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Webcasting Leader Reveals Top 10 Webinar Don’ts

August 20th, 2013

ON24 Announces Most Common Webinar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – August 20, 2013ON24, Inc., the global leader in webcasting and virtual communication solutions, has identified the 10 most common mistakes that customers make when planning and executing webcasts.

“These are the opposites of best practices,” explained Denise Persson, ON24 CMO. “We have evaluated a sampling of less successful webcasts and identified the problems they share. If webcast producers want to maximize opportunities for success, they should avoid making these mistakes.”

10 most common webinar mistakes…and how to avoid them

1. The single email promotion
Many marketers create a single email that they send to their lists once, and then they settle for the results. According to ON24 benchmark data, webinar registration can be increased by 36% by sending multiple emails, starting at least seven days before your event.

2. Not optimizing landing pages
Embedding tools to enable registrants to place your webinar on their existing business calendar increases the likelihood of them attending the live event. You can also integrate links to social media platforms to allow your registrants to share your event with their social networks, increasing the reach of your event.

3. The vanilla webinar console
In many cases, the look of your webinar console will be the first impression your prospects get. Webinars often deliver thought leadership content to maximize lead generation efforts despite the fact that this content doesn’t always offer a lot of brand reinforcement. A well designed and professional-looking console will engage your attendees and establish your brand.

4. Leaving your audience out of the conversation
A successful webinar directly engages your audience and includes them in the conversation. There are many tools that can be integrated into the webinar experience, including polling, surveys, Q&A, social media and group collaboration, which keep your attendees engaged with your content and involved in your webinar.

5. Death by text
Asking your customers and prospects for an hour of their time and attention is a lot, but forcing them to stare at slides filled with endless text is sheer torture. It’s the easiest way to drive people away from your webinar. Compelling slides combined with great storytelling is the key to keeping your audience’s attention and getting your message across.

6. Selling, not helping
Webinars have become a leading source of information for business decision makers at key stages of the buying cycle. They are looking for help in addressing pain points and critical business needs; they don’t want to hear about how great your company/product is. By helping, you are selling.

7. The cell phone/speakerphone presenter
Nothing turns off your audience more than terrible audio quality. If they can’t hear your voice clearly, they can’t hear your message. Webinar presenters should always use land lines with handsets or headsets, as the audio quality is much better. Your audience will thank you by staying engaged with your webinar.
8. Dissing your audience’s time
Most webinars average 45-60 minutes in length; however, that does not mean that you should automatically schedule all of your events for that length. If you have 20 minutes of great content, deliver a 20-minute presentation. Don’t add filler – your audience can tell the difference. Further, if your webinar is scheduled for one hour, make sure to stop when the hour is up. Respect the audience’s time, and they will appreciate you more.

9. Not demanding an on-demand strategy
For many marketing organizations, once a live webinar is over, it ceases to exist. Webinars, however, can continue to be valuable lead generation tools if you have a strong on-demand strategy. Once a live webinar is over, archive your events and make them available on demand. Having a strategy to promote on-demand webinars extends the reach of the content and the value of the webinar.

10. Treating leads “equally”
Once your webinar is over, avoid simply loading all your leads into your CRM system. Score your leads by basic criteria that enable you to find the low-hanging fruit. Increased interactivity in your webinar provides additional, behavioral data (such as content downloaded, questions asked and poll results) to increase the quality of your lead scoring. This allows your sales team to focus on the best opportunities first.

A presentation illustrating these “worst practices” will be featured in an ON24 webinar on August 21, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. PDT. The 45-minute webcast will also include a live Q&A led by Mark Bornstein, ON24 director of content marketing. Register at register here.

About ON24, Inc.
ON24, the virtual communications platform for the global enterprise, provides interactive, impactful cloud-based solutions that drive outstanding results. ON24 offers a broad and innovative product portfolio, including webcasting, virtual events and virtual environments, accessible from any device and supported by robust reporting and analytics. Applications for the ON24 platform include demand generation, partner enablement, virtual talent onboarding and development, product launches, company town hall meetings and user conferences. More than 800 organizations, including IBM, CA Technologies, Merck, Unilever, JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte, Credit Suisse, Ernst & Young, Amazon and SAP, rely on ON24. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices throughout the world. For more information, visit