How to Make Webinars More Efficient and Scalable
As marketers, we’re all expected to juggle multiple projects at all times. Your time is precious, so you have to make every minute count.
Between content creation, promotion, and plenty of project management, pulling off an awesome webinar is a team effort. But it doesn’t have to be a total time-suck. With a bit of planning and preparation, webinars will become one of your most time-effective marketing strategies, with an ROI you’ll love.
Learn how to maximize efficiency and produce webinars in no time with these 10 time-saving tips.
1. Create a presentation template
Win the love and admiration of your designers by only asking them to design one webinar slide template. Sure, you may have a one-off request now and then for an image or graphic, but with a solid template, you can focus on the content instead of spending hours in PowerPoint playing with colors and fonts.
Your template needs to be branded (obviously), and if you’re active on social be sure to include your company’s Twitter handle and a space for a unique webinar hashtag. If you frequently co-produce webinars with a partner, designate a spot where they can put their logo as well.
Your template should also include a variety of slide formats, so whether you have a large image, stat, or a few bullet points, you have the slide that will best display the content. Here are a few common webinar slides your template should include:
- Title slide
- Speaker introduction with headshots
- Housekeeping slide
- Agenda slide
- Transition/section title slides
- Summary slide
- Q&A slide
- CTA slide
2. Take advantage of GoToWebinar’s Simulated Live
If you want to take away the stress of speaking to a live audience, we’ve got the answer – Simulated Live Webinars. This GoToWebinar feature allows you to record a webinar in advance and play it for your audience with all the interactive features of a live webinar. You can include polls, handouts, or surveys, and they will be automatically launched during your simulated live event so your audience will feel like they’re in a live event.
Using Simulated Live not only takes the pressure off a live event, it eliminates scheduling constraints. It can be a pain to find a date that works for your audience, webinar partners, and your internal team, but Simulated Live lets you record your webinar anytime and play it back for your audience whenever you want.
Some marketers are even experimenting with recorded/live webinar hybrids. They pre-record part of the webinar and then do interactive parts, like a Q&A, live. Experiment with Simulated Live and see what works for you!
3. Go on-demand with evergreen content
Speaking of pre-recorded webinars, offering your old webinars on-demand is the easiest way to increase ROI with minimal time and effort.
In a survey by ClickZ, 84% of B2B consumers said they prefer on-demand over live webinars. Take advantage of all that valuable content by making old webinars available to new audiences. With the right promotion, you’ll find that on-demand webinars can be a consistent stream of new leads with little to no effort on your part.
4. Repurpose content into a webinar and vice versa
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to create a new webinar –use your content library! Whether you’ve published a best practices eBook, benchmark report, or interview with an industry leader, think about ways you can repurpose all that hard work into a webinar.
On the flip side, you can also start with a webinar and turn it into other forms of content including blogs, social posts, and SlideShares.
Keep in mind that just uploading webinar slides to SlideShare doesn’t always make for great stand-alone content, as the message isn’t very clear without a talk track. Some marketers make two slide presentations for each webinar – one for the webinar and one that can stand on its own as a SlideShare.
5. Automate webinar reminders and follow-ups
Tap into your team’s marketing automation or use GoToWebinar to create automated webinar reminders leading up to the live event. Once the live event is over, you can also set up automated follow-ups that include the webinar recording, related blog posts, or other marketing materials.
If you’re using marketing automation for all your email correspondence and lead nurturing, create a specific template or program outline for webinars that you can clone and use again and again. You’ll be amazed at how much time you save. Check out this blog post from Etumos for some helpful tips for creating a scalable webinar template in Marketo.
6. Get help from partners
Don’t do all the work yourself. Team up with valued partners who can bring their own expertise to the webinar experience. Work with your partners to come up with webinar topics, provide content, and even host the live event.
For example, GoToWebinar has partnered with the video marketing experts at GoAnimate to produce a webinar for marketers about how using video can enhance your promotions and the webinar experience. Combining our webinar know-how with GoAnimate’s video expertise makes for a new and exciting topic.
Your partners can also be a valuable tool for promoting webinars. Tap into their email list and social media audience to help spread the word.
7. Align webinars with your bigger marketing strategy
Creating any type of content or marketing campaign in a vacuum leads to inefficiency and redundancies. So before you just start creating webinars, think about how they can fill unmet needs in the customer journey. Webinars can enhance your content strategy, fuel nurturing streams, and be an invaluable tool in your sales team’s prospecting strategy.
Figure out what message you really need to convey to your prospects at each stage of the journey, and figure out which messages are best conveyed through a webinar. This could be anything from awareness-generating thought leadership webinars, to case study webinars, to product demos.
8. Schedule social promotions up front
Take advantage of social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, or SproutSocial, or countless other social tools to help you schedule social media posts in advance to promote your upcoming webinar and share the on-demand recording.
9. Cut out what doesn’t work
You only have so many hours in a workday so why waste time on something that isn’t producing the results you want? Focus on the types of webinars that deliver on your marketing goals.
Don’t just look the webinars that produce the most leads, look at which webinars produce the most revenue. And think about what those webinars have in common. Do you need a big-name partner to attract and convert audience? Do in-depth tutorials work better over more high-level panel discussions. Are shorter webinars easier to produce and deliver just as many quality leads?
And make sure you’re only spending your marketing resources and budget on the webinar promotion that delivers ROI. Find the right mix of promotions that work for your audience.
Measuring success is one of the most important aspects of creating a scalable webinar program so you know exactly what works and how to spend your time.
10. Experiment with different webinar formats
Find out which webinars work for your business. For instance, panel discussions don’t require a ton of slides and content production, but they still deliver valuable, expert advice.
If you find that webinar attendees really enjoy and engage in the Q&A portion of the webinar you may want to focus your efforts there, especially since Q&As also require less effort in terms of content and slide creation. Just make sure you have experts that can handle the questions, and make sure you have enough attendees so there will be plenty of questions.
Efficiency really comes down to planning and building the proper foundation. Once you have your workflows established, future webinars will be a breeze!
Looking for more webinar tips and tricks? Check out this helpful checklist to help streamline your next webinar.