10 Strategies for Driving Engagement on Your Webinar
Let’s face it – everyone is hosting virtual events and webinars right now. A week doesn’t go by where we’re not invited to 5+ different events, and this makes one thing clear for all event and field marketers: the traditional webinar format just isn’t cutting it anymore. So how do you keep your event schedule full while still providing engaging experiences for your audience? How do you drive webinar engagement to make the most of the event you have spent so much time preparing?
Read on to find out our 10 strategies for driving webinar engagement:
1. Content is Still King
One thing that hasn’t changed – if your content isn’t compelling, they won’t come, and this is even more important in the virtual world. It’s important to choose content that you can not only deliver a unique perspective on but content that your audience is asking for. Take a look at what others are doing in the field – are there 500 different webinars on the same topic? Offer a twist on an old classic, an expert in the field that can offer insights no one else has, or go for a completely new subject that will draw people in.
2. Build Anticipation
Your webinar content will get people to click “RSVP”, but your pre-event engagement shouldn’t stop there.
How can you keep attendees interested in the days or weeks between their registration and the event date? Keep up on all your promotion channels and email your attendee list with event highlights as you get closer. And of course, the best tool for guaranteeing a high attendance rate, offer them free stuff! Offer gift cards (companies like Thnks are great for this) to anyone who attends your event live, enter anyone who promotes the event with your hashtag on social media into a raffle, or if your budget allows, send lunch to everyone as a thank you.
3. Prepare Your Speakers
Believe it or not, speaking at a virtual event can sometimes be more challenging than speaking live in front of a crowd. Be sure to run a rehearsal (or two) with your speakers and make sure they’re comfortable with the platform. Don’t forget to consider aesthetics: Check their lighting, make sure their laptop camera is within eye line, and consider using a virtual background instead of their own. Setting your speakers up for success will make all the difference come event day.
4. Production Value
A little zazz goes a long way when you want to keep an audience’s attention! There are a few easy-to-use event programs that make it easy to add backgrounds and images to your live streams, or if your budget allows, bring on some event tech pros to make your virtual events look like a million bucks.
5. Make it Interactive
You’ll have the most success in retaining your audience’s attention if you give them something to do. Even in a traditional webinar, you can gamify the experience by offering prizes to attendees who ask questions or participate in the chat. Don’t overlook the polling feature! Setting up a few polls is a great way to break the ice and get your attendees comfortable participating in the event. Also, be sure to have someone from your team in the chat function engaging with the crowd. You’d be surprised how willing people are to jump into the conversation with a little encouragement.
Incorporating Q&A into your webinar or virtual event has gone from an optional feature to a must-have. Make sure you make this as easy as possible for your attendees to participate in. If your platform doesn’t have a specific Q&A feature, task a team member to monitor the chat, or utilize a tool like Sli.do to collect questions in one easy to navigate hub. Also, remember to create 2-3 seed questions in case attendees need some inspiration to get things started!
7. Offer Networking Opportunities
It goes without saying that networking is one of the biggest benefits of live events and one of the hardest features to replicate virtually. However, making the effort to offer it to your attendees will really make your event stand out from the rest.
Platforms like Hopin allow you to offer 1:1 networking where attendees will be paired together for video calls, and Brella offers event matchmaking to pair attendees with similar interests. Keeping it simple with your platform? Don’t underestimate the power of Zoom’s breakout rooms. Break attendees out into groups at the end of your event to allow for small group conversations. We’re all craving human connection more than ever right now, and making it easy for your audience to interact with one another will make your event memorable.
8. Nail the Follow-Up
Even if your on-demand recording isn’t available, be sure to send a follow-up to attendees and non-attendees the day after with some key takeaways and a CTA. Sending the recording link, or a link to the highlights from the webinar like Retool did here, will be another easy touchpoint for you or your sales team a few days later. If you have future events or content to promote, be sure to include those links to engage your audience further.
9. Survey Your Attendees
Let your audience know you want to hear what they think! Sending out a quick event survey after the fact will not only help you when programming your event schedule but will make your attendees feel involved in shaping your content.
10. Milk That Content
The life of your webinar and event content is only just beginning once you stop broadcasting. Now is your opportunity to break the themes up into blog posts (automatically transcribe your video), create visuals based on key quotes and takeaways, and of course, chop that video up into bite-sized clips! Those clips can be used on social media, in email campaigns, and on your website long after the event has wrapped.
Don’t let all your hard work sit unengaged with behind a lead-capture form – turn your video into evergreen content to promote your brand for years to come.
Interested in clipping, designing, and captioning your event content yourself? Try Milk Video.