Written by Suzette Conway
Want to be a wiz at hosting webinars? Check out this new series of posts designed to walk you through considerations of planning a webinar, how to prepare external speakers, and what to do when the webinar is over. Follow along with us and before you know it YOU can be a webinar wizard, too!
So, you want to conduct a webinar. Where do you start? Whatever you do, don’t wing it. Webinars are not something you can pull off without thought and planning unless you are very lucky. For the rest of us… this blog series will begin with a look at some considerations for planning a successful webinar, including:
1. Defining your goals
2. Identifying your audience and your selling approach (which you’ll need whether it’s
free or not)
3. Defining your approach to conducting the webinar
4. Picking your tools, creating a process and planning the logistics
The first step is to ask yourself what your goals are for the webinar. For instance, what is the purpose of the webinar – is it educational or sales focused? That is, are you offering it for free to generate leads for a related product or service you wish to sell or is it part of an educational effort for your audience (which, by the way, often relates to selling a product or service)? Perhaps it’s a community service or otherwise tied to your company’s reputation? The answer to this question will help you shape the content of your webinar, the tone, and the call to action for your audience. It will also dictate your audience’s expectations and thus, what you’ll need to do to meet those expectations.
Other questions regarding your goals might include asking how the webinar fits into your overall catalog of offerings. Is this a single webinar or part of a series? Are you discussing a conceptual topic or does it relate to a product or service and if so, is it a new or existing product or service and how does that impact the audience and message for your webinar?
How many attendees do you hope to garner and how many leads must you invite to get that many attendees? As an example, I recently conducted a webinar for which I sent out over 1000 invitations. 35 people registered and 28 actually attended. I saw this as a great turn out.
As part of clarifying your goals, determine your budget for the webinar, including all marketing costs, speaker fees, content development costs, technology requirements, and so forth. Any limitations you have may factor into the ultimate goal. For instance will you utilize only social media to generate interest in the webinar or will you buy leads or implement a PPC campaign to garner leads? Are these costs in your budget? If there is no room for those expenses, how does your attendance goal change when you only reach out to existing customers and prospects?
The answers to these questions, and likely many others, will help you determine other details regarding your webinar. So start thinking through these questions and in upcoming blog posts we’ll look at some other considerations, such as your audience, how you sell to that audience, your approach to the webinar, and the related tools, processes, and logistics.