The inclusion of webinars in content marketing strategies is increasing. According to a recent study of ClickMeeting customer activities, a majority of businesses host a webinar on a monthly basis. Webinars provide presenters with an opportunity to educate and inform audiences through the most valuable of communication formats – face-to-face interaction. In The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman, she shows how digital communications hinder resolution, productivity, and connection among employees in the workplace. A webinar peels a layer away from between presenters and their target audiences.
The immediate, exclusive, and personable access a webinar attendee gets to a thought leader and his or her information is invaluable in and of itself. But, with all of the individuals and businesses conducting webinars each day, how can you make yours stand out. First, you need to establish the objective of your webinar. Webinars are typically given for 3 reasons:
Once you have determined the purpose for delivering your webinar, you can begin the challenge of maximizing your information for audiences.
Shift your mindset away from the topical approach to creating a webinar material. As you define the narrative direction for a webinar, avoid selecting broad categories. Instead of titling your webinar “How to Create a Professional Presentation,” use the title “How to Create a 30-Slide Presentation in Less Than 3 Hours.” While the first option is a topic, the second is a promise. An individual who reads the second title will know exactly what tasks he or she will be able to execute on after attending the webinar.
To differentiate your content from your competitors, ground your message in a unique framework or model. You may have to develop the process for the webinar, but you won’t necessarily have to create it from scratch. For example, let’s say that I did not have a step-by-step template prepared for the presentation titled “How to Create a 30-Slide Presentation in Less Than 3 Hours.” I would assess how I currently create 30-slide decks in 3 hours or less. What mental, physical, and behavioral actions do I exhibit as I complete the task. Describe each action in a single word or phrase. Then, you have a process you can promote on your webinar.
In the past few months, I have attended several webinars – one through LinkedIn, another through Hubspot, and one with Jeff Goins. Despite coming from 3 different sources, each webinar adhered to a similar narrative structure. Many webinars begin with an introduction of the company or individual hosting the session. Then, they explain concepts without addressing audience pain points with specific solutions. By the time they get to the Q&A session, which is always at the conclusion of the webinar, the presenter is too rushed to relay the details audience members wanted in the first place. After watching the structure applied over and over again, it lost its intended effect. Flip the switch on your webinar content narratives. Try using the 5 structures below to deliver an impactful message:
It never hurts to identify with the situation your current and potential customers and clients are experiencing or have experienced. After a brief (and I mean very brief) introduction of yourself, dive into the problem your solution was created to fix. Use a personal or user experience story to illustrate the problem. Then, promote your product, service, idea, or process as the solution. Conclude with evidence to support the value of your solution.
Conversely, you can instead lead with an overview of the solution. The approach would work best if your webinar promise directly involves a particular product. For example, if you were a PowerPoint representative and you told registrants they would learn how to leverage a PowerPoint add-on in their decks, the solution is a logical starting point. Once you have guided webinar attendees through the functionality of the add-on (or of your solution), list out the problems it solves.
Use relevant data and statistics to ground your content within an emerging trend or evolving crisis. Next, outline how your process or methodology is in line or ahead of the trend or mitigates the effects of a negative situation. Finally, review your process through the lens of the scene you painted through information at the beginning of the webinar.
The 3 questions you will answer through the Review and Reflect webinar content structure are Why?, What?, and How? Start off by detailing an observation you made or an issue you noticed. Take a moment to stop and ponder why the observation was peculiar or why the issue was urgent. Then, explain the factors that led you to developing a solution or technique. What were the solutions? Again, stop and reflect on them in a comprehensive manner. To round out your webinar content within this narrative structure, reveal results of your solution and how it affected key consumers, customers, or clients.
A compelling way to structure your webinar content is through the analysis of case studies. Connect with your audience by showing how your process has reaped benefits for others.
Ask a question as part of the webinar registration form. The question should search for a registrant’s personal connection to the topic or issue you plan to address through your content. Gather the response you receive and massage the results into your content, if possible. Let’s say I include this question as part of my webinar registration form: Which parts of presentation creation take up more of your time than others? If several registrants mention conducting research as their most prevalent challenge, talk about how your process cuts down on the time it takes to gather information.
For sticking with you through the end, provide your webinar attendees with a truly exclusive opportunity. Offers like a free 30-minute consultation or coaching session, a discount on a package of high-quality templates and guides, or anything along those lines is fair game. Remember, the individuals who not only sign up for your webinar, but also view it until the end are extremely interested in your ideas, product, or service. Show them a little bit of extra love.
You have a chance to break the mold with your webinar content. Venture away from the traditional way of displaying your message or outlining your story.
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