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.

Webinar: Using popups on your website

Using popups on your website to capture visitors as they enter or leave can be surprisingly effective.

The average conversion rate for all popups is 3.09 percent.

In this webinar, we’ll talk through strategies for how to use popups to collect information from visitors.

Check out these eight tips to get more leads through your website popups.

6 ways you can collect email addresses without a website

We’ve said it before. Email marketing is a critical component of any overall digital marketing strategy.

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.

Check out these 48 statistics that show the value of email marketing for your small business.

But what if you don’t have a website? How do you collect email addresses?

First, you can use DailyStory to not only host a landing page with a web form to physically collect email addresses, but also to then develop campaigns to message those email addresses.

(Landing page, web form or not, you at least want to have an email marketing platform.)

The following are six ways you can feed email addresses into your database to then market to later on.

Facebook ads

Facebook features a multitude of different ad campaign types, depending on your goal with any given ad campaign.

As far as capturing leads, Facebook offers lead generation ads, where email addresses can be captured within a form hosted on Facebook itself. You also can use a Facebook ad to drive traffic to a landing page (if you have one) with a web form to capture those email addresses.

Facebook ads can target your ideal audience. Just remember to offer a reason enticing enough for users to give you their email addresses. It could be a discount offer or a piece of premium content, so on.

Check out these seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Host contests

Even with a website, social media is often the best place to promote contests and giveaways.

Of course, we recommend reviewing required terms and conditions you need to provide in any contest, and it’s especially helpful to have a web form to capture email addresses and add them to your database.

A landing page (available through DailyStory) is the perfect solution to show the parameters and rules of your contest, as well as collect email addresses for entries.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to give away your own products or services. It can easily be something else that appeals to your target audience if you want. You also could partner with another company for a contest as well.

Dive deeper into Terms and Conditions and how to confirm your giveaways are legal.

Organic posts on social media

It’s the idea of not necessarily feeding all your content to a website blog but publishing it where your audience is. Potential social media platforms include (but are not limited to):

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

In addition, Medium.com could be an option for content publishing. The key is to decide who you’re trying to reach and what platform(s) you’re mostly like to find them.

You can include email newsletter sign-up call-to-actions within your content mix, giving those you are reaching an opportunity to get more from you.

See what every startup company should know about social media.

Guest appearances

Whether this is guest blogging for a popular website among your target audience or guest appearing on a podcast, the power of this approach resides in the fact that you’re getting in front of an audience you don’t normally connect with.

Be ready with both your call-to-action and an offer that makes people want to act.

Again, having an easy-to-find web form (via a link or other means) is imperative.

Speaking of guest blogging, see our seven tips to grow quality backlinks and improve your SEO.

Content upgrades

No matter where you’re publishing (social media, Medium.com, elsewhere), you could always deliver a little bit more in a nicer package.

That’s where content upgrades (or premium content) comes into play.

Developing a PDF version of a guide, a deeper dive into a topic or something else that addresses a pain point of your target audience is a great way to collect email addresses.

Ideally, this is evergreen content that’s consistently relevant and designed in a visually engaging way.

All you have to do is offer it for free and use a web form to collect a user’s information. Then, have that content automatically sent to that user. 

Users get the content upgrade. You get their email addresses. Win-win.

Dive deeper into what premium content is and how you can leverage it in your digital marketing.

Webinar hosting

As an expert in your industry, consider what topic you might be able to educate others on via a webinar.

Sign-ups can be promoted through your social media and other channels (and email addresses collected).

Even if you don’t get a lot of sign-ups (or any), the session can be recorded and repurposed for later and alternate uses.

See our 12 expert tips to help you host your first webinar.

In conclusion

Obviously, there are ways to collect email addresses and use email marketing to grow your business without a website.

However, we definitely recommend creating a website as soon as possible since it offers a consistent home for your promotions, lends credibility to your brand in the eyes of your customers and can help drive search engine rankings, among other reasons.

Check out our beginner’s guide for choosing and acquiring the perfect domain name for your business.

Need assistance not only capturing email addresses but maximizing your email marketing efforts? DailyStory features email automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.