Here a webinar! There a webinar! EVERYWHERE. WEBINARS.
LinkedIn’s most recent research report proves what many marketers have already noticed: Webinars have blown up these past several months. They offer a way for companies to better connect with their audience in today’s virtual environment. Due to COVID-19, 67% of marketers have increased investment in webinars.
It seems like a great idea. And for many, it is. But remember, developing a webinar strong enough to stand out from the competition takes work.
Before buying into the trend, make sure that the time investment will be worthwhile. It has to make sense for your overall marketing strategy.
Here are three conditions to consider before committing yourself to webinars:
It’s a Goldilocks topic
When figuring out the right topic for webinars, you need the perfect in-between.
How specific should the topic be?
|If it’s too broad, it doesn’t leave your viewers with clear-cut takeaways.||If it’s too niche, you might not get the viewership to make it worthwhile.|
|It shouldn’t be so convoluted that all the information overwhelms your viewers.||It shouldn’t be so simple that it wouldn’t merit talking about for 30 minutes to an hour.|
A Goldilocks topic is:
Narrow enough to go in-depth and keep the webinar focused
You want viewers to leave the webinar feeling like it was a valuable use of their time. A narrow topic gives you a better opportunity to present new and meaningful takeaways.
Something your company is an expert on and can explain clearly
Every time you put out content, it’s a chance to demonstrate how competent your company is at what it does. Don’t give your audience any reason to doubt your expertise; go with the topic you know inside and out.
Relevant to your audience’s concerns or common questions
Pay attention to what your target audience cares about right now. As discussed below, a topic for a webinar is only as good as its attraction to viewers.
There’s an audience for it
Turnout — both upfront and in the long run — determines the value of webinars.
According to 2019 research from ClickMeeting, one of the leading webinar software platforms, the average length of a webinar is 84 minutes, and the average time a viewer would watch it is 53 minutes. While it would be a bummer to lose viewers in the last half hour of a webinar, that’s still nearly an hour that you’ve captured your audience’s attention.
Use these questions to think through the big picture of webinars reaching your audience:
Is the topic evergreen enough for customers to have an interest in watching long after the webinar was first delivered?
No one wants to spend hours developing a webinar if only a handful of people will show up when it comes time to deliver it. However, if you keep a recording of it available on your website as a resource, and a ton of people watch it later on, that right there is a success.
Would it benefit your company to have more gated content?
While it’s not without its pros, be aware that gating a webinar can detract an audience’s interest. Your information and CTA from it have to be strong enough to warrant your audience signing up. As a rule, let your targeted stage of the buyer’s journey guide this decision.
Can it connect to other projects?
When first testing the webinar waters, you can piggyback off of the research and prep work of past popular marketing items. For example, building a webinar out of a blog series expands on a topic your audience already cares about. Moving forward, you can also use webinars to inspire new content, like a whitepaper. It’s a bigger payoff for your efforts and keeps the audience invested.
You’re prepared to put in the effort
There are about a thousand things that go into putting a webinar together. It can easily get intimidating. But, with proper preparation, it doesn’t have to be.
If you feel confident in webinars being a good fit for your company’s needs, go for it! But use these tips to ensure the project won’t get too overwhelming:
Do research ahead of time
Reviewing all the components that go into creating a successful webinar before getting started helps you plan out what needs to get done and make sure you don’t miss any crucial steps.
Work with a team to avoid burnout
When a project becomes your baby, sharing any responsibility on it can feel heartbreaking. Do it anyway. It isn’t worth the stress. Besides, getting others’ input often leads to a better product, and that’s more important than being the one in control.
Budget enough time for the endeavor
Don’t cheat yourself by underestimating the time commitment. It’ll leave you no choice but to cut corners. There can be an enormous payoff on webinars down the line, but only if you put in enough effort from the get-go.