Two Things to Try Before Hosting Your Next Webinar

By Callie Walker, MemberClicks

Are webinars a part of your organization’s offerings? If so, how successful would you say they currently are? Are registrations and attendance high?

For many, there’s always room for improvement. To make your webinars more valuable (and thus, draw more returning visitors), try experimenting with the following pre-webinar tactics:

1. Define your audience

I’ve been reading an interesting book lately by Seth Godin, titled “This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.” While there are a number of good “nuggets” and key takeaways in the book, one point in particular really stood out to me: You have to be comfortable saying, This (whatever product or service you’re offering) isn’t for you. In other words, you have to understand that not everyone is going to want or benefit from whatever it is you’re offering. To be successful, you have to understand who things are for, and similarly, who they’re not for.

Now you may be wondering how that ties back to your organization’s webinars. Well, while in theory, everyone in your organization could be interested in a particular webinar topic, chances are, it’s going to benefit some more than others. You’ll still want to promote your webinar to everyone, but be very clear about who it’s for.

For example, under your webinar title and description, try including a section that says, “This webinar is for you if…”

You can then go on to list who will benefit the MOST from the content. (This webinar is for you if...1) Your staff turnover rate is high; 2) You don’t currently have a staff retention plan in place; 3) You can’t currently name your company’s core values.)

The point here isn’t to exclude anyone. Everyone can still attend! Rather, the point here is to make sure the right people - the people who will benefit the most from this content - attend. Remember, the more valuable your webinars are to your members, the more likely they are to re-attend, and better yet, renew!

2. Put out a call for questions

Speaking of value, that should be your number one goal when hosting a webinar. You want your members to leave feeling like they learned something - something they were hoping to learn. To accomplish that, leading up to your webinar (a week or two in advance), send out a call for questions to those who’ve registered. Ask them what questions they’d like answered during the actual webinar.

Now, you’ll obviously want to get speaker approval before doing this, but given the speaker permits, it’s a great way to ensure your attendees leave satisfied. Plus, it shows you care about your attendees’ professional development, and that you genuinely WANT to provide them with the information they want and need most.

Your webinar strategy may need some tweaking, but if done right, it can be a great way to engage your organization’s membership. And speaking of member engagement, for more ideas and best practices, check out our free guide, Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations!

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