Hosting a Captivating Webinar
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.
Types of Great Webinars
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.
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.