The days of the 60 minute, audio-based webinar are long gone, or so we hope. The viewers you're targeting today are part of the YouTube Generation, who like to snack on content, rather than eating large meals. Your webinars need to adjust to the shifts underway in viewing preferences.
Here are 5 Steps to creating Better Webinars.
1) Present via video when possible.
As YouTube has taught us, the quality of video content does not have to be "studio produced" in order to resonate. Too many webinars employ a static image of the presenters. I think viewers would prefer to see presenters, in addition to hearing their words. It creates a more personal connection, both for the presenters and the viewers.
2) Shorter is better.
In this era of YouTube, 140 characters and short "wall posts", 60 minutes can seem like an eternity. Presenters (and marketers) fear that shorter durations don't allow them to tell their story. But as any good marketer knows, the focus should be on satisfying your audience's needs - and if they want bite-sized content, be bold and give them a 30 minute (or perhaps 15 minute!) webinar.
3) Deliver what you sold.
Beware the bait and switch! Be sure your presentation delivers on what you promote in your marketing copy and email blasts. Value your audience's time as if it's made of gold - wasting their time costs you.
4) Set expectations up front.
At the beginning of the webinar, inform viewers about the total duration, the duration of the presentation portion and the amount of time allocated for Q&A. If you'll be using polling and other interactive tools, let them know. And finally, if it's OK to tweet, let them know the webinar's Twitter hash tag. In fact, promote it heavily!
5) Q&A trumps slides.
Again, a tip that requires a leap of faith from presenters (and marketers). But viewers have unique needs and questions, that can't be addressed (in one fell swoop) by a fixed set of slides. Q&A is great because you tap into the expertise of the presenters, but in a way that directly helps viewer needs. So allocate equal portions (if not more) of your webinar to Q&A.
Try out these 5 steps in your next webinar and let us know how it went. Also, leave comments below if you have additional tips!
Do you have experience producing webinars and webcasts? If so, we're hiring for Webcasting Engineers in our Chicago headquarters. You can find the job description on our Careers page: