Why Create Webinars? (Plus Types and Best Practices)

By Indeed Editorial Team

June 3, 2021

Video content is popular for educational and marketing purposes, and webinars help to deliver various forms of video content in real-time. In this article, we discuss what a webinar is, the benefits of a webinar, the different types of webinars and best practices for creating and running webinars.

What is a webinar?

Webinars, also known as online seminars, are online meetings people hold using webinar software or web browsers for various purposes. Some of the reasons people host webinars include product promotion, education and team meetings. Different types of webinars help fulfill different purposes. Examples include live webinars, slideshows, pre-recorded webinars and screen sharing.

People host and attend webinars usually use webinar software to. However, you can also host or attend a webinar using a web browser. Such a webinar is known as a webcast. People can join your webinar using a unique code or a unique link ID. Webinars can be easier to plan than a physical lecture or seminar, and people from all over the world can join your webinar. This may mean that you can host more people than you would in a physical meeting or seminar.

What are the benefits of a webinar?

The outcome or benefits of webinars usually depend on the purpose. However, some of the benefits of webinars include:

  • Webinars help you build a contact list because everyone who registers can be added to your database. A large contact list means more leads or customer conversions.

  • Webinars help you to build trust and establish yourself as an expert or leader in your industry because you're providing reliable information that offers solutions to the problems of your audience.

  • You can save or pre-record a webinar for people who missed the event or wish to refer in the future.

  • Webinars help you to create brand awareness because of the potential for a broad audience.

  • You can use webinars to train new employees.

  • Webinars are also useful to organizations that work remotely, for example, international companies or network marketing companies.

What is the purpose of a webinar?

People use webinars for different purposes. Some of the most common reasons individuals and companies use webinars include:

Product promotion

Webinars are an excellent platform to promote your products to a wide audience. You have the chance to explain details to your audience and answer their questions. They can help you get the attention of potential customers and convert them into actual customers. Webinars also present the opportunity to get customer feedback on your product, which is important to its development and growth of its market share.

Related: Promoting Products: A How-To Guide

Educational purposes

If you are an expert in a particular field, webinars are a highly effective tool for educating your audience. The best educational webinars usually contain a whiteboard video or well-prepared slides. You can also collaborate with external speakers to build more trust among your audience and offer more value.

Teachers or lecturers in various learning institutions rely on webinars to offer online courses or remote learning.

User onboarding

User onboarding is a process organizations use to get customers to register for a new product or service. Businesses that sell software rely on webinars for user onboarding. Ensure your user onboarding webinar has a soft learning curve. You can also use a screen-sharing webinar to help explain how your software works and get more users onboard. Make sure that a user onboarding webinar is suitable for beginners.

Team meetings and employee training

Apart from external webinars for your customers, it is also important to conduct internal webinars to hold team meetings and train new employees. Webinars are especially helpful to organizations with a too big team to fit in a room or employees who work remotely. You can offer training through webinars by sharing knowledge and teaching practical skills. Overall, webinars are more engaging than written content, which makes them more suitable for employee training.

Related: 16 Zoom Tips for a Productive Meeting

Customer nurturing and retention

While most people use webinars to create brand awareness, you can also use them to retain not sure existing customers. They help you build relationships with your customers, which turns them from existing customers to recurring customers. Webinars let your customers know about the latest products and business announcements. Moreover, your customers can use the opportunity to raise questions and get answers.

Types of webinars

You can classify types of webinars according to content type or purpose. Examples of such webinars are online lectures for educational purposes, slideshows for team meetings and live webinars for product launches. However, there are different types of webinars depending on the type of content. They include:

Slideshow webinar

It is important to include visuals in your webinar, especially when creating one for educational purposes. Slideshows offer the most convenient option for the use of visuals and text to educate your audience.

Tips for making effective slideshows:

  • Include technical information in the first slide. For example, how long the slide lasts, the agenda of the slide and whether the slideshow is prerecorded for future reference.

  • Define the outline of the presentation

  • Create a presentation template for consistency

  • Include a call to action slide, preferably at the end

  • Proofread the presentation

Live webinar

A live webinar is a real-time seminar or a live video with an online broadcast. Live webinars can establish stronger customer relationships because they bring out your business's human side. Moreover, you can consider using a live webinar to promote a product using a video presentation.

Tips for making high converting live webinars:

  • Ensure your device has good video and audio quality

  • Consider taking questions from the audience to make it more engaging

  • Ensure your webinar platform has all the live features you need

  • Plan, prepare and practice

Related: How To Give a Good Presentation

Whiteboard

A whiteboard webinar is important when you need to explain complex concepts in your webinar. It has versatile functions that let you draw over images and charts. Moreover, you can start a presentation from scratch and explain as your audience follows. Starting from scratch is especially helpful when explaining processes.

Tips for optimizing whiteboard webinars:

  • Make your webinar educational

  • Allow your audience to collaborate in the presentation

  • Record the webinar for future use

  • Prerecord animations and enhance them with audio or music overlay to make them more engaging

  • Add notes to emphasize points, write down questions and ideas

Text chat

Text chat is more of a feature than a webinar. However, it is a very dominant feature in webinars nowadays and has a huge impact on audience engagement. Chat options let your audience text questions or ideas to contribute to the presentation. Moreover, you can offer solutions to your audience's problem in real-time, which helps you build relationships and industrial authority.

Tips for optimizing text chat webinars:

  • Ensure you promptly respond to audience questions

  • Answer truthfully

  • Offer reliable information

Related: 8 Tips for a Great Text Interview

Screen sharing

Screen sharing webinars are online conferences where the host shares the screen of his or her device with the audience. Screen sharing webinars are ideal when you need to demonstrate a process online or in another program. Attendees can follow step-by-step as you explain the process.

This method is ideal if your presentation is not in a standard format or situations where you need to share your screen because the document formats are different. Screen sharing webinars help save time by taking screenshots and attaching them to the webinar or sending them to your audience.

Tips for observing during a screen sharing webinar:

  • Close programs that may distract from the presentation

  • Close files that are irrelevant to the presentation

  • Remember to enable the audio, so that the attendees can hear your explanation

Pre-recorded webinars

A pre-recorded webinar is a webinar where you record the presentation before the actual time you scheduled it to air. It is ideal for making multiple presentations on a specific topic. You can use it if you have a guest speaker who cannot be free during the time of the webinar.

Software as a service (SaaS) companies also uses pre-recorded webinars to train new customers on products. You simply need to prepare your presentation, upload it and press play.

Tips for optimizing pre-recorded webinars:

  • Promote your webinar on all social platforms

  • Open the chat to engage with your customers as the webinar plays

  • Try to personalize the presentation to improve the experience of your audience

Poll webinar

Poll webinars are webinars that conduct surveys or polls. You can also attach them to other webinars to help make them more engaging. Poll webinars are unique because your audience has access to information that is not available on other platforms. You can make your poll webinars to be either public or anonymous.

Tips for including your poll in webinars:

  • Share options for the webinar

  • Set a limit in case your audience is being scored while answering questions

  • You can include attachments or voice messages to make your webinars more engaging

What are the best practices for creating webinars?

Apart from the individual tips above, the following general tips will help you create and optimize your webinars:

  • Choose an appropriate topic, title and format for your webinar and presentation.

  • Select a team with excellent presentation skills, such as communication skills and reliable knowledge.

  • Plan the content outline, structure and how long the presentation will take.

  • Prepare your tech such as camera, laptop or mobile device and webinar software, in advance.

  • Attend some webinars to get some experience of how they are done.

  • Schedule your webinar preferably within the week between Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Practice for your webinar.

  • Send reminders of the webinar to your audience.

  • Follow up with your audience after the webinar, for example by asking for feedback.

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