There are many ways to market your IT services online. One that has a particularly good lead conversion rate is webinars.
Overall conversion rates for webinars range from 40% to 55%. And you can expect between 40% (B2C) up to 73% (B2B) of webinar attendees to become leads.
Has something been holding you back? Maybe you tried webinars and didn’t get much out of them. Or you may not even know where to start. In this article, we’ll give you several tips for preparing and hosting a great webinar that can help you achieve impressive results.
Tips for Preparing & Hosting a Great Webinar
Webinars give you a unique way to connect with clients and prospects. They’re more personal than other forms of digital marketing because you’re actually there face-to-face.
This helps create a bond of trust, which in turn promotes conversions. People feel like they are getting to know you, and people would often rather buy from someone they know instead of a stranger.
Webinars are an excellent fuel to add to your MSP business marketing engine to generate more leads and revenue. They also fold in perfectly with your other content, such as blog posts and social media.
76% of marketing professionals say that webinars help them generate more leads.
If you haven’t gotten much traction out of webinars in the past or have not tried them at all, here are several tips that can boost your webinar game.
Leverage Your Blog Content for Great Topics
Scratching your head over a webinar topic? Well, you don’t have to begin from scratch… use your blog content to come up with great topics.
By leveraging your past blog posts, you can start with an existing topic and content, then just work that into a webinar slide deck, and you’ve saved a lot of brainstorming time.
Here are some ideas:
- Look at your blog traffic statistics to see which blog posts are most popular
- Pick topics that you know are of interest to your audience
- Use an engaging headline (get great headline tips here)
Less is More on Your Presentation Slides
A webinar is not about reciting every slide word for word. In fact, your slides should be designed in a way that it’s expected that you’ll add more on your own when presenting them.
Less is more, meaning do not try to cram a bunch of text on your slides or make the font too small. A PowerPoint presentation isn’t an eBook or brochure.
Use Plenty of Graphics & Explainer Images
Explainer images can instantly boost comprehension of an idea. For example, you can discuss how cloud backups work and the best practices of the 3-2-1 backup rule, but a picture of the process will make a big difference in your audience “getting you.”
If you’re not great at creating presentations and choosing graphics, get some help. For example, PowerPoint has a designer that will pop open to help you. You can also find slide deck templates online on various topics.
Another idea is to check for hidden talents among your staff. You may just find that one of them enjoys doing this type of creative work and does a stellar job. You can also tap freelance sites like Upwork for some presentation design help.
Practice Your Presentation for Timing & Delivery
Timing is important for a webinar. You don’t want to cut the webinar too short or have it go too long. When you set up a webinar, you’ll input a specific start and end time, people plan their schedules by these. You should begin and end on time.
Practice both for timing and to enhance your delivery. You’ll find that by the second or third time practicing, you’ll feel much more confident and have things in mind that you want to add when showing each slide.
Another way that PowerPoint can help here is through its Speaker Coach feature. This feature records your practice run and gives you tips on your delivery.
Include a Call-to-Action on Your Last Slide
Don’t leave out the call to action at the end of your presentation. IT business owners can sometimes forget this, thinking “I’ll follow up with them later.” While it may not feel smooth to transition from teaching and explaining mode to sales mode, it’s the whole reason for your webinar, to drive leads and sales.
When practicing, you can include your transition to the last slide, which should be a CTA offering something connected to the topic. Such as a 5-point Backup Checkup or Cybersecurity Assessment.
Leave Time for a Q&A (At least 20 minutes)
92% of people attending webinars say they expect it to include a live Q&A session at the end. This is important because it gives you valuable information and provides people with a way to engage with you.
Before the Q&A, most people will be on mute and just watching and listening. The Q&A period brings them into the conversation and allows you to connect with them directly.
Include the Q&A timing in your overall webinar scheduling. For example, if you schedule a 45-minute webinar, use about 25 minutes for the presentation and then leave 20 minutes for the questions and answers period.
Turn On Your Video!
Don’t leave your video off when giving a webinar. One of the great benefits is building trust and rapport with your audience. People are more likely to make a connection to you and your business if they can see your smiling face.
Have a Helper Watch the Chat & Record the Webinar
When you’re presenting a webinar, it’s difficult to keep up with chat comments because you’re in the flow. It’s incredibly helpful to have someone from your company log in from their own computer to assist you.
They can record the webinar and watch the chat for questions that come up during the presentation. They can also let you know if your screen has frozen or if there is some other issue that needs to be addressed right away.
Use a Webinar Hosting Platform to Send Out Invites
You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by using a webinar platform already set up for webinars. MS Teams, GoTo Meeting, or another tool can make it quick and simple to create a webinar registration page.
It can also handle automated emails including the webinar calendar item and link, and generate the reminders.
Promote Your Webinar Big Time
Promote your webinar for at least three weeks leading up to the event, including the day of. If you don’t get the word out, then you may have poor attendance, which can cause you to abandon them altogether.
Use social media sites, your blog, your newsletter, a website banner, and your email signature to promote your webinar. When promoting it, include a link to the signup page.
Make Sure to Send Reminders
Did you know that 29% of people register for webinars the same day they are held? Reminders are important if you want your attendees to show up and if you want to grab any last-minute prospects.
People sign up for online events all the time. They may even sign up a couple of weeks ahead. But in the busyness of life and work, that event can easily be forgotten.
Make sure to send webinar reminders the morning of the event to both those who have and have not yet signed up.
Use the Recorded Webinar as an On-Demand Video
You put a good deal of time and effort into creating a webinar presentation, leverage that work by recording your live webinar and offering it as an on-demand video.
This gives you another form of marketing that you can use in your sales pipeline. You can post the video on YouTube, attracting more leads. You can also include a link on your website and promote it in your newsletter and social posts.
Follow Up with Attendees & No Shows Afterwards
Most people are not going to purchase on the spot when they attend a webinar. Like other content marketing, it’s designed to generate leads, then it’s up to you to follow up with those leads to convert the sale.
Make sure to follow up with your attendees and those that registered but didn’t attend. People have things come up at the last minute all the time. Someone may have really been interested, but not able to attend as planned.
Send those that attended:
- PDF of the webinar presentation
- Link to the on-demand video
- Repeat the CTA in the presentation
Send those that signed up, but didn’t attend:
- PDF of the webinar presentation
- Link to the on-demand video OR Link to sign up for the next webinar (if you’re holding this one again)
- Invitation to reach out to you with any questions about the topic
Webinars Can Be a Great Tool to Build Trust & Sales
Once you get a successful webinar under your belt, it will be much easier to add these to your normal content marketing routine. They are a great way to build trust in your business and generate qualified leads that convert to sales.
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Do you have any webinar tips you can share with other IT business owners? Share your thoughts in the comments.