For a marketer, nothing could be worse than having an audience who's excited to hear your message and fumbling your chance to engage them. And, in the world of webinars, strong webinar management is the key to prevent this from happening!
Being thoughtful before, during, and after your live event can really set the stage for a successful webinar and keep your audience coming back for more. Ideally, your planning will create a flawless flow that hooks people the second they see the event landing page and keeps their attention until well after the event.
To do that, you'll need to spend time planning for and promoting your webinar, sprinkle in engagement touchpoints throughout the actual event, and craft a post-event follow-up plan long before the event kickoff.
Today, we'll talk about all of that and more!
In this ultimate guide, you'll learn:
Before we start, have you downloaded our webinar planning checklist yet? This is a must-have for effective webinars! You can use it to take care of any technical to-dos and ensure you don't run into any surprises during your event.
Make planning your next event a breeze by downloading the full version below and adding notes to it, based on what you learn here!
While the live webinar is the big moment you're moving toward, the bulk of the webinar marketing work actually happens before the event. Here are the major tasks you'll want to take care of before event day.
Before you do anything, think about the larger landscape the webinar will live within. How does it play a role in your overall integrated marketing campaign?
If you're not familiar with integrated campaigns, that’s ok! Here’s the Tl;dr: In a nutshell, we recommend thinking about webinars as the "lightning bolt" moment that lives between your initial promotional efforts and everything you'll do after.
In order to create meaningful events, ask yourself these questions:
Once you've got the main idea behind your webinar ironed out, it's time to start executing on it!
As you set up your webinar registration in your event platform and prepare to promote the event, your next big task is branding.
As strange as it may sound to newbie marketers, branding for your event starts well in advance of welcoming attendees to the webinar itself. In fact, branding starts the second a person opens an email from you, sees one of your social media ads, or clicks on your event landing page!
Some ideas here:
Here, you'll craft your plan for promoting the event. If you've involved a partner, you'll want to think about what assets they might need from you to spread the word as well. Remember that one of the major benefits of partnering with someone is growing your potential audience, so you definitely want to make it easy for them to let people know about the event!
If you had a productive branding phase, you've probably got most of your stuff ready to go. You have your on-brand registration page, email banners, social media posts, and more—so, what do you do with them now?
Well, to put it simply, you need to get the material in front of the people you want to attend. You can do that through email campaigns, though you should avoid blanket promotions and only target the most relevant audience. The last thing you want is people unsubscribing because they're receiving email promotions for an event they'd never attend!
Though email sequences can take a bit of forethought, don't let that deter you. Email is often the highest converting channel for driving registrations, and it's critical to take advantage of that.
You should also think about where your audience hangs out the most. If that's on LinkedIn—like our Goldcast audience is—then consider paid or organic posts on that channel! If it's on Instagram, post there instead. Or perhaps your people are in other niche online communities—or even in your app, where you can surprise them with in-app messages. That's fine, too.
Wherever your audience is, is where you want your messaging to be.
Finally, your sales and success teams should also be using this time to reach out to prospects with personalized promotions and help move people along their individual customer journeys.
It may sound counterintuitive, but before the event is the best time to map out what will happen afterward. People expect to hear from you after they attend your event, and right after the webinar may be a valuable time to close the deal.
At a minimum, set up a segmented email sequence with different messaging based on who attended and who didn't. Your emails should provide everyone with the on-demand event recording and any other information or resources you want them to have. Bonus points for taking segmentation further here and getting hyper-personalized with the messaging!
Consider whether you want your sales team to perform 1:1 outreach for certain high-intent or high-value accounts. Now's the time to prep sales snippets, webinar takeaways, recap notes, and anything else that will help your sales folks get their jobs done.
That way, after the event, when you send your sales team engagement-related activity (for example, who was most engaged during the event), they'll understand how to use it for lead generation or nurturing purposes. They'll have the full picture they need to reach out and make meaningful contact.
You're almost done with the prep work! Now, double check that your event is on the internal events calendar and that everyone on the team knows about it. You don't want anything getting scheduled during the same time frame as your webinar!
This is also the time to do any necessary backend tasks. Connect your webinar platform to your marketing automation system, make sure all relevant connections are working, and set up any workflows you'll use.
You will, of course, need to sketch out the timeline of your webinar so that speakers and hosts know their cues. And, whenever possible, you should also try and do a runthrough of the webinar ahead of time.
This can help you spot any glaring issues with flow or content, think of the right timing for engagement touchpoints, and identify any technical issues with your platform or internet connection before you're in front of a live audience.
Once it's show time, your main focus is going to be on engagement—and that applies to both creating and tracking it.
Not only is tracking engagement metrics a good way to see how interested people were during your event, but it's also a great indication to your sales team about who the hottest leads are!
Here's a list of features that foster engagement:
When hosting webinars, stick to your Run of Show, but be flexible. Things happen, and you should be able to roll with the punches if something goes off course! If a presentation or specific conversation takes longer than expected, pivot in real time to subtract time from a different segment of the event so that things still run on time.
Once your webinar presentation wraps, it's time to close the loop on all fronts!
First, make sure your virtual events are available in a high-quality, on-demand format for people to watch. You can provide access to on-demand webinars in a number of ways:
Next, send out those follow-up emails! Make sure everyone has the on-demand link and let them know where they can find other information or learn more about your company. Be sure that your call to action (CTA) is clear and people know exactly what you want them to do.
Double-check to see if all data has been updated in your MAP and CRM integrations. Once you've got the green light there, share all relevant info with your sales team so they can start personalized outreach.
Finally, it's time to think about how to repurpose the content from your webinar. Maybe you choose to spin up a compelling infographic about some stats you discussed in your event, or perhaps you use discussion points to start a buzzworthy conversation on social media. Or maybe you want to turn some of the topics into SEO-driven blog posts to drive traffic to your site.
Whatever it is, take advantage of the fact that you're now sitting on a gold mine of webinar content!
As you move through all the steps of webinar management, having a tool you can depend on is paramount to your success. Think of your webinar software as the glue holding everything together—you probably want to pick the best glue for the job, right?
You deserve more than just a platform that won't glitch up during your event. In fact, we think you deserve the features and functionality to surprise and delight your audience like never before—and Goldcast is the only platform specifically designed for B2B marketers to do that!
Goldcast is an intuitive, easy-to-use platform built around the user experience. Attendees of Goldcast-powered events find that many of the things they miss about in-person events—off-the-cuff networking, for example—are recreated within the Goldcast platform.
When you're ready to learn more about Goldcast, reach out to us and schedule a live demo and we'll show you what we can do!