Webinars have proven themselves to be one of the most efficient marketing tools available, regardless of your business. With such a huge impact possible, it’s important to get it right, from the planning stages through to following up with attendees for feedback.
How do you create a webinar? Creating a webinar is a matter of finding a relevant topic, planning what you want to present, and then using a range of tools to achieve that vision.
You’ll also need to consider steps like marketing, audience engagement, and invitations, to ensure the presentation is seen.
There’s no need to be a marketing whiz just to create a great webinar, as long as you know the steps required. To help you do just that, we’ve listed just 10 simple steps that anyone can follow to make a webinar worthy of watching.
Step 1: Find a Good Topic
One of the hardest decisions to make when creating a webinar is deciding whether it’s even necessary to do so.
Although you might feel as though you have something you want to share, a webinar must be relevant, engaging, and valuable for your viewers, as people are going to put aside around an hour of their lives to view it.
The ultimate goal of a webinar is to give your audience valuable content, so you want to cater it to their needs.
To ensure the presentation speaks to them, you can look through your social media pages for ideas, check out the FAQs or emails you get from customers and clients, or ask for feedback on what people are interested in learning more about.
For further inspiration, have a look at what your competition is offering or what topics aren’t currently trending in the industry you work in.
You don’t want to create an exact copy of an existing webinar but instead provide something new and unique on the topic to get people engaged.
Step 2: Pick Your Format
With a solid topic in mind, you’ll next need to think about the format that the webinar will be in. Webinars come in all shapes and sizes including product demonstrations, presentations on valuable topics, information sessions, and even interviews with industry professionals.
You might choose to use two of these formats in one presentation, as long as it doesn’t get confusing. Aim for between 30 to 90 minutes for a webinar, regardless of the format, with 60 minutes being the sweet spot.
You should also consider whether it’s going to be a live-streamed event available for one time only or if it’s going to be pre-recorded.
A pre-recorded webinar can be either temporary or evergreen, meaning the information within it will be valuable for longer. The best format will depend on the topic and how you assume your intended audience will appreciate receiving it.
Step 3: Use the Right Tools
A webinar is no good without a platform to present it from, so you want the tools to make it pop.
Modern webinar software has come a long way and there are options that let you make prerecorded webinars and live streams, as well as features like chat, audience polls, virtual conferences, marketing, and editing tools, depending on what you need.
To determine what webinar platform is best, think about things like how many audience members you’re anticipating, what your marketing budget is, and whether you need all the bells and whistles from webinar software.
There are hundreds of options out there so you’re guaranteed to find one that’s a perfect fit. Better still, take advantage of their free trials and do a test run with your webinar so you can be sure.
Step 4: Create a Registration Page
A webinar registration page is the landing page that potential viewers will go to so they can sign up to attend the virtual event.
Although seemingly to benefit the users who will be signing up for the event, it’s more beneficial for you as the webinar host. You’ll be able to capture their contact information for marketing and it will help to present your webinar as a business as a professional one.
If you’ve already chosen a webinar platform, they should be able to walk you through the registration page process using a wizard.
These are usually automated so there’s little to do on your behalf, and with different themes, fields, and layouts to choose from, depending on how you want it to look to the public.
Step 5: Plan the Presentation
The presentation you’re delivering in a webinar is the most important thing to plan as this is the content that everyone will be listening to.
Just as you’d write out a speech or an essay, your webinar script should start with a rough draft that gets edited and perfected until you have the final version.
One thing that sets webinars apart is that they feel a lot more natural than other types of presentations, so you don’t want to be reading everything directly from a script.
The presentation should have a natural flow but also hit all of the important talking points you wanted to cover, so following some sort of bullet points is the best approach.
After you’ve planned out the presentation and know what you’re going to say, enlist the help of a friend or work colleague.
You should be able to present the planned webinar to them in its entirety and then work with their feedback to make relevant changes.
Step 6: Consider the Supplies
With an idea of how the presentation will go, you’ll next need to think about what equipment is required.
Some people are comfortable recording a full-length webinar using just their laptop camera, and others will want a range of gear to help them deliver a presentation that’s as professional as possible.
At the very least, you should invest in a good quality microphone, as most of the types that come built into computers aren’t designed for this type of event.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have a reliable and fast internet connection that won’t drop out mid-webinar.
From there, you might invest in other gear like video cameras, lighting, presentation boards, pointers, and more, to give it a more professional touch.
Step 7: Produce the Content
A good webinar is one that keeps people engaged, but it’s hard to do that when you’re only looking into a camera and speaking for 90 minutes straight.
Having additional content that you can share with the audience will make it more informative and valuable, but you have to choose things that are relevant to the topic.
Some suggestions for webinar content are graphs and charts, pre-recorded videos of demonstrations, interviews with authorities and experts, or walkthroughs showing them how to use a software program.
Whatever it is you’re using, you want to have this recorded and edited so that it can be seamlessly inserted into the live webinar without any technical issues.
Step 8: Market the Webinar
After all of the hard work you’ve put into creating this webinar, you want to make sure people attend it. The best way to ensure this is by marketing the upcoming event, even if you’ve already had some people sign up on the registration page.
You want to tell people what they can expect at the webinar and show them how they can attend, without going too overboard
Consider what type of people you’re trying to attract to the event and how you can reach them, and these will be the most beneficial avenues for marketing.
You’ll also need to use the emails you get from the registration page to keep in touch with attendees up until the day of the webinar so that they don’t slip through the cracks.
The best platforms for marketing webinar events are social media pages, email newsletters, mailing lists, discussion forums, and paid advertising on similar websites.
Something as simple as creating a hashtag for the upcoming webinar can be hugely beneficial in promoting it across multiple channels.
Step 9: Go Live
After a few test-runs where you go through the entire presentation, you’re now ready for your webinar to go live. As a live event, it’s natural that things will go wrong, so being prepared is the best way to ensure these mishaps are as minor as possible.
The webinar format is more of a speaker to audience one, so you won’t have to answer questions or interact with your viewers, which takes some of the stress away.
Depending on the platform you use, there might be functions like live chat rooms for viewers or audience polls, but whether you employ these or not will depend on the webinar.
If you’re doing a prerecorded webinar, there’s slightly less pressure, but you should still do a few test runs before recording it.
From there, you can edit the webinar or add in other content as needed. Once complete, upload it using the webinar platform that you’ve on and then give viewers access to the link or download.
Step 10: Gather Feedback
Just because the webinar has finished, it doesn’t mean it’s over. This is the crucial time that you should be utilizing to gather feedback from attendees and hear what they loved and didn’t.
Although this type of criticism can be hard to hear, it’s also valuable and can help you edit future webinars so they’ve even better and more engaging.
The best approach for gathering feedback is to send a follow-up email to see what people thought of it.
You can also use this marketing technique if you plan on asking them to sign up for services, buy products, or consider your business for a service, so it’s a win-win if you’re able to make a sale through it as well.
If you’d rather keep it anonymous so people feel comfortable providing honest feedback, you can do that separately as well.
This is a good opportunity to make contact with people who signed up on the registration page but never attended the webinar.
By reaching out to them you can ensure you don’t lose a potential contact and if you have a recorded version of the webinar, you might wish to share it with them.
A webinar can be an invaluable tool for your business, but if you’re not doing them right, it can turn out to be a disaster instead.
To find out more about the basics of webinar production, we’ve answered some FAQs that can give you a push in the right direction.
Do I Have to Pay for a Webinar?
You won’t usually have to pay to view a webinar, but there are some circumstances where these digital events will come with a fee.
To determine whether you should charge people for attending your webinar, consider what value the presentation is giving and if they could get it elsewhere for free.
Can a Webinar Be Paused?
The functions available for viewers of a webinar will depend on what platform it’s being viewed on, but with most, you should be able to pause a webinar.
The ability to pause webinars is possible for both pre-recorded and live events, so even if it’s being streamed live, they can still stop it and come back to it as needed.
How Long Should a Prerecorded Webinar Be?
A prerecorded webinar can range between 30 and 90 minutes in length, depending on the content.
The goal is to keep the audience engaged for the entire time and only share relevant and valuable information, so try to edit it down to a shorter length if you think yours doesn’t do this.