A successful webinar keeps the audience engaged, and that depends not just on the information presented, but on the way in which it’s presented. Try one of these formats for a successful webinar.
Select one person as the interviewer and one or more people as the subject matter experts to be interviewed. This creates a dynamic where dialogue grows organically out of the questions. To help make it work, follow these guidelines:
- Have the interviewer and subject matter experts meet early in the planning stage to develop the interview questions. The questions should cover topics that apply to the audience and will move the webinar discussion in a logical direction.
- Use polls to gauge to the audience subject knowledge and adjust the interview questions accordingly. Polls can also help assess where attendees are in the customer journey—are they gathering information, evaluating solutions, or ready to make a purchase.
- Use individual poll results to help know where to place someone in your overall marketing strategy. An attendee who is ready to buy should be passed straight to sales. Another attendee who may not be ready to purchase for another 12 months should be placed in your nurture campaign.
Choose two presenters with complementary subject knowledge. You could pair an industry expert with a technical expert. The industry expert could begin the webinar by presenting important trends and then the technical expert could cover what these trends mean for the attendees in their own businesses. To make this format successful, keep these rules in mind:
- Have the presenters practice their presentation until it flows smoothly. And make sure they take turns speaking—the more they go back and forth, the more engaging the webinar will be.
- Use polls to determine audience subject knowledge and stage in the customer journey.
A panel discussion that includes a moderator, a company presenter, and one or more external experts or industry analysts makes for an interesting webinar conversation that will keep your audience engaged. Here are some guidelines to help make this webinar format a success:
- Seek out presenters with differing viewpoints. Friendly and courteous debate on a topic is encouraged.
- Have the moderator meet with all the presenters early in the planning stage to develop questions that will loosely guide the webinar discussion.
- Have different presenters field questions based on each person’s area of expertise, or have two or more presenters answer the same question with differing points of view.
- Use polls to gauge audience subject knowledge and stage in the purchase process.
Plan your next webinar around one of these three formats. And plan to convert leads to sales.
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