Creating and hosting a webinar isn’t easy. You’re not simply throwing together a last-minute YouTube video for your business and then posting it online. There are so many moving facets that go into the process, you need to prepare well in advance in order to create a great experience for attendees. After all, if your shoddily put together webinar scares away leads, you’re essentially wasting your time.
With that said, let’s look at 13 common—and completely avoidable—mistakes newbie webinar marketers make.
Mistake #1: Working outside the realm of a webinar marketing plan.
If you approach your webinars with a “let’s just wing it” attitude, you’re planning to fail. No marketing program in the world works that way, so you can’t expect a successful outcome for your webinar if you’re not applying the basics. Make sure you develop a project schedule that includes milestones, activities, and deliverables along with a webinar marketing plan that maximizes reach, influence, and ROI.
Mistake #2: Developing boring automated reminder emails.
There may be quite a bit of time between the moment someone signs up and the moment the webinar starts. Therefore, a series of automated reminder emails is crucial for maintaining interest and keeping your event in the minds of registrants. You don’t want to send out dull emails, though. They should be informative, they should be captivating, and they should leave people wanting more.
Mistake #3: Failing to practice.
Attendees will know right off the bat whether you know what you’re doing. Besides the flawless presentation of your materials, the transition between slides, speakers, and talking points must be smooth. That only comes with practice, so make certain you spend some time rehearsing with your team a few days beforehand.
Mistake #4: Using a webinar platform that consistently gives you problems.
If a particular webinar platform or service frequently causes technical issues, it’s time to change providers. We often hear the pros tout the benefits their favorite service, but the reality is you need to find a stable and reliable one that works for you. Test out a few webinar platforms before you make your final choice.
Mistake #5: Neglecting to consider all timing aspects of webinars.
When we talk about timing, we’re talking about everything from the date and time of the event to the length of the webinar and the time you actually begin your presentation. Besides setting a schedule that’s convenient for your core target audience, you need to ensure your webinar isn’t too long and that you begin on time. No one likes to wait around for things to start, so be professional and avoid agitating your attendees before the event even begins.
Mistake #6: Designing a complicated and lifeless registration page.
Conduct a quick search for webinar registration pages and you’ll quickly see which ones are likely to be effective and which are not. If you want people to sign up to your event, a concise, simple, and compelling landing page is definitely the way to go.
Mistake #7: Forgetting to create opportunities for interaction.
Your content alone won’t satisfy your viewing audience, especially if you’ve created it around a boring topic. Interaction is key to ensuring people remain engaged, so throw in a Q&A session, polls, or surveys when appropriate. You can even use the chat function of the webinar platform you’re using to keep the conversation going or create a dedicated hashtag for social media interactions.
Mistake #8: Failing to record the webinar.
Besides the fact that some registrants may not be able to attend your live event, there will also be those who want to listen to your presentation again. Recording your webinar and then offering it on demand will ensure you maximize your marketing mileage and boost conversions.
Mistake #9: Failing to follow-up with viewers.
Unfortunately, your job doesn’t end when you close the event. You need to establish and build relationships with attendees in order to reach your webinar and business goals. A follow-up email series is usually the best way to do that. Make certain you set up your emails to funnel people through a program that eventually gets them to take the action you want.
Mistake #10: Slacking on the promotion of your webinar.
If you think you can simply create a registration page and the Internet will take care of the rest, you’re sorely mistaken. While you don’t necessarily need to leverage every marketing channel, a comprehensive webinar marketing plan should include promotion through social media, email marketing, paid media, your website, and your blog.
Mistake #11: Creating a dull webinar slide deck.
If your slide deck looks like a novel, we’re sorry to tell you that you’re doing it wrong. A good PowerPoint presentation includes key talking points, relevant and engaging visuals, and a great design. It shouldn’t be crammed with information you simply read to your audience as you run through each slide.
Mistake #12: Failing to set up alternative options.
You can use the best equipment and software in the world, but it won’t eliminate the potential for things to go haywire. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have backups in case you run into technical challenges before or during the presentation.
Mistake #13: Recruiting an inexperienced host, moderator, speaker, or techie.
Team members who know what they’re doing within their given roles can keep your event from turning into a total disaster. Performing a dry run is a great way to figure out potential problems with certain team members so you can either fix those issues or replace the person with someone who has experience.
When all is said and done, creating and hosting a memorable webinar lies in the planning. Start by avoiding these 13 rookie mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to a successful webinar that generates results.
Are you making one or more of these webinar blunders? If you’re an experienced marketer, let us know some of the errors you made when you first started. We’d love to hear your stories, so drop us a line in the comment section below.