A webinar is one of the most powerful weapons a course instructor has access to. It’s the crown jewel of your sales funnel. And because of its video-based characteristics, a webinar offers huge potential for reaching a wide audience and creating content for your courses.
As reports show, 87 percent of online businesses use webinars as a marketing tool while 83 percent of marketers say that is an effective strategy for ROI.
Taking this into account, not only you can use webinars as a medium for communicating with your students and facilitate learning, but also as an advertising tool for promoting your courses.
To do this effectively, you need a great webinar that educates and…sells.
In an attempt to shed more light on the matter let’s find how you can create a successful webinar that has everything it needs from start to finish.
What is a Webinar?
You can find webinars named differently depending on their purpose, the needs or the outcome they serve.
Some other terms you might hear for a webinar are:
A webinar may be hosted by an individual or an organization and may cover anything from an informal interview to the discussion on a specific subject that is predetermined.
As an online event, a webinar allows the sharing of slides and other interactive elements that can give, receive and discuss information in real-time and encourage participation through chat boxes and Q&A features.
How does a webinar work?
For someone to attend a webinar, they need to sign up for it using their email address and get access to a private link before the live event. Once the webinar day has arrived they can click on the link sent to them through a reminder email at the appropriate day and time and join the webinar.
In contrast to video and podcasts, people sign up to attend a webinar, giving out their name and email address as another opportunity to opt-in and this is how they ‘book’ their place for the webinar.
What are the benefits of a webinar?
These are some of the biggest advantages of a webinar:
Especially, for course creators:
How can you use a webinar inside a course?
Generally, this is how webinars are being used in online courses:
Just like the ebook and the video, a webinar is another form of content that has the potential to create a unique online experience delivering a targeted message either for informative, educative or marketing purposes.
Now that we have covered all the benefits of webinars, it’s time to take a look at how you can create one.
How to Create a Webinar
In contrast to popular belief, webinars are easy to create. However, they need some proper planning.
Here are the steps you need to go through:
Step 1: Decide on the webinar topic
First, think about what the topic of the webinar is going to be. Your webinar must work around one main idea so that it’s niche-specific, and the content of the presentation should support that.
So, make plans as to what subject you want to approach, how are you going to do it, having an end goal that serves your business.
If it helps, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you need…
There are many types of webinars (sales, training, corporate training/communications, educational, customer retention/nurturing, branding/reputation, etc.) and deciding on which one you need is a priority since it defines the purpose behind its creation.
An evergreen topic is the best way to increase participation and reviews. This is a good strategy but it’s best to focus on what you are offering out to the audience first and the value that carries with it.
Step 2: Think about the webinar format
There are many webinar formats and choosing the most ideal for the purpose you need it can boost the webinar performance and determine success.
These are some of your options:
Each one has its advantages and disadvantages so make sure you look this through before you decide which one you are going for.
Step 3: Choose your webinar provider
To start recording your webinar, you need to come up with the webinar content and then choose the webinar provider that will allow you to do so.
How to record a webinar
First, plan the webinar content and your script that will allow you to prepare some keynotes you can use during your live webinar.
Once you are ready, choose a webinar creation software to start recording. Each platform is different and has different functions as to how you can use it to record your webinar so make sure you follow the guidelines.
What equipment do you need for a webinar?
These tools are going to come handy when hosting a webinar so ensure that you are equipped with them well in advance.
Best Webinar Software
Many webinar platforms can help you on this task. Choose the one that fits your business needs the most paying attention to its pricing and the features that come with it.
Here are a few of the top software to create a webinar you can choose from:
Each software comes with different webinar features but generally, it’s important to look for the following according to Capterra:
Paying attention to these features should help you create a high-quality webinar experience and attract a big number of attendees.
Step 4: Prepare the content
Now it’s time to come up with your content, preparing your presentation slides. To do this you can use PowerPoint, Prezi, Visme or any other presentation creation software you prefer.
Make sure your presentation has a simple and clean design, it is free of clutter and presents content that is easy to understand. Don’t forget to use bullet points!
If you aren’t the webinar host but inviting a guest speaker or course instructor instead, discuss the content with them and then ask for them to create it.
Also, tell them to send their finished work on a deadline – three days before the live webinar works just fine.
Step 5: Choose the day/time
Just like your social media campaign, when deciding on the day you post, you have to be strategic. Webinars can get filled with attendees depending on the date and time you set for it.
According to the ON24 Webinar Benchmark report, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to get webinar attendees.
What is the best time to host a webinar?
Research showed that the best time to host a webinar is mid-morning at 11 am which had the highest attendance rate – at 24 percent.
Having this in mind is helpful, but you should always think about time zones to figure out what time(s) suits your audience best.
Using Webinars to Teach Online
Webinars are a great way to teach online or move a workshop online. They are immediate, interactive and two-way communication tool which are perfect for education.
So, how can you use webinars to teach online?
First, you need to decide whether this is a webinar-only format where you communicate with a small class of students by email and schedule their classes. Or, if it is an online course and the webinar is part of the curriculum.
Live classes or a virtual classroom environment are face to face live video sessions with one or many students participating. The instructor organizes a class similarly to physical classes and leads the conversation.
In a live class, the instructor can share her screen using a PowerPoint, a document, video or other multimedia. Some software like Zoom, support sharing a whiteboard environment.
After the class, you can upload the recording to a course platform like LearnWorlds and allow your students to have access to the class at any time they want.
Virtual training is most common in professional education. Whether it is internal training of employees or continuous professional education and sometimes applies to non-traditional education and non-professional subjects like sports, certain skills or hobbies.
The principles that apply to virtual training are the same as any other subject. You will need to identify the learning objectives and proceed to create the material. We have written an article on how to create an online course where the same principles apply, with the only difference being in the production of the material. There, instead of shooting video, you are having live training in specified times.
Small tip, you can use a calendar app like Calendly and embed the form on your website to get registrations or schedule one-to-one live training. Here is how you can embed it in LearnWorlds.
Live & Pre-recorded Webinars
Here on LearnWorlds, we allow you to do both live webinars or include them in a course curriculum by embedding the webinar inside a course and selling it as a class, course, webinar or training. Would you like to give it a try?
How to Host a Webinar on LearnWorlds
If you have an online school with LearnWorlds, you can connect Zoom and run a meeting or live webinar with LearnWorlds’ Zoom Integration.
Step 1: Connecting Zoom
First, you will need to connect the Zoom integration to your LearnWorlds account.
Step 2: Add a Live Session to a Course
You can go to an online course and add a new learning activity. You will need to choose a Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinar.
Step 3: Choose your Settings
You will need to save and choose the right settings for your live session, including the date and time it will run.
Step 4: Run the Live Class
Now, you are all setup, you can run the live class through LearnWorlds. Here is how it will look like:
P.S.: Zoom also offers Zoom Classrooms for educators.
P.S.2: Zoom integrates with LearnWorlds by embedding it in a course and using Zapier to automate registrations, more on that below.
*To see the complete process of preparing and running a meeting, webinar or live class through LearnWorlds, you can read our step by step guide here.
Using YouTube Live
Follow the steps of our super easy article on how to create a live webinar with the help of YouTube Live. To do this, all you need is Google and a YouTube account.
Creating a webinar with YouTube Live becomes a piece of cake once you get to learn the procedure.
Simply go the YouTube’s ‘Live Streaming’ to create an ‘Event’ and choose the date, time (start/end) and other basic information about the webinar such as title, location, tags, type of stream and broadcast control that gives you the choice to make your webinar public, unlisted (available only through invite link) or private.
Once you are done, click on ‘Go Live’. This opens up a new window, but you need to go back to your browser and to click on ‘Live Control Room’ and then, ‘View on Watch Page’.
From there, go to the video and click on ‘Share’ to insert the embed code.
Finally, go to your LearnWorlds school and find the course you want to embed the live stream to.
Click on ‘Add an Activity’ and then ‘Embed’ to insert the code in your course content.
Lastly, go to the ‘Update Embed learning unit’ and paste the “Video Embed” script of your Youtube Stream and you are good to go.
This is how your webinar will appear in your LearnWorlds video player:
To invite people to your webinar you can send them the YouTube page link.
Please keep in mind that not all of the webinar tools/software can be embedded in your school, that’s why LearnWorlds suggests you use the ideal solution of YouTube Live.
Using Prezi Video
Prezi has combined it’s powerful interactive presentations with Video. A favored tool by educators, Prezi Video allows for an open canvas-style of presentation to be embedded on top of your video.
Imagine a video where your graphics join you in the presentation for a more unique experience. Learners will no longer ‘tune-out’ to flat, voice-over slides.
Prezi Video can be used as a video solution for your online and live courses to keep the learner focused on key content. It can be used in live webinars and online conferences, and video links can be shared across any platform. When combined with a 3rd party video conferencing or webinar software, you’ve got the most engaging online learning and webinar solution at your fingertips.
It works with all major platforms like:
Automate Webinar Registrations with Zapier
So, what if you are selling your webinar as an online course, or a webinar is part of your online course?
You will need to connect Zoom, Youtube Live or Go-To-Webinar in a way that someone who signed up to your course is registered to it.
This is where Zapier comes in.
You can use Zapier to send all new enrollments to a Zoom webinar or register them to all your live classes associated with the course.
A Profitable Webinar Sales Funnel
Webinars are great for selling your products. Webinars can be a part of your main focus in sales.
Webinars can be used to collect leads and nurture them into paid customers. When constructing your webinar sales funnel, you will need to think of the whole process from signup to the subject and your call to actions inside a webinar.
You will need to:
|Steps to a Webinar Funnel|
|Get people to sign up|
|Invite people to attend|
|Close the sale|
Get people to sign up for the webinar
Calling out for webinar participants can happen in many ways but most importantly through social media. Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group/page and reach out to other businesses and bloggers asking them to promote the event to their audience.
In the meantime, do the same with yours. But before you start sending out invitations, think about how many registrants you will need or can ‘handle’.
Usually, there is a 3 to 5% conversion rate which means that to secure 10 registrants you might need to send out more than 200 invites.
How to promote a webinar
If you want to promote your webinar effectively try the following:
Create a strong webinar landing page
Research conducted by GotoWebinar which analyzed 350,890 webinars hosted by more than 16,000 of their customers, showed that the company site is the top channel for webinar promotion. This means that the company site is the ideal place to direct people to learn more about and join a webinar.
Image Source: Marketing Profs
To get your webinar landing page right, clearly explain when the webinar will take place, what the topic of the session is going to be, who will be presenting, how to register for the event and what people can gain from attending it.
How to charge for a webinar
Most webinars are offered for free, but you have the option to charge for it. In this case, your webinar is your product instead of your funnel, but it can also be part of a more intricate, premium product funnel.
To do this first, determine the costs of webinar production – how much you pay to host it. Usually, this is around $100 at the minimum. Depending on which webinar platform you choose and what the results you expect to get after, pricing will differ.
Then, calculate the amount of time it takes you to create the webinar content and measure how many participants you expect to have in your webinar to come up with the final price.
How to host a paid webinar
Choose a webinar platform that allows you to charge attendees, follow the guidelines to set up and connect your payment gateway e.g. PayPal. Then, encourage people to ‘Pay to Register’ using the appropriate CTA (call to action) in all your webinar marketing efforts.
Invite people to attend the webinar
The ideal number of the webinar emails you can send out is three to four depending on the day of registration. You can use an email automation tool to set this up.
So let’s say if you are counting down to the webinar from Day 7, you can send the first to say ‘Thank You’ and confirm registration on the day of the signup. Send another one or two in the middle of the week – Day 5, and Day 3 to prepare them for it and one on Day 1 as a reminder email. Those who register in the middle of the week will get fewer emails as a reminder.
Send a follow-up email
Once the webinar is done, it’s a good idea to send out follow-up emails. Those reminder emails you sent out to people before the event can prove useful after it’s completed.
With these emails you offer the opportunity to those who took part in the online event as well as those who didn’t make it, to replay the webinar and review the information you have given.
On top of that, you can ask them to provide some feedback on your presentation. This can help you improve the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy and discover more creative ways to reach out to your target audience.
Close the sale
This is the part where you sell.
You will need to have a clear call-to-action which is repeated in your whole funnel in order to make the sale.
Whether you are selling online courses, products, services or software, you will need a way to “activate” your attendees.
You have several opportunities to do so. The best way is to mention an offer or a Call-to-Action inside the webinar, this can be in the beginning, middle or end of the webinar. The other way is by following up, usually with an email sequence or in case of high-ticket sales a personal call/email.
You could also use remarketing to reach out to everyone who attended, but that works best if you have thousands registering or attending your webinar.
If you are using a webinar as a sales funnel, good luck!
And, don’t forget your CTAs and follow-ups to close that sale!
Frequently Asked Questions About Hosting Webinars Online
Despite their popularity, not many people know a lot about webinars. Knowing what a webinar can do or cannot do is the best way to create a successful webinar that gathers the attention it needs.
These are our answers to some of the most popular questions regarding hosting webinars:
What is the purpose of webinars?
The purpose of webinars is to discover customer needs, educate, present new ideas, gather leads or increase your brand awareness.
How to create a webinar presentation?
Choose the webinar presentation tool that suits your needs and give your presentation a structure. Start with the following:
How long should a webinar be?
A webinar can range in duration and may last up to 60 minutes or an hour. However, the average duration is 45 minutes.
Big Market webinar statistics showed that 41 percent of attendees prefer attending 30 minute-long webinars and 44 percent prefer webinars to last up to 45 minutes.
What is a webinar session?
A webinar or webinar session is a live virtual event that takes place online. It may be an educational or instructive session that includes audio and visual communication between a speaker and attendees.
Are webinars effective?
Webinars work and are one of the most effective marketing tools every entrepreneur or company that wants to promote their product and services can use in their advertising strategies.
Are webinars interactive?
Webinars have many interactive elements such as the sharing of presentation slides and a chat box that allows webinar attendees to talk directly to the webinar host through a Q&A session.
Are webinars live?
Yes, typically webinars are live online meetings, presentations or events that take place online in real-time. However, there are occasions where a webinar is not live but is presented as live, or you can get a pre-recorded webinar.
What describes a live webinar?
The main feature of a live webinar is interactivity, the ability to connect with viewers across the world, discuss, send and receive information.
Can the instructor see you on a webinar?
It depends on the kind of webinar. Typically, a webinar is a one-to-many format. This means the webinar instructor can’t see the students while in a webinar, but the audience can send out questions to the instructor and he can answer them through the live session.
Some webinars allow for two-way communication through video as long as the person who created them permits it.
How to use webinars for training?
A webinar for training purposes can be used as:
Bear in mind that each trainer has a different instructional video style and the nature of the webinar may differ from person to person.
What is an evergreen webinar?
‘Evergreen’ in marketing refers to content whose topic is always relevant and fresh for readers. An evergreen webinar is a webinar that can withstand the test of time.
What are some good webinar title examples?
Catchy, short and easy-to-remember titles are ideal for webinars:
These are some examples of specific industries. Take a few examples to create different variations that suit the niche of your business or your online school.
You are ready to create your first Webinar!
While there is no definite way to promote and host webinars, there is always a way that works.
If you are planning to create a webinar and invest in webinar marketing, make sure you choose the right webinar service that helps you create great and valuable content along coming up with creative ways on how to promote it.
All you have to remember is to prepare, have your goal in mind and always aim to give value to your audience before self-promotion!
You’ve got this, good luck!
Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team writing about marketing and e-learning, helping course creators on their journey to create, market, and sell their online courses. Equipped with a degree in Career Guidance, she has a strong background in education management and career success. In her free time, she gets crafty and musical.