If you’re wondering how to create a webinar, the chances are that you’re already familiar with its relationship-building capabilities.
But, in case you’re not completely familiar, let’s get the 30-second introduction.
A webinar is an interactive online seminar that lets you present virtually to anyone in the world.
You can invite people to attend in real-time, as well as record the presentation and send the replay to those who registered but weren’t able to attend the live event.
Meanwhile, you get to collect attendee information that you can use to conduct personalized outreach.
What’s more, you can integrate a Q&A session into your webinar to directly address any queries or concerns your audience may have.
So how do you create a webinar? Follow these ten steps to learn how to set up a webinar and start engaging your audience today.
- How to Create a Webinar Presentation
- How to Host a Webinar Like a Boss
- Want to Learn More?
How to Create a Webinar Presentation
1. Choose a specific topic
Your webinar can be about anything, but make it about one specific, relevant thing that your audience will find useful.
For example, if you’re targeting people interested in ecommerce marketing, you can host a webinar on SEO in particular.
To find out what will most likely resonate with your audience, try one of these methods:
- Analyze your social media pages. Look for posts and images with the most shares. These will lead you to the content that could convert nicely into a webinar.
- Review your FAQs. Do your customers and prospects always ask the same questions? Identify any gaps in knowledge that you might be able to address.
- Research your customers’ queries: Use a tool like AnswerThePublic to find out what people are asking. Look through the results and choose the questions you could answer through your webinar.
Once you have an idea of your audience’s interests, you’re ready to finalize the topic of your webinar. Expertise is very important here, so be sure to choose something that aligns with your capabilities and skills.
2. Select a webinar format
Identifying the best way to present your topic can help you structure your webinar more efficiently. This comes down to choosing a format that will complement your personality and goals. Here are some popular formats:
This is one of the most used webinar formats.
Presentation webinars involve a single presenter delivering a PowerPoint presentation with audio or video running in the background.
You can choose this format if you’re targeting a small audience.
Pro tip: Add polls and Q&As to create a more visually stunning webinar and keep your audience engaged.
Another option is to invite an expert from your field to discuss a particular topic and answer attendee questions.
This could be a thought leader, a knowledgeable professional, or a micro-influencer with first-hand knowledge of your field.
To get the most out of this webinar format, provide your expert with a list of questions beforehand, asking him/her to prepare answers in advance.
Product webinars allow you to demonstrate how to use your product or service effectively.
You can show the participants how to use a product physically on camera, or with tools such as screen sharing if it involves software.
If someone is still wondering how a certain feature of your product works, they’ll have their answer, after which they may decide to purchase.
3. Pick a webinar tool
There are many paid and free webinar tools you can use to host your webinar.
You also have YouTube Live, which allows you to host webinars for free.
Then there are live streaming platforms that allow you to deliver many types of webinars.
When deciding between the options, consider your needs. How many participants are you expecting? Do you need a record function? What is your budget? And can you do without customization and branding?
Based on these questions, pick a webinar software that makes sense for you and start using it.
Pro tip: Use a free tool to record your first webinar. Doing so will help you get a feel of how webinars practically work and what additional functions you may need to enhance the attendee experience.
4. Create the registration page
Once you’ve chosen your platform, you can set up your webinar registration page. This is essentially a landing page that encourages people to sign up.
First, write a few pointers highlighting the agenda of your webinar. Next, mention the background of the hosts and what they’ve achieved in a professional capacity. Then, put a registration form where attendees will leave their contact information and close it with a clear call-to-action.
If you’re using a paid webinar tool, you should see an option to create a registration page. But if you don’t, or if you’re using a free tool for webinar hosting, consider using a landing page creator like Leadpages.
Leadpages has pre-made webinar templates for you to choose from. Pick your desired template, and then customize it using a drag-and-drop builder.
Another tool that I like is JotForm. It’s free to use for up to five registration forms and up to a hundred registrations. If you’re hosting a webinar for a small audience, this might be the perfect option for you.
But regardless of whether you use Leadpages or JotForm, you should be able to integrate them with your webinar solution.
Important: Don’t forget to mention the date and time of your webinar on the registration page. If you’re targeting working professionals, it might be best to choose an evening or weekend slot. Be sure to mention the timezone if you expect attendees from all across the globe.
5. Sort out the space and equipment
It’s best to record your webinar in a quiet room, as it’s likely to be free from outside noises and disturbance.
Before the recording, talk to your family members and explain that you have work to do and don’t want to be disturbed for the next few hours.
Also, put your phone, tablet and other devices on silent. You don’t want notifications to interfere while you’re in the zone.
Having the right equipment is another important prerequisite for conducting webinars. While you don’t need to invest in a lot of gear, make sure that you have access to the following:
- Camera: You don’t have to jump straight into buying an external HD webcam for your webinar. Test your inbuilt computer camera first (in a setting with plenty of light). You can also test your smartphone’s camera for webinar recording.
- Microphone: Unlike the camera, I don’t trust the quality of built-in computer mics. That’s why I recommend investing in an external unit. Blue Yeti and Samson are two good microphones for hosting webinars. They’re also easy to set up as you only need a USB cable to connect them with your laptop.
When planning a webinar checklist, make sure to add these essentials under the equipment section.
6. Produce your content
Here’s where all your hard work shines.
As we discussed earlier, your webinar can take several forms, like a slide deck, a video of you using your product, or a video of you interviewing a guest.
Regardless of the format, there’s one golden rule on how to host a webinar that accomplishes your goal: it has to be engaging. Another way to think of this is that it can’t be boring!
So put on your creativity hat. How can you make something special that keeps people interested and logged on the entire webinar?
Don’t be afraid to break some expectations. Now’s the time to stand out.
Even if your webinar stays on the tame side, there are some webinar best practices to keep in mind for your content:
- If you have the resources, create beautiful custom visuals to make your brand and mission stand out.
- Keep your slides short and sweet, with one main idea per slide.
- Focus on visuals over words. Include videos, GIFs, and animations where you can – just to shake things up and keep people’s attention.
- Don’t type out giant blocks of text. Instead, type a few key words for attendees to follow, then elaborate on them verbally.
- Pop in a poll in the middle of your presentation. This is another technique to shake up the structure and flow while making sure your audience is engaged.
- The average webinar is 45-60 minutes long. I recommend staying in this timeframe, especially if you want to add engagement opportunities like a poll and Q&A session.
Pro tip: I recommend using Canva to design your slide deck. Canva offers a free plan while you learn the ropes of making amazing webinar presentations. It also has plenty of presentation templates to choose from.
7. Send out invitations
You won’t have any webinar attendees if nobody knows about it, right?
Send an email to your marketing list to let them know.
When you write this email, focus on the benefits. What’s in it for them? Why should they attend? Why should they even care?
In general, showing your audience the benefits will be much more effective than just boringly listing the details of the webinar.
But of course, you do need to give them the main details, like the title, what you’ll cover, and the date and time. Add a clear call-to-action (CTA) button that takes them directly to your landing page so they can sign up.
Here’s a short and sweet example from project management platform Asana:
8. Promote the webinar outside your email list
If you don’t have an extensive email list (and even if you do!), the best way to get more attendees is to promote your little heart out.
Just like any event or sale, there are plenty of digital marketing techniques you can use to generate interest for your webinar.
Let’s go over some options.
Your own social media channels.
In the one-to-two weeks leading up to the webinar, post regularly on your social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
You can use Canva to create promotional images, as well as record yourself talking about the webinar.
Another option is to create an event page on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, which allow you to invite your followers directly and lead them to the landing page to register.
Don’t forget to create a special hashtag for your webinar, and do some research on other popular hashtags that can generate extra attention.
Paid promotions and advertisements.
If you can swing the extra investment, paid ads will help you reach a bigger audience than your organic channels.
You can run ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google.
Another option is influencer marketing, where you pay influencers in your industry to promote the webinar and ask their own audience to register.
If you’re not sure how to run paid campaigns, check out these helpful resources:
- The Definitive Guide to Facebook Advertising
- Instagram Ads Made Simple: How to Create Instagram Ads In 2020
- LinkedIn Ads: How to Get Started With Your First Campaign
- How to Crush Your Online Revenue Goals With Google Ads
9. Do a test run
A critical webinar best practice is to never – and I mean *never* – skip your test run.
While it might feel like you have a handle on everything, I’ve always found myself in awe of what can go wrong despite the best planning.
When you do your test run, make it as close to the real thing as possible. If you plan to have a guest, have them join you to run through the presentation, interview, or demo.
Use all the same tech, as well as the finalized version of your presentation materials.
This is also a great opportunity to iron out the smaller details that you may have missed up until this point. For example, how you’ll transition between two speakers or two topics, or how long someone’s speaking part should be.
Depending on what’s left to plan, I recommend holding your dry run one to two days before the final presentation. This way, it’s close to your live date while still giving you time to address any issues or last-minute changes.
10. Go live!
You made a killer presentation. You set your stage and created your slide deck. You promoted it to your network and beyond.
After it’s all said and done, there’s just one more thing: the webinar isn’t over once your 60 minutes are up.
Your follow-up can make a huge difference in working toward the goals you were trying to accomplish in the first place, like getting more leads or sales.
Be sure to send an email to all of your attendees thanking them, with a link to the replay if you’re offering that option.
In that email, you can also send them a special offer or otherwise lead them further through your sales funnel. You should continue to nurture these relationships regularly so that they grow and deepen.
That’s the whole point, after all.
How to Host a Webinar Like a Boss
So there you have it. Ten steps to planning and executing an awesome webinar.
If it feels overwhelming at first, don’t sweat it. There’s a lot of work that goes into hosting an event like this, and you’ll continue to get better with every one you do.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is making sure that you’re always providing unique value to your audience, while keeping them engaged and entertained along the way.
If you can manage to do this, you’ll captivate them so that you can continue to nurture them, leading them to become a warm lead, then a paying customer, and eventually a loyal customer who keeps coming back for more.