How to Plan a Webinar That Works

By C&EN Media Group

Webinars have become one of the most important and productive tools for lead generation, pipeline acceleration, and educating customers and prospects.

They also overcome the common hurdles of geography, time, and cost — things that make in-person events less practical — and are ideal for positioning company executives as thought leaders.

However, competition for your audience’s attention isn’t easy amid today’s hectic media landscape. To attract participants and get them interested in your message, the webinar must provide valuable information in a compelling way. Here’s how.

Be “the” expert. Determine what you want to achieve and who you want to reach. Companies sometimes get so caught up in telling their story that they forget about what their audience needs. Nobody will sit through a one-hour infomercial. What can you provide that others can’t? Leave participants with a reason to remember you, trust you, and buy from you — either now or in the future. Speaker selection is a very important aspect here; presenters must be seen as a reliable subject matter expert.

Promote, promote, promote. Proper pre-event promotion is an important aspect of making sure you get the most out of your investment. Promote early and using a variety of mediums, from print ads to emails and LinkedIn. Social media is also useful in driving consumption of the archived webinar after the event. An easy way to do this is to work with a publisher you trust, like C&EN.

Focus on engagement. How do you make your event interesting? The webinar content should be laced with fresh, big-picture ideas and strategic advice. Once prospects are engaged, speakers can drill down on pain points with tactical information and useful how-to examples. When crafting the visual component of your presentation, remember you are telling a story; use slides that look appealing and are not overloaded with text.

Interact with your audience. Take full advantage of webinar functions such as chat, polling, and Q&As. These can also provide insights in real-time and help initiate dialogue with prime prospects. Offer both live webinars and recorded “on-demand” versions, as each one appeals to different prospect types. A well-constructed webinar will have a shelf life far beyond the live event. Make sure to thank attendees and follow-up with those that couldn’t make it.

If done properly, a webinar can help you build up an audience and establish valuable thought leadership in your field. People will remember you better when you stand out from the crowd. Another avenue can also be to create a webinar and custom content through a scientific publisher, as outlined in our last post on the subject.

> > > Looking for more tips? Download our white paper on webinars by clicking the image below.

C&EN Media Group Webinar White Paper

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