Many times the Webinar is the first contact you have with a prospect. Their introduction to your company, your brand and your message.
It has been compared to a first date.
As any of you who can remember what a first date feels like you will remember that it doesn’t go very well if you do all the talking and the person on the other side of the table doesn’t ask questions or engage with you.
Those who are highly engaged in your webinar will always have a more positive perception of your content and by proxy your company, brand and message.
How do you measure engagement?
If you are like most marketers the biggest indication of engagement is the number of questions you receive. The problem with this metric on its own is that only 7% of your audience will generally submit a question, so does that mean the other 93% are not engaged? At The Streaming Network we measure engagement by a number of factors.
Get them talking.
You need to establish trust with your audience by letting them know if they do ask a question or make a comment you will respond to them. You can do without disrupting your presentation by setting up breaks to answer audience questions. Our rule of thumb is to go early and often to questions and to ensure this happens we usually take a pre-submitted or canned question in the first 5 minutes of the webinar. Basically let the audience know you are listening to them.
You want it to be a conversation – so keep it conversational!
People do not feel like they are part of a conversation at a lecture. So you need to be careful in how you format your webinar to maintain the conversational feel. With a single presenter format this is exceptionally challenging. We have a formula we follow for taking what is generally a didactic message and making it more conversation (and yes the formula includes more people on the webinar so you can actually have that conversation!)
Give them choice.
If your webinar is basically a slide deck with a chat box the audience is left with 2 options.
- Sit back, relax and listen
- Ask a question
If you provide them choice in the format of downloadable resources/handouts, ability to learn about the company or the presenters, social media interaction, polls or even links out to relevant information on your website you allow them to choose how they are going to experience your content and allow them to engage in more ways that simply asking a question.
Give yourself room for real conversation
When planning your content you want to ensure you have room for the audience questions. A very common comment I hear is “We didn’t receive many questions but it is not like we had a lot of time for Q&A anyway.”
Running your content before the webinar and leaving adequate time for discussion (we recommend 33% of your webinar be reserved for Q&A) ensures that when you do get questions you can take the time to answer them live. Often questions come in spurts so once you get a few and answer them well you will start to get more which is why the time is so vital.
Check this expert from today’s webinar with Demand Metric where the DM community asked the question “How do I drive engagement in my webinar events?”
If you like what you see here you can register to view the entire webinar where we answer the 20 most pressing questions in the Demand Metric Community and have an interactive discussion about the state of webinars in general.