More and more people are using online resources. Across all topics, industries and sponsors, one data point is abundantly clear – webinar attendance rates are consistently growing.
Half of all people who register for webinars actually attend them. The average swing is about 40-60 percent. If you’re hitting below 40% attendance of your registrant numbers, it’s time to make a change. Here are a few quick tips to increase the effectiveness of your webinar.
Tip One – Come up with giveaway incentives.
The age-old adage of giving away free food to get people to come to an event rings true. That means you need to come up with a way to incentivize people to register and attend your webinar. Relate your giveaway to your topic, whether that’s related content, or premium content you come up with on your own. Leverage your network. Remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know. If you can coordinate a premium contact of yours to permit their info to be part of your giveaway, you’re golden.
You can also offer a physical giveaway to the first X amount of people who register and log-in to attend your webinar.
If nothing comes to mind, an easy way to get people to attend is offer ‘free stuff’ that your attendees will be able to choose on their own, i.e. Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, etc.
Tip Two – Create urgency with the information you’re presenting.
It’s human nature to gravitate towards a commodity that is disappearing, or an experience of which time is running out.
One strategy to create urgency is to notify potential registrants and attendees only briefly before the webinar begins; advertising minimal spaces available; or offering a limited number of giveaways. Often, webinar platforms will limit how many offers and attendees you can have.
Always stress that your information is important to them. This will combine with your sense of urgency, and convey that the one thing, or piece of information, that you have is integral to their future success.
Tip Three – Don’t mention anything about what you’re going to present.
If people can gleam what you’re going to say in your webinar, why would they ever attend? Keep some secrecy about what you’re going to show. This will build intrigue and force your audience to attend in order to learn more.
Similarly, do not market the way that you will be presenting the information. Many webinars get caught up in trying to market familiarity to their registrants. If someone sees that you are going to be presenting the same kind of information with the same people they may not attend.
Talking about your product too much will also undermine your product’s potency in the mind of your audience. Don’t tire their fascination out before the webinar begins.
Tip Four – Do not host webinars all the time.
Presence is an important thing, especially in today’s digital market. But the truth is, when it comes to webinars, if your audience can attend tomorrow, what is their motivation to attend today?
People who frequently host webinars often see their attendance numbers decline. Numbers show that one webinar a month suffices most B2B relationships.
Tip Five – Make your webinars interactive.
If you are hosting a webinar, you have the unique competitive advantage of offering an interactive experience.
Whether a live Q&A session is integrated into your presentation, or extra content is submitted ahead of time for use with your webinar, an interactive webinar will engage with your audience. It is important to help viewers stay motivated to keep up with the webinar throughout the duration of the presentation. The information you present will ensure higher retention rate across your audience.
Tip Six – Set attendance goals – and meet them.
Setting goals not only gives you urgency to meet and exceed them, it presents a benchmark by which you can evaluate future webinar success.
Tracking your performance in a cyclical basis will help you see what strategies are performing, and which are not performing. You can also use specific goals to help spur more efficient marketing efforts, registrant to attendee ratios, promotions, and more. By focusing on the specific areas, you will naturally realize what you need to do to increase how well they are working for you.
Tip Seven – Understand how you apply metrics.
People attend or do not attend webinars for a variety of reasons. Some people end up having other obligations crop up, and many prefer to watch later in the evening.
Similarly, you should adjust your metrics to follow suit. Make sure you track how many attendees are engaged with your content live versus how many watch later. That way, you can learn about who your audiences, and how to structure your webinars in order to appeal to their time and method of viewing/consumption.
Tip Eight – Pick the right day to go live.
Obviously, staying away from the weekend is one tip you probably already know.
In the same vein, even being close to the weekend is not too good of an idea. Data shows that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are far better days then Monday and Friday. On Monday, people are getting adjusted to the week, and Friday leaves too many variables for people taking off early, or simply not being engaged enough.
Tip Nine – Pick the right time to go live.
Think about the time zone your audience is in. This is a time to prioritize others over your organization’s ability to execute. Webinars are only successful when an audience is there to engage and interact, and thus, if you’re audiences halfway around the world, you may need to step up and host your webinar at off-hours – even if they are inconvenient for you.
If you have any questions for your audience, you can always include a field on your registration form that asks whatever you would like.
Tip Ten – Use Social Media.
This cannot be understated. There is an abundance of content being thrown around on social media. To many emails can be overwhelming. You will find that your audience can tolerate exposure to your webinar on social media.
This means you can use social media to market your webinar more frequently.
There are a plethora of ways that you can experiment with hosting a webinar in order to increase your chances for success. However, if you stick to these, you will be all but assured that your retention and attendance rate will always fall at that 50% average – or higher.