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Do you feel like your online brand isn’t as strong as it could be?

Standing out can be tough. After all, you don’t have the same opportunities to connect with your customers and get to know them on an individual level as you do in a brick and mortar store.

So how do you build a more human, personal relationship with your customers?

New forms of media present a ton of really exciting opportunities for businesses. There are more possibilities for personalizing a brand and creating meaningful connections. Over the past few years, webinars have become a popular way to build conversation around a brand and provide something of real value in an engaging form.

A webinar is a fantastic way to encourage dialogue with potential customers, as well as educating them about your product and niche. It creates brand value and offers a ton of opportunities to partner with other businesses.

This week we’re taking a look at how to create a webinar that can drive new leads into your funnel and forge stronger relationships online.

How to Create a Webinar in 5 Steps

1. How to Create a Webinar: Make it Worth Their While
2. Put Together a Detailed Outline (and Practice) Your Webinar
3. How to Create a Webinar? Use the Right Tools
4. How to Create a Webinar: Use a Lot of Visual Elements
5. How to Follow Up After Your Webinar (Without Getting Spammy)

A black man studiously takes notes as he watches a webinar for this article about how to create a webinar

What is a Webinar?

A webinar is a video conference held in real-time– at least in theory. Where most digital content isn’t exactly conversational, a webinar allows for questions and discussion.

Webinars generally occur at set times and center around a specific, niche topic. That said, it is possible to set up automated webinars as well that run at pre-set times in order to reach a broader audience.

Webinars are a popular way for coaches, consultants, authors, and educators to share ideas with a much broader audience than they would necessarily reach otherwise. 

These sessions are really popular in the business world because they facilitate skill-sharing and insider tips. 

Webinars often serve as lead magnets, i.e. free tools or resources to introduce potential customers to a brand.

Generally, audience members need to enter their email addresses to join a webinar.  This can be a great way to grow your list. Early on, it’s important to be careful that you don’t get spammy in these interactions and damage your relationship with these customers.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to toe the line- we’ll get into that in more depth later. The most important thing to keep in mind is that a webinar needs to be valuable for your customers. Your webinar should open up a discussion where they can learn more about your products and services.

A man looks at his table with earbuds with an open laptop showing how useful webinars are on the job

1. How to Create a Webinar: Make it Worth Their While

As you work on creating a great webinar, start with this question: why should your audience set aside a specific time to attend?

Because a webinar is a time-sensitive event, you need to give potential attendees a really good reason to choose you. After all, they can watch videos on YouTube, listen to podcasts and read articles anytime they want.

While a webinar is less of an investment timewise than an in-person event, it still takes a little work to promote and get attendees to invest their time.

So first thing’s first- start niche. 

Broad overviews aren’t particularly popular as webinars. Pick an engaging topic and see what unique spin you can put on it. You might find that taking a combative stance is a good way to capture the attention of a potential audience.

For example, you can take a common marketing or business concept and turn it on its head, i.e. “Why content is not king in digital marketing” or “How a focus on analytics can lead your business astray.”

Alternatively, you can lean into a hyper-specific topic and walk your audience through the process from beginning to end- for example, nurturing leads into sales on social media.

The key here is forming a cohesive argument and exploring it in an engaging way.

Promoting a webinar can take a lot of work, so consider partnering with complementary businesses and influencers in your niche to put together a compelling panel. This way, you can rely on each other for promotion and reach a much broader range of people. It’s also a great way to share your different forms of expertise.

Read: How to Find Influencers in Your Niche

2. Put Together a Detailed Outline (and Practice) Your Webinar

Your audience is giving up part of their workday to take part in your webinar. As you learn how to create a webinar it’s up to you to prove that you genuinely value their time.

This means that your webinar should be tight and to the point, which is difficult without a detailed outline to follow. The best webinars come across as conversational, but underneath the surface, there’s a lot of work.

Make sure that each talking point links back clearly to your overall topic. For panel discussions, pick an overarching theme that ties together the different speaking points. 

You’ll need to decide on an appropriate length for your podcast based on the needs and interests of your audience. The average length of a webinar is sixty minutes, but this can range pretty broadly. 

Your best bet is attending other webinars on similar topics and seeing how each one is structured. 

You’ll want to leave some space for questions and discussion at the end. Requesting email questions in the lead up to the webinar itself can be helpful, as you can start answering those while your audience digests the information you’ve presented.

Read: Growing Business 101: How to Structure, Manage, Succeed

A woman pays attention as she watches a webinar for this article on how to create a webinar

3. How to Create a Webinar? Use the Right Tools

The good news: creating great webinars doesn’t require a ton of new tools or software. The built-in webcam on your computer is probably fine, and, if you don’t like the way yours looks, these are pretty cheap to pick up. 

So what else do you need?

Crystal clear audio is vital when you’re learning how to create a great webinar, and you’ll probably want to invest in a microphone or at least a set of headphones with a mic attachment. This post has a great list of the best (affordable) mics out there.

The bigger decision you’ll need to make is the software you use to host your webinar.

There are a ton of options out there, so let’s start with the main things you should look for in a webinar tool.

Number of Webinar Presenters and Participants

Most webinar tools offer a range of different plans allowing for specific numbers of both presenters and participants.

Your specific needs will vary, but if you’re interested in doing panel discussions, you’ll need to take that into account as you choose your provider and plan.

Webinar Software Integrations

Webinar software generally integrates with other online tools to help streamline your processes.

For example, many webinar tools integrate with email platforms, making it really easy to connect with your list after a presentation.

Webinar Software Interactivity

Live chat, surveys, and other communication tools can really enhance your webinar. Different platforms offer differing amounts of interactivity from the audience.

The question here is really what approach your audience will find most engaging and how you’ll build that into your presentations.

Webinar Software Support

This is really true of any software- support matters. Reviews can tell you a lot about the nature of the support available, so check out Trustpilot before committing to specific software.

There’s really not a consensus on a single “best” platform (it really depends on the needs of your specific business) but to get started we would recommend checking out WebinarJam (which is the tool Selz uses) and EverWebinar.

Read: How to Start a Podcast

There are many elements to consider when you are learning how to create a webinar

4. How to Create a Webinar: Use a Lot of Visual Elements

We have so many different forms of media competing for our attention online. To create the best resource possible, you need to tailor your content to the specific strengths of the form.

Many webinars use slides similar to Powerpoint, but you’ll want to include more than just your notes.

For one thing, we retain information better when it’s presented visually. It’s also useful for holding your audience’s attention more fully and clarifying topic points.

Along with images, you can also include:

  • Graphs or charts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Quote blocks

And a lot more.

Remember that screen sharing is always an option.

Here at Selz, we use webinars to explain different processes for getting started on the platform. Understanding the store builder is particularly easy via our Get Started webinar, and other processes like setting up a payment gateway can be explained quickly and clearly with a screen share.

Read: Building an Ecommerce Website in 7 Easy Steps

A business owner sends emails from his desk after a successful webinar

5. How to Follow Up After Your Webinar (Without Getting Spammy)

Your webinar needs to be more than just a lead magnet. After all, if it isn’t engaging and useful for your audience, they will likely be turned off of your brand. 

That said, a webinar is a great way to initiate a conversation. Proactively following up afterward is your best bet for keeping your business in the forefront of your audience’s mind.

Make sure that any emails you send after your webinar are clearly recognizable and relate to the topic. Referencing the webinar name or topic in the subject line of the email is generally a good bet.

Ideally, you’ll want to send these messages from the webinar presenter’s email address. This establishes trust with your audience and helps them feel like they haven’t been tricked into a new source of spam.

So how should your initial post-webinar contact go?

Most webinar software offers the ability to record the entire presentation, and sending this video out afterward can be a helpful resource.

To get started, try framing that initial email like this:

Hey there, 

Just in case you want to look back on any of the information we discussed today, I’ve attached a link to the whole presentation. 

Was our conversation useful? I’ll be following up in a couple days with a couple more resources to help you dig deeper into the topic. 

If you have any questions, ideas, or just want to connect, we’re on Z social media platforms, and you can also reply to this email.

A simple message like this in the days following your webinar can start a conversation that you’ll build on over time.

As you learn how to create a webinar, the trick is really to understand your webinar as the beginning of a broader dialogue. It comes in near the top of your marketing funnel and can make a great introduction to your brand.

It’s really common to offer some sort of discount on your products or services to webinar participants as both an incentive to attend and a thank you for sticking around to the end. 

Think long-term with your strategy, and remember that most participants will still be in the early stages of interacting with your brand. Rather than going for the hard sell here, focus on providing a great experience with next steps to continue the relationship moving forward.

Do you have other resources you can share? Ways to connect (like social media) that offer opportunities to get to know each other better?

Standing out online means bringing the unique character of your brand to the forefront. The people, ideas, and the broader experience of shopping with you matter, and finding ways to express those elements to potential customers is a key part of growth.

Learning how to create a great webinar is important because it foregrounds the human side of your business.

Best of luck out there- we’re rooting for you.

About the author

Bryce Patterson

Bryce is a writer and content marketer for tech companies including Churn Buster and Evergreen. He gives ecommerce business and non-profits a more human, relatable voice. He has written a novel, worked on a comic book, and played in a handful of bands. Bryce lives in Colorado.