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I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for webinars anymore.

Especially those 2-hour marathons that you “have” to attend “live” to get any value out of – and are mostly a sales pitch. Nobody has time for those.

And yet all the big sales & marketing gurus still both use and recommend them – so they must be working, right? Let’s take a look at the state of the webinar in 2021.

Firstly, let’s clarify what a webinar is – the official definition is: a seminar conducted over the internet.

As you can imagine, there’s been an increase in both webinars and webinar attendance. In a world where we can no longer have large in-person events or conferences – webinars are the next best solution.

But because they’ve been misused in the past, webinars are probably due for a rebrand. Webinars are a bit like a newly divorced love interest, they come with a lot of baggage. We’ve all been burned by one of those 2-hour sales pitches.

 

So how do we make an effective webinar in 2021? Let’s take a look at some best practices.

Make it interactive

Webinars should feel personal and interactive, if your audience wanted a one-way experience, they’d just stick to YouTube. Your audience is there to learn from you. On average, 40% will pay attention from the beginning of a webinar to the end. The rest tend to drop off as the webinar continues, so the longer you can keep them engaged the better.

 

No fluff

Wasting 10 minutes saying hi to people you know may make them feel warm and fuzzy but it’s not interesting to anyone else. Spending 20 minutes talking about yourself is also a no-no. Make quick introductions, promise your viewers something new, deliver it and add a call-to-action.

 

Webinar length

Following on from the previous point, try to deliver on your promise in 45 minutes. And if you can do it in 25 minutes even better. No one has ever complained about a webinar ending early – as long as you’ve provided real value.

 

Live vs ‘live’

Replays of recorded live webinars are a great way to repurpose and reuse content. You can absolutely offer these as ‘evergreen’ on-demand webinars, but please, please, please don’t call it a live webinar if you’re not actually delivering it live. Someone expecting a live webinar only to get 5 minutes in and discover that it was all pre-recorded is going to feel duped. Not the best way to build a relationship – when it starts out with a lie.

 

Channel omnipresence

If you are going to run it live, consider a streaming tool (like Streamyard or Be.Live). The ability to live stream a webinar to multiple channels at once is super powerful. Allowing you to be visible to all your audiences at the same time on the platform of their choice.

 

Make it pitch-perfect

We’re all expecting it so don’t shy away from making your sales pitch. Whether it is for more information, or a specific product/offer you’re promoting, if you’ve delivered on your promise and provided real value people will want to know how to take the next step with you. Don’t fumble the ball at the end.

 

Conclusion

So yes, people still have time for webinars, as long as they’re created strategically and provide value to the audience. If you get it right, a webinar can help you build your like and trust factor and secure new leads. However, if you don’t keep the needs of your audience in mind your webinars are unlikely to achieve the success you are looking for. It doesn’t have to be complicated, serve your audience well and they’ll want to work with you.

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