April 30, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne
This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.
The webinar’s primary purpose is to convey useful information to the viewer. If done well, it’s a format that can do wonders for engaging customers, but stick with the same formula and you run the risk of switching them off completely.
However, some types of webinar can take a lot of time to produce – particularly if you’re still learning the best practices. But if you’re looking to take a scrappy approach to your marketing, you want to drive results quickly. So what formats work well and require less effort than others?
Here are four webinar formats you can quickly pull together to start getting results quickly.
Run a panel discussion
What it is: A discussion among about three subject experts, moderated by the presenter.
How to do it: Find a few favorite contacts who are reliable, knowledgeable and great at communicating. They might be clients of the company or industry experts. The presenter, although moderating the discussion, should also be well-versed in discussion topics so that they can guide discussion, and think of different angles on the fly.
The discussion will be more lively and could yield more interesting insights, including offering several different approaches to a single problem, if the panelists have differing opinions. A diverse panel will make for a greater depth of discussion and have broader appeal.
Before going live, create a list of discussion topics to keep things moving and on track. Let the panel know in advance so they can prepare for the questions you’ll be asking.
For more information, read our tips for running better panel webinars.
Schedule a product demo
What it is: A look at how certain features of your product work, presented by an expert.
If your customers have a common problem that can be solved by your product, a product demo could show them how to solve that problem, while showcasing your product to a clutch of new potential customers.
How to do it: Base the webinar around a particular, concrete, problem that the solution can help users solve, rather than giving a whistlestop tour of the product, which might come off as a pitch. This approach will also help the webinar sell itself, as offer of how to solve a problem is a far more compelling proposition than a generic tour. The approach may also alert potential customers to problems they might not even know they had.
Find someone on your team who knows the product back to front, can clearly communicate complicated concepts and who won’t be thrown by unexpected questions from the audience.
ON24’s Mark Bornstein terms these sessions ‘The Deminar‘. Taking this approach allows you to have a conversation as you present, and therefore act as great bottom-of-funnel webinars.
Webinars like these have great simulive potential – that is, you can run them again and again as live ensuring that new customers also get to see them. And by putting your sales team on Q&A duty, you can have them engage in real-time even when you aren’t actually presenting. For accounting firm Sage, their daily “Coffee Break Demo” sees more than 20 sign-ups a day on average – meaning they generate as many opportunities from this automated session as all their other webinars combined.
Interview Your Boss, a Co-Worker or a Client
What it is: A chat with one of the company’s highest-ranking personnel, such as the CEO or Chief Product Officer, or with one of the company’s clients. Remember, this can be recorded in advance.
How to do it: Recruit a member of your team who is comfortable in front of the camera and may have some interviewing experience.
Draft a set of about 10 questions to put to your interviewee – you won’t need to ask all of these, in fact, you’ll probably only have time to ask more than in 45 minutes, but 10 gives you some room for maneuver. You might talk to a client about how they’ve used your product or service, or a member of your C-suite about upcoming opportunities, threats and trends in the industry. Make sure to engage the audience too, and field their questions as much as possible.
Share these with the interviewee in advance so that they can prepare, and make any suggestions – as they’re experts, they may have great ideas for discussion you may have missed. Read our article on interview webinar tips for more guidance.
Do a Content recap / revisit
What it is: A new look at an old subject which may have been rendered relevant with recent events, such as a change in legislation.
How to do it: Bring together all the material from the old webinar, including slides, audience data and ad creative. Update anything that has gone out of date.
You’ve got a headstart on promotion here – target all those who watched the webinar last time, and refresh the ad creative that worked best if you decide to take the paid social route.
Our webinar on “Bring Your Webinars Back From The Dead” provides more guidance on how to do this effectively.