5 Tips to Increase Your Webinar Engagement

I personally believe that link building is still an important part of the SEO campaign and no website can rank in search engines without a link (in most cases). But, why would someone link to your website?

The easiest answer is content. When you create content that provides a solution to a problem within your industry, individuals, companies, bloggers and in some cases even competitors will link to your website. Long story short: good content leads to links!

Content is no longer limited to textual format, and many brands trying their luck with infographics, surveys, data presentations and more. I personally love the idea of webinars.

Webinars are amazing and significantly more interactive than many forms of content. You can use the opportunity to educate your audience. I’ve had the opportunity to attend dozens of webinars within my industry, and while some were interesting and engaging, others actually put me to sleep.

How can there be such differing reactions to the same medium? Why was one webinar motivating and energizing while another was boring? After both attending and presenting many webinars, I pulled together the top elements of an interesting webinar that will help you grab and hold the attention of your audience until the end of the presentation.

1. Work Out Technical Difficulties

If someone has invited you to address a webinar audience, chances are you will have no control over what kind of software they are using and whether or not the internet connection is adequate for a clear voice and video. But, if you are leading a webinar hosted by your own company or by a friend or colleague, then you must ensure they have a good internet connection and updated software.

This is the most important point because your audience will leave the webinar if:

  1. They can’t hear you properly.
  2. The connection is not up to the mark.
  3. The background noise overshadows the presenter’s voice.

Tip 1: Ensure voice, video and other connection issues are resolved prior to the date of the presentation, or prepare to lose your audience.

2. Ensure Deck Quality

Yes, your audience can see you, but your video will be a small part of the big screen during the webinar. If you make your deck attractive, your audience will stick with you and listen to you instead of getting distracted by any other things or windows that can be seen on the screen.

There’s a huge difference in audience’s attention and engagement when you have an only text slides vs. slides that contain cartoons, chats, infographics and similar visuals. Webinars are not inherently showy or visually engaging, like a Prezi or even a brief video commercial, so you have to intentionally design your presentation to captivate your audience.

Tip 2: Working hard on making your decks better is necessary to engage and hold your audience.

3. Use Humor

Humor is not a choice, but a necessity when there is a lack of complex visual interest, like in webinars. I personally love this blog post that explains how you can make your presentations interesting using humor. Humor should not be limited to your decks; you should also incorporate humor and energy and inflection into your speaking.

The idea is to joke a little in the beginning, discuss some real scenarios and light talk that will draw your audience in and slowly moves towards your topic. If you become boring and monotonous, your audience will leave you in a heartbeat. That’s the difference between sitting in a meeting room for a seminar and sitting in an online webinar: participants can just leave at any point without any explanation or guilt. And they will, unless you hold their attention the whole time. As is the case with any professional meeting, always keep your jokes clean and above reproach when it comes to content. In webinars, you don’t know your audience very well, and if you offend someone with rude humor, they absolutely will leave right then. You may even damage your brand and image with off-color jokes, so just keep it classy.

Tip 3: Add humor not only in your presentation decks, but in your speech as well to hold on to your audience.

4. Ask Questions

Don’t think about webinars as a one way conversion. Instead, encourage people to participate with you in the webinar. The idea is to make it a place where people not only listen to your presentation, but also participate with you by answering the questions you are asking, and by asking questions of their own.

Basically, you need to break the ice by asking the question at the beginning or in between slides of your presentation so that people can share their opinion. This interaction allows you to position yourself to offer solutions to their problems and build trust and confidence with potential customers.

Tip 4: Ask questions. This will not only allow your audience to interact with you, but it will also build trust in their minds towards you and your brand.

5. Use Surprises and Incentives

It doesn’t need to be a free trip to Disneyland or even a free monthly trial of your product, but tease them with a surprise if they stick with you till the end of the presentation. You could offer a free chapter of your upcoming paid ebook, a free download of a white paper relative to your industry or a free consultation if they want more information about your business and what you can do for them. Whatever you decide to offer, be careful not to oversell it so they think they’re getting the trip to Disneyland when they’re actually getting a chapter of an ebook. Set realistic expectations while still getting them excited about what you’re offering.

Conference attendees pay to attend and listen to the speaker, and they have a desire to be there, so keeping their excitement high is comparatively easy. Webinars are free, so it’s good practice to offer incentives to keep your audience following along until the end.

Tip 5: Always keep the best for the last so that audience sticks with you till the end.

6. Keep it Short

When your audience could walk out at any second, it’s important to keep your presentation short and to the point.  Your webinar should be somewhere around 30 to 45 minutes long, but if you drag it to an hour or more believing that your topic deserves more time, your audience may leave you before the end.

The idea is to practice your presentation and make sure it ends between 30 to 40 minutes. If you will keep it short, they will listen to you more attentively and act on your suggestions accordingly.

Tip 6: You may love to talk but keeping it short is the key to winning webinars.

There are more ideas out there about how to improve your webinars, but these are the one that I have discovered from actively participating in webinars as both an attendee and a presenter. Incorporate these tips, and you will see a measureable change in your webinar success.

Enjoyed this article? Read more by Moosa here.

Moosa HemaniInbound Marketing Governor at setalks.com

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