The Insider’sGUIDE TOBETTERWEBINARSOur top tips for becoming a webinar wiz,moderation maestro or presentation premier.

Gemma FalconerWebinar Specialist,Welcome!As a marketer, I know what a vital role webinars play in today’s contentmarketing mix.Combining the right presenter and the right messaging with the rightaudience is a great way to establish thought leadership. Webinars tendto attract the kind of people who are moderately curious, have unmetneeds or are actively searching for a solution to their problem — in otherwords, prospects!But webinars aren’t about selling; they’re a means to inform, educate orinspire participants to take the next step and have a proper conversationwith your business, one that can ultimately result in conversion.Webinars are effective for a number of reasons: Time is a scarce resource and travel is expensive Webinars can help transcend geographical boundaries andtime zones Even the smallest companies can punch above their weightwith a top-notch webinar The webinar format can breathe new life into existing content,such as case studies, white papers and research Webinars can extend your reach to prospects with whom yourbusiness might not otherwise connect They’re great for all-hands meetings where business leadersneed to broadcast to the whole workforce2

Why we’ve made this eBookA badly run webinar is like a badly run meeting — a waste ofeveryone’s time. So we’re taking a stand against poor production,dull delivery and coma-inducing content that can give this greatformat a bad name.I live and breathe these virtual events and often moderate orprovide behind-the-scenes support to speakers and attendees.After canvassing my fellow webinar ambassadors andevangelists for their expert insights and tips, we’ve created thiseBook to give you the recipe for the “secret sauce” you need to runimpactful webinars that deliver your marketing objectives.Pushed for time?The top five takeaways from this eBook:12345The three elements that can make or break a webinarare technical fluency, content and delivery styleWhen deciding on the topic and creating content foryour event, always ask your self this: “What’s in it formy audience?”Planning and preparation are essential to ensuringthat nothing goes wrong during your webinar — orthat if it does, you can recover from any eventualityInteraction, interaction, interaction — don’t talk atyour audience, engage with themTimely follow-up is essential — thank your audiencefor participating and share the presentation and anyother related content within 24 hours of your event3

ContentsWhen webinars go bad. 6How to create the ultimate webinar from start to finish . 10Promoting your webinar. 13Producing your webinar. 17The essential webinar checklist for organizers . 27Drinking our own champagne . 3144

When webinarsgo badYou know you’re in a bad webinar — and we’ve all attended at least one —when you end up listening half-heartedly, catching up on email while thewebinar rumbles on in the background or occasionally paying attentionwhen someone mentions a chart or image. It’s a really bad webinar whenyou don’t even make it to the end.There are three main factors that can make or break a webinar: technology,content and style.#1: You have gremlins in the worksAs a webinar pro, nothing makes my toes curl like technical hitches duringother people’s events — whether that’s loss of audio or visuals, the Internetgoing down or the webinar software not working.Of course, some circumstances are beyond the organizer’s control, suchas a power outage during a thunderstorm, but most glitches occur due tohuman error or a lack of preparation. Over the years, I’ve seen some righthowlers, including: The presenter inadvertentlyclosing the webinarwindow mid-event The speaker losing Internetconnectivity during apresentation because anelectrician turned off the power The speaker stopping mid-waythrough a presentationto answer his mobile phone The host presenting from anairport lounge, with allthe background noise of apublic place The speaker using a mic thatprovided audio qualitynowhere good enough for acustomer-facing event Police sirens wailing in thepresenter’s vicinity, clearlyaudible through an open window The constant “bing” ofnotifications and alerts onthe presenter’s PC throughoutthe webinar The moderator failing torehearse, freaking out at thestart of the live webinar, andputting down the phone5

Why dopeopleabandonwebinars?A recent study by 1080 Grouprevealed that the top reasonspeople drop out of webinarsearly are (in order):1. Content not as advertised2. Boring presenter3. Presenter reads the slidesThe other (preventable)show-stopping technical issue is when4. Webinar run time too longparticipants join at the last minute anddiscover they can’t install the conferencingsoftware. Maybe they have insufficient user5. Presenter reads a scriptprivileges, or their company IT policy won’tlet them run Flash, Java or other third-partyplatforms. Either way, the technology6. Webinar begins with “aboutour company” contentyou use should enhance the participantexperience, not detract from it or throw upobstacles to joining.7. Too much text on slides6

#2: You present War and PeaceAs social media shapes our multitasking skills, social interactions andability to focus, the human attention span, or the amount time we canconcentrate on a task without becoming distracted, is rapidly dwindling.According to a 2014 study by the National Centre for BiotechnologyInformation, our average attention span is now eight seconds — yes, youread that correctly — which is down from 12 seconds in 2000. That’sparticularly shocking when you realize that the average attention span of agoldfish is nine seconds. Are you still with me, by the way?So when it comes to a webinar, it takes a really compelling topic for anattendee to stick around for an hour-long presentation. And because youraudience is remote, you’ll have little idea if you’ve lost anyone’s attention,especially if there’s no Q&A or other form of interaction (unless you’reusing GoToWebinar, that is).And while I’m on the topic of content, webinar participants want to listenand learn — not read slides. If all the information they need is on the slides,what is the point of having a presenter?TOP TIP :The GoToWebinar dashboard shows the percentage of attendeesviewing the webinar screen, giving you an idea of attentiveness.7

How we use GoToWebinarErica MakiTitle: Senior Marketing SpecialistLocation: North AmericaWhy do you use webinars? As a member ofthe webinar marketing team, I host webinars#3: It’s your style (or lack of it)Webinars are an experience, so the style is almost asimportant as the substance for creating an engagingevent. There are generally three reasons why webinarsmiss the mark on style:There’s not enough going on.A lengthy webinar with a single person speaking theentire time will not maintain participants’ attention,unless you employ a wide range of engagementtechniques. If there are no interactions or activities, suchas polls, annotations or Q&A, participants will have ahard time focusing on slide after slide after slide.on behalf of customers. It’s a great wayto reach a large number of people at theirconvenience, and at a low cost.How many webinars do you run perquarter? 12-14How many attendees on average doyou get? It varies according to the topicand format. “How-To” webinars tend todraw 350-400 participants, with 47% ofregistrants attending on average. Equally,I’m used to doing live demos to an audienceof 800. But I’d say don’t look at thenumbers; it’s always better to talk to youraudience personally.What methods do you use for webinarpromotion? As these webinars are onbehalf of customers, we do the promotionrather than using paid partners. ThatThere’s too much going on.generally consists of email invites, withSometimes, less is more. Overly frequent interactions,before the event, plus links to the webinarwith polls every other slide or the moderator repeatedlyinterjecting with questions, disrupt the flow of thepresentation. Busy slides with too many visuals lookunprofessional and steal the audience’s attentionaway from the narrative. And a live video throughoutthe entire presentation is distracting — especially if thespeaker uses lots of over-the-top hand motions.You’re selling instead of educating.Unless you specifically intend the webinar to be aproduct demo, nothing is more of a turn-off than a hardsell, especially if participants believe they are signingup for an educational webinar. Aside from initialdropout rates, being too pushy can result in lastingbrand damage, so you should avoid it at all costs.automatic reminders one day and one hourvia our website.What are the biggest challenges to runninga webinar? Live webinars pose specificchallenges, so a dry run is absolutelymandatory. Some speakers aren’t keen torehearse, but it’s vital to test the sessionconditions on the day.What are your top tips for a successfulwebinar? Plan in advance how thespeaker would prefer to handle questions.If I’m presenting, I normally fly solo butwith a large audience, I get someone tohelp me moderate the questions and flagthe best ones so I can concentrate onanswering them.What is the strangest experience or biggestdisaster you’ve had during a webinar? I’venot had any technical issues yet. My mantraof plan, prepare, practice is clearly paying off!8

Our Survey Said 304 respondents in total from Europe say that:30-minute webinars are the most popular, with almosthalf of all respondents saying this is the ideal length.87%of respondents attend oneto three webinars per month socompetition for participants is high.Despite the growing move to smartphones and tablets, 94still attend% of peoplefrom a desktop rather than a mobile device.Almost two-thirdsof people (61 %)find webinars engaging.The topfive features of agood webinar are: Sharing content post-webinar Having well-designed slidesThe type of content attendeesfind most useful is (in orderof preference):I. WebinarsII. InfographicsIII. White papers/ eBooks Giving attendees action pointsIV.Video Using interactive tools, such as pollsV.BlogsVI.One-page guidesVII.SlideShare presentationsand virtual hand-raising An animated presenterPeople are most likely to leave9a webinarearly if the content is not what waspromised/advertised.9

How to create theultimate webinarfrom start to finishPlanning your eventWebinars appeal to a relatively specific audience looking for content thataddresses their needs. There are different types of webinars you can usePRO TIP FORCREATING ANAGENDA:to capture prospects at different stages of the buying cycle. They include: Positioning or awareness webinars Educational webinars Sampling or demonstration webinars Sales conversion webinars Post-sale webinars.We recommenda simple, easy tofollow agenda thatincludes: Welcome,What to expect,Speaker introduction,Content delivery withinteraction, Q&A,Wrap-up.But webinars are no different from any other marketing activity; you needto define your objectives, target audience, desired outcomes and successfactors up front.Have clear objectivesBe clear about what are you trying to get out of your webinar —whether that’s positioning your business as a thought leader, raisingbrand awareness or generating sales leads. You should also considerthese questions: What is your webinar’s participant ROI, or the “what’s in it for me?”factor, that will make attendance seem worthwhile in exchange forpeople’s time? What topics will make your audience more likely to consider thewebinar a must-attend event, rather than merely interesting? What will be your key messages and how much detail do you intendto cover? (This will dictate the length of your webinar and whether itneeds to be serialized.)10

TOP TIP :Consider staging two or three half-hour webinars rather thanone long session.Target the right audienceIf you’re talking to existing customers, ask yourself: Who am I talking to?What do I know about them? What are their priorities already? And if you’retrying to reach prospects, consider: Which industries, functions or job titles you should address, andwhether you are pitching C-suite, management or individualcontributors What size of organization is your sweet spot in terms of revenue,turnover or headcount What your target geographies are, and if there are any otherdemographics that you can use to build a profile of your audience.Determine desired outcomes and success factorsWhat is the call to action for your audience after the webinar? A fewoptions include: Initiate a conversation Request a sales demo Start a product trial Download a white paperYou can’t measure success if you don’t know what success looks like.Depending on your objectives, there are multiple ways to track theresponse to your webinar, including: Number of registrants and attendees Number of sales leads generated Social media mentions of your brand or webinar hashtagINSPIRATIONFOR WINNINGWEBINARTOPICSStuck for ideas?Use this list as aspringboard andadapt an idea foryour next webinar:What you need toknow about topprospect problem .How to take control of your environment .Sneak peek at product name .How to make your business activity upto X% more effective. X secrets of winning business activities .The X commonmistakes most prospect job title make and how toavoid them.The truth about solution category .Maximum topprospect benefit :practical strategies forresults.New breakthroughsin big prospectproblem .How to evaluate andchoose a solutioncategory .11

Guess what?Kick off your planning properlyWe recommendGoToMeeting!Ideally, you should start planning your webinar around eight weeks beforeyour intended go-live date. Set up a project timeline and determine whichpeople you need to help you deliver the event.Kick off with a cross-functional meeting — either in person or virtually —led by a strong project manager who will also double as the webinarproducer. Your agenda should aim to: Identify who needs to be involved internally Discuss key messages, working title and content ideas for the event Choose a webinar format — will you use a PowerPoint-stylepresentation, run a live demo or show something else on screen? Identify speakers, panellists and a moderator Commit to get speaker biographies, logos and headshots Confirm dates for rehearsals and the live eventPRO TIPS ONCHOOSING ASPEAKER:Your webinarspeaker should bea subject-matterexpert, but ideallynot from sales ormarketing (unlessthe topic of thewebinar is selling ormarketing). Develop the execution plan for nurturing sales leads after the webinar.After the meeting, make sure you get commitments from speakers forspecific dates and times, and set up a virtual repository for sharing projectplans, presentations, images, biographies and other related assets.Lastly, schedule your webinar through your event-management service,such as GoToWebinar, and choose your audio options, which are typically: VoIP (attendees use the speaker and mic on their PC or other device) Freephone numbers (you pay for attendees to dial in) Toll-based numbers (attendees pay to dial in) Use your existing conference call serviceWhile luminaries,analysts and authorscan be a draw, youdon’t need “rock star”presenters to elicita good response.But you can boostattendance byharnessing a wellconnected thoughtleader’s credibilityand social network topromote the event.Podio is a great tool for makingdeadlines, responsibilities andgoals clear for everyone.12

Promoting yourwebinarTHE NINEESSENTIALSOF ASUCCESSFULWEBINARMARKETINGPLAN ARE:1.Specific audienceand objectives2.Wide house,friendly listsstand out from the crowd to be among the chosen few.5.Title and contentdraw targetFormulate your invitation list6.Effectiveregistration page7.Multiple touches8.Compellingwebinar invitation9.Auto remindersequenceSitting through a webinar requires a bigger commitment than downloadinga white paper, so the value of the webinar must be both important andclear to attendees.With more and more webinar invitations landing in inboxes, there’s morecompetition than ever for eyes and ears. We know from our research thatpeople typically attend only a handful of webinars a month, so yours has toAttracting a targeted demographic will increase the likelihood that youraudience consists of only those who care about what you have to say.Identify prospect list sources that match the profile(s) you drew up in theplanning stage. Make use of whatever combination of data you can getyour hands on, whether that’s from in-house databases or lists from mediapartners, sponsors and brokers.TOP TIP :Don’t have too many fields on the registration page — just captureessential intelligence.1313

Craft an email inviteNext, you’ll need to develop a compelling invitation that induces“fear of missing out” among your target audience. There isn’t aPRO TIPS FORBOOSTINGREGISTRATIONShard-and-fast template for this, but to maximize your chances ofsuccess, you should have: An attention-grabbing webinar title The date and time, plus time zone of your event (even if your audienceis local, certain members may be travelling at the time of your webinar) A one- or two-page benefits-led description (leave out the productpitch and focus on learning) Three to five bullets summarizing the key takeaways A brief speaker biography or list of credentials A few bullets describing who should attend, so invitees know if it’srelevant for them A conspicuous call-to-action button for invitees to “register now”(the CTA link should ideally appear two or three times throughoutyour invite for maximum exposure).When it comes to describing your webinar, you should be honest, accurateWhile your firsttouch email shouldbe a branded HTML,consider switchingto plain text emailsfor subsequentbroadcasts if yourdelivery rates arebelow expectations.This will help themavoid getting caughtin spam filters.If your open ratesare low, changethe subject line tosomething that willcompel recipientsto open and clickthrough.and realistic. The top reason people leave webinars is because “contentwas not as advertised.”1Develop your landing pageNext, you’ll need to develop an appealing landing page, which has the soleobjective of getting people to register.Don’t pepper your registration-page form with too many fields, or peoplewill abandon it. Just capture essential items: name, email, phone number,company, job title and industry. To help evaluate your proposed contentagainst participants’ expectations and make any adjustments necessarybefore the event, consider an additional field also asking: “What would youlike us to cover in this webinar?”1Source: 1080 Group, 201314

Tell the world about your eventYou need to start promoting your webinar around three weeks prior to thebig day. A well-timed series of email invitations works wonders. Try thisset of three touch points for better exposure:T-3 weeks:initial invitationT-1 week:follow-up with a reminder to registerT-1 day:last chance to register/reminder to attendOf course, social media offers a major venue for promotion, sopublicise your webinar on all the channels where you’re active, as wellas among your network of affiliates. Make sure your email invite andregistration page include buttons for social sharing, and consider usinga customized hashtag to raise awareness of the webinar and tie it in withany in-person events. Live tweet the event to engage attendees duringthe event, and encourage participants to continue the conversationafterwords on Twitter and LinkedIn.Your website and blog provide obvious opportunities to draw attention toyour webinar. But don’t overlook other free exposure opportunities. Includea link to the webinar registration in your company’s email signaturebanner, so your sales teams can spread the word effortlessly.See who’s comingTrack your registration metrics in the days leading up to the webinarand tweak your strategy as necessary based on click-through andregistration rates. Don’t forget that webinar registrations are affectedby email deliverability, open rates and conversions on the landing page.Realistically, attendance on the day of the webinar will be around 30%-50%of total registrants, but you can bump up the total viewings by another10%-15% if you make the live broadcast available as an on-demandrecording after the event.TOP TIP :To determine audience preferences for time of day, just ask via thesurvey or polling feature of your webinar platform.15

How we use GoToWebinarShobit KhannaTitle: Marketing Campaign SpecialistLocation: Asia PacificWhy do you use webinars? We use webinarsto get contacts into our funnel and deepenengagement, as well as drive adoptionamong existing customers.How many webinars do you run perquarter? Around 20. We also get our salesteam to run mini webinars.How many attendees on average doyou get? Typically around 300-500attending out of 1,000-1,200 totalregistrations, although it’s not unusualto have an audience of 700-800. Thenarrower the focus of the topic, thelower the dropout rate.What methods do you use for webinarpromotion? Email is always king. Here inAustralia, we have very strict opt-in laws.We do sponsored partner webinars. Theyuse GoToWebinar, source an independentexpert speaker, and provide sponsorshipdollars. We don’t mandate how theyshould promote the event. And while weprovide pro forma copy, they cancustomize it with their brand and tweakas they see fit.What are the biggest challenges to runninga webinar? Working with speakers whoare new to the webinar medium can be achallenge. They have great content anddelivery, but they’re often not prepared forthe two-way nature of a webinar. A lot ofpeople attend webinars for the Q&A. Theywant to interact with an expert, not listento a keynote speech! The worst that canhappen is the speaker losing the Internetcompletely. That’s why it’s vital to have aback-up plan and keep the audience in theloop. Don’t try and cover up a technicalhitch. If you’re using internationalspeakers, make sure they’re clear aboutthe time difference and have their mobilenumber handy in case you need to getthem out of bed!What are your top tips for a successfulwebinar? I like to send speakers a webcamand headset, so I know they’re using triedand-tested technology. It’s really importantto do a sound check in the actual locationthe speaker will be presenting from. Oneoff webinars don’t get such good traction,so think two to three webinars ahead andgive the series an identity. We have a reallysuccessful one at 10:00 AM on a Mondaycalled “Latte & Learn.”What is the strangest experience or biggestdisaster you’ve had during a webinar? Onepresenter ended up running the webinarfrom a different location and hardware thanhad been agreed. The PC tower and webcamwere positioned under the desk, so we weregreeted with a view of him in his underpants.Quite coincidentally, we have a hugelypopular entrepreneurial series on how to runa global empire in your underpants, called“Undie Empire.”16

Producingyour webinarGet the format rightTime of dayYou should set a start time based on how convenient it is to your audience— not you, not your guest speaker. If you’re running a global webinar and youneed to see what time would work best for your attendees, use a tool such asa timezone converter to see the time across a number of different locations.Keep it shortSince your participants’ physical separation from the event invites theirminds to wander, the length of your webinar is key to keeping themengaged and attentive.So remember that once you factor in the welcome and speakerintroduction, audience polls and Q&A session, the actual presentationshould account for no more than 30-35 minutes of the total run-time in anhour-long webinar.But according to our survey, most people prefer 30-minute webinars.So take that hour and create two focused half-hour webinars — with20 minutes each of presentations plus 10 minutes’ Q&A — to keep youraudience engaged.For niche topics, tightly storyboarded 15-minute webinars are very popularsince people can easily watch them at the start of the day or while they areeating lunch.TOP TIP :Avoid using “About Our Company” slides at the beginning of yourpresentation — the audience is there to listen to your content, notyour corporate history.17

Have the right formatAudiences universally prefer a dialogue to a speech. If you’re presentingsolo, engage your moderator in discussion at the top and bottom of yourpresentation. While two speakers are better than one, don’t have any morethan that; it’s a huge challenge to facilitate a seamless, effortless flow ofconversation among a panel of three or more speakers.TOP TIP:Make killer contentRevisit yourpromotional copyand make sure thatyour presentationdelivers whatyou promised.A high-performing webinar is not (seriously, NOT) about selling. It’s aboutstimulating intellectual curiosity, teaching your audience something newand inspiring them to have a conversation about it afterward.Start off with a strong hook, such as a fact, short story, personal anecdoteor familiar challenge, to grab their attention and set their expectations fora high-impact webinar.TOP TIP:You must have relevant, timely information and demonstrate business orpersonal value. Popular presentations formats include: a cohesive storywith a beginning, middle and end; an authentic use case or tutorial; or anargument for a new way of thinking. Be willing to share insights that tookyou or your business years to acquire the hard way; these gems will paydividends. Focus on real-life examples, best practices, lessons learned,tips, tricks and techniques that speak to your audience’s daily challenges.Structure your storyPeople retain structured information much more reliably and accuratelyMake it personal. Ofcourse you need tobe businesslike, butconveying emotionin a presentationwill help your pointresonate. Checkout one of ourmost popular blogposts: How to makeyour presentationsmemorable.than information presented haphazardly. So make your point or tell yourstory with clear purpose using these formats: Past, present, future Compare and contrast Cause and effect Problem, solution, benefit What? So What? Now What?18

How we use GoToWebinarProduce stellar slidesClare KempPresentation slides aren’t just something for peopleTitle: Senior Campaign Managerto look at while the speaker is talking — they’re alsoLocation: Northern Europea way of managing the audience’s expectations andWhy do you use webinars? We use webinarsbookmarking the delivery to make sure everything runsas part of our lead nurturing strategy, andsmoothly. We recommend the following placeholderalso internally for global meetings.slides form the bones of your presentation.How many webinars do you run perHave a structured list of placeholder slidesHow many attendees on average do Pre-webinar: Give attendees that join the webinarobjective of the webinar. For thoughtearly something interesting to look at, or evenleadership and “how-to” webinars, wesomething to do, such as a quiz Agenda: Let the speaker and audience know exactlywhere they are along the presentation. Put a fewbullets at the beginning for the basics, but why notreally grab attention by providing a visual map ofyour webinar’s content instead? Title: Create a slide for each speaker with thepresentation title, date, speaker’s name, job title andcompany (but not their biography – this isn’t thetime or the place) Housekeeping: Explain the different features andtools of the webinar platform that the audience canuse, as well as any social information, such as ahashtag that people can follow Poll placeholder: These will act as handy promptsfor you to launch polls at the right points duringthe webinar Q&A: Kick off the question and answer session andinclude any necessary contact information Wrap-up: Summarize the key takeaways from thewebinar and include the call to action Thank you: Include a final slide to signify the event isquarter? Between 20 and 25 per get? It depends on the topic and thetend to attract 500 attendees or more, butfor more product-specific webinars, thenumbers are lower. Of course, while it’sgreat to have a big audience, quality ratherthan quantity is what counts.What methods do you use for webinarpromotion? We typically email our owndatabase, and promote webinars throughour website, blog and Twitter. We alsopartner with a couple of institutes.What are the biggest challenges to runninga webinar? Speakers who aren’t properlyprepared. It’s so important to invest thetime in rehearsing with the speaker andmaking sure the slides are engaging.There’s no point having slides full of bullets,as people will just read what’s on screeninstead of listening to the speaker.What are your top tips for a successfulwebinar? Having the right content is key,but it’s also important to have an engagingspeaker. You have to keep the audienceuppermost in your mind, and what they’regoing to get out of attendance.What is the strangest experience or biggestdisaster you’ve had during a webinar? Ihaven’t had any disasters to date, excepta fire alarm going off during the welcomeaddress! If you plan properly, you’ll alwaysbe prepared if anything does go wrong.over and thank the audience for participating1919

Keep primary content slides shortTo keep the momentum going during your presentation, try to spend nomore than one minute per slide (even less is better!). If you nee

Maybe they have insufficient user privileges, or their company IT policy won’t let them run Flash, Java or other third-party . using GoToWebinar, that is). And while I’m on the topic of content, webinar participants want to liste