12 expert tips to host your first webinar

Webinars are only growing in popularity.

About 60 percent of marketers use webinars as a content marketing tool. They help increase the understanding of your products and services by about 74 percent.

And as a form of premium content, webinars can help you generate and nurture leads for your business. By sharing your expertise in an engaging presentation format, you’re building stronger, more trusting relationships with your customers and potential customers.

The following are 12 tips to help you host a successful webinar.

Choose the right webinar platform

There are a number of webinar-hosting platforms available, so it’s important to review the features of any platform you’re considering so that you ultimately use the best platform for your needs.

Consider the fact that attendees might watch your webinar across devices, whether it’s a computer or a smartphone. And while some platforms might be free or low-cost, that advantage could result in limits on time length, a set maximum on the number of attendees or even the display of distracting ads for you and your attendees.

Ideally, you’ll want a platform that doesn’t just host a quality webinar but can help manage registration and send out reminders to attendees as well. A handful of webinar-hosting platforms you can look into include:

Select the right day and time

You’ll want to schedule your webinar at a time (and day) that allows for the most possible attendees to participate.

Of course, the ideal day and time can depend on your target audience. While an “after-dinner” time might seem odd, it could perform better than an afternoon time when your audience is in the middle of their work day.

You can review your website traffic to see what days and times are most popular for visitors to be on your site. Be sure to factor in relevant time zones into your scheduling.

In general, though, webinar scheduling is recommended in the middle of the week (Tuesday through Thursday) around 11 a.m. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different days and times to see what ultimately works best for your audience.

Use the right equipment

While relying on the built-in microphones and speakers on your computer can work in many instances, there is a risk of low-quality audio that can turn off your attendees.

Consider a headset (even if it’s plugged into your computer). You also should have a backup computer and any additional batteries as needed or spare additional equipment so that you can easily troubleshoot any technical difficulties. 

You’ll also want to print out a copy of your slides so that you can keep going if there is a glitch there as well.

Opt for the right topic

It’s important that you brainstorm a number of potential webinar topics before settling on one. And if you can brainstorm with a colleague (or several members of your team), all the better.

The perfect topic is where your expertise intersects with the interests and needs of your audience. As you’re narrowing down your ideas, keep asking yourself: “Will my target audience care?” 

If you choose a topic that doesn’t generate a lot of interest and excitement, you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle with your webinar in general.

Also make sure that your topic is neither too broad. A broad topic gets about as far as broad audience targeting, which isn’t very far at all. Don’t be afraid to deep dive into the finer details of a particular topic. That’s where the value comes from, and it’s all about providing value.

Go as visual as possible

In addition, you’ll want to make your webinar as visual as possible. The more visual the topic you’ve chosen, the easier it will be to create a presentation that’s engaging for your attendees.

Of course, visuals can be more than just photos. You can use videos, infographics and/or GIFs as well.

Practice makes perfect

You should definitely practice your webinar in advance to ensure a smooth experience when you go live.

Not only will this help you work out any hiccups in your script and your over pace, but you’ll also likely identify any technical issues that you can fix well before the time of your webinar.

Practice truly makes perfect, so do so as many times as you like.

Promote your webinar across channels

This might sound obvious, but you must promote your webinar to boost attendance. Beyond the obvious, though, make sure your promotion spans across channels.

So, you’re posting across your social media accounts, encouraging colleagues and partners to do the same, including a pop-up ad on your website, publishing a blog about what attendees can learn and so on. We also suggest a “countdown” campaign that teases some tips or statistics to really generate anticipation for your webinar. You can even create and use a specific hashtag during your promotion that can then be used during your webinar as it’s happening, and include any speaker’s social media handles in your promotion as well.

The sky’s the limit. Just don’t assume that one post or blog will do the trick. Be consistent in frequency and quality.

See our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

Engage with your attendees

While we definitely recommend that you have a script planned for your webinar presentation, you don’t want to miss any opportunities to engage with your attendees.

A good rule of thumb is to build engagement opportunities (such as questions) into your presentation, roughly about every four to five slides. In addition, plan to leave time at the end of your webinar for questions from your attendees. 

Depending on the webinar-hosting platform you’re using, there can be engagement features (such as polls) available to use as well.

Invite guests to speak or host

If you’re concerned about being monotone in your presentation or are simply looking for ways to mix it up, consider inviting a guest host. This expert can present for part or all of your webinar.

The key is to project energy while presenting, but the simple tag team of two presenters can make your webinar more interesting by default.

Guests can be industry thought leaders, experts or influencers who have larger followings than your brand. Just make sure to coordinate your plan, slide deck and scripts. 

Assets can be created for attendees

You can provide additional assets to promote engagement and/or value. 

Whether it’s a link to an ebook that will offer even more information after the webinar or a downloadable worksheet for attendees to use during the presentation, anything you offer will help make your webinar both more memorable and more successful.

Of course, the assets you offer will naturally compliment your topic and the goals of your presentation (like even offering the slide deck to be available for download).

Follow up with attendees after your webinar

Don’t forget to send a follow-up email to your attendees within 24 hours (or less) of your webinar ending.

You’ll, of course, want to thank them for attending, but you also have an opportunity to request feedback so that you can continue to improve.

For anyone who was registered but didn’t attend your webinar, make sure to send a recording. (This can be done for those who attended as well.)

If you have freebies, webinar highlights or a future webinar to promote, include all these in your follow-up message as well.

Measure your success

Use all available in-platform metrics to analyze your webinar registration and performance. It’s important to understand any insights available to you.

Was there a drop-off in participation at a particular point during the webinar? Did everyone stay engaged all the way through to the end?

Take everything you learn and apply it to future webinars that can continue to improve and grow.

While you’re planning a successful webinar, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Premium content: What it is and how you can leverage it in your marketing

If content is king, then what would premium content be?

Content marketing itself is increasingly important for businesses to embrace in a digital world. Think of your website (or even your social media accounts) as a planet. Your content being the gravitational pull that generates traffic and engagement. 

Then, of course, we leverage that traffic and engagement to fuel conversions, which equates to sales and boosting our bottom line.

The most common types of content include:

  • Blog articles
  • Graphic illustrations
  • Videos
  • GIFs

What is premium content?

Premium content then is original information that is valuable enough for website visitors (or social media users) to provide their contact information to get it. 

To be more specific, premium content:

  • Answers common questions you encounter in your industry
  • Dives deeper into a topic to deliver knowledge
  • Offers tips and advice that can be acted on
  • Addresses challenges that your customers and potential customers face
  • Is relevant to the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers

How you package your premium content can vary. Some common types include:

  • Webinar, which is a video web presentation typically hosted by an expert in the industry sharing a presentation slide deck. It can be presented live and/or recorded and available long after the webinar is over.
  • eBook, which is a PDF that’s usually about a few dozen pages long. It’s very visual with professionally designed pages (including a cover). It’s ideal to include your pitch and contact information at the end of an ebook.
  • White paper, which is an in-depth evaluation of a topic in PDF format that includes expert research and is usually six to 12 pages in length.
  • Template, which gives customers or potential customers frameworks for creating something (like a content calendar, for example). This is usually offered in PDF format.
  • Interactive tools, which help measure or assess something (like a special calculator, for example). You might need to do some programming for this type of premium content.

Of course, to access premium content, visitors should fill out a web form with their name and email address at the very least. But it’s up to you if you’d like to collect more information up front, such as company name, profession, phone number, zip code, etc.

Just keep in mind that the more information you require, the lower the conversion rate of your premium content (no matter how appealing it might be).

After submitting the web form, users should immediately receive the premium content through a link or email.

5 ways to leverage premium content in your marketing

Beyond the tips below that are specific to marketing your premium content, check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing as well.

On your website

The homepage of your website is prime real estate to promote your premium content and is often the most trafficked page of many websites.

You also can use pop-up or slide-in ads on your website. The advantage of these is that they can appear on any of your web pages after a set amount of time.

Plus, very simple in-line links within other content can also be helpful. You can highlight and feature selected portions of your premium content in blogs, for example.

No matter how you promote on your website, make sure that your call-to-action button is bold and attention-grabbing.

Email promotion

Depending on your goals, email promotion may or may not make sense. If lead generation is the goal, then you would be promoting your premium content to contacts you already have.

But if it makes sense to do so, you can share teasers of your premium content in your regular email newsletter and other marketing emails.

Social media

Organic social media posts are a great way to promote your content to potential leads you’ve never come into contact with before. You can even encourage your staff to share the premium content link on their social media channels. And paid social media campaigns can help you target your ads even further to those who are most likely to engage with you.

Google

You can use Google AdWords to target the promotion of your content to internet users based on their search intent. 

In addition, you can try Google Display Ads, which allow you to target websites, apps and videos that are part of the Google Display Network. 

Print advertising

It may sound archaic, but there might be some print advertising opportunities to explore, depending on your target audience.

We recommend including a QR code in your print ad so that those interested can easily give you their contact information and download your content. 

While you’re exploring how to best promote your premium content, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to create an effective content calendar

Content marketing has many moving parts.

From what to write to where to post, how to post and what else can be brought back (and when), you then have to ensure that everything you’re doing is engaging and relevant.

Organization is critical.

A content calendar can help you plan and maintain your content marketing strategy across platforms. Specifically, a content calendar is a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish your upcoming content. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, with the option to include:

  • Upcoming content pieces
  • Status updates
  • Planned promotions
  • Partnerships
  • Updates to your existing content

About 40 percent of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. And effective content marketing comes down to great planning.

The following are eight tips to create an effective content calendar that works for your business and your content marketing goals.

Determine your goals

Your goals typically revolve around what you hope to achieve with your content marketing in general.

Are you hoping to generate new leads? Grow your social media following? Increase your website traffic?

Your goals impact not only who you’re targeting but also where and how often you should publish content, which then will guide what needs you have for your content calendar.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing (which includes more than just goal-setting).

Create your content calendar template

A simple search will yield many content calendar templates that you can use. Whether you’re looking to adopt a new software application, download a pre-made template or create your own, remember that again, this can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

Truly, a basic spreadsheet would do the trick.

Just make sure that it’s easy to update and share with other team members.

Some information that would be helpful to include:

  • Topic of the content
  • Type of content
  • Date and time for publishing
  • Channels (social media and otherwise) where the content will be published and/or shared
  • Point person for the content
  • Link to the published content
  • Confirmation that the content has, in fact, published according to the schedule
  • Any relevant notes

Look ahead to the calendar year

To start the planning process, it’s helpful to lay out the year ahead and make note of all the important events that your content can reflect and/or promote.

This can include:

  • Holidays
  • Product releases
  • Anniversaries
  • Seminars
  • Seasonal promotions

Doing so will not ensure that you can seize these opportunities with your content marketing.

Choose your publishing frequency

The frequency of your new content as well as the sharing of existing content is typically a balance between what’s ideal for your audience and what you have the resources (including time) to do.

It’s important to not overcommit yourself or your team. Success is more tied to quality than quantity. If you’re stretching yourself so thin just to publish something new, it’s not going to be as engaging or relevant as it could be otherwise.

On the flip side, overstuffing your content calendar just because you can also is not recommended.

Visualizing your frequency on a content calendar can help you find the best balance for your brand and your team. It can help you anticipate traditionally busier times and how your content can expand and contract accordingly.

Of course, keep in mind that your content calendar does not have to be set in stone. The beauty of planning your content further out in advance is that you can easily adjust well before you even begin working on impacted campaigns or content pieces.

Approach your content calendar with that flexibility in mind. You want to hold yourself accountable, of course, but you also want to adapt to whatever might pop up.

As far as sharing your content on social media platforms, consider these seven opportunities for social media automation that can save you time.

Consider your content workflow

If you’re a team of one, this is simple. However, as soon as you have more than just you involved in the content planning, you must consider:

  • Who needs to approve content and/or posts
  • How approval is communicated
  • The process for brainstorming new content
  • How to assign roles and what that should look like

Streamlining a workflow that works for your team will only benefit the overall effectiveness of your content calendar.

Evergreen content is just as important as new content

When developing a content calendar, the tendency is to populate it with content ideas that are new.

But don’t shortchange your existing, evergreen content, which is the content that (while it might seem old to you) is continually relevant and fresh for users.

Whether you’re updating, bringing back “as is” or repurposing your evergreen content entirely, this is a treasure trove of content opportunities that you can’t ignore. Be sure to make a point to sprinkle this existing content throughout your content calendar.

See our 13 tips to repurpose your content like a marketing rockstar.

Consistently update and review your content calendar

A content calendar, no matter how much information is on it, is only as good as how active you are using it.

Commit to checking in on your calendar regularly. Schedule at least monthly brainstorming planning sessions where you flush out the next month’s content calendar in greater detail and sketch out ideas for months further in advance that can be revisited as needed.

Struggling with marketing writer’s block? See our seven tips to beat it.

Ideally, you’ll want the flow of your brand’s content to stay uninterrupted no matter what the frequency is.

Monitor the performance of your content

The upside of content marketing is that everything is measurable. Take advantage.

Be sure to track how your content is performing across platforms.

What’s working, and what’s not?

Take those insights and apply them to future planning in your content calendar. It is through those performance insights that you can continually improve your content strategy.

While you’re embracing a new content calendar, consider leveling up your digital marketing strategy. DailyStory specializes in automation, email marketing, audience segmentation and more. Level up your process, and schedule a free demo with us today.

7 tips to level up your content marketing

You likely know by now that content is king.

But when it comes to content marketing, it’s almost too easy to find yourself spinning your wheels.

Creating content to simply create content, without a direction, plan or strategy can end up being a waste of resources. This is your opportunity to not only grow your audience reach but also show people what your brand is about and why they should both like and trust you (at least over time).

Of course, that type of traction ultimately contributes to your bottom line and boosts your ROI (return on investment).

Content marketing is essentially described as the creation and publication of content in order to build an audience and generate sales leads.

About 63 percent of businesses do not have a documented content marketing strategy.

Don’t be one of them. You’ve got to determine your strategy. The following are seven tips to help you level up your content marketing.

Define your target audience

Before you get to strategizing your content marketing, it’s imperative to identify the ideal customer you would like to target.

You may already know the demographics, interests and habits of who you most likely would sell your products or services to, but if not, a quick audit of your customer database should help.

Think about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Profession
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Challenges or needs

See our seven tips to determine your target audience.

Once you’re set on the characteristics of your ideal customer, you can approach your overall content marketing plan with that persona in mind. Truly, the “who” you’re writing for should have a huge impact on not only the content itself but the type of content you create and where/how you publish it.

Familiarize yourself with the sales funnel

Essentially, the simplest way to understand a sales funnel is to see it as the series of steps a consumer takes to become your customer.

There truly are many things that must happen between a prospect becoming aware of your business to the moment they take action and purchase from you.

However, keeping the idea of a sales funnel in mind will help keep your content marketing strategy (and even overall digital marketing strategy) on track. In addition, that focus can help prevent missed opportunities for customer conversion.

Think of it like this: Your potential customer has a problem, and you’re creating content to help them solve that problem, which brings awareness to your brand and kicks off a relationship of trust that you can nurture consistently through the conversion of a sale and beyond.

The four stages of a sales funnel are:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

Learn more about the four stages of a sales funnel.

Map out your content marketing strategy

A great strategy begins with you placing yourself in your target audience’s shoes, so to speak. (Remember that every piece of content you create should be intended to help address that person’s needs.)

As you begin to outline your content marketing strategy, ask yourself:

  • Who are you trying to reach and engage?
  • What does your target audience need?
  • What type of content does your target audience prefer (blog article, video, ebook, etc.)?
  • Can any user-generated content be incorporated?
  • What do you want to achieve with your content in the next three months, six months and 12 months? How will you measure that success?
  • What is your budget?
  • How does your content marketing strategy fit into your overall business plan?

If you or your company has already been creating content (with or without a strategy), now is a good time to perform a content audit. Evaluate what has performed well and what hasn’t. Take note of what might have contributed to those successes and failures. These takeaways will help inform your new content marketing strategy.

In your plan, you’ll want to identify and map out:

  • Your content marketing goals
  • Any branding guidelines required to maintain a consistent voice across content and content promotion
  • A content plan (what types of content you’ll be creating)
  • At least a rough editorial calendar
  • A promotion checklist (where you’ll be consistently sharing your content)

Use a content calendar

As you get further and further into your content marketing plan, using a content calendar is a great way to keep yourself organized and focus, without getting overwhelmed.

We recommend including the following information in whatever content calendar you end up using:

  • Project timelines
  • Due dates
  • Names of the team member(s) in charge of production
  • Content details, such as keywords
  • Any other information that applies to your content

Online tools, such as Asana and Trello, can help you set up an accessible calendar for your entire team.

This organization will help you publish content consistently.

See our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Promote your content across channels

For successful content marketing, more is needed than simply hitting the publish button on your website’s blog. You must get your content to your intended target audience.

There are three types of distribution channels:

  • Owned: Channels that your company owns, such as your website, social media platforms and email list(s).
  • Earned: Third-party channels that you don’t have to pay for but have “earned” promotion through, such as social media shares and guest blogging.
  • Paid: Paying to promote your content on other channels, such as pay-per-click ads on Google or social media ads.

Just as you would have noted in your content marketing strategy plan, you should have a checklist of everywhere you plan on promoting your content.

Be sure that you’re not missing any platforms or channels that could potentially reach your audience.

Set up a system to evaluate and repurpose existing content

Never assume that you have to constantly publish new content in order to be successful in your content marketing.

In fact, any existing content can be repurposed into different, new pieces, which will not only further engage your target audience but also save you time.

The key is that you set a regular system and/or schedule for evaluating and identifying potential past content to repurpose.

Check out our tips for effectively repurposing your content.

Measure the performance of your content

About 65 percent of B2B marketers don’t measure the ROI of their content marketing.

Don’t be one of them (whether your business is B2B or B2C).

It’s imperative that you regularly measure the performance of all content and content promotion so that you have a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not with the goal of understanding the “why” behind those metrics.

That understanding will help you continue to improve your content marketing over time as you see what your target audience engages with and what they don’t.

Keep an eye on:

  • Page views
  • Time spent on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Social media engagement actions and rates

Trends should become apparent after the first few months.

As you level up your content marketing, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Curated content: 4 tips on finding what to share on social media

Curated content is like the “get out of jail free” card that helps you grow and engage your social media audience.

Unlike the constant hamster wheel of creating organic content, curated content saves you time while also positioning you as an expert and serving your audience what they want.

It’s a win-win.

Curated content is “content gathered from trusted sources relevant to your industry,” according to Hootsuite.

See our five reasons why you should include curated content in your social media strategy.

But how is (good, relevant) curated content found? 

Here are four tips to help you find the best curated content for your social media publishing.

Determine your ratio

Before anything else, it’s important to decide exactly how much curated content you want to mix in with your organic, unique content. How much is created by you, and how much is created by someone else?

A good mix to start with, according to Hootsuite, is 40 percent organic and 60 percent curated content. 

Of course, always keep an eye on the performance of your posts and adjust as necessary. But this mix is a good place to start.

Consider the topics you want to cover

This depends on your brand. Do you want to be hyper-focused on the topics you’ll share with your audience, or should you be broader?

A custom closet company, for example, could focus on closet organization as a topic. Or, it can expand into the broader topic of interior design.

Take a moment to brainstorm the topics that are relevant to both your brand and your audience. What helps make you appear to be an expert in your industry?

Identify your sources of curated content

It’s time to make a list! The key to finding great curated content is to have your go-to trusted sources.

This can be as simple as taking your list of topics and begin Googling.

But you should feel confident that your selected sources are both trustworthy and in sync with your brand.

When you find a source, look through the entire website to see if the totality of the content produced is in line with your company’s goals and purpose. Also, examine the About section of the website to confirm the mission behind that publisher. 

Remember that while content can be shared to your social media directly from a website, you can also share from another brand’s account on any social media platform. 

So, while you want to compile a list of trusted websites, be sure to perform similar searches on the social media platforms you plan on sharing curated content. Your main list from Google might differ from who you find specifically on Twitter or Facebook, for example.

Consider yourself in a constant state of discovery

Now that you have your list of topics and sources, it’s time to commit to monitoring your channels so that you can find and share the specific pieces of curated content for your audience. 

While curated content is a time-saver, you cannot slack on discovering what would work best. However, you can set a scheduled amount of time daily or weekly to stay on top of it.

Curated content is an excellent way to diversify your social media offerings, and it will naturally evolve over time. Keep an eye on how what you’re sharing is performing and pivot accordingly.

Need help finding the best tool to make curated content discovery easier? Check out our list.

And if improving your digital marketing process is on your mind, consider DailyStory, which features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.