How to Prepare for a Webinar or Podcast
Do you want to generate leads, establish thought leadership, form friendships, and influence those around? When used in your marketing strategy, webinars and podcasts are your secret sauce. Keep in mind that even the brightest of people still need to go over their work, which is why re-reading and editing – whether for a podcast script or a webinar presentation – should be your best friends.
We’ve compiled a list of helpful guidelines to follow when hosting either:
Research. Plenty of it.
When executed properly, a webinar provides an immersive and educational platform for prospective and established consumers, delivering extremely useful material to your target audience. It’s an excellent approach to foster relationships and raise brand awareness.
Exploratory research on the topic is required to bring additional insight to the present scarcity of information. As an outcome, analytic generalizations will be constructed.
We cannot stress enough on the importance of research. Whether it be your topic, content, tone, style, approach, body language, or whatever else you can think of. If astrophysicists rely on existing studies and literature before formulating plans for the future, then you can do a bit of digging too. Or you could get someone to do the research for you. Get it done, though, especially for business-related webinars and podcasts.
People don’t want to waste time reading / listening to / watching things that have already been overused in the industry, unless you’re a God at what you do. Then please, do enlighten us. But do your research first.
Choose your topic and content-delivery person
This comes after researching – sure, you need to first have an idea about what you want your webinars and podcasts to be, but you should always keep an open mind. You might stick with your original idea or change it completely, all based on the research you conduct.
This is especially true when it comes to business-related webinars and podcasts. With a vast expanse of areas in business and such diversity in possible topics, you might often stumble upon more intriguing topics that trample your original idea. If, for example, you’re in the Marketing sector, your research might lead you to using AI in your marketing strategy. This is way more novel and interesting than, say, talking about the ways to market a product.
Another important thing is knowing the “how” and “when: to deliver a webinar or launch your podcast. These are often talked about, but what not many sources mention is the “who.” Truth be told, not everyone is gifted with or has developed a powerful presence, and not all content writers can properly deliver what they wrote in the most optimal way.
We know that the face is often more popular than the brain, but the charisma, voice, intonation, body language, and overall presence topple even that. When the presenter isn’t engaging enough, people will quickly lose interest, regardless of how interesting the topic is. No one enjoys listening to dull lectures, especially about novel topics, so be sure to set your ego aside and find the right person for said delivery.
We mentioned style, remember?
There are many, many styles or “formats,” if you will, that you could choose from. However, one size does not fit all. Just because you saw a bunch of people using the same style doesn’t mean that it is the right one for you.
This being said, you have to know which style of presentation you should opt for. Read on to find out what some of those styles are and how to know which to go with. You don’t have to, but we recommend that you do.
The most exploited style, presentation
Sure, it works, which is why it’s the most-used style for webinars (though for the former more than the latter). We aren’t saying that this style is outdated – it’s in fact the most versatile and malleable style. You can manipulate it into whatever form you want – slideshow, live-action demonstration, video, and the like. This is quite impressive, we must admit; the only limit is your imagination.
However, the requirements for hosting a successful presentation are not to be underestimated. Your speaker must be as engaged and motivated as possible to deliver a truly memorable presentation webinar. Because a presentation is, well, a presentation complemented by a prewritten discourse, it could get tiresome.
For your webinar presentation to be successful, you must focus on ensuring that the content you deliver is topical to the audience, well-written, complemented by relevant media, and delivered with flair.
This style is suitable for both webinars and podcasts. The webinar interview format gives you room to ask a specialist industry-specific questions about a topic pertinent to your audience. Rather than conducting your own webinar, the interview approach allows you to achieve a compelling dialogue about the issue at hand.
Things may usually stray off-topic, which is a good thing. It demystifies your talk, whether as a webinar or podcast. This helps you appear approachable as a thought leader in addition to being acknowledged as an authority.
This is also an excellent choice for people who do not feel at ease gazing into the lens of the camera while presenting or speaking alone into a microphone when delivering a presentation. It’s also excellent for establishing rapport with your interviewee. It could lead to larger prospects for you or your company. After all, who you know is often as important as what you know.
Just because it’s easy to write, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to write. The Q&A style is the most captivating since it allows your audience to interact with you and your brand.
Always request that questions be sent ahead of time so that you are able to screen them and also increase the likelihood of your audience taking part in the session if they are curious to see whether their query will be picked.
Q&A webinars are an excellent way to communicate with customers, prospects, and other frequent participants of your seminars, as well as to prove that you are aware of their difficulties and concerns.
Another reason for holding a question-and-answer session? Responding to inquiries on a specific issue on the fly, which demonstrates your breadth of expertise and capacity to control almost any issue in that area.
There are several Dos and Don’ts of the Q&A style of webinars and podcasts, among which are:
- Make your questions more of a conversation. This is done by prepping questions in a sequential order. Want another method that holds ground? Answering questions as if you were holding a discussion with the person who asked them. This includes speaking in a personable inflection and responding to comments as you move through your statement. Attendees are less likely to connect with you, ask questions, discuss their problems, and seek guidance if they believe you are talking at them rather than with them (during and after the webinar or podcast).
- Keep track of time. Keeping track of time is a critical component of a quality Q&A webinar. It’s not fair to attendees, for example, to spend the majority of the session answering a single question, only to speed through the other questions to avoid clashing with time. Instead, set a time restriction for each response – 3 minutes? 4 minutes? 5 minutes? – that takes into consideration the webinar theme and the quantity of questions you forecast. Use the clock to determine your progress. Offer to react offline to clients whose situations necessitate in-depth talks once again.
- Schedule on the first available date / time / location. Again, this is a don’t. Remember what we said about audiences? Well, in addition to them having different content preferences, they also have different time and location preferences that should be taken into account.
- Skip rehearsals. (DON’T). As confident as you are with what you prepared and in yourself, remember that you can’t not rehearse, at least once. Content that you believe will take half an hour might take much longer. Monitoring the time taken by each step during practice will help you forecast timing more precisely. You should also use this time to test for any technical glitches and to verify the audio quality. If your guests are phoning in from different areas, sound consistency is very critical. Whether you’re apprehensive of the possibility of the unforeseen during a live webinar, consider using a platform that has a simulated, pre-recorded alternative.
Optimum dates and times will fluctuate based on whom you’re attracting. Consider your audience and when they would be willing to watch your webinar. For example, if you’re targeting teachers or academics, they don’t have much spare time between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Consider conducting it in the afternoon or evening, or offer it at two separate times to see which one receives the most registrations.
Spread word to the world
There are several numbers of strategies to use when marketing your next webinar, but email still tends to get the best response rates. As per GoToMeeting’s 2017 Big Book of Webinar Stats, 45% of marketers use emails as their major marketing medium. Don’t be shocked if you get a rush of attention at the last minute; based on that same survey, 70% of signups occur in the last week before the webinar.
Here are some helpful insights and recommendations on marketing tactics to consider:
- Post on your blog. It may seem apparent, but if you have a readership and/or fanbase, using your company blog to promote your upcoming webinar or podcast is a terrific approach to get people interested.
- Post on social media. Using your social media platforms to alert any possible viewers that the date and location of your webinar is nearing is a great method to get their attention.
- Collaborate with someone else to increase email reach. If you’re hosting a webinar with an alliance organization or business, it makes sense to combine marketing efforts to increase email coverage.
- Include a link in your email signature. This is such an apparent marketing tactic, albeit one that is frequently overlooked. Your email signature is an excellent spot to promote a webinar or podcast.
This pretty much sums up everything there is to know to optimize your webinar or podcast’s success. Take note of the following:
- Plan ahead of time
- Always have a copy of any scripts or queries on hand
- Stick to the schedule
- Keep your content relevant
- Be creative
How do Webinars and Podcasts Differ?
The major difference between webinars and podcasts is plain. Podcasts are only available in audio format, whereas webinars can incorporate audio, video, and infographics. That is the fundamental distinction, but there are several additional aspects to consider when deciding which choice is best for you.
Webinars take more time and effort to develop since you must focus on both the visual and audio components of your conference. Webinars are ideal for engaging a narrower and more targeted audience, whilst podcasts are ideal for producing a large number of leads. As a result, podcasts have a greater reach and hence raise brand recognition than segmented-audience webinars.
Well before our corporate environment altered so drastically, webinars were an important weapon in the B2B marketer’s armory. Even before the pandemic, Inside Sales stated that 73% of marketers and business executives considered webinars to be among the most dependable techniques of generating qualified leads.
There’s one secret weapon that you could use to promote your webinar or podcast, and this is through Inbound Marketing, which is a non-intrusive way of marketing that seamlessly blends your project into people’s lives. One strategy would be to start a post or story with a depiction of what your webinar “solves,” as in a pain point or difficulty that your target audience might face.
Then, you guide them through the buyer’s journey to entice them to register and attend or listen to or watch your webinar or podcast. By first presenting them with the issue they face, they will feel seen and will thus be more likely to engage with your post.
With limited face-to-face conference options, producing webinars and podcasts is worthwhile. But if you’re going to do it, you would like to do it right, right? Follow this guide to see results and stay tuned for more tips and guides!