7 Keys to a Successful Webinar

October 15, 2015

7 Keys to a Successful Webinar

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Webinars can be effective sales tools for your business.

If you are looking for a way to market your products and services that will engage prospective customers with information and lead to a sales opportunity, webinars are one of the most effective ways to accomplish these goals. According to Lewis Howes, author of The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide, webinars generate more sales than any other online marketing strategy.

Webinars are live audio presentations, usually with visuals like Powerpoint slides or live video, that communicate information to people who have signed up to attend virtually. Additionally, webinars are interactive, with participants being able to ask questions and sometimes interact with each other. Although webinars are live, they can also be recorded for those who aren't able to attend the live event.

Here are seven keys for how to put together a successful webinar:

1. Choose an online conferencing tool that works for your needs. Some aspects to consider include whether to stream audio from participants on the web or through a phone number, the capability to record the webinar, and whether registration tools are included in the tool. Blue Jeans is an intuitive and cost-effective webinar solution that allows the presenter to stream live video during the webinar. Go to Webinar is a popular platform that can work for any size business, and for larger companies with budgets to match, WebEx from Cisco is another excellent tool. Join.me is an up and coming challenger entrant to the field – one that Industry analyst Frost & Sullivan named 'Market Disruptor' and Fastest Growing Web Conferencing Product.

2. Keep your webinar to an hour or less. 45 minutes is probably ideal. Yes, you are offering information that will be helpful to people's lives, but in a typical day, asking people to commit even an hour to "training" or educating themselves may be unrealistic. People are busy; respect their time and be as concise as possible in your presentation. Plan to allow at least 10-15 minutes for live questions, but have intriguing and relevant questions pre-planned in case your audience needs some prompting to get started with their own.

3. Plan your agenda and stick to it closely. Webinars are not necessarily scripted, but they do take considerable advance planning so that they generate the most possible leads. Knowing who will present, what they will present, and the visuals used in the webinar ahead of time is a must. A dry run is usually a good idea as well. One person can do a webinar alone, but that often isn't the most effective way to present. Having at least two people, someone to host and introduce, and someone to present, often works best and is more interesting for participants.

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Offering informative webinars can help educate people as well as sell a product.

4. Offer a clear call to action (related to your product or service). Part of webinar planning is to know what you want your participants to do at the end of the presentation, and communicating that call to action clearly. No one can buy your product if you don't tell them about it and give your best sales pitch.

5. Market the webinar widely. Your existing contact list and social media pages are a great place to start in marketing your webinar. You can also encourage your contacts to share the information with their various circles to expand your reach. Affiliate marketing is another way to get registrations for your webinars - the affiliate promotes the webinar to their contact list, and if registrations from their contacts buy the end product, the affiliate gets part of the sale amount as a commission.

6. Don't ask for too much information during the registration process. Name and email is the minimum information necessary. Fewer people will register if they have to give out too much personal information.

7. Give your website address, social media, and blog information during the webinar. That way, participants not already in your circles can connect with you after the webinar is over.

Contact Connection Model for more information about how a webinar can generate more leads and sales for your business.

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