6 ways to ensure your webinar will attract an audience

By Diane Sofranec, Managing Editor

DSC_3088Webinars are an excellent lead-generating tool because every person who signs up must disclose their name and contact information. The trick is attracting an audience.

A successful webinar hinges on many factors: compelling topic, engaging speakers, targeted and timely marketing. It IS possible to offer a webinar your audience will want to attend.

As you plan your next webinar, ask yourself these 6 questions:

1. Did I choose an interesting subject?

A hot webinar topic is the best way to attract a large audience. Select a subject your potential audience needs to know more about right now. If you’re stumped, check social media to see what people in your industry are talking about. For example, the next webinar for North Coast Media’s Pest Management Professional will focus on how to talk to customers about the Zika virus.

2. Are my speakers knowledgeable?

An expert speaker will give your audience a good reason to attend your webinar. Choose a speaker your audience trusts and respects. Because your audience is attending to learn more about your topic, be sure your speakers can offer accurate and useful information. They should have no qualms about answering audience questions on the fly, either.

3. Are my speakers good presenters?

When you choose your speakers, ask them whether they have public speaking experience. Those who have typically know better than to recite their notes or talk too fast. Seek out energetic communicators. Hold a practice session so you will know what to expect and can offer advice if necessary.

4. Do my slides convey my message?

Webinar slides should not include every word of the speaker’s speech. Instead, slides should highlight the key points of the presentation. The text should be easy to read and include images that illustrate the key points. Speakers should strive to make the topic easy to understand. They can accomplish this by explaining – not reading — the text on their slides.

5. Is my marketing message accurate?

Your webinar should deliver what you promised your audience would learn. Make sure your marketing materials convey the information your speakers plan to share. Otherwise, your audience will drop off the webinar in droves, and think twice about attending any future events you offer. Use bulleted points and straightforward language (In this webinar, you will learn how to…) to communicate an accurate message.

6. Did I get the word out early enough?

When you’re ready to market your webinar, consider using every marketing channel at your disposal. Print, email, social media, website, and direct mail are all worthwhile options. Don’t delay; you want your audience to sign up and put your webinar on their schedule at least one month in advance.

By planning ahead, you can provide your audience with a webinar they will want to attend and pass along to their colleagues.

Diane Sofranec has more than 25 years experience in B2B media. She joined North Coast Media in 2013 as a digital content producer. Now managing editor of the company’s Pest Management Professional magazine, Sofranec frequently writes about social media and mobile trends and techniques.

Photo credit: Project On Government Oversight via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA