In the online business world, we often hear about “online workshops”, “live classes,” and “virtual training.” All are, in reality, alternative terms for webinars.
Webinars are the crown jewel 👑 of your sales funnel in many types of businesses. Like Online Courses, Webinars are a product that can be sold multiple times. And because of its video-based characteristics, a webinar offers enormous potential for reaching a broad audience.
Some of the most significant advantages of a webinar are that it is cost-effective and less time-consuming than other media. Webinars are location flexible, allowing people from all over the world to attend and interact in real-time. Plus, it provides room for higher engagement and better relationship-building.
In recent years, we see virtual events such as webinars emerge as a top trend in e-learning and will probably continue to build up. The current quarantine situation has brought a tremendous increase in the number of people who use webinars as a teaching or cooperation tool.
So, where do we see webinars heading from now on?
We wanted to help you during those difficult times. We know that some of you may be new to the use of this powerful tool for education. This is why we reached out to ten webinar experts and asked them to share useful advice and insights on webinar training. Each of them shares something unique concerning successful webinar tactics.
So, here are what the experts told us. Feel free to navigate to each one of them, and then share your feedback with us!
The Digital Push: COVID-19’s Impact on Webinar Training
A lot of people now start to see the benefits of using an online tool instead of doing everything face-to-face. Online training and presentations are scalable, cost-effective, and, most importantly, accessible, and this is why Melissa Hugel the Marketing Manager of Workcast believes that more and more businesses are seeing the value laid on webinars:
Indeed, webinars can save you a whole lot of time to reach out to a group of people at one time. The advantage here is that more and more webinar companies now set up discount programs for many schools to make their tools extra accessible.
Interesting is what Stefan Treuren the Growth Hacker of Webinar Geek says :
Rob Bayuk the Education Consultant of Prezi thinks that the impact of the current situation on online teaching is going to be a long term one, seeing people investing in online teaching solutions.
And Galina Yavorska the Marketing Manager of MyOwnConference thinks that this format will spread more into the sphere of education and training even after the quarantine and the pandemic end.
Also, Thibaut Davoult the Head of Growth of Livestorm emphasizes the impact of the crisis on distance learning, for example, in college distance learning programs.
What those experts have observed the last month is a dramatic increase in users who want to go online with webinars, either as businesses or individuals. But as it seems, the rising trend of webinars is here to stay, more than ever it was.
Read more on how remote work is changing and how to teach/train online:
Remote Training: The What, Why & How Behind It (Full Guide)
How to Teach Online & Earn Money in 2020: Definitive Guide
10 Tips for Working From Home During Uncertain Times
Expert Discussion on the Latest Trends in Webinar Training
The first rising trend in webinar training is series webinars. Omar Zenhom the CEO of WebinarNinja explains that series webinars consist of multiple sessions on different dates and times that aim to provide in-depth knowledge of a subject and tangible skills.
So, instead of teaching everything in one webinar, it is preferable to create a series of training sessions that will provide people with real value.
And Jamie Davidson, the Marketing Communications Manager of Vast Conference adds that:
“For smaller companies that may not have the bandwidth to host multiple live events, the recording function creates evergreen content that, for example, Human Resources can use to run weekly remote onboarding for new employees.”
Another rising trend is turning webinars into an engaging learning experience. Galina says that the focus in webinar training will have to be shifted towards interactive involvement.
You also might have seen the shift from Voice-over PowerPoints to a presentation with talking heads – that is, the essential human element being present (the actual human face). As Rob Bayuk says,
Maintaining audience engagement and focus is critical. Apart from the instructor’s presence, we must ensure that participants are offered regular opportunities to interact and engage with the content. This is why webinar experts are now trying to add as many features as possible into the webinar experience.
One last webinar trend for 2020 is that users tend to be more and more concerned about their online privacy and security. Therefore, Galina adds that it is crucial to select webinar platforms that care about the personal data of their clients and webinar attendees (for example, they should choose GDPR compliant webinar tools).
Advice from Experts on How to Move Offline Training into a Webinar Format
#1 Know your goal and choose the right webinar platform
There are many webinar platforms out there. Each one of them goes with specific features and capabilities. Depending on what you want to achieve, you must choose a platform tailored to your needs.
Take the time to do your research. Are you looking for two-way engagement with a small audience? Or are you addressing a broader audience? Your audience’s size can define the tool you’ll use. Another factor that will help you decide is your budget. It will help narrow down your prospective pool of platforms.
Once you have decided what exactly you want from a webinar platform, you don’t have to do anything else but try it.
While searching for the right platform you should also ask specific questions to yourself, as Stella Mikraki the Senior Growth Marketing Manager of LearnWorlds says:
#2 Adapt your lessons to the online world
The training we do offline consists of specific content. A big mistake to do is to dump our content into a PowerPoint and deliver it to our audience. We must have a plan instead and put ourselves in our students’ shoes.
Figuring out how to evolve content delivery is indeed crucial. It takes a cohesive plan for how to go online and clarity among ourselves about what we want learners to achieve. This may include using specific learning tactics or breaking training into smaller sessions over a few days. Also, any course provider needs to ensure that their content is easily accessible by all involved parties across every possible device.
This monumental challenge can be easily solved by using cloud-based content collaboration tools. They allow you not only to share a link to course materials but also to update what you offer with new versions of existing content — without changing the URL to the file.
#3 Be prepared for each session
How can we be best prepared for a webinar? Three experts suggest:
Make a plan:
#4 Keep people engaged
Online teaching is somewhat different from face-to-face teaching. Keeping students’ interest high is difficult. High-end webinar productions are now achievable with the right tools that help shorten the distance between learner-instructor and always keep participants engaged.
Follow specific tactics to increase engagement during webinar training such as:
And after the webinar, send additional resources to keep that engagement up and going:
Some of the webinar platforms come with those features and others with some of those. Anyway, we believe that mixing up the content types and delivery strategies is what keeps people engaged.
And engagement is key:
What to Avoid While Delivering Training via Webinars
The reason why webinar training needs a thorough design is that online training pushes people’s expectations higher.
So, what is the best advice we got on what to avoid in webinar training?
Be careful of everyone sharing their video
Don’t overload your slides
Moderate your audience
What Do Experts Teach Us?
Now that we have seen all experts’ opinions on webinar training, we can infer that webinars aren’t plug-and-play solutions. There has to be a strategy behind it. Designing learning goals and following ongoing assessment practices will help you achieve better learning results.
The Covid-19 crisis has sparked a sudden and unexpected surge of online webinars. Experts expect this change to last long term – or at least in some sort of blended learning combining offline training with online workshops.
For a webinar to be successful, we must come up with solutions that keep people engaged in the process. Calling people to interact with the content, and you are essential parts of a webinar. Furthermore, there are specific things to avoid during webinars.
How to Promote Your Webinar
If you want to charge your webinar, hence provide a product, determine the costs of webinar production. 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. If you want to promote your webinar effectively follow some of the tactics below:
Create a spot-on sales pitch: Come up with a sales pitch that sounds natural, letting words speak from your heart. When you are genuinely trying to help people, they feel it and will sign up for the event with no further question.
Give a short description in your pitch: Explain the 4Ws – What, Who, When, Where.
Create scarcity with the availability of seats to urge more people to enter.
Run Facebook ads: Promote your webinar through Facebook or Instagram ads and send out the invitation link to people who are more likely to be interested in it.
Come up with a lead magnet: Create a pop-form that offers a short free webinar, an ebook, or a coaching session with you to entice them to subscribe. Then, you can send them a welcoming email and two or three more webinar reminder emails along the way.
Create a strong webinar landing page: Creating a winning landing page that can host your webinar registration page and your ‘Thank You’ page or confirmation page is the best thing you can do to promote it.
The Ultimate Guide To Selling Online Courses (vol 1)
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. The more specific you define your title, the better.
When done right, a webinar can be an extremely effective tool for you to train either students or potential customers.
Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.