Companies that have adopted webinars in their business operations realize unique benefits from the interactions these virtual events foster, from more informed clients to easier, more successful product roll-outs to deeper connections with their prospects and community, among (many) other things.
If your company creates and executes webinars, congratulate yourself on embracing this mode of communication!
With that said, even the most seasoned webinar creators can find ways to improve their events. In fact, experienced webinar presenters may, over time, become complacent and fail to see important opportunities that could amplify their results. If you have offered webinars for a while, here are six things you are probably doing wrong.
#1. Asking Too Few Questions In the Beginning
Getting the most out of a webinar means starting at the very beginning. Your company is offering information attendees find valuable and helpful. Why give it away free? Collect as much information during the registration process as possible. Require a city, state, and phone number in addition to the usual name and email address. Company size and buying time frame are also good pieces of intel to collect. This extra information helps sales follow up faster and easier, and hopefully secure more business.
#2. Avoiding Company Promotion
Some webinar presenters dodge any type of sales speak because they don’t want to turn the attendees off. Keep the end goal in mind. Adding qualified leads to the pipeline, shoring up current client loyalty, and setting your company apart from its competitors are all shining examples of webinar goals. Make sure to communicate these messages! A short commercial at the beginning, and a special, time-sensitive offer at the end brings extra return on investment (ROI) without making the audience feel like they got conned into a sales pitch.
Once the webinar starts, don’t simply throw up slides and read from a script. The third mistake is…
#3. Failing to Connect with the Audience
During a webinar there will be dozens of disruptions vying for every attendees’ time. Boring presentations with weak graphics and a monotone speaker will lose the battle for attention to your participants’ smartphone.
Spice up every webinar with interesting graphics and one or more engaging speakers. Intersperse the presentation with audience polling questions, funny anecdotes, or timely examples. Break the audience into smaller groups and get them involved in more focused, personalized conversations to create a rich learning environment. The more interaction, the greater the chance the webinar will make a lasting impression.
Not sure how to do this? Check out the “Top 5 Tools to Maximize Audience Engagement for Webinars.”
#4. Missing the Mark with Vague Material
Broad, abstract thinking is not what webinar attendees want to hear. Don’t confuse them with information or materials they can’t understand, apply or care about.
Build the webinar content with your audience, and their specific needs and unique pain points, in mind. Keep your message in line with your invitation description, and dish up specific insights with actionable items they can implement immediately. An agenda at the beginning and a key takeaway review at the end helps accomplish this.
#5. Forgetting to Extend the Reach Through Social Media
If you are smart (and you’re reading this, so we know that you are!), the webinar isn’t over after the last attendee logs off. No, the end of your webinar is really just the beginning of your relationship with your guests.
Keep the conversation going online. Remind each attendee at the end of your event to connect with your organization on social media. Tweet or post key points from the webinar, and add a recording of the webinar to your video channels and social media accounts. Building the company’s social media following enhances the branding message and leverages your reach exponentially.
#6. Neglecting Post-Webinar Follow Up
“We had 1000 people on today’s webinar!” While this sounds like great news, the attendees will fade back into the landscape without proper follow up. Decide on a plan on how you will follow up with the audience well before the webinar starts, and stick to it as soon as the webinar is over (i.e. while audience excitement is at its peak). Build a list of who attended (as well as those who failed to attend) and the information they shared. Reaching out via email or phone with additional value-add information or a special, limited-time, exclusive-for-audience offer helps the company stay in the forefront of your guests’ minds, and adds up to greater ROI of your webinar efforts.
Offering webinars is the first step toward elevating your company’s brand and successfully delivering your message to a wider audience. However, by avoiding these six mistakes, you will enjoy higher-performing webinars that bring greater opportunities from more engaged attendees.
What other mistakes have you seen or experienced during a webinar you’ve attended? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear some horror stories=)