Webinars and webcasts are quickly gaining momentum in the marketplace. Whether it’s to create brand awareness, generate leads, administer corporate training or provide thought leadership, they enable businesses of all sizes to reach a wider audience. In 2014 alone, according to Wainhouse Research, nearly one billion dollars was spent on webcast and webinar services and suppliers.
What if webinars and webcasts are new to your company? How do you get started and how much investment does it take? Or, if you’re already producing them, how can they be improved?
Here are a few tips to help you create a strong ROI on your company’s webinars/webcasts:
1. Set the Stage for Your Webcast / Webinar
- Identify your objectives.
Do you want to develop mind share? Generate sales leads? Retain and enhance client relationships?
- Create a roadmap to target these goals and develop content.
For example, to create brand awareness find broad topics with widespread interest to maximize your reach.
- Choose marketing that supports your objectives and budget.
Do you want online promotion to generate registrations from your own database or to reach a broader audience? Plan your promotions accordingly. Your promotion budget will directly affect the number of registrants. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media are low cost vehicles to include in your promotion mix.
- Select your timing.
If going live, holding your webinar/webcast between 11am and 2pm ET garners the best attendance, leveraging lunch hour viewership across several time zones.
- For early promotion, do a slow build with updates about the speakers, etc.
Your event will be on the radar for those uncertain of their schedules and will build excitement for registrants.
- Send reminders and recaps.
These should go out before your event and be prepared to send thank yous and recaps after it.
2. Go Live, Simu-Live or On Demand?
Live webinars/webcasts enable:
- Easy production
- Audience interaction during webinars through Q&As, polling, etc.
- The creation of online communities
Presenters should be coached on how to speak to an audience as well as be good at thinking on their feet. After all, they’re representing your company.
Don’t want a fully-live event? Then consider:
- Simu-live — Recorded webinars/webcasts presented as live, often with a live Q&A session. These allow staggered start times in multiple time zones and enable presenters to be available for Q&A sessions.
- On demand — Webinars/webcasts produced to view and distribute at any time.
3. Choose Your Technology
Web conferencing and webcast/webinar programs have some overlap such as viewer metrics. However, webinar/webcast technology allows sleeker recording formats, is designed to reach larger audiences without crashing corporate networks and enables you to use video. Web conferencing, while likely already deployed in most enterprises, is designed for online meetings rather than presentations.
Whichever technology you choose, remember that many viewers will be using mobile devices so formatting is crucial. Select a platform that automatically optimizes for mobile devices.
4. Production To-Dos
When creating a webinar/webcast, be sure to use:
- Up-to-date equipment
- Good lighting and audio
- A stationary background without doorways or windows
- Slide-builds, views of presenters and participants, “green-screen” backgrounds that can be changed—anything to hold viewer attention
- Polling, Q&A, downloadable documents, social media and anything else to engage audiences
5. Maximize Analytics
Viewer analytics are what pave the way for successful investment in webinars/webcasts. Use the platform’s analytics to track attendee behavior such as questions asked and materials downloaded. This will give you insight on their interest level for follow-up.
- Use polls for feedback about your company and its products
- See how long attendees stayed for your event and if they lost interest at any point
- Consider integrating data with customer relationship management systems, such as Salesforce.com or Marketo
For more information on how to maximize ROI from your webinars and webcasts, view the Wainhouse Research webinar, sponsored by InterCall: Make the Most of Your Webcasts and Webinars with Video.