Good webinars are hard to find. After years of hosting and attending events, we came up with this list of the top 10 worst webinar mistakes people make to help you avoid the same pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Audience
Creating an environment that is engaging can be a challenge. Some ways to keep your audience actively involved include utilizing polls, giveaways, breakout group conversations, stimulating topics and making sure your presentation keeps them interested.
You do not have to wait to start actively engaging your audience. You can get started right away by asking questions, have a relevant and exciting opening slide, or even use the opportunity to make sure everyone can hear you.
Mistake #2: Bad Topic Choices
Getting people to sign up to attend a webinar that isn’t exciting is really, really hard. Do your research and find a topic that is broad enough to attract a big audience, but focused enough to be able to provide useful, actionable information.
Great topics inspire people to want to discuss the ideas with others. Breakout Groups, a feature unique to MaestroConference, allows attendees to breakout into small groups in order speak about topics on a more personal level. This allows everyone to have a more interactive, and connected learning experience.
Mistake #3: Not Promoting Your Webinar Early or Often Enough
Promotion will help you to get more people to sign up and ultimately attend your webinar. Best practices for promoting your event include:
- Start promoting two weeks in advance. Send emails, post on your social networks, create ads, post a blog, etc. Make sure you have a landing page ready before your start promoting and one that makes people want to sign up for your event!
- Send 2-3 reminder emails. One week in advance, day before and an hour before the webinar begins will help get your registrants on the call. You can also take this opportunity to remind them why they signed up in the first place.
- Create a hashtag. This is an excellent way to both remind people about the event and also to build excitement. You can continue to use the hashtag throughout the event which will help keep your audience engaged throughout. It will also build awareness in the topic discussed and help to get more sign-ups for other events.
Mistake #4: Not Being Prepared
Getting ready to host a webinar takes planning. Here is a list of things you need to make sure you’re ready for the big day.
- Select topic
- Select speaker(s)
- Confirm time and date
- Determine the content and outline for presentation
- Decide whether or not to have a conductor/moderator for the event
- Determine number of attendees you want to have for the event (limited seating)
- Determine fee, if any, to attend
- Figure out which ways you’ll be promoting the event
- Develop registration procedures
- PowerPoint Slides
- Social Media (pre-written tweets & posts, hashtags, etc)
- Polling tools
- Landing page created
- Content for emails, social media, blog posts, follow-up materials and ad copy
- Links created for event, blog post, follow-up materials, etc.
- Registration form created
- Prepare all materials, presentation, etc.
Mistake #5: Covering Too Many Topics
Keep your focus on one or two key themes. As an expert in your industry you have a vast knowledge of many topics. When educating, however, it’s important to teach each letter of your alphabet in order to help others learn how to read.
This will ultimately help you to achieve the goal of the webinar whether it’s building your list of prospects, growing relationships with customers or getting your message out there.
Mistake #6: Overcomplicating the Registration Process
KISS – Keep it Super Simple. A simple landing page with a registration form, call to action, title or topic being covered, details of the event and an image works great.
Make sure you send them a follow-up email letting them know the event they registered for was successful. You can also use the email to have them whitelist or add your emails to their primary inbox (for gmail users).
Mistake #7: Not Providing Useful Information
Webinars are an incredible tool for selling, building awareness, generating leads, the list goes on and on. However, when someone registers for an event they have certain expectations which include:
- The webinar is going to be about the particular topic described on the registration page.
- They will learn something!
Providing useful, actionable information not only will contribute to keeping their attention, but they will see you as an industry leader and will keep coming back for more.
Mistake #8: Not Using a Technical Assistant
You’ve planned the perfect webinar, you have hundreds of sign-ups and it’s the big day. The last thing you want to worry about is technical problems.
Unfortunately, sometimes things happen.
Having a technical assistant on hand–we call them a “driver”–to help keep things running smoothly so you can move forward with your presentation. A “driver” can also take some of the weight off your shoulders, letting you relax knowing they’ve got a handle on any issues that may arise.
Mistake #9: Bad Timing
Timing comes into play several times before during and after the webinar. Here are a few key timing tips to keep in mind.
- Start sending invitations and promoting the event two weeks in advance
- Make sure the flow of your webinar makes sense. Introduction(*) → Presentation → Selling/Asking for Donation/Future Sign-ups
- Follow-up within 24 hours of the event
(*) Short intros work the best.
Mistake #10: Not Following Up
After your webinar has come to an end, follow up! Your webinar registrants have already opened the door by signing up for your webinar. Following up provides you the opportunity to share more about your business or cause and get one step closer to getting that sale, donation or more awareness for your business.
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