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

Why not a webinar?

By Diane Sofranec | Managing Editor, Pest Management Professional

Screen shot 2015-11-05 at 9.36.26 AMLooking for a cost effective and relatively easy way to reach customers and potential customers? Consider hosting a webinar.

A webinar is an online presentation viewers can watch at their convenience. In return, you receive the contact information of those in attendance.

Webinars are a great way to share your targeted message with customers and potential customers. As an added bonus, including polls and a question-and-answer session allows you to quickly learn what they think of your brand, product, or service.

A successful webinar will provide information and insight, or offer a solution to a problem. Choose your subject matter wisely. The goal of your webinar should be to help those who attend, not sell them a product.

Of course, you may deliver a product-centric webinar, but keep the focus on the problem the product solves, not the product. Keep in mind that readers want to know how to think, not what to buy. Rethink your presentation if it’s too sales oriented.

Consider focusing on a topic your customers and potential customers want to learn more about. Your attendance figures will reflect their interest in your subject.

Check Twitter, Facebook and other social media sources for ideas on a topic your customers and potential customers are talking about.

Consider using Interactive tools during your webinar because they help increase viewing time and improve retention of your content.

Polls, surveys and a live question-and-answer session will provide a personal connection to your brand, product, or service.

Polls will give you a feel for what attendees/readers are thinking about a product or issue.

Surveys will provide information you can use to make changes for your next webinar.

A question and answer session will address attendees’ concerns immediately. It’s will allow you to dispel misconceptions about an issue, or product or service.

Webinars are a great way to control the message for your brand, product, or service while helping or educating customers and potential customers. Your customers and potential customers will consider you a trusted resource if you offer a well-presented webinar on a subject that provides a solution to their problem.

If you’re interested in creating a webinar for your brand, product or service, please contact us here.

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