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Webinars have become a very popular marketing strategy, as they’re an excellent way to generate leads and build customer loyalty. In fact, 20 to 40% of these can be expected to turn into qualified leads.
Planning your webinars thoroughly is key, as few will disagree that one of the main challenges is maintaining engagement from start to finish. People often give up on hosting a webinar for fear of not being able to hold their audience’s attention.
If you can relate, don’t worry. By following a few important steps, you can keep your audience engaged during the entire stream.
So, check out some fundamental factors of webinar engagement and tips to winning your audience over.
Webinar engagement starts before it’s broadcast
We know that there’s no point in hosting a webinar without an audience to consume the content. A determining factor to obtain webinar engagement is to attract your audience before your live stream.
Therefore, you should work on your webinar’s engagement during its planning phase. Below are a few steps:
1. Plan your webinar in advance
By planning your webinar in advance, you’ll have time to promote it and prepare for the presentation. The sooner you start planning and promoting it, the better it will be for you and your audience.
Your planning must consider some important factors, such as the broadcast’s time and date, which in turn, should take your audience’s availability into account. Other points to be considered are:
- The webinar’s content
- The way in which it will be addressed
- Its depth, which will be according to the persona’s stage in the sales funnel
- Your goals regarding the broadcast, whether it’s to sell something or just to generate leads.
2. Promote your webinar
The webinar should be promoted on all communication channels used by you and your company. And I mean all of them: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, blog, email marketing, and others.
But don’t limit yourself to them. Use all forums and groups to your advantage. After all, the goal here is to attract as many interested people as possible to your webinar.
However, the focus of your advertising should be on social media, and the channels your audience uses the most.
And when you choose the most efficient channel for your advertising, according to your persona’s profile, this means that you won’t waste your time, money, and effort on something that probably wouldn’t help you in your end goal.
3. Keep your target audience in mind
Complementing the tip above, you always need to keep your target audience in mind. Both while advertising your webinar, as well as during its planning and your webinar’s script.
Although this sounds like a cliché, you need to know your audience and their needs well. Only then will you know exactly what to say, and of course, keep your webinar’s audience engaged.
With this information at hand, you will even know the best time to host your webinar and the messages to promote the event!
4. Make sure that your content is truly attractive
Regardless of your webinar’s purpose, whether it’s to sell something or capture leads, it’s critical that the content be truly attractive and rich. You need to amaze your viewers in order to them engaged during your webinar.
Don’t be afraid of transmitting as much knowledge as you can. This will undoubtedly gain users’ trust. As a result, you’ll have better chances of them taking the action proposed during the broadcast.
If you create a presentation for the webinar, make sure that its design is pleasant and attractive. This will make it easier to maintain viewer engagement and attention.
But this is only the beginning when it comes to maintaining your webinar’s engagement. During your broadcast, you need to go beyond and avoid clichés so that no one will leave in the middle of your webinar.
6 factors that ensure webinar engagement from start to finish
The tips above are only the beginning when it comes to maintaining your webinar’s engagement. During your broadcast, you need to go beyond and avoid clichés so that no one will leave in the middle of your webinar.
The major advantage of webinars is precisely bringing the audience closer to the company or person producing the content. This is what will tell if the strategy was successful or still requires changes.
Below, we’ve selected the six key factors that will influence engagement during the webinar. Pay attention to them, because they will define if your strategy will be successful.
1. Don’t beat around the bush during your webinar’s introduction
It’s quite common for webinar hosts to create an initial “suspense” before getting to the point of the subject, with the purpose of generating expectation in their audience, or even waiting for more people to join the live stream.
However, an important tip is, don’t rely on a long “introduction” process to captivate your online audience. Make it simple and objective!
Avoid spending too much time on introductions and various details. Or even worse, an introduction where whoever is on the other side of the screen waiting for the webinar to start, but hearing a lot of background noise.
It’s always a good idea to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Just imagine how you’d feel if you joined a live webinar, at its scheduled time, but you have to sit there for half an hour hearing noises made by people who are unaware their camera is on. It’s very amateurish, right?
Another point to be careful about is with your equipment. Webinars usually take time to get started. After all, the host wants to make sure (sometimes unnecessarily) that everyone can hear, see, and access the live chat.
Instead, make your introduction short, tell an interesting (albeit succinct) anecdote and then, get into your presentation. Equipment testing should be done before the broadcast.
Try to keep it concise, to let participants know, early on, that you won’t be wasting their precious time with boring details, and that you’ll be focused on the discussion of the topic.
This is a great way of keeping them listening and a high webinar engagement!
2. Make sure that no technical failures occur
Before you start broadcasting, always test all of the equipment you’ll be using. Something considered very bad is, having to migrate to another platform or change equipment after people have already connected to the webinar.
The time wasted with this migration or the replacement of equipment can make many people leave the broadcast. And this is terrible for webinar engagement.
Thus, below are a few valuable tips:
- First of all, choose a reliable platform to broadcast your webinar
- Check your audio before you start broadcasting in order to make sure that your audience receives the optimal audio and video
- Make sure you have a strong and stable internet connection. Check if your connection offers at least an upload speed between 2 MB to 3 MB and if possible, connect your computer directly to your modem by means of an Ethernet cable.
3. Remember: it’s not about you; it’s about the content
You can choose to talk to your audience about countless details and facts, which will include things about you, or about your company, and the products offered.
But, by doing so, you risk losing your audience’s attention.
Or, you can also choose to talk to your audience, always presenting information and asking for comments and opinions about the webinar’s content. This will ensure that they stay connected, regardless of the duration of the presentation.
Always work on the importance of the webinar’s content itself, which should be rich, valuable, and of the audience’s interest.
Don’t just talk about yourself or keep promoting your company and products all the time. The webinar’s engagement depends a lot on the valuable content and not on what you have to sell.
4. Pique your participants’ curiosity
Pique the webinar audience’s curiosity by providing information so they know that at the end of the discussion, those viewers who stay online will receive an additional benefit.
Examples of such benefits may include free features, promotional discounts, or even, access to exclusive products and materials.
This way, people will be curious or excited about the surprise and stay engaged and connected with the webinar until the end.
But it has to be something truly valuable and useful for your audience, so that the company doesn’t lose credibility by, in the end, delivering something that no one feels is truly valuable.
5. Promote interaction with your audience
In order to keep a high webinar engagement, it’s very important to interact with your audience, so that they truly feel part of the webinar.
So, explore the chat features during the presentation. This way, you can answer questions from the audience in real-time. This practice creates a natural engagement between participants and the host.
Allowing for interactions, questions, and comments, not only at the end of the presentation, but at various moments during the webinar, will turn your audience into active participants of your webinar.
But perhaps you are worried that no one will have anything to ask…
A tip to get around this is to ask some of your own questions, which might have been asked during previous webinars or some that you came up with yourself. The rest of your participants will follow your example and ask their own questions.
6. Pay attention to your webinar’s duration
Always keep your viewers’ busy schedules in mind when you develop your webinars. People don’t want to join a webinar and feel they’re being held hostage for the next few hours.
Those who stay during a very long webinar (and even those who leave before it ends) will feel resentful and taken advantage of.
So, prove that you value and respect your viewers’ time. Try to create a webinar with a maximum duration of 60 minutes. This is the average time, which provides a viable balance for participants to stay alert and connected during the entire webinar.
Remember: Your audience will arrive at your webinar with a lot of anticipation. And they should leave your webinar feeling that their expectations were met or even exceeded. It’s up to you to create this positive and productive transformation.
Make your webinar memorable
If you consider the suggestions above, webinar engagement will no longer be an issue for you and your business. It will actually become an important business ally.
Even though webinar engagement isn’t rocket science, hosting a webinar isn’t easy and requires a lot of planning.
Therefore, we recommend that you invest a little more of your time to learn about the essential webinar tools to record good videos!