How Your School Can Host Live Webinars That Parents Will LoveJuly 29, 2020
Webinars have long been a key ingredient in classic marketing strategies. After all, they are low-cost, promote interactivity and are accessible for anyone to join, regardless of location. They can also be an amazing lead generation tool, encouraging prospective parents to provide their valuable contact information in exchange for a link to the livestream. But, as any marketer will tell you, producing a good webinar can be hard to pull off.
There are four elements to producing a webinar that engages and informs your audience (and stops them from logging off early): content, presenters, platform and preparation. In this post, we'll walk you through each element to ensure you're as prepared as possible for hosting your own school webinar.
1. Content is king
As with most every form of inbound marketing, the content is the real differentiator between a hit and a miss. Providing value is going to be the main thing that makes parents — whether prospective or current — take an hour out of their day to jump online and watch your webinar.
If you've got an idea, consider whether presenting it in a webinar would be the best fit. The Wordstream blog provides a handy list of topics that really suit the webinar format, including:
- A detailed examination of a niche topic from a fresh angle
- A panel discussion of a timely, news-based issue in your industry
- A thorough, example-driven "how to" tutorial
- An adaptation of a presentation from a conference speaking engagement
- An interview with an industry thought leader.
Overtly salesly content, or trying to tackle a broad topic with little depth will likely have viewers tuning out fairly quickly. As will a webinar that promises a lot and delivers very little.
2. Pick your presenters
Of equal importance to your content choice are your presenters. While they should be confident and knowledgable about the topic, the most important thing is that they are comfortable and charismatic on camera. Presenters who are camera-shy or (worse) boring can tank even the best webinar content very quickly.
If you are nervous about your presenter, but you know they are a real expert in their field, you may have to make changes to ensure the webinar runs smoothly. One good option is turn the webinar into a Q&A with a confident host who asks thoughtful questions and is good at drawing out responses. You could also consider inviting the presenter to be a part of a panel with other guests who can balance them out if needed.
3. Consider your platform
Just like with virtual tours, there are a large number of online platforms designed to host webinars. From everybody's favourite video conferencing software, Zoom, to specific-to-webinar programs like Demio, you'll have your work cut out for you if you decide to do a platform comparison.
To help you make your decision, consider the type of features that you need to pull off the type of webinar that you're envisioning. For example, if you'd like your attendees to talk to each other throughout the presentation, you will need a live chat function. Or, if you have multiple presenters logging in from different locations, you will need the ability to have more than one host.
You might also like to consider the types of platforms that your attendees already use. At Digistorm, we use YouTube's livestream function to host our webinars. It has a chat function, it allows us to easily transition between a live feed and a slide deck, but most of all, it's a platform that our clients are comfortable with, which helps to boost attendance. Once the webinar is over, we can easily publish it directly to our Digistorm YouTube channel.
4. Prepare and practice!
The final ingredient in a successful webinar is your prep. In the days leading up to your webinar, make sure you've checked your:
- Audio — how does it sound to your listeners? Can it be improved, perhaps by using a plug in microphone or a headset (rather than relying on your laptop)>
- Power — is there any chance your power could fail on the day? Could you keep a spare battery or charging cable on hand just in case?
- Background noise — is the space you will be recording in free from outside noise?
Make sure you also brief your other presenters on the above to ensure that there will be as few hiccups on the day as possible. It's also a great idea to do a full run-through beforehand to iron out any kinks and ensure your content hits the mark.
And that's it! Webinars are a great way to engage a completely new audience or to educate an existing audience on a topic that you're passionate about. Have you invested in webinars for your marketing strategy? Email Digistorm Marketing and let us know!
If you're interested in video marketing, here are some more Digistorm resources to check out: