How to run a webinar: The ultimate 101 guide
Webinars can be a powerful video marketing tool for gaining new leads and engaging with your current customers. But setting up your first webinar may seem a little overwhelming. After all, you have to coordinate a lot of moving parts to ensure your live event goes off without a hitch.
Not sure where to begin? Have no fear! We pulled together some tips and tricks on every step you’ll need to take to host a successful webinar — from technical admin to promotion to follow ups.
1. Nail down the logistics
First things first: Define the who, what, when, where and why behind your webinar. In particular, this means figuring out the following:
The topic: What type of content will your webinar cover? Will it be associated with any of your current or future marketing campaigns?
The speaker(s): Will you be presenting your webinar alone or will you host an interview-style discussion?
The date: When will the webinar take place? PRO TIP: Make sure the date works for all involved parties and builds in enough time for you to promote effectively.
The platform(s): What platform will you use to collect registrations? How will you host the live event? PRO TIP: Consider tying a third-party registration form to a landing page that your team creates on your own site — instead of using the standard landing page that services like GoToWebinar or Zoom provide. Doing so will enable you to create a unique registration experience that matches your brand style.
2. Coordinate as a team
Once you’ve finalized the above, it’s time to get to work! Set up a kickoff meeting with all the parties involved. This likely includes the presenter(s), stakeholder(s) and individuals who will be creating and distributing all of the promotional assets (such as writers, designers, developers and the marketing ops team). During the kickoff, make sure that everyone’s aligned on the topic and timeline. And then work together to define the best promotional strategy and messaging.
PRO TIP: A mix of promotions is best to ensure you’re getting the word out to the largest audience possible. Consider leveraging social posts, email campaigns and blog posts to drive to your registration page. If you’re co-presenting with one of your partner organizations, you have the ability to engage their audience through those channels, as well. Just be sure to coordinate and create separate tracking URLs so you can easily determine which asset drove your audience to register.
3. Create and finalize all your materials
After you’ve locked down your strategy, it’s time to start creating your awesome webinar content. For presenters, this means developing slides and talk tracks — while the rest of the team should get to work on creating all the promotional assets.
PRO TIP: Make sure the final presentation deck aligns with the approved promotional copy. After all, you want to make sure that registrants are getting the information they’re looking for when they attend your webinar.
4. Take it live
The day of the webinar is finally here! Here are a few best practices on how to maximize your time with attendees:
Set the scene: Be sure to start by introducing the topic and yourself.
Incorporate examples: Don’t just talk at your attendees; incorporate examples from your own experience to add your unique spin.
Leave time for questions: Incorporate about 10 minutes for a Q+A session at the end of the webinar. And make sure your email address is on the last slide so that attendees can follow up with you directly.
PRO TIP: Consider polling the audience before you begin your presentation. Ask a question that will help you get a sense of your attendees and their professional background. And then adjust your talk track based on the type of information that would be most valuable to them.
5. Follow up
After the webinar is over, be sure to send a follow-up email to attendees that thanks them for participating. And import all of your leads into your sales database so that your sales team can begin having one-on-one follow-up conversations.
PRO TIP: Add a link to the recording of the webinar to your follow-up email so that registrants can easily watch it again on their own time.
And that’s it! By following the steps above, you’ll be set for webinar success — ensuring the event runs smoothly and you capture the best possible leads.
For more inspiration, check out our 22-Minute Webinar series.