4 TECHNIQUES FOR THE BEST WEBINARS
Your sales funnel may depend on them more than ever.
You need strong methods to connect with your customer. Having continual conversations with your customers builds a strong relationship with your prospects. To survive–or better yet, to thrive– we must be adaptive, responsive and innovative in everything we do.
Perhaps nowhere is this more essential today than in the ways we communicate with your audiences. Internal teams–like staff and field reps–still need training and to hear from leadership. External audiences–like current customers, prospective clients, and investors–are missing out on hearing from your teams at conferences, trade shows, and even in-person meetings.
Of course, by now we’ve all participated in our fair share of Zoom calls, virtual conferences and webinars. Clearly there is ample room for improvement in the way virtual events unfold, how the content is delivered on-screen, and how well they hold an audience’s attention.
Ultimately, you want to reward your audiences with smooth presentations filled with compelling content that looks and sounds great, and that leaves participants feeling positive about your company, product, service, and especially your brand.
The techniques we discuss here are inspired by our work in adult-learning theory. These approaches embed your message in your customer’s mind with practices that are proven to bring about behavior change in marketing and training.
And while your present webinars may be doing the job, we have a few “insider” tips and tricks that we’ve been using with our clients–with great outcomes.
Webinars are a wonderful way of providing audiences of every size with a great deal of information–at any stage of the buyer’s journey. As always, the challenge is to hold their interest.
Forrester found that 75% of customers want your reps to customize the meeting and presentation to answer their specific needs. Gartner stated that interactive and high quality presentations provided nearly a three-times increase in sales.
And the solution here may be easier than you’d think.
By adding some level of interactivity to your presentation, your “passive” viewer instantly becomes an engaged and active participant. This goes a long way towards helping them pay closer attention to your content, recall what they learned, then taking the next step you have intended for them.
- Introductory Interactivity
Because online presentations tend to be a one-way street, adding in a participant poll, survey, or Q&A into your session will help you connect with your audience and allow you to gauge their varied interests. Plus, these can help you tailor your presentation on the fly so it better meets their needs and expectations. And, asking the audience questions throughout the presentation is great at engaging viewers and encouraging their involvement while giving you–the host–the benefit of learning more about who you’re presenting to.
- Intermediate Interactivity: eLearning as a marketing tool
We love creating rich and engaging eLearning courses. And, we have taken this experience and used interactive eLearning for marketing purposes. For instance, your participants can interact by ‘clicking’ and discovering answers for themselves, create to-do lists of their action items, or even add items to a list which automatically creates custom PDFs they can download and research further. When attendees are engaged they are willing to follow you.
- High-level Interactivity: HTML5 Apps
With the power of web apps, you can take your presentations beyond anything you have seen before and become a thought leader in your industry. For example, you can let your participants literally spin your product around 3-dimensionally and have a look “inside” with the click of a button. Or, you can use a mock-up of your software or hardware with virtual versions, such as a remote control changing settings on your device, or a software mockup. You can even give them a step-by-step, guided tour, or a “live” visual demonstration of your latest and greatest product. These gamification techniques will help you and your company truly stand out.
As you can see, from educating and training, to demonstrating your most recent product offerings, small apps can add nearly limitless power and impressive possibility to all your presentations. And while they’re incredibly effective at bringing in and involving your audience, they will also elevate your audience’s perception of your company–and your brand. These HTML apps can even be embedded on your website or provided to your sales team to use in their customer meetings.
A Secret to a Great Webinar? Pre-produced Video
When it comes to demonstrating, educating, training, or simply expressing your brand’s unique perspective, we all know that nothing works better–or is more effective–than telling your story through video.
So, let’s apply this to webinars. By shooting and editing your webinar video in advance, you can produce a tighter “show” that is more on point, has fewer tangents, and eliminates the hiccups that detract from the participant’s experience. We all have been part of live webinars where a mic is off, the screen share isn’t working–let’s solve these issues, and we can still feel like your webinar is happening live right now.
Plus, the production value or overall look of your presentation can also be improved upon. For example, we’ve taped thought leaders ahead of time, in studios with a greenscreen, and edited their comments to the best segments. You simply hit “play” on the video during your webinar and let things proceed smoothly.
The webinar can still feel like it is live, with transitioning or ‘throwing’ the segment from person to person. Then, you can still have a live Q&A, or use the other interactive techniques described above.
Webinars are effective for town halls with your internal staff, for lead generation with new prospects, or as a deep dive on your product late in the buyer’s journey. And when your story is told from a personal angle, you’re assured of connecting with your audience on an emotional level. This goes a long way toward making your messaging more believable, more relevant, and best of all, more actionable.
So, while the foreseeable future indicates remote conferencing and webinars will continue to be the best way to reach all your target audiences, they will also continue to be the safest, most effective, and in many cases, the most cost-efficient way of bringing large groups of associates, clients and prospective new customers together at the same time…Any time.