If there is one thing the world can agree on, it’s that amongst other things, a pandemic was the digital transformation pioneer in many organisations but like the legends of Queen said – the show must go on. But with physical interactions on hold, how does one gather experts for information sharing settings and business conferences?

The short answer is virtual meetings; the best answer, however, is webinars. According to Leadgate, smartphone users who would watch videos for 20minutes were at 24% in 2016, and this percentage jumped to 54% in 2020, which tells us that people are not only increasingly drawn to video content but are interested enough to pay attention for more extended periods at a time.

So how can you create a worthwhile webinar? As a digital agency, we’ve noticed the upwards trend in webinars, and while many people may wonder why they’ve grown popular in such a short space of time – we know that it’s because they work!

Webinars offer your organisation the ability to communicate interactively, whether you’re collaborating with like-minded businesses or only need your audience to understand your message with the freedom to also interact through Q&As, presentations and polls.

They usually consist of a host/moderator; this can be an external expert – in this case, Yellow Lizard, panellists who will be actively participating in the webinar along with the organiser and attendees who will act as your audience for Q&A sessions.

Here’s what we like to vet before hosting webinars on our clients’ behalf:

1. A reliable internet connection (40/40meg fibre line is usually a safe bet)
2. A full list of panellists before you send the invitations
3. A separate laptop on standby because technology can be embarrassing

Once you have set up the above and chosen a reliable platform for the webinar or entrusted this to your moderator, it is vital to ensure the following for a smooth session:

Promotion

Promoting your organisation’s webinar is the best way to ensure awareness and engagement. Although regular posts on your social media platforms may get your followers – who are already evidently interested in your business, sponsoring these posts can ensure effective communication to as many people as possible.

Because we’re in the digital era, promotion can be done through creating campaigns with promotional webinar posts on Facebook (with the option to promote on Instagram) or, ideally, LinkedIn for B2B webinars. Because the duration of campaigns can be adjusted, 5-day campaigns from the beginning of the month set for the webinar are advised; this will consist of a single post per week until the week of the webinar.

Another option to consider is emailing updates about the webinar to members in your mailing list. Email marketing is still very much alive. A widely overlooked aspect of it is that your mailing lists usually consist of people who have actively shown interest in your company updates.

We all hate spam, and as experts in this field, we monitor our audience’s behaviour to understand what they are most receptive to. This will help any organisation understand the timing of emails and the value shared in the email’s content. Consider differentiating the type of content in your emails from the one on your social media networks by adding more in-depth messaging connected to the webinar.

Content

By reading this far, you contribute to the running theory that content is king! This is why before any invitations are sent, an engaging topic and programme are a top priority. To ensure an engaging flow during the webinar, all participants (moderators/hosts, organisers and panellists) must be aware of what is being discussed and ensure that it is consistent with the brand’s messaging, values and objectives of the webinar.

Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve with this webinar? Then ensure that all communication is in line with achieving this. A hot tip to ensure that your webinar delivers value to people is to ask them – that’s right, ask your audience through social media polls what they would like to know in connection to this topic and set questions according to the best performing option(s).

Lastly, incorporating a Q&A session in the programme will also allow the audience to clarify what has been discussed or related to the topic. Q&A sessions can have 30 minutes allocated to them with some questions answered in the Q&A chat option, by a panellist giving a live response or by selecting a handful of attendees and granting them panellist permissions so they may ask their question live for better interaction.

Practice makes perfect enough

It goes without saying, anything to be perfected is to be practised.

It is in the host/moderator and organiser’s best interests to have at least two practice sessions, one a week before the event between the moderator and organiser if the moderator, like Yellow Lizard, is an external expert and two days before the event with the panellists.

This will give your organisers and the panellists confidence and the opportunity to make requests with enough time to implement them. Finally, always record sessions – practice or the actual webinar and test your ability to go live on social platforms beforehand, then sit back and enjoy the show!

Could your company benefit from hosting a webinar? Reach out to us at info@yellowlizard.com or +27 41 373 1290 to find out how Yellow Lizard can ensure it is one to remember.