7 ways to take your webinars to the next level

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Webinars are a key component in generating compelling and relevant content to feed your lead generation, lead nurturing and content marketing programs.

We see all too often however that companies take a “show up and throw up” approach to webinars, and therefore are only scratching the surface in terms of capitalizing on the opportunity. Webinars should not be a random act of marketing or a point production, but rather fall within a webinar strategy with consistent execution and production.

These are seven things you can do right now to take your webinars to the next level, and increase your ROW (Return on Webinars, of course).

1. Pre-produce the webinar

Pre-producing the webinar greatly improves the webinar experience for both viewers and presenters.

When pre-producing the webinar, the webinar will still be presented as if it’s live (it has just been pre-recorded and edited), followed by a live Q&A.  The pre-production allows for removal of any extraneous segments, and multiple takes for the presenters as necessary to deliver their messages most effectively.

This also serves to greatly reduce stress on the presenters, and has the added benefit of helping to manage the all-too-common scheduling conflicts. We’ve had two cases in the past week where presenters could not attend their webinars at the last minute (one due to a client emergency and one due to travel issues), and this was a non-issue as the webinar was already produced.

Pre-producing the webinar also greatly simplifies and enables many of the additional points to follow.

Maverick Marketing Teaser

2.       Create a 90-second trailer

This can be an easy edit job from your pre-produced content. Think “movie trailer” as a way to draw in an audience – a link that can be easily posted to Twitter, YouTube and social media.  Here is a trailer we did for a recent webinar that drove a significant lift on registrations.

 

3. Create an executive version

Edit down the webinar to create a 6-9 minute executive version. Executives are likely in your target audience but most won’t have the time to view an entire webinar. You want someone from their team to view the webinar and have something of value to pass-along. A link to a 6-minute executive summary has much more pass-along value than the full webinar, and greatly increases the chance that your webinar becomes viral.

4. Create a chapter-indexed, edited archive

The webinar archive should not have extraneous waiting music — go straight to the webinar content for your audience. The archive should also be chapter-indexed so that viewers can easily return and locate relevant segments, and viewers that did not view the original webinar can browse the webinar archive with the best user experience.

5. Create transcripts of the webinar

Transcribe your webinar. You can then post the transcript itself within web pages as part of your webinar archive, which will have a substantial impact on search engine indexing of your keywords. Webinar transcripts are also a key resource for writers if you are seeding articles before or after the webinar.

6. Create a microsite after the webinar

Don’t view your webinar as a point event – it is an ongoing magnet for you to engage prospects. The aforementioned webinar archive, trailer, executive version and transcripts should all be housed on a microsite to further engage with viewers, give them an easy pass-along step and give you content to engage non-viewers. And if you have marketing automation in place you will be able to track the ongoing impact of your microsite at the company or individual level.

This is an example of a microsite we created for a recent “Feed the Content Beast” webinar that we produced with Ardath Albee.

7. Edit key snippets to enable sales and nurturingLastly, extract key snippets from the webinar into vignettes (flash modules) and slides that can be incorporated into sales enablement and nurturing programs. The key is to maximize your return on the webinar well beyond the webinar itself.