We talk a lot about boring content here at Sprout Content. That is, how to avoid creating it.
Despite the growth of inbound marketing over the past years, there's still a lot of boring content out there: websites full of facts and figures, blogs that are written in business jargon, and email newsletters that could put someone to sleep.
We happen to have a lot of clients who are B2B companies in "behind-the-scenes" industries. That means it's up to us to figure out a way to make paper converting, document storage, senior living telecommunications systems, etc. interesting to their audiences.
In an effort to help put a stop to boring content, we decided to host a webinar, something this boutique content marketing agency had not done before.
No Business is Boring! How to Create Exciting Content for Unglamorous Industries aired last Thursday, unfortunately, at exactly the exact time of USA vs. Germany's World Cup match. While we may have lost some soccer fans (who we hope will watch the webinar on demand now), we considered the broadcast a success.
Like any first attempt at something, there are lessons learned and things we will do differently next time around. If you are considering hosting a webinar, learn from us:
Set a Timeline and Stick to It
Create a calendar of all of things that need to be done for the webinar (promotion, logistics, brainstorming, creating the presentation, etc.), divide them among your team and make the webinar a priority. It's the only way it's going to get done.
Choose the Right Day and Time
Studies show people typically prefer to attend webinars on Wednesday or Thursday. We chose a midday time slot (11am CST) in hopes that people would take their lunch break with us. The only real way to know what's best for your audience is to ask them. Conduct a poll via social media or survey through email marketing.
Create a Landing Page
You will, of course, direct people to the webinar registration link provided by the software you have chosen to use, but having a landing page on your website is also very important. Answer the 5 W's: Who (presenters), What (topics to be covered), When (date and time), Where (how the webinar is accessed) and Why (value to audience) so your attendees have clear communication on what to expect.
Communicate via Email
Your webinar software should provide the basics to communicate with people who register: at least a confirmation email and reminders. We opted for reminders to registrants one week, one day and one hour prior to the webinar. We also promoted the webinar in a dedicated email to our entire database of clients and prospects.
Promote, Promote, Promote
In addition to email marketing, we posted webinar announcements on all of our social media channels, specifically to LinkedIn groups and Google+ communities dealing with similar subject matters. We spent a little money on a Facebook ad, which achieved good reach for the amount of money we spent. All of our staff members networked with their own professional and personal circles.
Dedicate a blog to your webinar. Add a slider and/or call to action on the home page of your website.
Reach out to your partners and clients. We mentioned our book Brands in Glass Houses that was co-published with the Content Marketing Institute in our webinar promotion, so they were happy to help spread the word.
Practice, Practice, Practice
We can't stress this enough. Even with a practice run that was wrought with technical difficulties we thought we had overcome, we still had a few issues during the live broadcast. We will likely upgrade to a better software solution the next time around, but be sure that you test out switching presenters, recording and any polls or live activities several times.
Want to see the result of all of this work? Watch our webinar No Business is Boring!