At some point in your online communications journey, someone in your organization will want to host a webinar. Webinars are online meetings that feature one or more panelists who make a presentation to a large group. Before you get talked into hosting or joining a webinar ask yourself if a regular meeting format will suffice. Webinars require much less meeting attendee participation than a regular meeting. Therefore, more focused attention on presentation quality is required for webinar hosts. Webinars are often advertised to large audiences and they promise value to the audience in the form of information.
What makes a Webinar Great?
Webinars generally feature a standard hour-long format that easily fits into the schedules of interested parties. It is important to keep in mind that people are busy and will leave a webinar that does not engage their interests within a few minutes. Almost all webinars are recorded and made available for those who registered but didn’t make it.
Our team at the StreamGeeks has hosted thousands of webinars over the years. In that time, we have generated powerful educational and entertaining videos that sculpt our online presence. We use the power of social media to distribute our webinars and increase viewership by 10 times. Like most companies, we started our journey into a video by hosting webinars with a simple platform called GoToMeeting. We then moved over to Zoom, which is our platform of choice for video communications.
Hosting a Webinar
In our most recent live broadcasts, you will notice that we use Zoom for communications with our live audience. Before we started using Zoom inside of our live broadcasts, our team would live stream directly to YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn using software called vMix. Some companies use webinar platforms to generate leads by gating access to the content. While this may seem advantageous, over the long-term, the lack of additional exposure that is gained via social media may wind up becoming a bottleneck for online growth.
We’ve found a middle ground in which you can use live broadcasting on social media and still offer a gated secure Zoom session for power users. It’s much more effective to offer your webinars on social media platforms when your goal is to reach a maximum number of online viewers. In our most recent broadcasts, the use of Zoom meetings as a form of two-way communications inside a larger one-way broadcast has enhanced our story-telling capabilities considerably. It has also created a collaboration space for our audience that includes the important group presence that makes learning experiences come alive.
From the viewer’s perspective, it is much easier to watch a webinar on YouTube than on platforms that require a software download. After hosting hundreds of webinars, the data shows that our specific audience prefers the YouTube experience. YouTube can simply sit inside any web browser and can even be played in the background while viewers do other work. Downloading new software for every webinar that someone wants to watch can be cumbersome and may cause friction between you and your viewers.
On the other hand, webinar platforms offer many important features that make them worthwhile for important events. For example, the raise hand feature easily helps webinar moderators find interested participants who want to ask questions. Other Q&A and polling feature truly makes webinar packages designed for high levels of learning and audience engagement. It’s worth noting that while webinar software often requires a download, the premium experience is likely to be a more inclusive experience.
At the end of the day, the most important factor for engagement is content. Content is always king. If you have a good pulse on what your audience responds to, you can mine your best content ideas from their questions and turn it into topics for future webinars.
Instead of focusing on up-front lead generation, focus on content and the value you plan to deliver during your webinar. Yes, consider how to educate attendees, but more importantly, ask how you’re going to deliver value inside of the time limit set by your webinar. Think about how attendees will spend their time with you. What do you want them to take away from the experience? Ultimately, the more you care about your audience the better you will connect with it.
By increasing your webinar’s presentation quality, grow your audience organically. As you continue to create webinars with high presentation quality, the replay value will increase, which will grow your overall audience. You’ll start to see viewers commenting on your YouTube videos and sharing them on Facebook and other platforms. An increased focus on the value of your content gives your webinars a longer shelf life. Our team has videos that continue to engage online audiences’ years after the webinars were posted on social media.
Depending on how you position your webinar, it can become a great tool for almost any area of an organization’s communication plans. Webinars can attract new prospects, engage existing customers, and build relationships in the middle of the sales funnel. When you focus on the quality of your webinar content, your communications goals become much easier to achieve.
More on Online Meetings
- Get The Online Meeting Survival Guide for free here
- An introduction to Online Collaboration Software here
- Learn about the history of Online Communications here
- Check out these essential ideas for online communicators here
- Read out complete guide to Zoom Video Conferencing here.
- Learn how to organize your companies collaboration channels here
Read out technical online communication software reviews here
- Read our technical review of Skype here
- Read our technical review of Google Meet here
- Check out our detailed guide on Zoom Video Conferencing here
- Learn how to use Facebook Rooms for Video Calling here
Get More Out of Your Meetings
- Learn when to collaborate, and when not too in this blog post here
- Read about four strategies for hosting more productive online meetings here
- Learn more about Video Communication Etiquette here
- Learn how to use priming to create effective meetingshere
- How to host a captivating webinar here
- Learn about some of the latest innovations in online communicaitons here