Web seminars or webinars are a presentation format that combines lectures and workshops with video materials.
The seminars take place online, usually on a dedicated platform. They are common in education, marketing, and businesses, helping cut the cost associated with physical workshops and conferences.
Today, they are the go-to lead generation tool for marketers, sales teams, and any other person.
A webinar takes place in real-time and is conducted online. It allows you to address the masses by acting as a platform for two-way communication between the audience and the host. The industry is an interesting niche with great potential, which can benefit a lot of marketers.
Webinars in the current age are useful as a marketing tool to reach out to the target audience. They are a necessary part of your total event program in an age of digital disruption.
The way you use webinar programs can make the biggest impact on your virtual engagement. This article examines the best practices for webinars that showcase the current state of this online presentation format.
Timing is one of the important elements to ensure high webinar numbers. How will you feel if the webinar doesn’t get enough participants because you chose a bad day or a bad time?
It can frustrate you, especially if you put hours of effort into creating it. Therefore, always plan your webinar timing with the attendee in mind.
The right time to host a webinar can help maximize attendance. A majority of people prefer short webinar sessions not longer than 45 minutes.
People look for short yet meaningful content due to short attention spans. Make sure you select the best time and limit the webinar to one hour.
Host your webinar event in the middle of the week. According to research from thousands of webinars and participants’ data, the best days for webinars are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Wednesdays and Thursdays have the highest attendance rate.
Mondays and Fridays are not on the list because the working mindset is the lowest. On Monday, people are still adjusting to getting back to work after a relaxing weekend. People are still catching up on work and may not be productive.
Similarly, Fridays are not the best time because people are too distracted by the upcoming weekend away from work. Special occasions such as holidays can also affect the best days for hosting a webinar. Don’t schedule your webinar on a Thursday before a long weekend.
Midweek is the best time to host a webinar because our working mindset is at its peak. Wednesday is the best day to promote a webinar or host an event, and Thursday is the best day to host it.
Most of my business registrations come in on the first 3 days of the week and are submitted on Wednesday. Hence, it is best to send out promotional emails to potential attendees.
However, keep in mind that no specific day suits all audiences. You may need to test the best time with your audience and determine which days produce the best attendance. Still, you cannot have our dinner on Saturday and Sunday when most of your target audience relaxes in weekend bliss.
Webinars perform well within an hour, depending on their content and audience. This is down to the short attention span of most people, meaning long and exhausting webinars aren’t always successful.
Even the most engaging and interesting webinars can be boring when they last for more than an hour. Therefore, experts agree to keep the duration at 30 to 45 minutes. Combine an engaged audience, a passionate host, and interactive elements to make the webinar succeed regardless of its length.
Always create a time limit for your entire event. A successful webinar is timed and executed properly and not left to chance. Schedule your life event to run for approximately 1 hour by setting a plan for your presentation. It provides a guideline and gives registrants an idea of how long the event will run.
When should you schedule it?
Host your webinar between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mostly, the best time to have a webinar is jusr before and after lunch because people are least tired in their working mindset.
Schedule between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. or between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m for maximum effect. Remember to leave out the lunch hour at noon when planning the webinar.
Hosting a webinar between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. allows you to avoid conflict on both coasts of America. It is ideal if you have an international audience in Europe or other parts of the world. Therefore, host a webinar at 11 a.m. Pacific depending on the event or your audience.
However, scheduling a webinar is not as simple as selecting a time slot. If your target audience is spread across several time zones and countries, you may have difficulty picking the best time to do a webinar. The best approach is to pick a time of the day that would include most of the audience in one of the above time slots.
People’s ability to absorb information can increase or decrease throughout the week. Monday is not the best day to host a webinar because most people readjust to work. Most people think about the weekend on Fridays and won’t attend the webinar either.
What about reminders?
People forget stuff anywhere. Someone might have signed up for your webinar intending to attend then forgets about it.
Hence, send a reminder email a couple of days before the webinar to nudge your audience to put it in the diary. It allows them to reschedule other meetings or tasks if they have accidentally double-booked themselves.
You can send reminders one hour, one day, or one week before the webinar start time. You can either schedule a new webinar event on the dashboard or select an existing one and send it as a reminder email. Edit the subject line and add additional text to the beginning or end of the email body.
Send follow-up emails to the attendees after an event. You can send this follow-up email within a week after the webinar start time. Emails are the most effective tool in webinar promotion. According to webinar marketing statistics, emails form a large part of webinar promotion. They are the best tool to send reminders to those who registered and promote your webinar.
The right timing for a webinar can influence the webinar’s attendance rate. Don’t send reminders on Fridays and weekends because most people won’t read until Monday and may forget about it. Instead, Wednesday is the best day to send reminders to your registered audience.
Design a perfect webinar invitation email to improve your webinar attendance. A single webinar invitation email can work wonders when crafted perfectly.
An automated email campaign can help trigger emails to your target audience. You can target those who didn’t open your first email or just opened your email but didn’t click RSVP.
Conducting RSVP webinars is important, especially for B2B businesses. Allows you to generate enough leads from the audience. Having an RSVP webinar as part of your business marketing strategy is useful because a webinar allows better engagement and conversion rate with your target audience.
Once the webinar is over, you can reach out to attendees, upsell them, and meet their sales objectives. The goal is to design a highly compelling webinar invitation email to intrigue your prospects and get them to RSVP immediately.
Include a call to action button linked to a webinar landing page. This is where the audience will RSVP for your webinar. Try to be a call to action using first-person pronouns.
Testing the webinar platform
An effective webinar starts with proper planning and testing before the presentation. There are three fundamental elements to focus on when testing a webinar platform.
Start by testing the webinar funnel, including the landing pages and how registrants sign up. Optimize your landing pages and ensure seamless logins.
When testing the audience, perform an end-to-end assessment as a registrant and attendee. It’ll help you identify bottlenecks and determine whether everything works as planned.
You can assign a team member to complete the full registration process and gauge user experience.
Next, focus on your webinar set-up, including the hardware and software for all speakers. Test your current connection using the connection test. In the connectivity test, you look at both audio and video connectivity. The audio connectivity relates to the quality you expect for your microphone device, while the video connectivity relates to your webcam device.
As long as there are no network-related connectivity issues such as restrictions on firewalls, the quality of your audio and video is determined by bitrate and packet loss. Bitrate describes how fast your connection is to your service.
Packet loss is the amount of data sent to the service that is not received because of unstable connectivity. The best practice to reduce a packet loss is by connecting to an ether cable directly rather than using Wi-Fi and enduring the network works correctly,
Last, test your webinar content by focusing on your presentation and engagement tactics. This preparation is important to improve audience engagement and achieve a high audience retention rate. Assign a team member to test these aspects of the webinar before going live and test every other important aspect.
Live webinars offer a model for a speaker to deliver information to the audience in a single online session. During the session, a Q&A allows you to engage with the audience.
Most attendees cite Q&A sessions as the most interesting part of the webinar experience. It may seem like an open opportunity for the audience to begin a live interrogation and Inquisition of everything you said.
A Q&A section is an important advantage of live webinars as they facilitate audience interaction. It helps increase engagement, and capture data for better lead scoring. If you don’t want to lose the interest of your participants, host a Q&A session to engage the audience.
You can make your webinars interactive by fielding questions from the audience using the Q&A feature. You can easily sort and edit the questions with this tool before addressing them live. The interaction contributes to the authentic experience of the dialogue.
If you don’t have answers, it’s ok to say you don’t know the answer. It can be an opportunity to bring other speakers into the conversation and collaborate on the questions.
Include the Q&A section directly in your schedule and dedicate enough time to it. Test all the microphones and speakers to use when taking questions from the audience.
When should you do it?
The right time to host a Q&A section in a webinar is just after the presentation and before ending the session. Take the questions from the audience during or after a webinar session.
However, the Q&A should not be the end of a webinar. Sometimes questions from the audience can shape your webinar and may stray from your key message. You need to follow it with a quick recap and call To action to take back control and end on a stronger note.
For how long?
You are always in control of the webinar as a host. Set aside 15 minutes for the Q&A session within the one-hour webinar session. When hosting large events, don’t take every question to stay within your time limit.
If you didn’t get to all the questions during the 15 minutes, you could create a piece of content for your blog post videos or Twitter hashtag for an extended web in a Q&A that increases engagement and reach.
Consider working with a Q&A moderator to comb through question submissions and select the best questions for a conversation. Ensure the audience knows how to ask a question and ask for reactions.
What is the hard stop?
A hard stop refers to the definite time when someone must end a task to meet another time commitment.
In America, a hard stop is when someone has something scheduled immediately after the meeting that they are currently hosting. If the conversation is going on and it’s clear that it’s time to wrap things up, allow the speaker to finalize then end the meeting.
During a webinar meeting, you can hardly stop by explaining that you’re nearing the end. When you feel you have reached an endpoint, say you have to go without giving a reason.
Sometimes you may need to quit before the conversation devolves into an awkward silence. If there is nothing left to say, you don’t need to make excuses to leave the meeting. It is a hard-stop interruption. Schedule a meeting when you know you have a hard stop, such as another commitment.
What about multimedia?
Using multimedia is important to attain higher audience engagement. Multimedia comprises text, pictures, sound, animation, and video organized into coherent programs.
You can use this content to address some common issues because more sensory experience beyond words makes it more palatable to the audience. Using different multimedia examples like video clips and standalone video cases in the webinar is pedagogical.
Include multimedia in webinar marketing to entice the user into signing up. As a webinar host, using multimedia creates data-driven practices. For example, video analytics can decide when to intervene and increase the webinar’s success.
Videos vs. images
Webinar hosts use videos to boost audience engagements. Statistics have shown that videos are among the highest-rated webinar elements based on their importance. Most webinar hosts broadcast live videos, which they later made available for on-demand viewing.
It allows those who signed late to still view the webinar without participating in the interactive elements like Q&A sessions. Videos allow the audience to see different concept applications and seize the concept.
It’s easy to identify and recall facts and Concepts when there is a mix between videos and images. Allow the audience to drive the conversation with chat features like emoticons and avatars.
Data based webinars
Some webinars have built-in analytics and statistics tools to see who attended the webinar and for how long. Use data analytics to analyze data from an event. Use it to review your engagement data.
You can use the analytics tools to enable more data-driven products and increase your lead conversion. For example, use the post-event report to get contacts and the history of the audience’s questions. The data best webinars are important to every niche, though it’s mostly associated with marketers.
A successful webinar depends on connecting and engaging your audience so that they can interact in real-time. It’s not always easy hosting a successful webinar, as you have to plan with the right topic, presentation, and timing.
These webinars can have many long-term benefits, such as increased brand awareness and fostering relationships with clients and business partners. They are lead generation tools with a wide reach, which have increased interactivity levels and heightened production value.
Limit the webinar section to one hour with at least 15 minutes of Q&A questions. Q&A sessions allow the audience to learn more about the topic and interrupt with the host. If you want to maximize will be in attendance, host it in the middle of the day,