The Absolute Do’s and Don’ts of the Webinar + 8 Best Practices that Make Success Predictable

March 3, 2021

The most effective webinars help build brand identity, boost authority, and generate a ridiculous number of leads. The very best webinars also provide valuable content that your audience really wants, allowing you to repurpose them into on-demand videos, blogs, or other collateral.

If you don’t want a bad webinar to tarnish your brand, or leave audiences feeling like they’ve just wasted their time, keep reading. These webinar best practices are sure to get you on the right track.

what are the webinar best practices?

Top 8 Best Practices For Webinar Success That Will Make You Stand Out

We’ve assembled this list of webinar best practices to help you develop and present the most amazing webinar imaginable, from creating a repeatable webinar format to gadgets and software you can use to make your event stand out.

Best Practice #1) Ensure Your Webinar Gives People Exactly What They Came for

While most webinar attendees understand and even expect a little sales, taking a heavy-handed approach to marketing your services and meandering around what you promised to deliver won’t make your audience happy. 

Give people real, usable content and commit to delivering more value if they subscribe or buy your product or service offerings. Make them want to give you their money.

Best Practice #2) Create a Repeatable Webinar Format Model That Allows You to Efficiently and Affordably Use Webinars as a Sales and Marketing Tool

Successful webinars don’t continually reinvent the wheel. When you identify tactics that give you the results you want, stick with them to create an efficient, repeatable webinar model. 

Some Common Webinar Formats Include:

  • Q&A Sessions
  • Panels
  • Interview Discussions
  • Course/Class Format
  • Product Demos

Looking to make webinars a recurring part of your marketing plan? Learn how to create and transform webinars into an always-on demand generation strategy.

Best Practice #3) Don’t Just Talk at People, a Webinar in 2021 Must Be Interactive

It’s not enough to just show up and deliver a speech. As a webinar best practice, you need to connect and engage with your audience, including them in the experience to garner interest.

Audience engagement through a Q&A, polls, chats, breakout rooms, etc., cultivates deeper audience relationships. It also helps attendees feel valued, more comfortable with your brand, and that they’re getting their money’s worth.

Best Practice #4) Webinar Content Should Focus On a Specific, Concentrated Topic

Think of your webinar as a deep-dive into a specific topic or issue that you might not otherwise have the chance to discuss.

By focusing on a single issue or area, you’ll provide audiences with valuable insight and actionable takeaways, while positioning yourself as an industry or topic authority. You’ll also be able to narrow and engage a specific audience when you target a specific topic.

Best Practice #5) You’re Going to Need an Overarching Event Marketing Strategy That Includes and Leads up to Your Webinar

Successful webinars require careful planning that includes how you’ll promote and publicize the event. Some webinar best practices for promotion include emailing those on your existing mailing list an event invite, conducting social media outreach, as well as other content marketing initiatives that begin well before the webinar. Don’t forget to nurture the relationships made during the event with follow-ups after it takes place.

Need some help getting your strategy in order? Check out the one event marketing plan to rule them all (plus a template to get you started).

Best Practice #6) Track Every Webinar Goal

Once you identify webinar goals (which you should, to make your event as intentional as possible), tracking each one is an essential webinar best practice.

If you identify new customers as a primary goal, tracking attendees is excellent, but won’t help you evaluate webinar success. On the other hand, if you snag 50% of a below-capacity crowd as new customers, you’ve been exceptionally successful. Be specific with your goals so you can determine exactly how to track them.

Best Practice #7) A Great Webinar Teases Other Valuable Services and Tools That Are a Must-Have

During your webinar, don’t forget to entice your audience with additional value-add services and products they can buy.

Seeing your brand in action is a powerful method of attracting new customers and building excitement. Think of all the times you’ve seen someone pull out a new app or feature to resolve an issue, only to ask yourself, “how do I get that?” Just make sure the add-on or tool makes sense for your focused topic.

Best Practice #8) From Gadgets to Software Platforms – High Production With the Right Tech Equipment Matters

There’s obviously a lot of components that go into a successful webinar, but the final product can only be as good as the software platform you choose to host it.

You may have the best product or service, a killer event promotion strategy, top name sponsors or speakers, and a sell-out crowd, but without the right software platform, you could be in trouble. 

Audio or video gaps, no audience engagement, or attendees who can’t make purchases means not only a sub-par webinar experience, but also potential brand and authority blowback.

best practices for hosting webinars

Equipment to Consider

Cameras, lights, microphones, or props are just some of the equipment you’ll need to consider when designing your webinar to ensure your audience can clearly see and hear you. Set all of your speakers up for success to increase your chances for a greater return.

3 Great Webinar Platforms

1. SpotMe

SpotMe is all about functionality, interaction, networking, and audience engagement

Combining live and on-demand features like Q&As, polls, and applause, SpotMe’s user-friendly, adaptable platform makes hosting dynamic webinars easier than ever. From integrations to customizable marketing tools, SpotMe partners with you to turn your ideas into a webinar that makes a lasting impression.

2. Zoom Webinar

Zoom Webinar offers several popular event features, including Q&As, polls, and livestream video. Popular for lectures, town halls, and corporate updates, Zoom Webinar best practices include streaming to live platforms such as YouTube and Facebook Live. Zoom webinars also allow planners to create smaller breakout sessions, and can be a great free option offering the basics for limited audiences.

3. GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar is old faithful for many in the webinar space, and has provided reliable webinar services for many organizations since 2004. Offering features such as file sharing, HD video, Q&As, and polling, GoToWebinar supports up to 2,000 webinar participants.

Want to learn more about available software? Get our take on the 15 best webinar platforms for your business in 2021.

What Should You Not Do in a Webinar?

No list of webinar best practices is complete without identifying tactics you need to avoid. 

DO NOT Over-Explain Who You Are and Your Company’s History

A few brief words about your company is all that’s needed. Assume your audience has at least a basic understanding of the brand behind the event. Make sure they know where to find you to learn more.

DO NOT Skip the Preparation and Practice Needed to Present Smoothly and Effectively

Practice really does make perfect. It also makes you look professional and ensures your attendees have a positive experience. If you stumble or seem unorganized, that’s what your guests will remember.

DO NOT Expect Your Event to Go off Without a Hitch – Have a Backup Plan

With that said, even the best-laid plans can hit an unexpected bump now and then. Build resilience into your webinar whenever possible, and don’t stress if you encounter an obstacle. 

DO NOT Expect Your Audience to Convert Into a Lead or Sale Just Because They’re on the Webinar

You’ll need to provide more value if you hope to convert everyone in attendance. What you do after can be just as important as the webinar itself. Nurture with value and convert with consistency.

Start Giving Your Team and Your Audience the Winning Webinar Experience They Deserve

With SpotMe’s virtual event platform, you can put these webinar best practices to the test and exceed your expectations. Request your free demo and see for yourself just how successful a webinar marketing strategy can be.

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