Webinar tips: 101 things you could or should do when producing webinars

As you will see later in this post, I am a believer in using webinars as content anchors to creating lots of different content assets. One of the best tips in content marketing is to “create once, publish many”. The idea here is that original ideas and raw content are very hard to develop so when you do, then create as much content as possible. The webinar is a great launch point for great ideas and raw content. I am right now on a “content rush” on the topic of webinars. Over the last two weeks, I have done two webinars on webinars (Driving Demand with Digital Events and The Essential Guide to Webinars: Deliver Value to the Right Audience) and wrote a monster blog post on the TOPOhq blog: Webinars: The Ultimate Guide to Creating World Class Online Events. Today’s post will be my second on the topic. I am “creating once and publishing many!)

Webinars are core to an organization’s content marketing and demand generation strategy. Why? They work. Free content is everywhere but people are conditioned to filling out registration forms for webinars they are interested in. When done correctly, they are extremely valuable content. Content and leads what more can you ask for?

This post is a list of all the things that I think you should try/do with your webinar program in cliff notes form. Some are “must-do’s”, some are fun, and others I may or may not have made up. Here we go:

  1. Read my definitive post on creating webinars
  2. Choose a webinar platform (look at Adobe Connect, Brighttalk, Citrix GoTowebinar, InExpo, On24, ReadyTalk, and WebEx)
  3. If you want to do video, try Google Hangouts
  4. Make sure you have built buyer personas (deep insight into your target buyers about what they care about and what they do all day.)
  5. Map the buying process
  6. Assign one person to manage webinars at your company
  7. Okay fine, assign one person to manage this event from start of production through sales follow-up
  8. Choose a date
  9. Try to have the event on Tues-Weds (Thursday works but isn’t as good as the other two)
  10. Schedule the event for either 10 or 11 AM PDT
  11. Start production for your webinar 45-60 days in advance
  12. Better yet, create an annual calendar for webinars and start 365 days in advance
  13. Choose a target buyer persona or multiple personas
  14. Figure out where in the buying cycle you want to target them
  15. Set target registration goals for the event
  16. Set target attendance goals for the event (25-50%)
  17. Create 3-4 topics to choose from
  18. Develop a topic that resonates with your buyer
  19. Don’t develop a topic only resonates with you
  20. Figure out the format (single speaker, multiple speakers, or panels)
  21. Write the initial abstract
  22. Decide whether it will be video or slide only.
  23. Identify a stack-ranked list of potential moderators and speakers
  24. Recruit a moderator
  25. Recruit your speakers or multiple speakers
  26. Make adjustments to the abstract based on speaker feedback
  27. Develop a promotional plan outlining the channels you want to leverage to drive attendance
  28. Identify owners for each channel (email marketing person owns email. Was that an obvious example? Okay, well assign people to write blog posts.)
  29. Create email templates (this is more about design then copy.)
  30. Develop event specific email copy (3 emails)
  31. Build the landing page
  32. Develop any advertising materials
  33. Decide on your lead management strategy now (who will follow up on leads, when, and how)
  34. Set up a Google Plus event page
  35. Set up a Facebook event page (if your target market is on Facebook)
  36. Set up a Lanyrd page (if you like these sorts of things)
  37. Send three promotional emails (3 weeks, 1 week, and 1 day)
  38. If your house list isn’t big enough or targeted enough, work with third party email vendors
  39. Do paid advertising (I have not had luck with this, but others have.)
  40. Post offers on the corporate website
  41. Create a hashtag for the event
  42. Share the event on your preferred social channels
  43. Ask speakers, employees, and your friends to share
  44. Write 1-2 promotional blog posts
  45. Write guest posts on relevant sites preferably with lots of traffic
  46. Create a press release (it doesn’t work well, but if you have the PR outlets — why not?)
  47. Create video previews using speakers
  48. Put the event URL in the intro, conclusion, and in the “lower third” of the video screen
  49. Cut the video into a series of videos under three minutes
  50. Post the videos on YouTube, Brighttalk, Vimeo, etc
  51. Work with sales to promote to their customers
  52. Train sales on the event details
  53. Provide sales with email templates, social sharing verbiage, links, and scripts.
  54. Have a defined plan to promote attendance with registrations
  55. Include an ICAL or other calendar widget so people can add to their calendar when they sign up
  56. Send email reminders (24 hour, 1-2 hour reminder, 15 minute reminder)
  57. Send social reminders
  58. Ask speakers to send social reminders (“I’m soooo excited!” said the speaker to the social graph)
  59. Have someone managing the corporate social account follow registrants
  60. Leave voicemail reminders
  61. or: Use automation to send voicemail reminders (I have used Boxpilot for this)
  62. Send text reminders
  63. Hold a rehearsal with everyone involved (30 minutes) to walk through everything
  64. Walk through the event including when people speak
  65. Have everyone turn in their decks 4-5 days in advance
  66. They will turn in their decks the night before
  67. Have everyone show up to the event 15- 30 minutes early
  68. Do a sound check (make sure to say  “testing 1-2, 1-2″ if you want to sound cool)
  69. Make sure everyone is in a quiet place and can move the slides
  70. Decide who will move the slides and when.
  71. Start the webinar 1 minute after the hour
  72. During the intro, tell the audience where to ask questions
  73. Announce the hashtag and produce one slide showcasing the hashtag and only the hashtag
  74. Have someone managing the hashtag on Twitter and engaging with viewers
  75. Do 1-2 polls. (Don’t do it with less than 75 people attending or you will be in pain.)
  76. Have 5-6 questions prepared for q/a
  77. Leave 10-15 minutes for q/a.
  78. Have the moderator encourage people to ask questions throughout the event
  79. Have a 5 minute recap with presenters and moderator after the event.
  80. Drink a beer or a single malt scotch, you deserve it – you aren’t done but you deserve it
  81. Post the on-demand version asap
  82. Have a resource center on your corporate website to host the on-demand webinars
  83. Take the video version of your webinar and chop it up into 3 minute segments. (fine you can do 5 minute segments but the general rule for video is under 3 minutes)
  84. Post video to YouTube or any other video channel you like
  85. If you don’t have your own video resource center make one. I use Vidcaster-  funnelholic tv.
  86. Post the on-demand webinar to Brighttalk.
  87. Write post-event blog post(s). Just a warning: Recap the event, but don’t call it a recap. (how about that!). Take the great points from the event and just create a great blog post. Not an article on the event itself because no one reads those.
  88. Create a blog post with the poll results (new idea and a good one)
  89. Crowdsource the raw data into an ebook or whitepaper
  90. Create a post event video where the presenter answers un-answered questions from the event.
  91. Post your deck to slide share (love this)
  92. If your webinar platform isn’t connected to your marketing automation or CRM, load leads into your system
  93. If sales if following up, train them on the event, what to say, and how to use the data
  94. Get an SLA from sales on how many touches each lead will get
  95. If marketing is following up, score the leads and keep nurturing
  96. Send a marketing email 5 days later with a related offer like the crowdsourced ebook
  97. Do a autopsy of what worked/didn’t work in the process
  98. Fix things
  99. Slap fives (the fist pound is out of style. Old school high fives are back.)
  100. Thank the speakers with a gift
  101. Start the next webinar!

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

 

  • stevelilly

    Nice work CR.

    • http://www.funnelholic.com/ Craig Rosenberg

      There he is!

    • Mayhem

      Great post CR. When’s the next Lilly blog post popping up?

      • http://www.funnelholic.com/ Craig Rosenberg

        Thanks for responding “Mayhem”. I will be writing 100 Steve Lilly-isms” next week

  • Aliasgar Babat

    The above mentioned points regarding hosting a webinar can be easily implemented using various webinar services such as RHUB, WebEx, GoMeetNow, gotomeeting etc.