Webinars are not only a highly engaging way of communicating with an audience, they’re also a great way to convert prospects into customers.
Follow these 4 steps to ensure you’re getting maximum conversion from your webinar program:
1. Use good content and marketing to persuade people to sign up
When it comes to producing a successful webinar program that drives conversion, the first step is pretty straightforward — and that’s to get people to register to attend your event.
That means attracting their attention from the get-go, and the best way to do that is to choose a topic and relevant content that stirs their interest and gains maximum cut-through.
The key is selecting a topic that’s relevant to your intended audience and then framing it in a way that motivates them to register to attend.
A great strategy is to aim to solve a problem that your audience has, so doing your research on industry trends, the challenges your customers and prospects are facing that fall into your brand’s area of expertise, and highlighting new opportunities in the marketplace that you can help them exploit.
A good place to find relevant topics is generally a lot closer than you think: try white papers, research studies, book launches, content that has gone viral on social channels, and topical events in the news. Don’t forget to check your most-trafficked web pages and blogs, as these also provide a good indication of what your audience wants to know about.
Framing your topic in the right way is also key to generating interest. Asking a question, using numbers (‘7 ways to improve mindfulness’ has more impact than ‘How to improve mindfulness’), and flipping a topic (‘How NOT to invest in the stock market’ versus ‘How to invest in the stock market’) are easy and effective ways to boost interest.
Sharing existing content such as blogs, ebooks, reports, case studies and the social media accounts of your experts are a great way to establish a following in the content area you’ve chosen. Once you’ve established your topic and shared some relevant content, it’s time to market your event.
A landing and registration page, a succinct email invitation, followed by a last chance to register email are all key marketing collateral. You should also promote your event in relevant email newsletters, email signatures, on your company website and across your social channels.
Ask your presenters and partners to share it across their own marketing channels as well.
For more tips, check out our whitepaper, Creating Compelling Content for your Webinars
2. Remind your busy registrants to attend
A confirmation email sent immediately after someone registers is a good way to make sure your registrant locks it into their calendar while it’s still front of mind. Include the link to your event and joining instructions.
Reminder emails sent to registrants are often the most opened emails in a marketing campaign, so make sure you don’t neglect them.
We recommend sending a ‘reminder to attend’ email on either the afternoon on the day before your event or on the morning of the event — as long as it doesn’t kick off at 9am.
Include a link to your event, joining instructions and any additional important information.
3. Boost engagement by increasing interaction
Once you’ve got your audience tuned in, it’s important to make sure they’re engaged throughout your whole event.
Utilise the private or public chat features in your webinar platform to encourage interaction. Ask attendees to post questions for your moderator and presenters to read and answer. Public chat also allows attendees to talk among themselves, which will increase the opportunities for networking and helps everyone to get more out of your event.
The key to getting lots of questions — other than by choosing the right content and presenters — is to ask people to post questions as they think of them throughout the event, and encourage people to comment and interact as you go, rather than leaving your call for questions to the end.
Polls are another effective way to engage attendees. We generally recommend you poll early and often, because polls provide an opportunity for everyone to get involved in a non-confronting way right from the get-go. You can also run quizzes to test your audience’s knowledge for accreditation purposes.
Playing some pre-filmed video can be a great way to break the ice, introduce new concepts and accommodate visual learning styles.
Surveys are not only an effective way to make people feel they’re an active part of an event, they’re also a great way to capture feedback from your attendees when it’s front of mind.
Surveys can be conducted at any time during a webinar, which will increase response rates and encourage attendees to ‘opt-in’ for future lead generation activities.
4. Include a clear CTA and make sure you follow up
If your audience has stayed until the end of your webinar then you know you’ve piqued their interest, so don’t miss out on the chance to seal the deal.
The key is to make sure everyone leaves in a positive state of mind and feels like they’ve learnt something valuable. A good way to end your event on a positive note is to provide something for your audience to literally take away, such as free access to gated content, exclusive research, statistics, a template, checklist or a list of relevant sources or references.
Make sure you finish with a clear call to action (CTA), visually reinforced with a slide. Your CTA should focus on the next step you want your audience to take. Make it clear, specific and create a sense of urgency that motivates the audience to do something: for example, you may give the first 50 people to register a free ebook or similar offer.
Finally, make sure you follow up with everyone who attended, as well as everyone who registered, after your event.
Include links to a recorded version of your webinar, and any content you shared, as well as any relevant webinars and podcasts you have. Don’t forget to promote your next event as well.
You can also create a post-event wrap-up which you can stream through Facebook Live, and use the audio to create a podcast.
For more tips on everything you need to know about creating a webinar that will maximise your opportunities to convert prospects to customers, download our Webinar Organiser’s Handbook