Having a professional WordPress website created
Written by Finn Ruijter, 23 August 2019

Organizing webinars: the complete guide

Many entrepreneurs swear by the webinar. If you want to know more about this powerful marketing tool, then this article is for you. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the webinar as a lead magnet. You’ll find a practical roadmap for your own webinar in this blog post. We also pass along the webinar do’s and don’ts.

What is a webinar anyway?

At its simplest, a webinar is an online lecture/training that a large number of participants can attend virtually. With this, you go deeper into a particular topic, allowing some degree of interaction, such as by having a round of questions via chat afterwards.

A webinar gives you the chance to present yourself to your audience, to convey your knowledge supported by PowerPoint slides, or to share your screen to show how you work with a particular program.

Which webinar software is best?

There is no one-size-fits-all webinar software. Each package has different features and depending on your needs and requirements, one program is more interesting than another. Generally, webinar packages involve so-called SaaS solutions (online software that does not require software download).

To find out which webinar software suits you best, try out several. One of the best-known packages is GoToWebinar, which has a free 7-day trial. Zoom is a webinar provider with low-cost subscription options, including a free version where webinars can last no longer than 40 minutes.

Tip: In addition to functionalities, test the servers’ connection speed. In other words, is your webinar running smoothly for you and the participants?

The benefits of a webinar

Thanks to faster Internet connections, video calling has become commonplace. And that also paved the way for webinars. In a short time, webinars have gained a firm foothold in the marketing landscape. For companies and institutions that once got over their stage fright, the webinar has become a regular feature. That makes sense when you look at the many benefits of webinars.

  • Budget-friendly
    Whereas for a traditional meeting you spend money on venue rental and catering, a webinar eliminates these and other costs. Many webinar programs allow you, by way of trial and/or up to a certain number of participants, to host a webinar completely free of charge.
  • Time-saving
    Not having to organize a physical event also saves you a lot of time. In addition, this fits perfectly within the COVID measures. You can simply conduct the webinar from home.
  • Comfortable for participants
    Snuggled up on the couch with your laptop; that’s one of the many ways viewers can engage on your webinar. It is also nice that webinar software offers the ability to make a recording and send it to participants. Ideal for someone who was unable to attend or wants to watch the webinar again.
    Tip: upload your webinars on YouTube and in this way work on your online findability in the second largest search engine in the world (YouTube).
  • Better understanding of your target audience
    With a webinar, you reach and engage your target audience. You notice what questions and doubts they have. For many, the barrier to engaging with you is lower with a webinar than with a live presentation, which involves many passive listeners.
  • You create a personal connection with your target audience
    Viewers hear your voice and see your face (if you choose). They see how you respond to certain questions and to what extent you are an expert on this topic. That means some people will start to like you more, but there may also be people who drop out.
  • High conversion rate
    Although in this article we are mainly talking about a webinar as a lead generation tool, such an online presentation can also boost sales. Whereas an email offer can count on a 1-5% conversion rate, it is not unusual for a webinar to turn 10-15% of viewers into customers or ambassadors.

Step 1: determine the topic of your webinar

It starts, like everything else, with an idea. And if all goes well, that idea consists of a problem your target audience knows and the solution you can provide. If you are charmed by the unique benefits of a webinar but are not yet sure exactly what your webinar should be about, it may help to ask your target audience what their biggest challenge is.

A survey always works well for that; you could send it to the people on your email list. Another idea is to put a pop-up on your website asking for comments on a particular topic or to start a poll on social media.

Step 2: come up with a catchy title

Just as a book cover is largely responsible for sales and a good YouTube thumbnail positively influences clicks, the title can make or break the success of your webinar. So think about this carefully.

A proven method is to think about what promise you want to make to your participants. What do they know or can do after watching your webinar that they didn’t know or couldn’t do before? With a word like “how” or “what” or “which” in the title, you arouse curiosity. Examples:

  • How to stay fit and limber in 7 minutes a day
  • What millionaires do every morning to increase their wealth
  • What 5 secrets I learned in 20 years as an Internet marketer

Step 3: structure your webinar

Now that you know what the learning objective of the webinar is, you can begin to structure this presentation. For this, feel free to make a paper cheat sheet to have with your computer during the webinar. Typically, presenters structure their webinars as follows. Remember that each step below is supported by visual material, for example, slides with lots of images and bullet points.

  1. Catchy intro with promise
    Ask if everyone can hear you clearly. If it is manageable in terms of numbers, call your participants by their first names and give them a warm welcome. Feel free to press the pain points your target audience often has and then repeat the promise of your webinar. Stipulate that your viewers should especially stay engaged. Optionally, you can create some intrigue by saying there will be a surprise at the end of the webinar. (What that surprise will be, we’ll leave to you.)
  2. Who is the webinar for?
    A good trick to ensure that people stick around is to confirm that they are in the right place. Tell who the webinar is for and who it is absolutely not for.
  3. Discuss agenda
    Tell participants exactly what to expect and approximately how long you will spend on each part. Tell them they will have an opportunity to ask questions after your presentation.
  4. Introducing yourself
    Tell briefly about yourself: who are you, how old are you, how did you get into this field of work and what do you like to do in your spare time? The latter may seem a bit odd in a work-related presentation, but it is not. By telling something about your private person, you can create a click with people who so far have had a wait-and-see attitude.
  5. Presentation
    Give people exactly the content you promised them. Tell what problems they may encounter and what solutions you offer for them. To prevent people from dropping out, the presentation portion of a webinar lasts no longer than half an hour.
  6. Q&A
    One of the advantages of a webinar is that it is interactive. So be sure to take advantage of this opportunity by having people ask questions and answer them as fully as possible. During the Q&A session, you can highlight your expertise and make an indelible impression.

Step 4: send the recording to your viewers

Had anyone signed up who couldn’t attend the webinar live anyway? Nice that you now have his or her email address, but just fulfill your promise by giving those signed up access to the recording. Use your newsletter software to put these people on a list and email the link to the replay in one motion. Based on their subsequent actions (clicks on certain links), you can choose to put them on a list of qualified leads.

Also, people who did come to watch will appreciate it if you send them this link. Not everyone takes notes or has an iron memory. So don’t miss this opportunity for an extra moment of contact.

Using a webinar to sell

A webinar that serves as a lead magnet is designed for people who are not yet in the purchase phase. No matter how nicely that webinar goes and how interested your target audience seems to be, it is not the place to make a commercial offer. That will happen at a later stage, possibly in another webinar or in another format.

If you indeed choose to convert qualified leads to customers via a webinar, you can follow the structure above with two additional steps before the Q&A session: your offer and cases or success stories of customers who have gone before your viewers.

Webinar do’s and don’ts

  • Choose the right day
    Whether you give your webinar during working hours or not, the weekend is a bad time because of the plans your viewers make. Monday is often a catch-up day and many people are already half in weekend mode on Friday. That leaves the best days for hosting a webinar: Tuesday through Thursday.
  • Create many slides
    People often make the mistake of sticking to one slide for too long. That bores and invites viewers to click away. Rather, create many slides that you fly through, so to speak.
  • Don’t read your slides aloud
    You are not supposed to read your slides word for word.
    Rather, put keywords on it that will make participants curious. Then verbally clarify the text on the slides.
  • Be on time
    Your (potential) customers’ time is precious. Show that you respect that time by being present a few minutes before the start. Start the webinar at the exact minute it was scheduled.
  • Maximum duration: one hour
    There is some debate about the ideal length of a webinar, but a good guideline is one hour. In doing so, you can spend 30-40 minutes on the actual presentation and the rest of the time on the Q&A session.

Also test other lead magnets

Generating leads is something we all want, but what is the best way in your niche and for your specific target audience? Many entrepreneurs report good results with their webinars, but who knows, maybe a different kind of lead magnet will work better for you.

As specialists in converting websites, we believe in customization. You may discover which lead magnet works best in your situation in our blog post featuring
5 different types of lead magnets
. Ideally, you test different methods to maximize the flow of new leads. Of course, we can help you with that.