For many professionals, particularly solo or smaller firms, webinar marketing can seem exciting and overwhelming. If you are the one organizing the event, promoting the event, and garnering registrations that can be a challenge. Many larger firms succeed with webinar marketing because they have a sizable operation for marketing and outreach.
When building a game plan for webinar marketing, there are 7 key mistakes you should avoid.
1. Being Unprepared
If you are not fully comfortable with public speaking or do not have well-thought-out content, your webinar will not be a good experience for anyone. It would benefit you to take a public speaking class. Yes, you could have someone else lead the session for you, but you want to be seen as the primary authority. Perhaps consider sharing the presentation time if you need to.
Next, your content needs to be well-constructed and visually appealing. There are plenty of companies out there that provide off-the-shelf educational content if you don’t have time to build it yourself. Your job is to make sure the content aligns with your philosophy and your regulatory approval process. If you are unprepared, rest assured, you and your audience will not have a good experience.
2. Product or Service Pushing
If your agenda is to push a product or service without providing quality education on the topic; you will completely turn off your audience. You want to promote your work and make attendees aware of your services, but it needs to be educational. You want to be seen as a subject matter expert and teacher, not a merchandiser.
3. Teasing or Withholding Information
Your webinar cannot be a tease, meaning you cannot tell your audience about a potential issue, then elude they need to speak with you to get the answer. You don’t have to give every answer in a webinar (frankly, you can’t anyway without a proper client discovery), but you need to provide a deep dive on the subject.
Your audience is attending the session to learn something of value. If you withhold that value, you lose their trust. Share good content with them, because at the end of the day, they will need someone to help them execute.
Take your audience through concepts that are appropriate for their circumstances. Show them positive outcomes that can happen through proper behaviors. Discuss the impact of delaying certain decisions. Don’t tease them that you can help them without giving them a chance to see how you can help them.
4. Too Much Self-Promotion.
Your webinar cannot be a lengthy diatribe about you, your experience or what makes you special. Let that be a strong opening or closing statement. You are there to be an authority on a topic that directly impacts your audience. Your goal is to help the audience see possibilities they may not be aware of. You will come off as a trusted authority when you back off the self-promotion and focus on what your audience finds interesting and relative.
5. Too Analytical
Charts and graphs are great. Statistics make a point. That being said, if your entire presentation looks like a spreadsheet or gets too technical your attendees will get lost. They may tune out, get annoyed or sign-off early. Use a few bullet points per slide (less than five) and more simple visuals. Focus on storytelling and use case studies so your audience can picture themselves in the content.
6. Ignoring or Not Knowing Regulatory Guidelines
Depending on your business model, you will need to submit content for your webinar to a compliance liaison. This includes all promotional posts, slides and PDFs, and logging each public appearance before the event. If you are a FINRA registered financial professional, your broker/dealer will require prior approval for any workshops, panel discussions, webinars, client events or other speaking forums.
Your firm may not allow to you speak on a topic that is not supported on their platform. Further, you need to be sure that you are licensed and fully qualified to speak on the topic you want to present. Your audience will ask questions and you need to be the expert.
If you are doing a webinar jointly with another speaker, their materials should also be approved before the event.
7. Not Having a Pre-Present-Post Strategy
When you hold any event, particularly webinars, you need to have a checklist for all related activities pre-event, during the event (present), and post-event.
Pre-activities involve everything from researching your audience, content development, audio/visual testing, and promoting your event. You will also want to have attendees sign-in at least 10 minutes early to help avoid technical issues.
Present activities include audio/visual management, chat engagement, introduction of all parties during the event, muting background conversations, recording the session, answering questions, etc.
Your post-event plan includes following up with attendees, promoting key take-aways on social media, sharing the recording as appropriate, and all activities to help increase your conversions. You can CONTACT US for a sample Pre-Present-Post Plan to help get you started.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Webinar marketing can be very effective when done correctly. You need to be prepared and conscious of your audience’s needs. Being a great speaker is one thing, but so is having an event promotion and engagement plan to maximize your results.
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