Common Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Webinar

As you may already know, webinars can be designed to accomplish a diverse set of marketing objectives.

In order to build a successful webinar program of big and impactful events (with a series of events and recordings) for your organization, you must first understand the most common pitfalls.  They stop the average webinar from becoming a big webinar – one that has the size and impact that can help drive your sales and growth.

These costly errors include:

Trying to do too much with any individual event

Many marketers try to do too much with a single webinar.  They think by having a little something for lots of different audiences they will draw in a bigger crowd.  But webinars are a classic “narrowcasting” medium.  This means a relatively small (or narrow) audience is looking for content that specifically addresses their needs.

So in contrast with the way most approach webinars, generally the more specific the objectives and the more specific the webinar, its marketing and its content are designed to meet a need for that audience, the better the results, the more registrations and the higher the quality of the leads generated.

That said different types of marketing webinars can be used to match the broad objectives of the company while capturing prospects at various stages of the buying cycle and then moving them to a sale.

They include positioning or awareness webinars, educational webinars, sampling or demonstration webinars, sales conversion webinars and post-sale webinars.  So select your narrow objective and audience and build your webinar plan from there.

Failing to use your content as a webinar draw

Content is King with webinars.  It encompasses the “what you will get” or “what you will learn” in your webinar – the only real thing of interest to your prospects.  Many nascent webinar producers think fancy demonstrations, charts, or the world’s best or most expensive webinar presenter will guarantee a big crowd, even from a small promotional plan.

The sizzle of a presentation may be good, but it will not help you draw a crowd.  Why?  Because you need people to register before the actual event.  And generally, the audience is asking themselves, “What is in it for me by attending this presentation?”  Therefore, when developing the content outline and speaker for your webinar, ask yourself, “what benefits or information will this type of audience respond to?”

The key is to make your topic/invitation narrow – attracting only people who are good prospects for your service.

Having a weak or non-existent marketing plan

While a 20% response rate to a webinar invitation sent by email is possible, it is rare.  Yet many webinar producers think that just because they have good content and a free webinar, the audience will turn out in droves.

Especially in markets where there are a lot of competing messages, vendors and webinars, it will generally be a lot harder than you realize to get registrants for your webinar.  For email, consider a 2-4% response rate to be successful if marketing to the ‘public’.

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