When to Host a Webinar
posted April 3rd 2017, 10:16 am by Hannah Jorgensen
If you've been watching the trends in marketing, you know that webinars have become popular within our field and others. You may have even entertained the idea of holding one. Webinars require a great deal of planning and preparation. If it is entered into as a side project, it will most likely fall flat, wasting your time and that of anyone who did tune in. If you're wondering when to host a webinar, we can help you decide whether hosting a webinar is indeed the right choice for your marketing strategy.
When to Host a Webinar
Your Content is Interactive
The point of holding a webinar is to express material that cannot be conveyed better in another medium. If you simply wanted to show research and list statistics, then presenting your findings in written form would be best. The last thing you want to do is bore your viewers with heavy content.
Interaction through a webinar is more immediate than it would be through a medium such as email or social media because webinars provide you with a live audience. Be sure that you are taking advantage of this, rather than simply talking at the viewers. If you wish to hold a question and answer session with extended discussion, a webinar is a terrific option. It is the perfect platform on which to start a conversation with your audience.
You Want to Give a Tutorial
Certain topics are better explained "in person" rather than in writing. A webinar allows you to use visual aids and body language to convey your point. It is also easier to summarize a more complicated process. This way you can show rather than simply tell. Viewers can take their own notes to reference later, or they can follow along as they go, performing the task that you are teaching.
Your Team Can Handle the Workload
As mentioned above, a webinar takes a great deal of preparation. It will most likely take the effort of multiple team members. Content must be gathered and rehearsed. The appropriate equipment and technology must be arranged for, set up, and utilized properly. The webinar will also need to be promoted. A small number of attendees would be very disappointing after all the effort you have put in. Before deciding to host a webinar, consult with your team to be sure that they have the time to commit to such a large project. It is not as simple as it seems. If you've attended a webinar where everything went smoothly and you felt as if you benefited from the material, understand that hours of planning went into making that webinar a success.
You Have a Partner, an Expert, or a Guest Speaker
If you'd like to feature an individual of distinction, a webinar featuring their expertise could attract viewers. If you've managed to obtain a guest speaker, make the most of the time that they are willing to give you. This will take coordination of all those involved, but is well worth it if you can attract a larger audience to raise awareness for your brand. Name recognition holds power that you can leverage, but make sure that they are also an effective presenter. No one wants to sit through an uncomfortable presentation, especially since it is so easy to exit online -- as opposed to walking out of the room if it were a conference.
You Want to Generate Leads
Hosting a webinar can help to generate leads and build your email list. However, this is not a sales pitch. You will lose your audience if they figure out 3 minutes in that this is simply a sales strategy. Your audience is there for the value that you promised to provide. Do not fall short of this promise. Educating the audience should be high on your list of priorities when creating content for your webinar. While lead generation can also be on that list, it should not be your sole focus.
So Should I Host a Webinar or Not?
Do NOT host a webinar if: your content is very general, only one employee is willing to take on the project, you cannot find a dynamic presenter, or the material could be better conveyed in a different medium.
An advantage of webinars is that they generate leads for your company and give you face-time with an audience without the commitment of a full, in-person event. Keep in mind that only 30-50% of the individuals who registered will attend the webinar. They will feel less committed because it is online.
Best of luck in your webinar adventures.