Whether you are hosting your very first webinar or you have been delivering online presentations for years, the key to sustained success is knowing what webinar attendees are looking for. Believe it or not, engaging content and free giveaways are just the start. To truly appeal to your target audience and ensure that they not only register, but actually attend and stay for the duration of your webinar, follow these 5 rules:
Choose a Relevant Topic
Remember to use the “what’s in it for them” approach when deciding on a subject for your webinar. Do a little research to understand the types of questions your target audience is asking, or find out what their pain points are, then answer their questions or offer actionable solutions to their problems. While your end goal may be to establish yourself as an authority, or sell a product or service, be careful not to make the entire presentation about you. Your attendees should come away from your webinar having learned something useful, in addition to discovering how great you are.
Respect Their Time
The sweet spot for webinar length is 30-45 minutes. If you don’t have enough content to fill at least 30 minutes, consider switching to a different subject. Alternately, if it’s going to take an hour or more to cover everything, consider dividing your content into a 2-part webinar. In addition to presentation length, the time of day and even day of the week can make or break your webinar attendance. Statistically speaking, morning is best – preferably between 10:00 and 11:00 AM – and mid-week time slots perform better than Friday through Monday.
Give Away Free Stuff
Let’s face it, people like free. Webinar attendees want to feel special, valued and as though they are getting something extra for their time. While it doesn’t have to be costly, consider offering your webinar attendees something that will generate excitement and make them more willing to commit. Maybe offer a free trial or demo, give them access to your new e-book before it’s available to the public, include an upgrade or add-on, or provide free shipping.
Include a Q&A Session
Anticipating possible questions, and answering them on the fly, can be downright terrifying, especially if you’re new to hosting webinars. However, studies have shown that more than 90% of webinar attendees expect a question and answer period at the end of the webinar. The irony is that just because they want the opportunity to ask questions, doesn’t mean they will. So be prepared to offer up a few FAQs. This might even help webinar attendees think of their own questions. Remember to factor the Q&A session into your overall running time. Allow for 10 minutes on average.
Invest in Technology
Online attendees are looking for professional, high quality experiences. While “free” is great for attendees, if you are relying on free software for your webinars, you’re probably missing the mark. Free webinar services offer limited features, often lacking the ability to archive presentations and providing little technical support, which is why more and more businesses are investing in webinar service providers. On average, it should cost between $100 and $3,000 to produce a high-quality webinar. Costs vary based on bandwidth usage, number of participants, and whether the provider or platform you choose offers monthly, annual or per webinar rates.