We have been helping organisations with national and International webinars since 2006.
Over the years we have developed a number of tools and techniques to improve the effectiveness of our services for clients.
Value of webinars v physical events
Webinars are very cost effective. The alternative for most organisations is to hosting a physical event. These are usually expensive to develop and deliver so the temptation is to add a variety of topics and speakers to the agenda to attract as many people as possible. This then results in the logistic complexities increasing as a larger number of presenters have to be organised. After all if a guest has to spend time travelling to and from a physical event we have to ensure that all that effort is ‘rewarded’ so a wider agenda and range of speakers has the best chance to getting people to invest all that time and effort. The location of the event also has to be considered carefully to maximise the catchment area and hence potential numbers of people to attend. Having selected the location the food, drink and administration staff needed has to be budgeted for and managed. Having said all that, an event gives people the opportunity to physically meet people and network which a webinar does not.
Lesson learnt over 15 years
What have we learnt over the years really attracts people to webinars?
- Keep it simple – people are information hungry but increasing are time poor, so keep the topic covered short – 30 to 45 minutes works best.
- Serialise – closely linked to keeping it short you will get better overall attendance by splitting a topic in two rather than increasing the length of the webinar. Far better two sessions of 30 minutes over a few days or a week rather than one of 60 minutes. Having said that a very important subject will attract the audience but in reality people are short on time and prefer ‘short and sharp’.
- Record and repeat – however long a notice you give some people will miss a live webinar. Offering an archive of webinars or a chance to listen again will catch some of the people who missed it. Also if it is marketed as now being available ‘on demand’ it will see a number a new audience being attracted. Past content can be managed as an archive asset.
- Two is better than one – two people each presenting a part of a webinar is well received by audiences. Sometimes this second person can act as a host or share part of the presentation. The variation in tone, pace and delivery style is liked by audiences so consider who in your team work well as a complimentary or contrasting delivery style.
- Slide style and delivery technique – while the topic and experience of the presenters will attract an audience, the design and use of the slides will either help keep them to the end or make them leave early. Books have been written on presentation techniques and slide design. You can go on courses on presentation techniques (we do them too!) and learn lots from others who do it well – for example watch TedTalks. Retaining an audience online is a real challenge and unlike physical presentations where the audience can see and hear you, a webinar has to rely on your voice and the slides. Make sure you work on perfecting this to ensure maximum audience satisfaction.
How can we help you?
Over the years we have worked with many different clients on audio and video content in the form of livecasts, webinars and podcasts aimed at customers, prospects and members of staff.
We are often asked what is involved in developing and delivering a webinar.
To start with you need a database of customers, prospects and employees. You will also need a section of your website where the content can be hosted after the event. This can then be used as part of your ongoing marketing activities. We usually find that topics that are not time sensitive can double their viewing numbers having been put in the archives.
You will need to create a presentation that can be delivered virtually. This would be a set of slides and slide notes that we would record and edit the audio to the slide set so an audience can watch and listen remotely:
The steps would be:
- Contact us – to discuss dates/times a few days before you plan to send the invite out. (Note: Always allow 2 to 3 weeks notice from emailing the invite to the planned day as people often have prior diary commitments)
- Develop the content – send us the text for the invite and the images/graphics you want to use together with any design guidelines and we will design and host the registration page (Note: To meet GDPR rules we recommend you manage the invite email and include various opt out clauses. People can register with us and we will manage the data we receive in line with our obligations to GDPR and our service agreement with you.)
- Registration page set up – this is linked to a database which tracks who is coming. This is always available to you so you can target additional marketing to those invited but still to register.
- Send event invitation – send the invitation out to your contact database with a link to the Registration Page.
- Prepare the content – we will help you develop the slide set in a way that will maximise audience engagement.
- Record the presentation – using the slide and notes you have prepared we will record your presentation and edit to the slide set so that they work seamlessly. Once reviewed and approved. (Note: A webinar can be broadcast live and not pre-recorded.)
- Send reminders – to those registered a week, a day, and an hour before the start time. We also usually send a ‘now starting’ email just a few minutes before the start time. This helps maximise attendance on the day.
- Reporting – On the day of the webinar we track who attends and does not so we can give you a full report after the event. We can also share with you detail s of who left early so allowing you to do effective follow-up marketing.
Why use a streaming service?
Having evaluated all the various platforms for hosting webinars in the past we decided to develop our own distribution tools. We do this to avoid anyone having to download an app or software onto their computer at home or work. The reason is that many IT departments in organisations restrict what can be loaded onto computers on their networks. By using a streaming service we can avoid these issues.
We monitor everyone who is logging in to the webinar and answer all the technical questions that any of the attendees may have. This allows the client to focus on delivering the content and answering any questions asked of them by attendees.
We do not require a monthly or annual payment but provide pay-as-you-go services based on the time our teams spend on helping you create and deliver a webinar.
If you want to discuss your needs with us please let us know. Call us 023 8044 8822.