5 Steps to Creating a First-Rate Webinar That Converts
Webinars are increasingly becoming a go-to marketing tool for businesses looking to reach an audience outside of their immediate geographical location.
Where you might once have had to run an in-person event, you can now run an online version to ten times as many people who are scattered all over the planet.
It’s the ultimate way to connect with your audience.
So why should you incorporate a webinar strategy into your business?
They create rapport
These days, creating a successful business with loyal fans is all about cultivating community. Consumers want to feel like they’re a part of something, and to do that you need to show them who you and your business really are.
Sure, you could write a few articles and send a few emails, but people really like to connect with other people. You know, by being able to see their faces, talk to them like they would in real life, and listen to their voices.
Which is why webinars offer a quick and easy way to build a rapport with your audience. You’re essentially talking to them in real-time, answering their questions, and showing them that you are human, just like them.
This works for brick-and-mortar style businesses, too. Hayden Smith runs Champoeg Creamery, a farm store selling fresh foods that runs regular webinars. “Since we don’t necessarily see everybody face to face (we have employees running the store), the webinars help us engage with our customers and build relationships,” she says.
They save time
We all know businesses are busy these days. It’s unlikely you have the time to run two in-person events each month, but you’ll probably be able to run a couple of webinars each month.
Why? Because there’s no real-life planning involved. As in, you don’t need to book a conference hall, sort out tickets, get refreshments, or any of the little details that make an in-person event take up a ton of time.
Instead, webinars let you quickly inform your audience about a particular topic where they can soak up what you’re saying from the comfort of their own home (which, in turn, means more people are likely to turn up).
In-person events are limited to a certain number of people – whether that’s down to how many seats you have, the size of your venue, or the amount of people in your area interested in what you have to say.
Webinars, on the other hand, allow you to reach a much wider audience at the same time. These are people in other countries who wouldn’t have been able to attend an in-person event, but who are still a great fit for your product.
While you might only be able to roll out an in-person talk to 50 or so people, with webinars the number is unlimited – the world is literally your oyster.
Smith argues this is one of the main reasons Champoeg Creamery runs webinars:
“We used to teach classes on site and in person, but those are so much work for very little profit. With one webinar we can reach hundreds instead of a few people at a class.”[bctt tweet=”“We used to teach classes on site and in person, but those are so much work for very little profit. ”” username=””]
So now you know why webinars are a great marketing tool for your business and infoproducts, let’s look at the steps you need to take to start implementing them.
The First Five Steps of Creating and Promoting an Epic Webinar
Establish Your Topic
The very first step is thinking about what you want to present to your audience. This will take into account:
- The infoproduct you want to pitch at the end
- What your audience is interested in
- What you have expert knowledge in (you’ll need to be able to talk about the topic for an hour or so)
The topic of your infoproduct should be the main dictating factor in this, as you want to be able to move seamlessly from the content of your webinar into a pitch for the product. You also want your audience to be highly interested in what you’re offering at the end, which means they need to be highly interested in the topic of your webinar.
So, how do you figure out what to talk about?
Research question and answer sites
Sites like Quora are great for determining topics that people want to know more about. They’re filled with actual, real-life questions that real-life people have about your industry.
Let’s take a look at the travel industry:
Phrasing a question to ask what someone struggles with encourages them to respond with an answer that reveals what they need help with, A.K.A. their pain points. These are what you want to be tapping into during your webinar.
Let’s look at the answers:
From this, we can determine a number of webinar topic ideas, from packing ideas, to souvenir buying tips, and guides to choosing where to travel.
Your most popular content
Alternatively, you can take the cue from your audience and see what blog posts they like best. Check into your Google analytics account to determine which posts are read and shared the most, and craft a webinar topic around these.
Frequently Asked Questions
The question above is one I get asked a lot by my readers: the whole “how do I get started freelancing?”
I probably receive between five and ten emails a week that hint at this question in some way or another, so it was a no-brainer for me to run a webinar that focused on how to get started freelancing.
For Smith and Champoeg Creamery, this is the main way webinar topics are created. They push for subscribers to get in touch with their problems via email:
“In the ‘welcome’ email we send to new subscribers, we ask them what their biggest challenge is when it comes to their health. This gives us a wealth of information that we could do webinars on.”
You can then create a swipe file of the emails you receive from customers, clients, and readers, and compile a list of topics that answer the most common questions.
These will form the basis of your webinar content strategy because you know that these are the issues your audience are struggling with. They’ve specifically reached out to ask you, so bring them the answer!
Create a Landing Page
Every great webinar needs a great landing page to get people to sign up for it. If you don’t showcase the value you’re going to offer, why would people want to waste their precious time tuning in?
There are a few must-haves that determine whether a landing page will convert for your webinar or not.
i. The USP (Unique Selling Point)
What is it about your webinar that makes it different from the rest? Why should people attend? This should cover why people should attend your webinar over anyone else’s.
ii. The Benefits
Instead of focusing on what you’ll cover in the webinar, focus on how your audience’s lives will have changed afterwards. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic. Maybe they’ll know how to use onions in a selection of new dishes, or maybe they’ll know how to upcycle their old furniture.
Think about the outcomes that you want your audience to take away with them and vocalise these on your landing page in a list format (the most easily-digestible format).
This is a webinar landing page from Amy Jo Berman, a casting director who runs online workshops to help aspiring actors and actresses make the most of their auditions.
Here, she lists out exactly what attendees will learn during the webinar, and the main points they’ll take away with them at the end.
The Call-to-Action (CTA) is so important because it’s what your readers will click to actually sign up for the webinar. You don’t want to include generic text here like “subscribe” or “sign up”. Instead, you want to relate the sentiment to your webinar topic.
This is the CTA on Amy’s webinar landing page. As you can see, she relates the text on her button to the reader and the topic of the webinar.
Create the Materials
Once you have your topic and your landing page it’s time for the inevitable – creating the materials.
You can do this however you want. You can simply talk at the camera for half an hour, or you might choose to share your screen with your viewers so you can take them through a tutorial.
The most popular method, though, is to put together a presentation so your viewers have a visual guide running alongside your speech. You can create this in PowerPoint or Keynote using your brand colors to add a recognizable aspect.
The slides don’t need to be fancy, but it’s worth including some screenshots, charts, and images to help illustrate the points you’re making.
What you don’t want to do
You don’t want to write everything you speak about on your slides (this is actually one of the biggest pet peeves of webinar attendees). Instead, you want to pick out key phrases and use images to back up what you’re saying.
The Best Way to Promote Your Webinar
Once everything’s in place and you’ve got the content together, you want to start promoting your webinar so you can, well, get bums on metaphorical seats.
The absolute best way to promote your webinar is through your email list. This means you’ll be directly reaching the inbox of people who actively care about what you have to say and are actively interested in hearing more from you (they did give you their email address, after all).
Smith agrees with this: “We promote our webinars mostly through email marketing. We have spent many years developing a really deep relationship with our customers through email so that’s what works best for us.”
The Three Email Touch Points
There are three main emails you want to send to your list to promote your webinar.
Introduce your webinar
Let your subscribers know that you’ll be hosting a webinar. Discuss the topic and highlight the problem it will solve for those who tune in. You want to encourage them to click through to another sign up form or, depending on your email marketing provider, add them automatically to a new list when they click a link.
This new list will be who you send the next emails to.
Start adding details
You now want to hone in on the list of people who have actively expressed interest in your webinar. A couple of days after the initial email, send them further details about the webinar. Include what they can expect to learn from it, the topics you’ll cover, when it is, and how they can get involved.
This is where you can remind them to bring any questions they have and to put your webinar in their calendar so they don’t forget.
The Day-Of Email
Lastly, you want to send an email on the day of your webinar reminding your list about it. Here, you want to keep things short and sweet, recapping what they’ll learn and how they can tune in to watch it.
Optional: After the webinar you might choose to send a follow-up email recapping what was covered and providing a link to your infoproduct and slides so people who didn’t buy “in the moment” can purchase when they’re ready.
How to Host Your Webinar
When it comes to the technical side of running a webinar, it can be tricky to find a platform that works for you. Luckily, there are plenty of sites out there that easily let you set up a webinar and host it for your audience. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.
WebinarJam is a simple and professional option for running webinars. It costs $397 for a year long subscription.
GoToWebinar is another professional platform that’s solely dedicated to hosting webinars. You can keep all your recordings on file in the same place. You can try it out with a free 30-day trial before signing up for their paid plans, the cheapest of which starts at $89 a month.
The cheapest way to run webinars is through Google Hangouts On Air. You can embed your video into a dedicated page on your site for free, though it does require a little bit of technical know-how.
Here’s a detailed guide on how you can do that.
A Sample Webinar Structure That Sells
The primary aim of your webinar should be offering value to your audience, but you also want to focus on selling your infoproduct.
So, how can you encourage people to buy through a webinar? You make the structure as simple and as seamless as possible. It should go something like this:
First 5 minutes:
Introduce yourself and your business while your audience arrive. Don’t ramble on for too long here, as you want to get to the meat of your webinar as quickly as possible before people lose interest.
If there’s more you want to say, direct the audience to an About Page, or somewhere they can find out more about you when the webinar is over.
Next 25 minutes:
Now you want to delve straight into the good stuff. This is where you run through your slides and offer as much juicy value as possible to your audience.
Next 10 minutes:
Pitch your infoproduct! The content of the webinar should lead seamlessly into this. Basically, your infoproduct should offer a solution to the problem you’ve touched on in your webinar. Spend 10 minutes or so relaying the benefits of the infoproduct, what it tackles, and where your audience can go to buy it.
Don’t make this any longer than 10 minutes, otherwise you run the risk of losing the interest of your audience (and they’ll start to think you only invited them to sell to them).
Last 20 minutes:
To finish, you want to open up the webinar to your audience. You can either do this by asking them to submit questions to you before the webinar, or you can ask them to reach out on Twitter or via an in-built chat box with their queries.
This is the part where you really start to make a connection with your audience and you can showcase your deep knowledge on your topic. Spend some time answering as many questions as you can, but try to wrap things up after an hour – people’s time is precious!
Now you have all the ingredients to run a successful webinar that will sell your infoproduct. The aim here is to:
- Build rapport with your audience
- Offer value, value, value!
- Encourage your audience to buy your infoproduct
Creating a webinar strategy for your business is one of the best ways you can get your audience to open their wallets and invest in your product.