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10 Tips for Successful Webinars
Takeaway notes from a BtoB Magazine webinar, by Aliza Bornstein, copywriter, Melissa Data

In a BtoB Magazine webinar on May 13, Eric Bensley, product marketer of Citrix Online, shared 10 tactical tips that you can implement with your webinars to make them more effective.

Tip #1 Promote with email marketing
Email is still found to be the most effective way to draw people to a Web event.
95 percent of webinar registrants prefer to communicate via email before a live session. Build up a database of customers and communicate with them via a webinar with an email before the event. You want the reader to see exactly what they’ll be getting by attending the webinar at a glance.

Tip #2 Profile your webinar registrants
Use registrations from the webinar signups to understand who your audience will consist of before the event. Is this their first webinar? If it is, you’ll need to organize your presentation around that, explaining what webinars are and how they work. Use profiling before the webinar to help your presentation be more engaging for your audience. 69 percent of webinar presenters find registrant profiles helpful to customize their content before the event.

Tip #3 Build attendance with reminder emails
Most registrants prefer to receive a reminder 1 to 3 days before the live event. It can also increase the attendance rate to your webinar by 10 to15 percent. People get busy and forget they signed up for something weeks or months before. Build reminders into your program and get people to the live event.

Tip #4 Develop presenter interplay
Presenter interplay is incredibly important in webinars. One person pitching an idea the entire time loses attendees’ attention spans in about 10 to 15 minutes. By having multiple speakers and people running Q&A, the whole event runs more smoothly. 40 percent of all webinars have guest speakers and 68 percent have live Q&A support.

Tip #5 Present dynamic content
Power Point presentations can get dry. Bring in other types of content; software, your company website—something that makes the session more engaging to the attendees.

Tip #6 Monitor your audience
Webinar speakers and mediators can’t see the attendees so they have no idea if their engaged or reading their email on another screen. There are now tools that allow you to monitor your attendees in real time. Use these tools to see how your webinar is progressing and adjust your notes depending on the outcome.

Tip #7 Engage your audience
It may seem redundant at this point, but it can’t be emphasized enough: Bring your audience into the presentation by using pop up polls, 1:1 texts, verbal questions, and providing Q&A opportunities at the end of the presentation. Plan these before the event. It should be between speakers or points where you feel the audience needs to be re-engaged. The idea is that you’re bringing the audience back into the presentation and making it more a two-way event.

Tip #8 Qualify attendees with surveys
After sessions, surveys are a great way to qualify attendees. It helps your sales people designate those they should follow up with. You can ask targeted questions to understand their interest levels. Do they want a demo or another presentation? You can use these surveys to qualify your prospects and move them over into your sales cycle.

Tip #9 Continue dialog with follow up emails
A common mistake with webinar leads is to have people come to you and then assume that your content was so compelling your attendees are going to take action, find you and call you. Not likely. All marketers should know if you don’t give them a call or reach out to them in some form, nothing is going to happen with those leads. Give them a recording of the presentation and any other content you have that may be relevant to them. Follow up and start that dialog—preferably within a day so their interest level isn’t lost.

Tip #10 Extend reach with recording
You put a lot of time and effort into these webinars and it’s easy to record them. So do it! 50 percent of all online presentation attendees surveyed have viewed recorded sessions. Put them on your website, give them to your sales team, send them to your prospects, and make them on-demand. You can get a lot more bang out of your buck if you continue to make them available after the live event.

Using these webinar tactics make for faster lead generation and conversion by broadening your reach, delivering more meaningful and relevant content, and qualifying leads after the session for sales. Hopefully these 10 tips will help you deliver your next webinar more effectively or help you get started in organizing your first webinar for your marketing program.

---Source: BtoB Magazine May 13, 2009 webinar (www.btobonline.com). Eric Bensley is the product marketer for Citrix Online (www.citrix.com).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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