By Amber Tiffany
What’s the worst thing you can do on a webinar? Make it all about yourself, of course!
Professionals say that overly promotional content is their number one turn-off. In their eyes, being too promotional is worse than content that isn’t actionable or doesn’t deliver on its promise.
It’s great to align webinars with your own goals, but the most successful webinars start with the audience and their needs. Otherwise, no one will want to attend your webinar, and those who do will be disappointed – and your reputation will suffer.
So whether you’re driving new leads or onboarding customers, here’s how to make your webinar all about your audience.
1. Take questions before the webinar
On your webinar registration page, confirmation page or email, give registrants the opportunity to submit questions or topics they want to learn more about. This tactic has two big benefits:
It adds a level of audience involvement making registrants more likely to attend the webinar.
It helps you tailor your content around the topics your audience cares most about.
2. Poll attendees and use their feedback in real-time
Avoid treating a webinar like a stage, where all the communication flows one way – boring! Instead, take advantage of the interactive nature of a webinar and engage your audience with polls and other interactive features like hand raising.
Ask your audience questions about their pain points, challenges, goals, and expertise or experience with a given subject. Try asking fun questions just to break the ice and establish rapport.
Erica Maki, our resident webinar pro and Senior Engagement Program Manager, explains:
Not only is polling a great way to keep an audience attentive and engaged, it helps you learn about your audience as well. If I’m unsure of my audience, I like to start with an early poll to find out what role people are in. This helps me decide where to spend the most time during a session.
I’ll also use simple verbal poll questions – if an attendee asks an interesting question, I’ll throw that question right back to the audience and then share their suggestions. This is a great way to make a webinar interactive and learn some new tricks.
To get a feel for the virtual audience, I also use the hand-raising feature. By asking a question (“Is this demo helpful?”) I can see hands go up and I know the audience is engaged. I even had a webinar attendee suggest using hand-raising to give a virtual “high-five” to the webinar speaker – I shared this tip back out to the audience of course!
Lastly, use attendees’ responses to tailor the content to the audience. This will make the webinar feel like a two-way conversation and your audience will appreciate the personalized content.
3. Make it mobile-friendly
Audience-centric webinars mean providing easy access for your participants no matter where or how they are joining the webinar. Nearly 10% of GoToWebinar webinar attendees come from mobile devices.
What does that mean for you? Make sure the webinar solution you’re using is optimized for mobile attendees and that it’s simple to join the webinar and participate from their mobile device.
If you’re using GoToWebinar, use webcast mode which enables all attendees – mobile and desktop users – to conveniently join from their browser with a link. GoToWebinar also has a convenient mobile app, which makes joining any webinar super simple.
4. Encourage questions
According to The Big Book of Webinar Stats, 78% of marketing webinars and 82% of training webinars use Q&A, and for good reason – audiences love it.
During the webinar, encourage attendees to submit their questions. Respond to questions by having another webinar organizer (not the presenter) send the answers directly to attendees or answer questions live on the webinar. We recommend you do both.
When answering questions live on the webinar, select common or interesting questions.
Make sure you respond to all questions either during the webinar or in a follow-up after the webinar.
5. Keep the conversation going
Follow-up with your customers immediately after the webinar with a recording, the webinar slides, and any other relevant materials. Thank them for participating and invite ideas for future webinars. Log complaints, if any, and act on solutions.
Finally, let them know how to keep the conversation going. Should they follow you on social? Can they engage with a specific hashtag? Where can they go to learn more?
If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]