How to have a successful webinar: Part 1, Planning your webinar

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You have the budget, and you’re thinking about sponsoring a webinar to promote your firm services, company or reseller product and to create a relationship with the attendees. Before you can go and deliver your presentation, you have to plan strategically to maximize the return of your webinar. Ask yourself these questions as you plan for your webinar:

Why are you presenting a webinar? To sell or engage?

Will you be presenting a product demo or an educational webinar?

  • Product demonstrations are usually handled by a representative of the company, where the expert will walk us through “how-to” as well as some of the FAQs and quirks of the product. They are there to answer live questions from the audience and to really sell their product to the interested audience.
  • Educational Webinars are less about the product/service, and more about educating the attendees with tips, tricks, and hot button issues. Presenters are live for engagement with the audience.

Once you figure out what type of webinar you want to have then you can decide…

What topic will you present?

If you decide to present a demo, your webinar will revolve around the best features and benefits of your product. Entice the audience with how this product will make their lives easier. If the goal of your marketing is direct sales, maybe you want to include a discount code for attending the webinar. If you are sponsoring an educational webinar, you will want to select a relevant topic that co-exists with your product or service. Again, a referral code or special offer can push the attendees to take the next step with interest in your company.

Who will present?

Who is the best person to present the topic you’ve selected? It’s a major treat to have the CEO or president of the company, but a product specialist is probably best to demonstrate capabilities, and then there are users, partners, and thought leaders that are also beneficial to use as presenters and influencers to the larger community.

When will this presentation take place?

The more prepared and out in-front of your webinar you are, the more time for promotions! At Insightful Accountant, we like to schedule webinars 5-6 weeks in advance to ensure quality time for any of the promotions you select to boost your webinar, so you need plenty of time for ad and article creation. You’ll also need to check what holidays, or other niche events are taking place, so you don’t schedule when everyone is out of the office. Ultimately, the date and time is going to come down to the availability of the presenter!

Where are we promoting?

With your webinar, we recommend advertising with newsletter takeover ads, a pop-up banner on the website, and sponsored and/or educational content for IA at a minimum. It takes 7-21 repetitions to communicate a message to an audience, and we want this audience to register! Insightful Accountant promotes to audiences in the daily newsletter, and to connections on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We encourage our sponsors and speakers to share to their audiences as well!

Strategic Planning and Preparation are keys to having a successful webinar. Really put some thought into each step of the process to achieve your webinar and marketing goals. In the next article of this series, we will go over best practices for Part 2, Presenting your webinar.

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Emily Hedrick is the Media Director for Insightful Accountant. She handles webinar set up and facilitation, ad and content creation, customized social media, graphics, online marketing, and evaluating analytical results and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Auburn University. When not working, Emily loves to listen to bluegrass music and play outside with her dog, Banjo. Emily always dreamt of going away to a big college, and landed in Auburn, Alabama in August of 2011. Building on her interests of communication and business, she found the public relations major as well as a passion for female education, leadership, and sustainability. In December 2016, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and was ready for another adventure. Emily began working as The Communicator for Best Gurl, inc. in January 2017. She has collaborated in strategic planning to promote Best Gurl products and services; created an editorial calendar, reinvigorated the social media platforms, planned marketing campaigns, and reworked and published a new company website. In March 2019, Emily began working as a project and communications consultant. She currently works with companies and organizations like Best Gurl inc., The National Association of Branch Campus Administrators, Wanda's Clocks and Trophies/ B&M Engraving LLC, and the annual Women Empowering Women Symposium hosted by the American Business Women's Association, Emerald Coast Chapter. When not working, Emily loves to listen to bluegrass music. Every Memorial Day weekend you can catch her back in her hometown, volunteering at DelFest, a bluegrass festival hosted by Del McCoury and family.