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A successful webinar requires more than great content.
I've presented over 100 webinars. Some have been wildly successful; others not. I've had as few as 10 people on a webinar and more than 1,000 on others.
What makes the difference? A combination of factors.
Take advantage of my years of experience with the following 4 tips on how to make your next webinar noteworthy.
1. Start with a great title.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most important factor in webinar success, your title is a 10. Time is precious today. People need to be convinced that your webinar will be worth their time. Your title must instantly appeal to the intended audience and convey in seconds that attending the webinar is worth it. I've found it pays to be specific. Two title formats work well in my experience:
- Help them solve a problem. Example: "How to Survive an I-9 Audit from the INS Without Paying Fines" or "The 7 Things Employers Must Do to Avoid I-9 Fines."
- Entice them with something they desire. Example: "How to Get Traffic to Your Website" or "How I Got 2 Million Monthly Visitors to My Website."
Avoid general titles such as "The Importance of the Cloud." People mistakenly think if they are too specific they will limit attendance. Not true. A very specific title increases attendance because there's a more powerful "what's in it for me" appeal to your audience.
2. Create a compelling registration page.
Once you've captured attention with your title, potential attendees will dig deeper. This is where your registration page comes into play. Let's say you put out a message on Twitter that you will be holding a webinar. You want to drive interested people to a page that:
- Describes in a bit more detail what the webinar is about and the value attendees will get. (Shoot for five to seven bullets or up to two short paragraphs.)
- Offers clear details including date, time, length.
- Identifies speakers just enough to establish credibility.
- Has a prominent call-to-action input form and button
Keep it tight. The longer the page, the more people bounce away.
3. Promote the heck out of it.
Today you must promote webinars repeatedly to break through the "noise." Proven promotional methods include: emails to your list; social media; public event calendars and groups; your own website through sidebar registration boxes, popups, and/or posts on your company blog; speakers and partners who help promote (nudge them and provide sample messaging/images).
Start marketing several weeks ahead of time. Send out more than one email, and post more than once on social media. Vary the text of promotional messages, and include an enticing image.
In my experience, roughly 50% of those registered will actually attend. Attendance increases if you email and post social reminders one or two days before.
4. Don't shortcut your presentation.
One mistake newbies make is underestimating the time to create quality slides and practice their verbal delivery. It takes me 10 to 15 hours to create a new presentation. Some hints:
- Slides should have concise text bullets using 20-point (or bigger) font. Sprinkle in images, and allow 25% open space on slides to avoid overwhelm.
- Some presenters use slides that have just pictures and few or no words. I prefer a combination of words and images, because as a webinar attendee, for information to "stick," I need to see words as well as hear them.
- Practice! Allocate two minutes talking time per slide--more for in-depth slides, less for simple slides. Do at least two run-throughs, timing yourself.
- Reserve 15-20% of your time for audience questions at the end. Attendees may attend just to get one burning question answered.
I can think of many other tips for webinars, and perhaps I will do a follow-on article. But by following these tips, you're well on your way to making your next webinar a rousing success.