There are a million webinars out there, and I attend at least a couple every week. A good inbound marketing webinar inspires and informs. It's a great way to deliver your message, explain something complex and build your thought leadership. The difference between a good webinar and a bad webinar has a lot to do with content, but one of the most overlooked aspects is the presentation style and delivery. Here are 5 "style points" to think about when you're putting together your next webinar.
I don't know about you, but I often get lost in the middle of someone's webinar. It doesn't follow from point to point, and there doesn't seem to be a coherent message being delivered. Your webinar should tell a story with a beginning, an end and just enough supporting slides to make your case. Each slide should make a key point that supports your premise or illustrates an important issue. If your webinar has a theme to it, for example using sports as an analogy for business processes, stay on that message. Don't go off-message, keep your theme consistent, and your attendees will stay with you.
It's a great idea to practice your webinar in front of your team, or at least to yourself. You should listen to yourself talk. It's a huge turn off to hear a speaker say "um" or "like" or "right" every five seconds. Try not to repeat the same expressions over and over again. You want to sound natural, but you're not in the locker room or out on the street. Your next client may be on the other end of GoToWebinar, so keep it professional. The other thing to avoid is saying too much on any one slide. Make your point and move on.
You want to grab the attention of your attendees, so use many more images than bullet lists. The images you use should illustrate the point of the slide or at least make your viewers laugh. Provoking a laugh is a great way to keep them interested and make them want to see more. Having a well designed theme makes your slide deck look professional, which in turn makes you and your company look professional. Don't go too heavy on the branding. Remember that the webinar itself is all about helping people to better understand your topic. If people wanted a sales pitch, they would ask for it.
A call to action is where you ask your attendees to do something now. Ask them to respond to a question in some way, either through an interactive poll or by tweeting their response. This approach gets people involved and helps them to realize something valuable. For example, "how many of you blog more than once a week?" Review and report the results right away. Many will be interested to know that they are not alone or that they are unusual compared to the majority of attendees. One or two calls to action involves your audience in the webinar and makes it more of a conversation and less of a speech. Don't go to the well too often, however, or you will start to lose them.
Save your best for last. You have absorbed an hour of your attendees' valuable time, so make it worth their while. Show them something surprising or new. Give them a sneak peek of the cool stuff coming next quarter. Invite them to a special event that's only available to today's registrants. Don't be too "salesy" but offer them something really helpful for free. Yes, you can generating leads this way, but what you're really try to do is get them to subscribe to your webinar series and attend them regularly. This is a crucial part of inbound marketing - creating that trust relationship that builds over time.
Oh, and one more thing, let your attendees know what they can expect in your next webinar. Yes, that takes a bit of planning in advance, so creating an overall content marketing schedule is a great idea.
Photo credit: marcella bona