Thought leadership webinars are becoming more and more popular. In fact, according to a study by Marketing Sherpa, 94 percent of B2B marketers have held some kind of online event. They also found that events like webinars can lead to a better return on investment (ROI) than general marketing efforts. But, how do you stand out from the thousands of thought leadership webinars that happen every year? What makes some thought leadership webinars attract a vast number of attendees with little effort while others barely attract any attendees despite extensive promotion? In this article, we will look at the top five ways to make your thought leadership webinar a success.
- Be Selective with Topics
In today’s day and age of web-based business, it is quite normal to conduct webinars from time to time. One can go out there and just create a topic that fits into whatever niche you are into. However, this approach can turn out to be counter-productive. You have to keep in mind that such webinar sessions will do more harm than good to your brand image. It is essential that you are careful about the topics of information you are covering through your webinars. The purpose of any webinar is to increase the reach of your brand and enhance your overall brand presence. This can be easily achieved with any given topic, but only if you are working on something that has an element of exclusivity to it.
- Think Analytically
If you have ever A/B tested a theory or had a gut feeling about something, you should talk about how you proved it in your webinar. Maybe you thought that your marketing would convert better if you moved it to the bottom of a web page, or maybe you thought a certain email subject line would open at a higher rate. Maybe you wanted to test out whether link colors mattered, or whether different images on your website converted better. It is this type of information that can actually capture your audience’s attention. The topic can be broad, but the specifics should be: what you were trying to prove, how you did the test, and why you thought the test was necessary in the first place. We also recommend sharing any strategies that you and your team have found to work best, or strategies that do not work.
- Use Original Content
What is your plan when you will be presenting a webinar to live attendees? Are you a person who carefully crafts your presentation, only to find that you have left out an important point? Or do you find yourself stuck, going back and forth between slides trying to make it perfect, but never actually getting there? The majority of webinar content should be original and not pulled from a blog post or whitepaper. This is not to say that live webinar attendees do not want to see the slide deck or production slide show – the opposite is true, most will appreciate seeing what they know is a high-quality resource, and in fact you should point out links as you reference them during your presentation. Just try to avoid pulling complete blog posts and pasting them into your PowerPoint.
- Practice Makes Perfect
All of your hard work is about to pay off. You have got your topic chosen, and you are ready to host your first webinar. But wait! You still have some details to work out. If you want to do a great job hosting your webinar, you need to prepare the right way. Once you have a feel for the type of webinar you are planning and have been able to nail down the details, it’s time to test your webinar and see how everything works for real. There is nothing worse than having a great webinar, only to find that something went wrong. If everything runs smoothly during one or two dry runs of your webinar, you will feel more prepared and confident on the day of the big event.
- Include a Lead Magnet
Your webinar is live, you have delivered your best content and wow’d your audience. Now what? Just because your webinar is over doesn't mean you cannot collect leads or keep that audience engaged with your company or thought leadership platform. Today, more than ever before, lead generation and lead nurturing are two of the most important pieces for growing your business. Following the webinar, you want to include a lead magnet to encourage your audience to opt into your email list. This lead magnet could be in the form of an eBook, checklists, or additional information on a topic you discussed during the webinar. Without one, your audience may have a wonderful time at your event, but there may not be many post-webinar leads.
A thought leadership webinar is a great way to convey your message to your target audience, but it will only be successful if you take the necessary steps and follow the right strategies. If you have a clear understanding of your objectives, what you wish attendees to achieve and the overall style of the webinar, the chances of success will improve greatly. A speaker's main goal is to deliver a talk that makes all attendees learn something they did not know or at least makes them think differently about an issue. The best way to achieve this goal is through a mistake-free webinar that will keep your audience engaged, motivating them to listen and ask questions.