Webinars are one of the most viable strategies for engaging a target audience with your organization. Boost your return on investment and grow your attendance by focusing on five key tactics for producing the perfect webinar. Read on to learn what to do and why it works.
1. Personalize the Invitation.
For organizations serving a unique or niche public, a broad marketing and promotions campaign for a webinar is not necessary. Instead, follow a personalized marketing campaign tailored to your target audience. While a webinar can be used to introduce a cold prospect to your organization, those most likely to attend are already familiar with or working with your organization.
A recent study conducted by MailChimp, researched 24 billion emails sent by its users to test open rate and content strategies. The study results showed that a personalized email has a much higher open rate. Other advice to consider is creating urgency with time sensitivity, as emails using the terms “urgent” and “breaking” saw a higher open rate. If your webinar will include and incentive or giveaway, consider using the word “freebie” instead of “free”, as freebie saw a much higher open rate. And finally, “announcement” and “reminder” were two words that ranked important to email recipients.
Attendance numbers will also rise if you allow time to promote the webinar using the channels most used by your target audience, which will require an in depth audience profile.
2. Customize the Content of the Webinar.
The most effective Webinars require advance registration, which captures important information about the attendees. Learning as much as possible about the audience provides the opportunity to customize the content and ensure it is highly relevant to the audience. This is a critical best practice because it tailors the content to the very specific needs of the audience, and positions the presenting organization as a trusted resource.
3. Implement a Front-End Engagement Strategy.
While there are many draws for an audience to attend a webinar, there are three primary reasons: to learn more about a company or product/service, as a learning or educational opportunity, or as a critical step in evaluating a purchase. Recent statistics show that only 33 percent of those who register for the webinar actually attend. This makes engagement on the front-end critical.
We share some of the most effective engagement tactics below. These can also be used as a drip campaign, where you build momentum and interest with your attendees at various intervals leading up to the webinar. (Learn more about drip campaigns in this infographic.)
- In advance of the webinar, ask the registrants to submit a question they would like answered during the webinar.
- Substantiate the value of the content you will offer by providing a download (whitepaper, case study, or presentation) that touches on the type of information that will be presented.
- Provide an incentive, whether in the form of a discount or valuable content, that will be made available to those who attend.
- Create a short, sneak preview video interview of a panel member or guest speaker for use as a teaser.
4. Include Important Guests or Panel Members.
What’s more important than your organization presenting? Letting your audience hear the information from peers and influencers. Including a guest speaker or several panel members helps your audience see themselves in the situation. The tactic is as valuable as a customer testimonial because the content is tailored to a specific audience need, and guest speakers will put the content into practice and perspective.
5. Host One or More Practice Sessions.
It’s difficult to predict all that could go wrong during a webinar, and while the moderator and presenting team may be ready, guest speakers and panel members may surprise you. Hold at least one practice session to you give yourself a preview of what is to come, and time to address any key issues. For most effective results, hold the practice session with a live audience or focus group who will be attending specifically to critique and offer feedback.
Are you using webinars for your organization? The iCohere platform has raised the bar on the attendee experience. Take a look at what your company and your guests gain using iCohere.