Content Marketing

How to Design and Build Webinars that Win: 6 Best Practices for More Effective Digital Experiences

05.23.2024 6 Minutes

Hosting a webinar is an effective method for engaging with leads in your sales pipeline and building stronger, more comprehensive digital experiences for your audience.

Hosting effective webinars is a great way to demonstrate expertise, build trust, and win more projects with your target audience.

However, creating a successful webinar requires more than just presenting information — it involves careful planning, engaging content, and strategic promotion.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the essential steps to designing, building, and promoting webinars that captivate your audience and achieve your business goals.

What is a webinar and how do we get started?

A webinar is a digital event hosted virtually through one of several different video streaming platforms and attended by an online audience.

Generally, webinars will involve some form of presentation, lecture, or workshop that allows viewers to engage and interact in real-time, usually by asking questions, participating in polls, or using various chat functions.

In the context of B2B marketing, webinars are the preferred content type for 91% of B2B professionals and are especially effective as lead generation and nurturing tools. Users register for a webinar (providing their contact information) and, in return, participate in a space where your firm can demonstrate expertise in a controlled and effective manner.

Webinars can be live, allowing for real-time interaction, pre-recorded and played simulive (at a scheduled time) or presented on-demand when a user fills out a form.

This flexibility in viewing options makes webinars a compelling choice for firms that do business over larger geographic areas. In fact, 63% of webinar views are on-demand. Participants aren’t limited by their schedules or time zones when they want to consume or participate in a webinar, but still receive that personalized feel you simply don’t get with a more formal pre-recorded video.

Additionally, webinars can cover topics in much greater detail than traditional videos or articles. 67% of professionals note they want this information in the format of “tips, tricks, and best practices” content, followed by webinars that act as courses (53%), case studies (53%) and overviews of industry trends (50%).

The process of hosting a webinar generally involves several key steps: creating and sending invitations (usually emails), registering participants, creating the presentation or webinar content, presenting the webinar, and post-webinar tasks such as following up with the slides or thanking participants for attending.

For this reason, it’s important for your firm to design and build strong processes around your webinar strategy to ensure you can attract and engage participants in your target audience.

Best webinar platforms for B2B marketing

The first and most important decision to make when building your webinar strategy is choosing a platform that’s right-sized for your firm’s needs.

Hundreds of platforms offer webinar solutions to businesses of all sizes, from small, 10-person organizations to multi-national enterprise firms, so finding one that’s right for your specific strategy can be a challenge.

However, a few platforms bubble to the top and are often used by enterprise-grade B2B firms across the country.

  • Zoom Webinar — Zoom Webinar offers a robust and reliable platform for hosting large-scale events of up to 100,000 attendees. It is known for its ease of use, high-quality video and audio, and seamless integration with popular CRMs and other platforms.
  • GoTo Webinar — GoTo Webinar is recognized for its simplicity and reliability, offering streamlined engagement features like chat, Q&A, and polls. It supports live and pre-recorded webinars and is accessible through web browsers, which is beneficial for small marketing teams or those just starting with webinars.
  • Demio — Demio is favored for its no-frills webinar experience, user-friendly interface, and marketing-focused features. It provides tools for automated marketing campaigns and has a strong emphasis on attendee engagement, making it a good choice for B2B marketers who prioritize interactive and visually appealing webinar experiences.
  • Vimeo Livestream — Vimeo Livestream caters to B2B firms who need a comprehensive, high-quality live-streaming solution. It offers a full suite of tools for before, during, and after live events, making it suitable for firms that require robust live-streaming capabilities along with on-demand content availability. Because many firms use Vimeo to host their digital content libraries, Vimeo Livestream is also an easy way to keep all video content under one roof.
  • WebinarJam — WebinarJam is known for its comprehensive feature set that includes real-time streaming, interactive tools like polls and surveys, and the ability to handle large audiences. It is particularly useful for marketers who need a reliable platform that can facilitate dynamic and engaging presentations.
  • YouTube / LinkedIn — Both YouTube and LinkedIn offer platforms for live-streaming and webinars, with YouTube being ideal for reaching large, diverse audiences and LinkedIn being particularly effective for targeting professionals and B2B audiences. These platforms are beneficial for firms looking to leverage their existing social media presence and content strategies.

Choosing the right software and equipment

At a basic level, you only need two things to present a webinar:

  1. Webinar software that allows you to invite and register participants and present the webinar at the scheduled time.
  2. A laptop or computer that can record audio and video of your speaking, any slides or other materials you intend to present, and a quiet place to conduct the presentation.

As your strategy expands and you devote more time and resources to your webinars, you may find that you need other platforms, tools, and equipment to engage with your audience more effectively and improve the quality of your presentations.

For example, you may choose to invest in a webcam or camera to capture higher-quality video, better lighting solutions, a microphone or headset with noise-canceling features to ensure you sound crisp and clear, or even sound-dampening panels for the room you choose to present in.

You may also want to invest in a higher subscription tier of your webinar platform of choice or add additional software and strategies to the mix, such as video editing software or paying for LinkedIn InMail messages to attract new webinar participants.

6 Webinar tips and best practices that drive success

Hosting a successful webinar means ensuring all the moving parts come together to create a streamlined, compelling viewing experience for your audience.

Below, we’ll outline six tips and best practices for ensuring your webinar is a smashing success.

1. Foster a deep understanding of your audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial for hosting a successful B2B webinar. Research their pain points, challenges, and the kind of information or solutions they’re seeking. Tailor your content to address their specific needs and position yourself as a trusted expert. To borrow a term from SEO, you must find ways to demonstrate and effectively communicate Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT) in the subject matter.

2. Craft engaging and interactive content

Keep your audience engaged by incorporating visual aids, storytelling, relevant examples, and interactive elements like polls, Q&A sessions, and live chat. Break your content into digestible segments to maintain interest and lean more into answering questions the viewer might have (as opposed to simply lecturing for the entire duration). Making sure you have an interactive and visually appealing presentation will also help keep attendees attentive until the end.

3. Think strategically when promoting your webinar

Promote your webinar at least 2 weeks in advance through channels like social media, email marketing, your website, and industry partnerships. Create compelling promotional messages highlighting the benefits and insights attendees will gain into your chosen topic. Remember, consistent promotion leading up to the event maximizes attendance. Nearly 55% of webinar registrations happen less than 7 days prior to the event, so you’ll want to ensure you send out more than one reminder in the days leading up to the webinar.

4. Set clear goals and understand what success looks like

Define your objectives for each webinar, whether that’s raising awareness, moving leads down a sales funnel, or closing deals on new projects. Align your content and calls-to-action (CTAs) with the intended purpose of the webinar. Clear goals in place allow you to more accurately measure success and optimize future webinars.

5. Optimize and streamline the registration process

Use benefit-oriented language on registration buttons/pages to entice signups, and make sure to track performance metrics. You might consider A/B testing different versions of your landing page. Streamline the registration form by only asking for essential information to reduce abandonment. Always make sure to test the full webinar registration process to identify any areas of friction where a user may struggle (such as reminder emails that don’t include an easy-to-find link to join the webinar).

6. Integrate your webinar platform with your marketing systems

Leverage webinar analytics and integrate your webinar platform with your CRM and email marketing tools to nurture leads effectively after the webinar. Automated follow-ups and targeted campaigns can boost conversions and help to improve attendance for future webinars by keeping your brand relevant and top-of-mind.

Leverage webinars to nurture leads and promote your brand

Webinars are an incredibly effective way to nurture leads in your sales pipeline by demonstrating expertise and fostering a closer connection with key members of your audience.

Therefore, it’s smart to have a plan of action for how you can most effectively design and build a results-based webinar program that helps you generate more leads and win more projects.

By following the tips and best practices above, your firm can build a process that’s right-sized for your business. This will jumpstart your content marketing efforts and drive stronger performance across your business development and sales funnels.

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