With events currently cancelled for just about everyone, the pandemic has moved the majority of communication online. In terms of social, we’ve seen a huge spike in engagements and impressions, but also an increase in the number of brands hosting webinars.
But what are webinars? And why should a brand host one? And most importantly, how can you make them a success? We explore these questions, below.
First things first, what is a webinar?
The term ‘webinar’ comes from the word’s ‘web’ and ‘seminar’; and as the name suggests, it means a seminar organised online. In other words, a webinar is a meeting, event, conference or presentation that is held online in real time.
So, why would a brand host a webinar?
- To position itself as an expert in your field – webinars are a great platform for discussing industry trends and to showcase your thought leadership.
- To generate new leads – webinars often require attendees to register to view. You can then follow up with registrants via their contact information provided.
- To deliver value to your audience – webinars happen in real-time and involve conversational engagement. The audience has a voice in a webinar, meaning content can be tailored in real-time to better suit the audience needs.
How do you host a successful webinar?
1. Set your webinar goals – ask yourself, “what is the purpose of this webinar?” If you don’t know why you’re running a webinar, then it’s probably best not to.
2. Choose your webinar topic – your webinar should provide value to your audience. What industry is your business in? What topics are you an expert on? Your webinar should focus on this.
3. Choose a webinar tool – there are various platforms you can use to host a webinar, with Zoom seemingly dominating the space currently. Keep in mind the functionalities of each platform. Do you need to share your screen?
4. Plan your content – consider mixing up how you present your content to keep your audience engaged throughout. Can you create slides to present? Hold a Q&A? Offer video tutorials?
5. Select the right day and time – you’ll need to consider time zones and where your audience lives. A popular time to host a webinar is often between 11am and 2pm during the week.
6. Promote your webinar – now you have everything planned out, make sure you promote your webinar to the audience you want to attract. You should promote your webinar at least two weeks in advance to the live date. A great way to do this is by creating a Facebook event, and boosting this to a tailored audience.
7. Follow up with your audience – once the webinar is finished and you’ve collected all your attendees’ details, make sure you follow up with them and convert your leads into sales.
A company which has been successfully navigating the webinar world for some time is Rightmove, the UK’s largest online real estate portal and property website.
Rightmove offers compelling, insightful and relevant webinars for their audience, and seek out expert guests to feature adding further value. The company reacted quickly to the coronavirus pandemic and has hosted a series of online events to answer key property questions at this time.
The company also has a webinar hub, allowing their audience to access dozens of webinars available for on-demand viewing. Each webinar has its own landing page with a form and compelling summary of the webinar content. To watch the webinars, viewers have to give Rightmove their contact details, turning them into potential leads for the company.