For a long time, the webinar was one of the best-kept secrets in content marketing—but it’s not much of a secret anymore: Statistics show that the number of small business owners using webinars to expand their reach is growing at a rapid rate, and that’s ultimately not surprising.
Webinars allow business owners to develop authority, generate high-quality leads, and begin the process of educating those leads and helping nudge them down the sales funnel.
This is an amazing list of benefits, but to obtain those benefits, your webinar actually has to be good. It needs to stick in people’s minds. A sloppy webinar presentation, like a poorly-written blog post, will only serve to reflect poorly on your brand.
The Issue with Webinars
The big problem that I see with a lot of webinars is that there’s no arch to them. All too often, they are just jumbles of facts and statistics and sales pitches, without any cohesive narrative to tie it all together. That’s a problem because it’s just not very memorable. It doesn’t reinforce your brand’s central narrative. It doesn’t posit your company as the solution to the participants’ problems.
So how can you give shape and focus to your webinar presentations? How can you make them memorable? How can you make them stick?
Let me offer a few quick tips.
Start by identifying the problem your participants have.
Your webinar needs to have one clear, easily articulated theme. “Here’s all the things I know about content marketing” is way too much of a blur. Even something like “10 key facts about content marketing” is a little too messy.
What you want is to identify the pain point, and then work from there.
Maybe your webinar participants don’t know how to create good content on a small budget. Maybe they don’t know how to track their results. Maybe they’re building content, but not seeing engagement. Identify the problem you want to address, and let that shape your webinar.
Provide actionable answers.
Your webinar should clearly identify and contextualize the problem, but it should also end with real value —some actionable steps that your participants can take to address that problem.
Make sure you have some action points that can, once again, be easily summarized in a sentence or so. One of those steps may be to buy your product or call you for a consultation, but don’t make all of them sales pitches. You need to give away at least a little bit of free assistance.
Have a script — even if you don’t think you will need it.
I know a lot of talented speakers who can generally get by with an off-the-cuff approach to their presentations, and that’s fine — but even if you think you know what you’re going to say, it’s still helpful to have a road map you can consult if you feel things are veering off track.
Nobody is going to remember the substantive points in a rambling, incoherent webinar; they’ll just remember what a mess you were. (Side note: actually rehearsing with your script is also recommended!)
Remember that you’re talking to real people.
It may or may not feel like it, but you’ve got to remember that you’re giving an address to real, human listeners — so there needs to be some polish in your performance.
You can’t just ramble into your mic for an hour. You’ve got to be alert and lively, with everything you say focused on the problem-and-solution angle you’ve developed.
Keep this in mind and it’ll keep you on track for your webinar presentation — hopefully leaving your listeners with something truly memorable.
What is one of your favorite webinars that you've listen to this year? What company do you know produces amazing webinars on a consistent bases? Share your recommendations!