If webcasts are a whole new frontier for you, there’s a chance you’re feeling overwhelmed with the details. If you’ve executed them before – most B2B marketers are today – and you didn’t feel you received the ROI you were looking for, there’s a chance you didn’t give yourself the best opportunity for success by having the right process in place. Stick to this 11 step guide and you’ll experience less stress, more audience engagement and a better list of qualified leads for your sales force to attack. Ready….Go!!!
- Relevant Content and Thought Provoking Speakers – choose content that is relevant to your target audience and the different places they could be in their buying journey. Webcasts should be platforms to establish subject matter expertise, not one to hard sell and product pitch your audience to death. With that being said, pick speakers that are engaging and thought provoking in approach. If you can find a 3rd party – customer, partner, industry analyst, academic – jump all over the opportunity. If you can’t, you can still execute a successful webcast with the right approach. Finally, discuss the format of the event. Will it be 100% live or pre-recorded and broadcast as a pseudo-live event? Audio and slides, video and slides, or both? Will presenters answer questions as they come in or wait until the end of the presentation to address them? These are some of the mission critical items that need to be flushed out
- Date & Times Matter – don’t run your webcast on a Monday or Friday. Your sweet spot is Tuesday-Thursday. The best times of the day to run them are typically 10-10:30 CST and 1-1:30 CST. Too early or too late in the day has proven to negatively affect registration and attendee numbers
- Value-Centric Registration Page – the registration page is where it all starts, where your audience is going to understand why they should take 30-45 minutes out of their day to hear what you have to say. Create an abstract that focuses on business issues and clearly states the educational benefits they’ll receive by attending. Keep your registration fields short and sweet, only getting the information you absolutely have to have from them. Many potential webcast registrants are lost when they see that they have to fill out too many fields. Optimize your registration page by adding Outlook integration so your registrants can save it on their calendar, and social media integration so they can share it with their network, ultimately extending the reach of your webcast content. Finally, customize your registration page with logos, color schemes, and pictures that pop
- Take an Integrated Promotional Approach – we believe you should give yourself a minimum 3 week promotional window to drive optimal traffic, 4 weeks is ideal. Use all of the marketing tools at your disposal to reach your audience – dedicated email blasts, newsletters, website promotions, social media, blogs, press releases, industry publication, and 3rd party think tanks. All of these options are at your fingertips to give you the best chance of reaching the audience you want to get in front of
- Customize Your Webcast Experience – the webcast is so much more than just the presentation itself. It’s an environment where you can create multiple ways to get engaged with your audience. Determine what type of capabilities you want to give your webcast attendees – the ability to ask questions to the presenters, download related content, interact with other attendees in the webcast environment, live polling, surveying, sharing the webcast through social media. You should have a number of options to keep your audience engaged and make your webcasts as interactive as possible. Finally, customize the environment with your logos, color schemes, presenter info, etc.
- Train Your Troops – at least one dry run should be executed to assure that all presenters are on the same page and that their message is clear, concise, and to the point. Don’t throw them to the wolves. Make sure that they’re as prepared as possible for the big day and are comfortable with the technology
- Train Your Troops… Again – for some webcasting pro’s, a second dry run isn’t necessary at all, but for presenters that aren’t 100% confident in their presentation and/or their grasp of the technology, a second dry run could be the difference between a successful webcast and a mediocre one
- Remind Your Audience – your audience has a lot going on and a lot of different demands for their attention. Make sure that this is front and center on their calendar by sending multiple calendar reminders before the live date. We suggest one the week before the event and another 90 minutes before
- Live Broadcast Date – the big day is here. Make sure you have a process in place that is iron clad. Call in at least 30 minutes before the start time to do sound checks and test the technology to make sure everything is working exactly as it should. Once the webcast begins, notify your audience that you’re going to wait 30-45 seconds to wait to start the presentation to make sure that everyone has enough time to get in. There is always the chance that certain individuals have buffering issues, slow internet connections or are just arriving a few seconds late. Then start your presentation and knock it out of the park. One final note, there is a chance that one of your attendees will be having difficulties whether it’s the fault of the technology provider or not. Make sure that they have multiple ways to get support and that their issues are responded to in real time
- Post Event Plan – within 24 hours, send an email thanking everybody that attended. For those who registered but didn’t attend, tell them we’re sorry we missed you but the on-demand version can now be accessed at ‘XYZ’. Not only let them know that the on-demand version is available, but that they can access the slides as well. If you would like to get a deeper layer of feedback from you audience, run a post event webcast survey to see what they thought of the presentation and if there is anything you could have done to enrich the attendee experience. This can be vital information when planning your next webcast
- Extend the Shelf Life of Your Hard Earned Content – for too many companies, once a live webcast is over, it’s over because they don’t have an effective on-demand plan. You should look at each one of your webcasts as a 6,9,12 month lead generation tool. Promote the on-demand version on your website through partner channels, social media, and any other mediums that can extend its shelf life and allow you to reach your target audience
If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org