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5 Webinar Mistakes to Avoid

webinarWebinars may be par for the course for many businesses in these technology-dependent times, but not everyone is an expert on them. Even if you’ve done several webinars over the years, you can probably improve on a few details. So if you want to see better results when it comes to your online events, check out these common webinar mistakes and how to fix them.

1. Not Choosing a Good Topic or Title

The best way to get an audience for your webinar is to discuss an issue that actually interests them. It needs to solve one or more of your audience’s problems, not simply pitch your own products or services. Your title should reflect that. Titles like, “How to Improve…,” or “6 Steps to Achieving…” tend to appeal to audience members. So the only way you should take on a title like “Why My Products Are So Great” is if you plan to speak to an empty room! And whatever you do, do not bait your audience with a title that promises one thing and then switch it up with a sales pitch.

2. Not Promoting the Event

Don’t simply believe if you build it they will come. You need to put in some work if you want a good number of webinar registrants, and you can’t wait until just a few days before the event. You should start promoting by sending emails at twice a week for a month prior to the webinar. Be sure to also use partners, social media and blogs to promote the event in the weeks leading up to it. A few Facebook posts and tweets about it, plus maybe a blog post about why people should attend, should get you the attention you want for your virtual event. If you want a new audience or an audience of a good size you will have to spend some money to promote your webinar. One route is to work with a media company that specializes in promoting webinars to your target audience. Most of these companies have actual webinar promotion packages that they sell and the price for these usually start at $10,000 and up. If that’s too much for you, look at doing FaceBook or social ads, along with paid email blasts. Then send a reminder email a day before the event and right before the event to remind your registrants to attend.

3. Not Creating an Engaging Presentation

Don’t only do the bare minimum, which goes something like 30 slides in 45 minutes, with a few minutes devoted to Q&A at the end. This isn’t a mandatory high school project that you just want to get over with. Since you’re undoubtedly passionate about your webinar topic, you need to show that by making the presentation engaging. At The Marketing Scope we recommend having several engagement hooks during the webinar. Some examples include putting a short 3 question poll or survey at the beginning of the session. You can also take questions throughout the session, preferably about every 3-4 minutes at the end. These tactics help keep the audience engaged and keeps the session conversational.

Another recommendation is to have the presenter be on video instead of just slides and audio. Webinars can now easily handle high-end video and even HD. Some companies are great at leveraging social media during the session. For social media, I would recommend Twitter and a dedicated hashtag for the event. This not only helps better engage your audience, but brings in a much larger audience. It also engages people after the event and keeps the conversation going even after the webinar is over. At the very least, your webinar setup should include your corporate logo and color scheme, plus the most important messaging at the top of the screen, because webinar attendees will remember it after looking at it for an hour.

4. Not Choosing Good Tech

You can have the best ideas to discuss during your webinar, but if no one can understand you when you talk about them, they don’t count. Avoid wasting your time and your audience’s by making sure your audio is good quality. This means you shouldn’t use a cell phone. In fact, you should turn your phone off – or at least put it on silent – so that you have one less distraction during the webinar. You should also do a sound check in the hour before the webinar so you have time to fix problems. This involves testing your microphone, video camera, internet connection, and then making sure you know how to use all of the equipment. Otherwise, your webinar could be a flop when your microphone or camera shuts off midway through or your internet connection keeps your wise words from reaching your audience. I suggest using companies that have a dedicated studio or room at their office to produce webinars. It ensures that someone with a great deal of experience is watching over the production and leveraging their best practices around technology and even delivery.

5. Not Following Up After the Webinar

So the webinar is over, and now you can breathe a sigh of relief because your work is done, right? Wrong. You have to take this wonderful piece of content and use it to connect with your audience by sharing the link to the archived webinar. You can add that link to an email and send it to anyone who might have missed it, turning it into a great lead generation tool. Be sure to talk about it on your social media pages too. Ask your audience questions about how they thought it went and post some pictures and quotes from the webinar. You can also learn more about your audience and the quality of your webinar by studying the analytics after the big online event is over. Find out what worked and what didn’t, and collaborate with your team and adjust accordingly.

Have you made any of these or other webinar mistakes?

Originally posted on The Creation Agency Blog.

Eric Vidal
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Eric Vidal

Chief Content Officer at The Marketing Scope
Eric is the Chief Content Officer of The Marketing Scope and Editor at Converge, both BMG properties. He is also the acting SVP of Marketing at BMG and has ran marketing for companies of all sizes. He has extensive experience working to achieve measurable business results for organizations like IBM, Cisco, WebEx, Canon USA, Capgemini, adidas, Subaru, SAP and more. Connect with Eric on LinkedIn
Eric Vidal
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