Couple of years ago, I started conducting webinars. I very distinctly remember the first time I was doing it – I was scared. Primarily because I had never done it before and was scared if anyone would come to attend it and even if some people attended it, whether they will like it or not. Since then, I have gotten a little better at it. In no way I am an expert but I do believe that if I knew a few thumb rules, I might have done a little better. When the kind people at townscript asked me to share “What have I learnt”, I was a little sceptical about the entire thing but then I thought – may be there is someone else who is just starting out and might be benefitted from it. So, if you are an expert or even experienced (more than 5 webinars is experienced in my opinion) – this post will not help you much. But if you are not, then read ahead. And if you are, please use the comment section to guide me and other people who are just starting out.
The most important thing in my opinion is to position to webinar properly. Make sure you have a descriptive name which connects with the attendees. I run a few video based online courses for students preparing for CAT and various other management entrance exams. I never call my webinars as webinars but as “online classes”. “Class” is a term that students relate to. It is easier for them to understand. You need to understand your audience for the positioning your webinar or webcast properly. May be “webinar” is a term that they have not heard of and hence would not be comfortable subscribing for it but calling it a “class” gets lot more sign ups. Similarly, you can call it a “workshop” or a “lecture” or a “training session” – basically something with which the audience can relate.
Irrespective of the fact that whether the webinar is a paid or free – someone who is attending it is investing time in it. You need to provide value to that person. The value has to be in terms of content. I have seen a lot of people give webinars which are basically sales pitches and that discourages a lot of attendees. Please ensure that anyone who sits through the webinar gains something from the session. That is the only way they are going to attend your next one. Whatever value that you are planning to provide, ensure that it is visible and highlighted on the sign up page. Just having a descriptive title is not good enough.
Probably the most important aspect of a successful webinar/webcast is the marketing that you do for it. Unless people are aware of it and sign up for it, your webcasting is not going to be successful. Some of the standard things which you can do is – create an event page on Facebook. Share information about the webinar via twitter, facebook, etc. Send out emails to anyone who you think might be interested in it. Do keep in mind that visibility of facebook posts and tweets is not that high. If you have 1000 followers on twitter, your average tweet will not be read by more than 50 people. Encourage people to comment on your facebook post mentioning the webinar as that gets the facebook post a lot more visibility. Promoting that post might not be a bad idea either. There cannot be a cheaper way to advertise it. Do have social share buttons on the sign up page as well. Sometimes, people sign up for the webinar and then forget about it. To ensure attendance, send them at least 3 reminder emails – one couple of days before the event, one on the morning of the event and one couple of hours before the event.
CALL TO ACTION:
Be very clear with what you want the audience to do. May be you want them to sign up to buy your product or try out your app. Ensure that you give the attendees something over and above the standard offer that you have on your website. For example, you can give out discount coupons or free trials or extended validity – it can vary from product to product but there should be something extra for them. If possible, have two variants of “offer” that you have for the attendees. The better offer is valid only for an hour after the webinar is over and the other one is valid for the next two days. A lot more people will accept your first offer than the second one. It is because the offer is fresh in their mind and they get the feeling of missing out on a good opportunity if they don’t do it within the first couple of hours. Once the webinar is over, send out information about the second offer to not just the people who attended the webinar but to everyone who signed up. By doing this, you are essentially increasing your target zone. Your conversion rate might drop but your overall numbers would be higher this way.
I hope you would have benefitted by this post. As said above, I am not expert on this but if you have any other suggestions, do let me know via the comment section.
Read Also: How to host your webinar?
About the author:
Ravi Handa, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus, is the founder of www.handakafunda.com He has been teaching CAT aspirants for 8 years. He has taught at IMS & TIME at senior faculty positions, and currently runs an online CAT coaching course for CAT 2014.