Have a look around. It’s like everyone you know is hosting webinars on everything under the sun. They might be onto something or it might be a waste of time. After all, you don’t know if they’ve managed to convert leads into customers or gain new leads through a webinar.
Webinars, when done correctly, are anything but a waste of time. They can be a key part of your marketing strategy, help you generate many quality leads, and ultimately get more people to sign up for your courses. Just because they seem abundant or some of them are or medium to poor quality, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go.
What’s better, webinars are a great way of connecting with people, gaining their trust, and build credibility for your brand. They are perfect for online entrepreneurs since they are already offering an educational product or thinking of doing so. Webinars are just right up your alley since you can give potential learners a taste of what you are offering, and make them curious to learn more.
Top 6 webinar mistakes when marketing online courses
Common mistakes happen all the time when entrepreneurs are just starting out, or don’t have much experience in hosting them. Luckily, you can avoid all of them and get straight to converting people to sign up for your online courses. They are:
Picking a boring topic
Here’s the truth about webinars: the the average attendance rate is around 46%.
So let’s say, for 100 registered attendees, you’ll only have 46 participants in the end. Logically, your chances of generating high quality leads decrease dramatically. That’s why you need to do as much as you can on your part to not only promote the webinar but also move potential leads through the sales funnel.
So, picking an irrelevant topic, delivering a stale presentation and not using your buyer persona for topic ideas are the capital sins of most webinars. If you are not sure what potential learners want, try to source ideas from forums such as Reddit, talk to people in the relevant industry, or have a look at what your competitors are doing.
Starting a bad partnership
Making a webinar together with someone else is a great idea. They can help you attract more people by bringing your courses to their audience’s attention.
Now, this subtitle is a bit misleading, but I do have a point to make: not all partnerships are good partnerships, no matter how much you like the other business or entrepreneur. So, if you are selling fitness courses and you partner with a company that sells fitness equipment that is great. If you are partnering with an entrepreneur that sells similar courses, then it’s a bit of a conflict of interest as you want to gain new clients for yourself.
You also need to make sure that you are following your own objectives and that the partnership is a win-win situation.
Letting tech issues ruin the webinar
Creating an event is stressful. There is a guarantee that at least 2 to 3 things will go wrong and you’ll have to improvise quickly. Online events are no different, but at least you can remove barriers such as tech issues from ruining your webinar.
Even before people appear online on your screen, you need to make sure that the entire experience of signing up and attending is seamless. To prevent these issues, you will have to choose a webinar platform that meets these requirements:
- Be 100% responsive
- Attendees should be able to click on a link and go directly to the webinar
- No need for them to install apps or software to attend
- The platform should be secure
- Offers quality audio/video
- Has a recording option/on-demand option
- Bonus: a good internet connection is a must
Choosing the wrong format
The most common format options for webinars are: product demo, Q&A, masterclass, panel, workshop.
Generally speaking, there’s no such thing as the “wrong format”, it’s more about picking the right format for your audience. If your potential clients are very busy people who don’t have the patience to listen to your lecture, be sure that they will click the X button halfway through the presentation.
Depending on what you want to achieve, you can choose the Q&A, which is also great if attendees are beginners who want to learn more about a topic. Pick a workshop format for more advanced participants, that can see your shared screen and follow along with your instructions.
“I’d love to be there, but I can’t make it on Friday” isn’t just an excuse. People are busy and don’t want to commit if they perceive that they won’t get something valuable in return. Timing is essential, and you have to make sure that participants will be able to attend.
Statistics show that mornings are best for hosting webinars since most people prefer to attend at 10 or 11AM. Tuesdays are also a good time to schedule them as Mondays and Fridays keep them occupied with other tasks.
Of course, there is a great alternative for people that still want to participate, but have no time: on-demand webinars. This means that your session will be recorded in the cloud and those who have registered will receive a link to see it later.
Not promoting it enough
About 59% of registrationshappen less than a week before the webinar. Why? People procrastinate because it is a time commitment. So, start promoting it on time, at least 3 to 4 weeks prior to the event. Make sure to increase your marketing efforts in the week leading to the webinar.
Speaking of marketing, you should consider online ads, creating an email campaign inviting people to join, and following up after the event, posting more often on social media, etc. Knowing that the attendance rate can dwindle easily, try to invest more in promoting it. Last but not least, you need to create a landing page for the webinar in which people can easily register to attend.
Recording starts in 1,2,3…
I hope that you’ve found at least some of these tips useful and that you are already taking this webinar idea more seriously. If done well, they can help you get quality leads, even if you are hosting just a couple per quarter or year.
Since you are already in the business of educating people or are considering it, webinars help you build credibility, brand awareness, and convince people to sign up for your courses.
Ioana believes that learning doesn’t stop when school stops. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.