There are a lot of opinions and random facts about webinars floating around online, which can be confusing when trying to figure out the best strategy. So we decided to take a hard look at the statistics and use them to determine some best practices for webinars. Because numbers don’t lie.
Here are a few quick tips for maximizing the benefits of your future webinars, plus a bonus at the end for persons who don’t have a product to sell.
1.Host more webinars!
In a 2013 Demand Gen Report reader survey of webinar organizers, nearly half (49%) of survey respondents said that between 20% – 40% of their webinar registrants turn into qualified leads. This makes webinars the top content format in driving qualified leads.
2.Host your webinar on a Tuesday or Wednesday between 11A and 3P
Statistics provided by ClickWebinar shows that 30.8% of potential webinar attendees are more likely attend a webinar on Tuesday, while 25.8% said Wednesday would be most suitable, followed by Thursday at 16%. Since webinars are typically work-related, most persons like to participate during work hours.
3.Limit webinars to 30-50 minutes, including Q&A
The average viewing time for a webinar is 53 minutes. By keeping it just under the hour, you allow a little extra time in case persons have more questions, want to share their takeaways on social media or leave to prepare for their next engagement at the top of the hour.
4.Good content isn’t enough, create GREAT content
According to a survey done byRedback Conferencing, 35% of failed webinars are due to poor content. Therefore, when hosting a webinar, ensure that you are offering material that is unique of gives a fresh, interesting perspective they can’t get anywhere else. Ensure that is it organized well and the takeaways are clear so they can use the knowledge they gain immediately.
5.Get an interesting presenter
48% of people said that webinars were least enjoyable when there was a poor presenter. Persons who are bored or disengaged tend to tune out of webinars. If you’re not a naturally vibrant and passionate speaker, get someone else to host. Try to get experts that have speaking training. If not, have a moderator guide the session along by asking questions and interacting with the audience.
6.Start promoting at least a week before the webinar
Starting promotions at least 7 days out can increase registration by over 36%, as indicated in the 2013 Webinar Benchmark Report. Excepting in cases where the webinar is for an exclusive group, use all channels available to spread the word, directing interested persons to your webinar landing page.
7.Definitely promote your webinar through email
When asked to score their preferred channel for learning about webinars, survey respondents scored email 4.46 out of 5, compared to social media, which came in second at 2.77. Typically, persons are more likely to be responsive to emails since they had previously signed up to the mailing list of the host, which indicates an existing relationship.
8.Limit signup forms to names and emails, ask qualifying questions during webinar
It’s tempting to try to collect as much data as possible from registrants signing up for your webinar, but asking for too much information can reduce signups. Limit forms to 2-4 fields, then attain further information during the webinar presentation via polls and votes.
9.Include a short product presentation and showcase
Your webinar isn’t supposed to be a sales pitch. It is supposed to be about providing valuable content. However, it is still a marketing activity and attendees expect some form of promotion or offer during your presentation. After all, 144% more people are likely to purchase a product after seeing a video of it in action. Dedicate a little airtime to a special offer just for your participants, and make it related to the content of the webinar. If your topic is relevant and your product is a part of the solution to a problem your audience is experiencing, they will appreciate it.
10.Make webinars interactive to keep attendees engaged
According to Adobe, 40% – 51% of attendees engaged in various actions during their webinars, including participating in polls, chats and downloading material. Including interactive elements allow persons to feel more engaged, hence they will be more likely to stick around. It’s important to make these elements a part of the actual presentation, not just thrown in for good measure.
11.Always include a Q&A, during and after the webinar
A main feature of webinars is the aspect of live two-way communication. According to Citrix, 92% of webinar attendees say they find Q&As useful, so leaving it out would probably be very disappointing to your audience. In addition, you can provide an email or Twitter name to which viewers can send additional questions. The latter has the added bonus of increasing engagement and awareness on social media.
12.Make a recorded version available after the webinar
A nice way to create a sense of urgency is to offer access to your webinar only while it’s being aired live. However, if you want to maximize viewership, it’s important to understand that persons may be really interested, but simply not available at the time you’ve specified. In the Adobe assessment mentioned above, only 36% of registrants attended their live webinars, but 55% more viewed the recordings.
BONUS: Host a webinar, even if you have no product to sell!
This one isn’t statistical, but still factual. There are many other benefits to hosting webinars besides getting leads, which can benefit almost any knowledgeable person who has information to share and wants to grow their audience. Bloggers, for example, can bond with their audience, gain new fans and increase blog traffic. It can be really helpful in establishing authority and expertise. Additionally, if you want to recommend products or services, it’s a great way to earn affiliate income.