As you can probably tell from the term ‘webinar’ alone, a webinar is an online seminar. It has all of the essentials of a seminar – including a presenter, presentation and audience. However, webinars are held entirely online – right down to the Q&A where attendees put forward questions to be answered live.
Sadly, most webinars attract little interest – with 78% of webinars garnering 50 or fewer attendees, according to Search Engine Journal. What should you avoid doing to help prevent your own webinar’s attendee numbers from faltering?
photo credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Failing to interact with the audience
Webinars should not be confused with webcasts – which, as TechFunnel explains, are “usually based on the flow of information in one direction, focusing on what is being described by the presenter.”
Webinars also differ in having a cap on the number of attendees, with only a few hundred admitted at the most. You should therefore remember to leverage the interactive elements of your webinar – such as by regularly holding surveys and polls and using a live chat facility to reach out directly to your audience.
Make sure, as you start planning for your webinar, you choose a webinar platform that comes with a wide range of built-in tools for fostering interactivity with the audience.
Being too ‘salesy’ with your webinar
This mistake can happen even when you come up with the webinar’s title, which could be the first piece of information many members of that webinar’s target audience learn about it.
According to statistics shared by the marketing expert Jeff Bullas, only 17% of salespeople deem themselves pushy, whereas 50% of prospective customers perceive them that way.
One rule of thumb for stripping out a blatantly ‘salesy’ tone from your webinar is keeping its focus on usefully educating and informing the audience rather than selling to them. A webinar titled ‘How to market successfully on Twitter’ won’t alarm like one called ‘Why our Twitter marketing solution is for you’.
photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels
Conveying a poorly-designed presentation
This is an especially good reason to plan as much of your webinar as possible in intricate detail before the event actually takes place. Of course, the interactive nature of webinars means that at least some of your webinar’s content will be left to chance – but what about those parts you could actually script beforehand?
You should opt for visually appealing slides, but resist using them as a teleprompter – as 65% of webinar attendees will retain information from a webinar combining oral and visual content.
Letting your webinar run for too long
How long is ‘too long’? Basically, longer than the webinar was originally set to last, as per the event listing or any advertising where you specified not only a start time but also an end time for the webinar.
As attendees will have specially set aside time to attend your webinar, you should respect that time – such as by including any Q&A part of the webinar in the overall runtime designated for it. In rehearsing your presentation, you can discern how much time to leave for the Q&A.