This is a guest post by Nis Frome.
Content marketers regularly rank webinars above blogging, white papers, and social media with regard to demand generation effectiveness and efficiency. In 2013 and 2014, the Content Marketing Institute reported webinars as second only to case studies in terms of digital marketing effectiveness. But often webinar marketing is a wholly selfish process – as in marketers rarely take a walk in the shoes of webinar viewers. If they did, they’d be appalled at what they saw.
Before I began hosting my own webinars, I sat on the other side of the screen as a viewer. Almost the entire experience – aside from actually getting the information I needed from the webinar – was riddled with bottlenecks, bugs, and an overall poor user experience. Specifically, landing pages contained far too lengthy (and often broken) forms; email notifications contained incorrect information or, worse yet, were nonexistent; downloading webinar software plugins meant I missed the first few minutes; and recordings were not to be found.
None of the above should surprise you. In a recent survey conducted by The Conversion Scientist, Brian Massey, nearly 70% of marketers responded having spent more than six hours putting together the content for the webinar. Hot damn! That’s a huge time investment for just creating the content. It’s no wonder then that little effort is reserved for improving the rest of the webinar marketing experience for the end user.
I’ve meticulously documented many of the mistakes I’ve seen and, fortunately for you, addressing them doesn’t require much more than acknowledging them in the first place. Below are a quick five that you can implement immediately.
1. Interview the speaker – Have your moderator begin interviewing the speaker 10 minutes before the webinar is set to begin and continue doing so until five minutes until after the webinar is set to begin. This:
a. Let’s you get to know the speaker better
b. Entertains early arrivers
c. Gives your audience a few minutes to get any necessary plugins downloaded, without boring the people who have arrived on time
2. Live Critique – Reading off a script can get pretty boring for those in the audience. Try keeping your presentation to 20-30 minutes and then inviting the audience to submit their work or use cases for a live critique. This gives you a chance to practice what you preach!
3. Q&A via Twitter – It may be hard for you to track all the audience questions but it’s even more difficult for those of us in the audience! Consider using a completely open chat room – cough, Twitter, cough – for Q&A. It makes the conversation last a whole lot longer.
4. Google Calendar integration – Members of your audience operate on their own schedules – not yours. So you know what’s better than getting reminders at times you’ve deemed appropriate? Getting reminders at times your audience has deemed appropriate! How convenient that users can manually adjust their Google Calendars to remind them about upcoming events at predetermined intervals! After a user registers, you can provide them with a link that will open the event in Google Calendar with all the necessary fields pre-filled (you don’t even have to be a programmer to do this):
5. Recording – Fun fact: 85% of people don’t care whether they’re watching the live or recorded version of a webinar. The reality of the matter is that your audience may not be available during the one-hour timeslot you’ve selected. Most webinar software solutions let you record your webinar. Do everyone the favor of sharing it immediately after the live version is completed.
Nis is a full-stack marketer with an obsession for UI/UX and growth hacking. He is an award-winning web and app developer, and is the co-organizer of both Natural User Interface Central and the Rutgers Mobile App Development club. Nis is currently the COO of Hublished, a webinar marketing optimization SaaS solution he co-founded as a junior at Rutgers University.
Find out how to breathe new life into your Webinars by turning forgotten presentations into a shareable and lead generating cascade of content. Visit www.cascadecontent.com for more information and FREE Recommendations.
For even more tips, check out my recorded webinar below. The Content Cascade: Getting More Out of your Webinar