the internet connection of Host or presenters are stable to ensure better webinar experience. 

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Leylord Marcelino
Written By

Leylord is an experienced marketing leader in the Technology industry, a digital transformation visionary, with a degree in engineering. A certified digital marketer, he is always excited by emerging digital transformation trends, challenges, designing solutions, & always believed in data-driven decision making. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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