With an ongoing pandemic and social distancing, engaging with your audience and even your team members is a difficult task. One particular way that has taken the industry by storm is webinar!
Even though webinars were common on an international avenue, in Malaysia it was relatively unheard off before now. Based on Webopedia’s definition, a webinar is essentially a web-based seminar or presentation that can be done over video conferencing software. Did you know that almost 73% of B2B marketers recommend webinars as a great way to generate high-quality leads?
With such a powerful tool at our disposal, it’s about time we utilised its full potential and that’s exactly what we did!
Over the last couple of months since the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia, Exabytes, like most companies were forced to think about alternative ways to increase communication and bring our employees together. What started as a weekly internal webinar turned into almost daily sharing sessions. These sessions not only proved to be incredibly effective among our staff, but it also provides some much needs human connection, especially during MCO times.
Hence, we slowly branched out to a bigger audience.
One of our biggest webinar achievement yet is the SME Digital Summit that we organized alongside MDEC to help SME businesses, corporations and other digital solution providers to thrive financially despite the economic climate that we are in. The event turned out to be an encouraging success with over ONE MILLION VIEWS!
Our recent event with MDEC has had over one million views across Malaysia! With over 60 speakers and partners that help gain more than 50% SME’s interest to start theiWant to know how we did it? Then keep on reading
1. Planning Your Webinar
A lot of effort and pre-planning goes into conducting your webinar. Other than the big questions like your main topic and target audience, you will also need to consider these factors:
The event duration is one of the important factors that you need to consider. The event should be long enough to leave an impact on your audience. Consider it carefully as you don’t want to exhaust the resources that you have. The ideal time, in our opinion, is anywhere between 2 – 5 days. Draft out an outline of your panels and see if they fit in well with your time frame.
Make sure to invite industry professionals that have already established a good reputation for themselves. This ensures that the webinar panels and topics are informative and credible. When choosing a moderator for the panels, be sure to choose someone with a vibrant personality. Not only can a good moderator help the panellist and speakers feel more comfortable, but they can also prompt interesting questions that keep the audience engaged. For our SME Digital Summit, we managed to invite more than 60 speakers as well as ecosystem partners. With so many speakers and panellists, rest assured that there wasn’t a dull moment during the discussions.
In order for a lot of people to view and engage in your webinar, you need to make it accessible. With platforms like Zoom or StreamYard, your viewers will have a better chance of viewing your webinar. The key is to use a platform that is interactive and enables the presenter as well as the audience to exchange information and engage in discussion in real-time. For a large number of audience, you can also use Facebook Live. For instance, during the SME Digital Summit, Exabytes managed the webinar on Facebook live for 8 hours (the maximum time for live streaming).
Artwork For Webinar
Capture the attention of your audience with the right visuals as well as the correct message. Don’t let the audience guess what your event is about. From advertisements to newsletter design and event website page, make sure the event design looks cohesive and attracts your target audience.
Marketing Your Webinar
Getting the word out there about your webinar is an important part of preparation. Facebook and Google Ads are your best friend when it comes to inviting people to your webinar. One of the things we strongly encourage is cross-posting between pages. Share contents among pages so that you get to expand your viewer base. This included fan pages and Facebook groups that you or your event partner manages.
Advertising through different channels helps carry the word further. For instance platforms like email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, browser notification, Google search and remarketing through Facebook and Instagram are some of the effective ways that we used to get the audiences’ attention.
In order to reach your target audience, try searching for similar group. In our case, to narrow the focus of audience for SME Digital Summit, we advertised for existing MDEC fans, fans that are interested in organizations similar to MDEC, Exabytes fans, e-Commerce & digital marketing group as well as Facebook page admin.
We also encourage starting your Facebook Live earlier, preferable an hour earlier as we do. This is to make sure that your Facebook live video links undergo the learning stages quicker, therefore, making your Facebook Ads run on optimal performance.
Carousel banners for ads with the speakers’ profile and the topic of discussion is another way to catch your audience attention. You can even prompt them to register for the even earlier which avoids any last-minute setbacks.
2. During Your Webinar
Despite advertising for days and encouraging people to sign up for your event, you are bound to have some last-minute registration. Be prepared for them. Registrations when done well can be converted into leads that can help you in the near future. If the audiences are experiencing any difficulty try to address them right away. Not only does it show that you are professional, but it also gives them an impression that they are being listened and catered to.
The Tech Team
A crucial part of your webinar is the technical team. Running a webinar can be really stressful. It’s important that your tech team is on top of their game to ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. It’s true that when you’re hosting a digital event there are bound to be some hiccups here and there but any technical issue that is not addressed as soon as possible will cause your viewers to interest.
Your questions and answers segment is a vital tool to keep your audience engaged. After each panel, allocate 10-15 minutes to answer the audience’s questions. Usually, for webinars, the audience can post a question in the discussion corner or at the comment section. Inform the moderator to choose relevant questions that were not discussed in the panel. This will give more insight to the audience.
3. Post Webinar
Have media coverage
If you get the opportunity, invite as many media members to your webinar as possible. This can help you reach a large audience very easily. Not to mention the brand awareness that the news brings to your organization. For example, for our SME Digital Summit webinar, we managed to get over 100 media coverages on television, publications and social media making the event the talk of the town even when the webinars are over.
Report & Analysis
Get a complete overview of your webinar, from the participants to the feedback results to help you move forward with your business. Go through your ad marketing report too to understand who you need to reach out more. With enough data, you can make sure you invest your energy in the right place.
By following the steps above, we managed to gain more than 50% SMEs’ interest to embark on digital adoption which is an impressive result. It calls to show that with great expertise and understanding of the element, you too can host a successful webinar.
Want a quicker route to a successful webinar? Reach out to us. Now after multiple learning curves and organizing several successful webinars and online events, Exabytes aims to help your business through Managed Webinars. With efficient and cost-saving solutions, we make your virtual event a success!