If you’re an Internet marketer, did you know that Facebook counts a video view on an ad after 3 seconds? That means if a user stops on your ad for 3 seconds and then moves on, you’re paying for it.
Here at ClickMinded, as of 2021, our average view time for our webinars is approximately 53 minutes.
53 minutes! That’s 1060x more view time than a 3-second Facebook ad.
While this comparison is admittedly a little ridiculous, the point still stands: in our attention-deficit world, running a successful webinar is one of the single most powerful tactics you can use to increase customers and revenue in your business.
Unlike email or social media advertising , webinars allow you to have people’s undivided attention. In a world filled with meetings, YouTube, Netflix, text messaging and match notifications from dating apps, this is not easy to do!
At ClickMinded, we’ve spent several years testing and tweaking our webinars, and I’m excited to share with you everything we’ve learned.
In today’s post, we’ll share the best practices, examples, and the structure we personally use to run our webinars and online events. Also, we’ve included our webinar checklist to plan all the key aspects of running a powerful webinar that drive interest, users and paying customers. Here’s what we cover in the post:
What Is A Webinar?
Before we start, let’s look at a definition of what a webinar is. A webinar is an educational, informative or instructional presentation that is made available online, usually as either video or audio with slides. Webinars are a great tactic to convert the most engaged users in your audience. We love webinars and we are absolutely sold on them.
How to Structure Your Webinars
Over the years, we’ve continually improved the way we do our webinars. Now we’ve created a formula that we use every time we have to create a new one.
Here’s how we structure our webinars:
- Meat & Potatoes
Let’s start with the opening:
During the opening phase, we do 3 things:
1. Housekeeping: First, we do housekeeping—we ask people if they can see and hear correctly. Plus, we ask them where they’re logging in from. Asking people to post answers in the chat gets them in the mindset of paying attention to the webinar.
Next, we explicitly ask people to avoid distractions and pay attention.
Finally, we tell them what they’ll get in return for their time.
2. Agitation & promise: The next stage of our opening is called agitation & promise—we go over the reason that led them to sign up for the webinar.
Doing this increases the chances they’ll stay for the entire session.
We paint a picture of what it’s like being in their position—this shows that we know what it’s like
Immediately after, we promise to give them a solution to their problem.
3. Proof: In the last stage of the opening, we present proof of our instructor’s expertise.
This reinforces the idea that we know what we’re talking about when we promised a solution.
We use logos and bullet points that highlight their experience and knowledge.
Try to keep your opening no longer than 10-15 minutes. People will start to get anxious and complain if your opening goes longer than this.
Meat & Potatoes
The meat and potatoes phase is where you go into the topic your webinar is meant to cover—we try to include 3 elements:
1. Fundamentals set a baseline of knowledge for all of your attendees—not all of them will be at the same level, so this helps bring beginners up to speed
Provide simple definitions for key concepts that will be used in the webinar.
Fundamentals are necessary but boring—try to keep these short and to the point.
2. Examples, actionable steps, demos are what will truly help your attendees get results from your webinar.
Whenever possible, show instead of telling.
If you can, do live walkthroughs.
Turn theory into actionable tips users can implement right away.
3. Downloadables: We also like to give out downloadables: templates, cheat sheets, swipe files, etc
Webinars are long, so these help us keep engagement high throughout the entire length of the class.
Instead of sending templates in a follow-up email, give them out live during the session.
We typically spend anywhere between 30-40 minutes in the meat & potatoes of the webinar—people will usually start logging off if you go longer than that.
You want people to still be paying attention at the moment when you start your pitch.
The closing phase is where you nudge users to the next stage of your sales funnel—becoming a customer.
We like to use a simple 3-step approach.
The best pitches are those that don’t feel like a pitch at all.
1. Segue: That’s what the segue is for—it provides a smooth transition between the meat-and-potatoes and the pitch.
First, we go over the benefits of what the users just learned.
Next, we remind them how important it is for them to take action on what they learned.
Then, hint that there’s a lot more awesome content we didn’t have time to go over.
Thanks to the segue, users don’t feel like the pitch is just bolted on or forced, but rather like it’s the next logical step after the content of the webinar.
2. Pitch: Our pitch doesn’t focus so much on what our product is or what its features are—people already know what an online course is and how it works
We focus on displaying benefits.
We highlight how we’re different from other solutions out there.
And we provide testimonials that back our claims.
If you can, use deadlines to increase urgency.
If you usually get the same questions over and over, include a short FAQ.
3. Q&A: After the pitch, we do a short Q&A session. This helps answer questions or objections people might have about the offer.
We also like to encourage people to ask questions they might have about the content (not just the offer).
Answering those helps build credibility in our instructors.
Pro Tip: ask people who purchased to say so in the chat and call out the names to say thanks.
This acts as live, user-generated social proof for your offer.
Ten Best Practices To Plan Your Upcoming Live Webinar
Here are ten best practices on what you can implement when you want to run a webinar:
- Tue, Wed and Thurs are the best days for a webinar. Monday is the busiest day of the week and Friday has the TGIF factor.
- Create a webinar registration page or landing page well before the webinar. The main thing you want to add there is a form where you can collect email addresses so you can update, notify and send reminder emails for the webinar.
- Run a Google / Facebook ad to your existing users whether that’s your existing email audience or lookalike audience who might be interested in the webinar topic.
- Market at least one month before the webinar, distribute a Press Release. Notify online publications or even administrators of different forms to talk about this. You can use a service like PR.com to push it out there.
- Send an email invitation before 1 or 2 weeks of the start time.
- Provide time for Q&A.
- Make sure you are giving webinar registrants the content they want to hear. Conduct polls/surveys during the webinar.
- Invite guest speakers and co-hosts in the Webinar. You can leverage their audience, their following to watch the webinar.
- Create a 30 sec to 1 min video on what the webinar is all about. That can be a great marketing asset as you are promoting it on your emails, ads, or even have it on your webinar landing page.
- Write a blog post about the Webinar and also write 2 – 3 guest posts on other relevant blogs to hype up the webinar.
That’s what you can do to build up a large following of target audiences that will be interested in your webinar. At the very end of your webinar, make sure you have a clear call to action.
Whether it’s a new product, the launch of a brand new company, or just providing value for your customers, webinars can be an incredibly useful part of your marketing strategy.
If you plan it well, have great content, and provide value for your customers, webinars can be used to drive interest, users, and ultimately, paying customers.
Handling all the planning and execution for your webinars is tough to figure out, especially if you have never done it before.
That’s why we have a free webinar checklist you can download and use right away.
We have split up our webinar checklist into the steps you should take before, during, and after a webinar, including all the key components we’ve discussed above. If you’re ready, take our webinar checklist below and start planning!