11 tips to create a must-see webinar

Experts discuss how to put together and market an online seminar that will attract prospective customers and hold their attention.

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“For those that didn't attend, [send] an email [after with a] replay link, [letting them know] when it will be available [for a short period of time] to create more urgency, followed by another email on the last day of when the webinar replay will be available,” says Toby Danylchuk, principal, 39Celsius Web Marketing Consulting

5. Choose a reliable hosting service

“Choose a platform that is user-friendly to your audience [and reliable], such as Google Hangouts, GoToWebinar, Cisco WebEx or Adobe Connect,” says Judy Walker, vice president of marketing, Anago Cleaning Systems.

6. Do a test webinar at least a day in advance

“Whatever you do, don’t assume that everything will go smoothly during the live webinar,” says Cristian Rennella, cofounder & CEO, elMejorTrato.com. “Test your equipment first. Do at least one runthrough [at least a day] before the live event to make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing and that all your gear is functioning correctly.”

7. Inject some humor

“There is no doubt that when something is funny, we are more likely to remember it over something ordinary,” says Hyland. “Humor [also] makes you, and your content, seem a little more human and relatable. So “when creating content, try to incorporate some sort of witty joke [being careful not to give offense] or funny anecdote.”

8. Don’t go on for too long

The ideal webinar length is between 45 and 60 minutes. Over 60 minutes and you risk losing your audience.

9. Be interactive

“When it comes to webinar interactivity, Q&A still leads the pack,” says Hyland. “In our study, we discovered that 81 percent of webinars include a Q&A portion. But there are [other] options available, [too], with nearly 1 in 3 webinars integrating social media. And polling and surveys are still strong performers. And if your event attendance is falling short of the average 57-minute mark, adding moments of interactivity may draw people in and keep them around for longer.”

10. Make webinars available for viewing afterward

“Increase the performance of your webinars by making the on-demand recordings available on your site after the live presentation date,” says Jodi Cerretani, director of Demand Generation, Vidyard. “It’s estimated that 42 percent of registrants never end up watching the actual live presentation, so it’s important to have the recording available afterwards to drive content consumption.”

On-demand webinars can also be a source of lead generation. “As soon as you post your on-demand webinar, make a small preview of it public for anyone to see,” she suggests. “Then post a form that asks for the contact information of anyone who wants to see the full webinar.”

11. Follow up with participants

“The role of the content marketer does not end once the webinar has taken place,” says Rennella. “It’s crucial to follow up with participants by sending them additional materials, requesting their feedback and letting them know about upcoming webinars and new related content on your website.”

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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