Have you been thinking of hosting a webinar for the first time? Hosting a webinar is a really good way of reaching out to your target audience. If you’re new to the world of webinars, it's important that you familiarize yourself with them. Doing anything for the first time can be both fun and scary - fun because you are doing something exciting and scary because you have never done it before. You may be asking yourself many questions regarding the webinar you want to host. In this blog article, our goal is to answer all of your questions and more.
How to Host a Webinar
Are people going to like my presentation? Will anyone attend my webinar? Will I be able to communicate with my audience effectively? Where will I get the tools and support I need to host my webinar? These are some of the questions that may be buzzing in your mind. But there is no reason to panic or worry whatsoever. Hosting a webinar is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is plan and prepare accordingly. Many people have done what you are about to do and have been successful at it. So you can surely do it yourself as well.
Plan and Prepare Beforehand
Let's make it clear from the start: Anyone can host a webinar. The most crucial part of hosting a webinar is what you do beforehand in terms of planning and preparation. There are certain things you need to do before, during, and even after the webinar for it to be successful. If you follow all the steps that are highlighted below, the people attending your webinar will love your presentation. And, of course, the right people will show up. When you implement your webinar in the proper way, you will come off as a professional to those that attend. They will see you as a thought leader and an experienced professional in your field of specialization.
Why Host A Webinar?
Before diving into the numerous reasons to host a webinar, let's first define what one is. A webinar is simply an online seminar, made up of a host and a live audience. Webinars are usually informative, interactive, and at least partially, unscripted. Webinars are hosted on the internet using special online webinar software, like the one provided by MegaMeeting.
A webinar should offer audience members plenty of information that they can use to improve themselves or their business. A webinar should also provide information that solves people's problems. You can also use your webinar to sell a product or service. However, don't go in with the mindset of selling or marketing your products or services, as this can put off some members of the audience. Instead, go with the mindset of educating your attendees.
Hosting A Webinar Is Inexpensive
You don't need to invest a lot of money on equipment in order to host a webinar. As a matter of fact, you can even host a webinar using the smartphone in your pocket – it can be done! Webinars can be hosted for free if you don't have any cash to invest in them. However, with a small budget, you can make an even better webinar that looks very similar to those put on by big brands and businesses.
Webinars Are Interactive and Engaging
It's rare to find a mode of marketing today that is both interactive and engaging. Most marketing techniques, like digital ads, banners, billboards, and newspaper ads, do not engage your target audience as much as you wish they would. Connecting with your audience on a personal level can have very good results in terms of improved sales and revenue. With webinars, you are able to reach out to your target audience via a live video feed. This means that you can see your audience (if they wish to be seen) and your audience can see you.
Webinars Live Forever
Like the saying “diamonds are forever,” webinars also live forever. Once you make your first webinar, you can use it for the rest of your life. You can repackage a webinar you did five or ten years ago and use it for anything you wish. You can add old webinars to an upcoming course. You can also edit previous webinars into small snippets that you can share on your social media, blog, or other platforms. You can even use your recorded webinars as lead magnets.
Webinars Give You a Chance to Inform and Educate Your Audience
If you have been looking for a way to inform or educate your target audience about a specific topic or product or service, then webinars are the solution you have been searching for. All you need to do is invite people to attend your webinar and then teach them something useful, while at the same time marketing your business or brand. You can become an expert in your niche by simply solving the problems of your audience members.
Webinars Are Easy to Make
Indeed, webinars are easy to create. You do however need to invest some time and effort into making good webinars. The secret to making quality webinars is dividing your work into segments. You should have a step-by-step procedure that you use to make all your webinars for consistency and quality assurance purposes. Luckily, all the steps you need to take when learning how to host a webinar, and more specifically, how to create the actual webinar, are highlighted below.
Step 1: Choose A Topic
Your webinar must have a topic or objective. This is the very first thing you need to establish before you can proceed to other steps. Ideally, you should ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve with my webinar?" Do you want to increase brand awareness for your business? Do you want to create hype for a new product or service you are launching? Do you want to grow your email list so that you can market your products or services to a wide audience, or do you want to train employees or clients regarding the use of some of your products or services?
There are many reasons why people choose to host webinars. Whichever reason you choose, it's important that you have a clear goal or objective before investing any time, effort, or money.
Step 2: Outline the Topic
Once you have settled on a suitable topic for your webinar, you can then proceed to outline it. Outlining simply means dividing the topic into many different sub-topics. The topic you choose must be broad enough to be divided into smaller topics that will be discussed in the webinar.
Most people have very short attention spans. They can only handle one thing at a time. Because of this, you need to outline your topic in a simple and sequential order that your webinar attendees can follow. It's not good to overwhelm your audience with too many details at once. Here are some examples of sub-topics you can include in your webinar outline:
- Purpose of the webinar
- Introduction of presenters and their backgrounds
- Start of presentation
- End of presentation
- Q&A Session
Step 3: Choose the Right Length for Your Webinar
A webinar should last not less than 15 minutes and not more than one hour. An ideal length for a webinar is 30 to 45 minutes. Your webinar is not supposed to be too long or too short. A webinar that's too long will not favor people with short attention spans. A webinar that's too short may be a waste of time and money. Most people watch webinars during their free time; not many people can spare more than an hour in their daily schedule to watch a webinar. Because of this, you should keep the length of your webinar to around 30-45 minutes.
Step 4: Choose the Right Date and Time
Now, after choosing the length of your webinar, the next step is to choose when it will take place. This means the exact date and time when you will be hosting your webinar. So, when is the best time to host your webinar? Is it during the weekends or weekdays? Is it at the beginning of the month or the end?
Well, first and foremost, you should avoid hosting your webinars during the weekends. Most people use weekends to relax at home with their family and friends. No one wants to be thinking about serious issues or buying decisions during their free time. So, what is the best time to host your webinar? Experts say that the best day to host your webinar is on Wednesday or Thursday. As for time, the best time is around 2 or 3 pm.
Step 5: To Script or Not to Script?
As mentioned earlier, webinars are simply seminars broadcasted on the web. They are much like the seminars hosted in actual, physical venues. Because of this, webinars should not be 100% scripted, but should instead leave room for some interaction between the host and the audience. Actual seminars that are held at physical venues are not usually 100% scripted. So why should webinars be any different?
Too much scripting of your webinar can make it look choreographed. This can make it appear inauthentic and commercialized. Your audience can also find a 100% scripted webinar boring, so avoid too much scripting. Having said this, webinars should definitely be rehearsed ahead of time, so you come off at least sounding like you know what you are talking about.
Step 6: Create Slides
Slides are an important part of a webinar. Your webinar should not just be a live feed of you talking. People can easily get tired of looking at you for almost an hour. The webinar attendees need to see something else apart from you. This is where slides come in. Slides come in handy for presenting crucial information and data that would be otherwise difficult to explain using words. Slides on webinars can be made using something as simply as PowerPoint, or they can be made via special plugins and software provided by the hosting company. Slides will help keep your audience engaged. They will also help keep you on target with what you have to say.
Step 7: Marketing Your Webinar
Once you know how to host a webinar, the next step is learning how to market it. Marketing a webinar begins with a landing page, where people go to sign up for your webinar. You must make sure that the landing page is both functional and appealing. Your landing page will give your target audience their first impression on what your webinar is all about. You can direct people to your webinar landing page by sending out emails to your subscribers.
You can also market your webinar using other avenues like social media, paid ads and many others.
For more information regarding marketing your webinar, check out this blog post.
Step 8: Get the Right Equipment
You do not need a lot of sophisticated equipment to host a webinar. Below is a list of what you need:
- A camera (This can be a webcam or the camera that comes installed on a laptop or mobile device)
- A microphone
- Webinar software
Step 9: Do a Dry Run
Once everything is in place, the only thing left is to host your webinar. In order to make sure that there will be as few hiccups or challenges as possible on the actual day of the webinar, you should do a simple “dry run” rehearsal of your webinar at least a few days before the scheduled webinar is scheduled to take place. During the dry run, check for:
- Any hiccups or malfunctions with the hardware or software you are using.
- Errors in slide arrangements.
- Spelling or factual errors on your slides.
Ideally, you should peruse through all your slides from start to end before the actual day that you will be hosting your webinar.
Step 10: Host Your Webinar
On the actual day of the webinar, make sure your internet connection is solid and be there for your audience as they start to arrive in your virtual webinar room. You can send out email reminders to all those who signed up for your webinar (this is typically done twice – a day before and then an hour before the event is to take place). You should remind your attendees the date and time when the webinar is happening. Make sure to record the webinar for future viewing for those who will not be able to attend.
As you can tell, learning how to host a webinar is easier and more straightforward than you might think. Anyone can host a webinar in today's world. Webinars have become the preferred marketing tool for many brands and businesses out there today. So, why should you be left behind when others are already doing it and gaining profits from it?
For more information regarding the MegaMeeting webinar technology, read this page.
MegaMeeting solves the biggest challenges of modern video conferencing. For users, it is an all-in-one platform that delivers both video conferencing and webinars in a single, simplified interface. For attendees, it is 100% browser-based, making it highly accessible; joining a meeting is instantaneous from a single click. For enterprises, it is highly customizable, with white-labeling options for a private branded solution. For developers, it is API-driven and easy to integrate.
Powered by WebRTC, Node.js, React, and GraphQL, it is a cutting-edge platform that is fun and easy to use for users and developers alike.