Live Webinar Checklist: Make Your Next Webinar Great

Successful companies hold webinars regularly, but preparing for webinars can be a daunting task if they aren’t part of your regular routine. While setting up a webinar, you may find there are lots of moving parts and it can feel like you are in a circus spinning plates.

You are more likely to forget something important or host a subpar webinar if you don’t commit to dedicating the time and resources to get it right and check off all items on your list. Forgetting a single item on your checklist can cause anxiety, and honestly, we’ve all experience a few snafus.

We’ve recently interviewed Webinar expert, Ken Molay, President of Webinar Success and combined with our own in house expertise; we compiled a Webinar Checklist. We hope this list will aid you in conducting glitch-free and engaging Webinars. To start, at AnyMeeting, we recommend giving yourself at least 30 days to create and prepare for a successful webinar.

“A good webinar requires investment of time and effort. Bad webinars are quicker and easier to do, but is that how you want to present yourself and your company? You wouldn’t throw together a trade show booth at the last minute… why would you spend less on a webinar that hundreds of potential customers will see?”

Ken Molay, President of Webinar Success

One Month Out

  •  Secure speaker & confirm availability
  •  Review your webinar title & description and confirm date & time.
  •  Review your webinar registration/landing page to share with your audience!

Pro Tip: Get this information to your marketing & sales teams ASAP so they can begin talking about your webinar to create buzz and get sign ups. Even if the webinar isn’t completely scripted yet; a few talking points of what to expect will go a long way.

  •  Schedule a time with your webinar team and presenter for a rehearsal.

Pro Tip: Host this rehearsal at least one-week prior to your webinar. It’s imperative to make sure you understand your webinar platform’s controls, discuss introductions and hand-offs, and run through your entire presentation start to finish, especially if there are multiple presenters to adjust time allotments.

  • Create a survey that attendees will receive at the end of the webinar.
  • Send your speaker an outline of your standard webinar format so they know what to expect.

Pro Tip: If hosting a pre-recorded webinar, it’s important to be transparent with your audience. Let them know you are playing a prerecorded Webinar so that you are available to answer questions throughout to offer a better, more engaging experience. Otherwise, your audience will figure it out and will be less likely to engage and may drop..

  • Decide your Goals/KPI. (e.g. are you looking to simply add to your lead funnel and get names for an email list or are you hoping to engage and prove yourself as trusted resource in your industry)
  • Identify all key players and their responsibilities. (Host, Moderators, Presenter, etc)

Pro Tip: For webinars with a large audience, have a dedicated moderator as most technical challenges and questions come during the beginning of a webinar while the Host is doing the introduction. For webinars with a smaller audience these roles can be combined.

  • Complete Slides
  • Ask your speaker to promote your webinar
    • Share registration page through emails and social media posts.
    • Blog post that provides an intro to your topic with a link to your webinar.
    • Have speaker guest blog on other outlets and blogs to get the word out. 

One Week Out

  • Review & finalize slides.
  • Send promotional emails with call-to-action to register for your webinar.
  • Conduct webinar rehearsal, platform walkthrough & technical test.

Pro Tip: This is a good time to reiterate the timing of your transitions and poll questions or any details about the introduction.

Day of Webinar

  • Send final reminders to your audience via social media & email about your webinar.
  • Sign-in 15 minutes early to webinar platform.
  • Once signed in, go over any last minute details while waiting in the “Green Room” before the Webinar begins.
  • Press “Go On Air” to go live to your attendees.
  • Have a great webinar!

After Your Webinar

  • Send a Thank You email to those who had registered and attended your webinar.

Pro Tip: Segment your email list between these two groups. Include both a link to a recording of your webinar as well as a Registration link for your next webinar.

  • Write a summary of your Webinar on your company’s blog including a link to the recorded version.
  • Share the blog summary of your Webinar through your company’s social channels and in your next email newsletter.
  • Repurpose the content of your webinar, poll findings and audience questions to maintain a strong content pipeline.

Hosting a good webinar always comes back to how prepared you were. With this checklist, you should be well on your way to hosting a webinar that’s both engaging and runs smoothly.Ready to host your next webinar? AnyMeeting has pioneered small business offering a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing service tailored for small business users. Start your 14-day free trial now

On-Demand Webinar: How to Close More Deals Through Webinars

Last week, we hosted an educational, but entertaining talk about how to grow your business by closing deals more effectively using webinars; Andrew Bermudez, CEO & Co-Founder of digsy.ai and Costin Tuculescu, Founder & CEO of AnyMeeting.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. We’ve posted this Webinar online to view at your convenience.

Click Here to Watch

You can also click here to download a transcript of the webinar.

We also encourage you to sign up for our next webinar,  “Creating Compelling Webinars Using Expert Speakers,” on April 6th, 2017 at 11:00 AM (Pacific Time);  featuring Tony Karrer from Aggregage. Learn the tips and tricks to getting top experts to speak on your webinar and attract larger audiences. Click here to register.

On-Demand Webinar: Find Success by Hosting Webinars Regularly

Recently, we hosted a webinar featuring two Webinar experts; Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director of Mobile Cause, and Chris Bechtel, Partner of Growth Engineer Labs based our blog post, “Why Successful Companies Do Webinars Regularly.”

Our experts discussed how you can use webinars to extend your reach, engage customers, improve products, drive lead generation, educate prospects, inspire influencers and boost thought leadership.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. We’ve posted this Webinar online to view at your convenience.

Click Here to Watch

We also encourage you to sign up for our next webinar,  “How to Close More Deals,” on March 22nd at 12:00 pm PT; featuring Andrew Bermudez, CEO & Co-Founder of Digsy.AI and Costin Tuculescu, CEO and Founder of AnyMeeting. Click here to register.

Maintain Customer Engagement Between Webinars by Repurposing your Content

Conducting your webinar is about a lot more than the 45 minutes or hour you spend talking into your laptop’s webcam. Your webinar can be a jumping off point to keep your customers and audience highly engaged until you host your next webinar.

Here are 7 Pro Tips to keep engagement high between webinars by repurposing the content you’ve already created:

  1. Create an Infographic after polling your audience.

During your webinar, poll your audience. By asking a few questions you’ll quickly get enough data to make a short infographic to share on your blog and social channels. Make sure when sharing this data you mention that it came from attendees of a webinar so it is not confused with a scientific poll.

2. Write blog posts expanding on individual sections of your webinar or audience questions.

Each section of your webinar can easily be expanded on. Combine additional information and answers to your audience questions in a series of blog posts. Since you already know that people are engaging on these topics, it’s the easiest thing you can do to fill your content pipeline.

You can also transcribe the entire webinar and post it on your blog. At AnyMeeting we recommend using TranscribeMe!

3. Add registrants to an email nurture that reiterates key points and expands on your positions.

It’s fantastic that those who attended your webinar are already highly engaged. You do not want to let these people fall into the void. Add your attendees and people who registered, but did not show up, into a separate email nurture. Share additional information on the topics presented in the webinar and any other follow up content with them. Your last email in this campaign should be an invite to your next webinar.

4. Pitch yourself and your team as a Thought Leaders

To expand your reach and authority on the discussed topic, use your webinar as a basis to pitch publishers to write (or allow you to guest blog) on their websites. You can also pitch to be a guest on a podcast or speaker at an industry conference or Meetup.

5. Upload your webinar to YouTube, Vimeo or other video platform.

Leverage your webinar by editing a few highlights and sharing them as clips on social video platforms. Short clips cut from your full-length webinar may be highly shareable and help create buzz for your business with very little additional effort.

You can also use these clips to funnel people into your full length recording. With AnyMeeting records can live behind a login screen so this is a great way to collect more leads from past webinars.

6. Beef up your SEO by creating landing pages.

Creating a resource area on your website is a great way to boost your SEO. Take some topics from your webinar and create evergreen landing pages for visitors of your site to find. As a bonus, you will be able to use your webinar as content for SEM, display ad or remarketing campaigns.

7. Upgrade your onboarding and prospect drip campaigns with thought leadership content.

Adding thought leadership content in your prospect or onboarding email nurtures is a great way to keep everyone interested. Using your webinar content to spruce up this content to make it more engaging and share your expertise will only help those now learning about you and your business.

Webinars can be a time consuming endeavor, but their ROI can be exponential if you properly leverage your content by repurposing and introducing it through a variety of channels. By conducting a webinar each month or quarter you will never have to worry about filling your content pipeline.

Ready to host a webinar? AnyMeeting has pioneered small business offering a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing service tailored for small business users. Start your 14-day free trial now

8 Ways To Choose a Webinar Topic In a Day

Webinars are a fantastic way to market your business and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. But getting started can be a difficult and daunting task. While some companies just seem to have a great rhythm and lists upon lists of ideas for future Webinars; many of you may be struggling to come up with a single idea.

This guide is intended to help you think critically about how you can come up with a Webinar topic, quickly.

  1. Look through content you’ve already produced.

If you have a blog or active social media channel, you can repurpose a few of your posts to create a Webinar. This is a great way to go further in depth into a topic and to engage with your audience.

Pro tip. Once you host this webinar you can repurpose your Webinar back into blog posts focusing on your additions or audience engagement topics to keep the ball rolling.

  1.  Invite a customer to speak.

Do you have a customer who just get’s it or is using your product in unique and powerful ways? If so, ask them to join you on a webinar. You can set this up in a variety of ways. You can ask them to do a walk through of how they use your product, set the webinar up as a Q&A or ask they to prepare something a bit more aspirational and weave your product into their story.

  1. Host a panel with experts in the industries of your customers.

Your customers have many pains and needs outside of the scope of your product. Say your product is a CRM designed for pharmaceutical sales reps. Get a panel together with a top sales rep, someone from your executive team and maybe a doctor to share their expertise and take questions. Having a member of your team sitting on the panel helps gives your business more credibility by association and also helps to occasionally point the conversation to your product and the pains you resolve.

  1. Ask your customer service team’s advice.

The fastest way to get a Webinar topic is to ask your customer service team what you should do. Chances are your support staff has fielded many questions and received lots of feedback on a variety of topics. There are probably many topics they wish your company has an official statement about. This will also show your customers that you are listening to them.

  1. Share Industry & Product Insights.

Conduct a poll or survey about your industry and product. Then analyze the results and jot down a bit of commentary. You can host a Webinar where you share the results and your commentary live, then ask your audience to join in a guided discussion.

Pro tip. Dive deep into your product’s usage data to see how customers are using your product. Are there any best practices from this data or are their any underused features that you wish to promote. Sharing insights into your product usage can lead to interesting conversations and aha moments for your Webinar’s audience.  

  1. Respond to Thought Leaders.

Have you seen a speaker in your industry, but have a slightly different take? Have you read an article from a competitor, but thought it was a little off-base or didn’t provide enough value? These are opportunities to join conversations that are already happening and already have an implied audience. Spend an hour researching what else is out there and come up with a unique position to talk about or simply aggregate a bunch of different positions to give your audience a 360 degree view of the topic.

Pro Tip. Ask yourself what Thought Leaders or your competitors aren’t talking about. We’ve all had those questions in our heads that seems no one else has asked. Usually, we drop these from our minds. When it comes to a webinar, these are the perfect questions to answer. While they might be more research intensive as there may not be a lot of resources available; it’s almost guaranteed that your customers or potential customers have had the same questions.

  1. Be social.

From Quora and Reddit to LinkedIn Groups and more, business leaders are always seeking for answers to questions they have about their businesses. Find out what these questions are and if you could answer them through a webinar.

Pro tip. you can use these same groups to market your webinar. Send a quick reply in the discussion forum with a link to sign up for your Webinar to let everyone know you will be discussing that very topic.

  1. Explore ideas or early prototypes.

It’s human nature to want to see something before anyone else does. It feels like a privilege. If your team is working on something new, host a joint webinar with your marketing, design and engineering teams to give a sneak peek into what you are working on. If you are still in early development, share wireframes, prototypes or sketches to entire and retain customers.

Pro Tip. Construct this type of webinar in a way to get lots of feedback from your audience. Not only are you engaging your audience you will be able to improve your upcoming products and features with direct insights from your customers and prospects.

Ready to host a webinar? AnyMeeting has pioneered small business offering a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing service tailored for small business users. start your 14-day free trial now

Introducing Webinar 4.0

After over 6 months in development, we are absolutely thrilled to announce that our next generation webinar software, AnyMeeting Webinar 4.0 has been released.  This platform builds upon the innovation and progress we achieved with our Meeting 4.0 release, taking advantage of the latest HTML5 and WebRTC technologies to create a truly engaging and powerful webinar experience.

Webinar 4.0 is a complete re-write of our previous Flash based platform, making it lighter and faster to load and well positioned for future innovation using WebRTC.  A download and installation is no longer required for hosts and presenters, and all functionality is available from modern browsers, like Chrome and Firefox.

Rich Video Capabilities

Your webinars can now features HD Video Conferencing with 720p video of you and your co-presenters, as well as the ability to upload and play video files (mp4).  Here’s what it looks like with a single host on video… gorgeous:

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And we support up to 6 video presenters at a time:

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6 Presenter Panel on Video

Your audience can see and hear all of the hosts which can lead to a powerful panel discussion.

Rich Content Capabilities

While having good looking folks on video is great, you often need to back it up with some charts and figures.  That’s where our support for Screen Sharing, Slides (PowerPoint and PDF) and Video playback really enriches your webinars.

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6 Presenters discussing a Slide Deck

Or if Screen Sharing is more appropriate…

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Single Host with Screen Share

And to really wow them, play a video…

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2 Hosts with Video playback

By providing these rich content sharing tools, we’re very confident that your audience will not only be wowed, but their grasp and retention of your content will be maximized.

Driving Engagement

When we began designing this new version, we knew that engagement was a key benefit that our customers were seeking.  Ensuring that an audience pays attention to your content and engages with your message is very important to our marketing and training customers.  So we’ve added a couple of features and improved upon an existing feature.

Improved Live Polling

Our polling feature got a great new UI/UX boost with a much more user friendly interface and intuitive controls.

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Two Hosts presenting a Live Poll

NEW – Live Questions and Answers

A brand new feature we’re rolling out is a managed Questions and Answers module that allows the audience to easily submit questions for the Hosts.  This is separate from the live chat, which might allow for some questions to get lost.  Hosts are then able to look through the submitted questions, discard unwanted ones, edit as needed and then present each question to the audience.  Here’s how it looks:

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Attendees submit questions…
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Hosts can easily review them…
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And present the desired questions.

NEW – Audience Reactions

Ever wonder how your audience is feeling during your webinar?  Well now they can easily tell you with our Reaction Emojis. Your audience has a slew of emotions to choose from, and their avatar in the attendee list will be update to reflect it.

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Attendee Reaction Emojis

These are just a few of the new features and capabilities of our new Webinar 4.0 platform that we’re so excited about.  In the coming weeks, we’ll provide more information and insight on how to benefit from these new capabilities.

Are you an existing AnyMeeting customer on our Webinar 3.6 version and want to move up to Webinar 4.0?  Simple… just click here to migrate your account.  If you need any help, just contact our support team.

Love it? Not so much?  Let us know!

AnyMeeting Acquires Timebridge.com to Simplify Meeting Scheduling

AnyMeeting announced today that it has acquired Timebridge with its free, cloud-based, collaborative online scheduler and more than 250,000 users. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Timebridge is used by sales, marketing, and other business professionals to dramatically simplify the process for scheduling meetings and sharing calendars. Every month, Timebridge users avoid the frustration and lost-time of having to send over a million emails to organize their meetings. Like AnyMeeting, Timebridge has been built as an entirely cloud-based technology that focuses on simplifying the lives of its users.

“We are excited about the addition of Timebridge to our growing platform of sales and marketing engagement tools for small businesses,” said Costin Tuculescu, CEO & founder of AnyMeeting. “Like AnyMeeting, Timebridge is known for its ease of use, great value, and growing user base. We are looking forward to leveraging this acquisition with our other product development to provide a fully integrated sales and marketing engagement platform that will make AnyMeeting the tool of choice for sales and marketing leaders in small business.”

Over the next several months, the Timebridge and AnyMeeting teams will work to bring together these platforms to provide a seamless meeting booking and online meeting experience focused around the needs of sales and business professionals. The platform will be part of an integrated system meant to dramatically improve the effectiveness of building awareness and demand, generating leads, and growing a customer base through online sales and marketing initiatives.

“We are delighted to be joining AnyMeeting and renewing our focus on simplifying the lives of our users,” said Alex O, Team Lead at Timebridge. “Booking meetings should be easy and automatic, and only the beginning of how we can help make sales meetings and lead generation simple and effective.”

About AnyMeeting
AnyMeeting pioneered the small business web conferencing market in 2011 with a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing service tailored for small business users. Since then, it has grown to over a million registered users of its free and Meeting Pro and Webinar Pro subscription services. AnyMeeting offers a complete webinar and web conferencing service built on the company’s proven Software as a Service platform. Customers are able to invite up to 1,000 attendees per meeting with no time limits, and enjoy a full range of features including integrated video conferencing, conference calls, screen sharing, presentation sharing, recording, video uploads, and social media integration. For more information, please visit http://www.AnyMeeting.com.

About Timebridge
Timebridge is a free scheduling and calendar management service used by over 250,000 professionals. Use Timebridge to arrange outbound meetings, accept inbound meeting requests, and share your calendar with anyone using Outlook or Google Calendars. For more information, please visit http://www.timebridge.com.

Why Successful Companies Do Webinars Regularly

For successful companies, hosting regular webinars is a no brainer. Webinars are one of the best ways to extend your business’s reach, build your sales pipeline, or grow your audience. And most B2B marketers agree. In their 2016 content marketing survey, the Content Marketing Institute found that webinars ranked as the 2nd most effective type of content, behind only in-person events. Yet, webinars ranked 11th for content marketing activities completed, with only 66% of B2B marketers reporting that they had conducted a webinar in 2016.  

If you are one of the 34% of business that did not host a webinar in the last year, you are probably falling behind.  Most businesses find that webinars are one of the most effective ways to engage with their customers and prospects and build their business.

Not convinced? We’ve spoken to business leaders who conduct webinars regularly and here’s what we’ve learned.

You Can’t Get a Better ROI

Compared to other higher-cost marketing methods, webinars are very cheap to produce. Aside from the low monthly cost of an AnyMeeting account, webinars can be nearly free. To get started you don’t need a sophisticated set up. Simply have one of your team member find a quiet room with their laptop and with a couple of prepared slides and a demo or screenshare of your product and they’re ready to go. Of course, you can make your webinars more sophisticated as you gain experience by pre-recording presentations, incorporating videos, and increasing your preparation time.

Despite the minimal costs, webinars have the potential to fill your lead funnel, speed up your sales cycle and help significantly improve the retention of current customers by engaging with them in a personal setting with a customized message.

You will also get a higher return from your time. Some webinars will only last an hour, even with time for questions. Other marketing methods can takes hours to produce and weeks of getting trapped in a feedback loop. Since webinars are live, you only have to prepare and then host, with modest additional time to review results and leverage the AnyMeeting tools for follow ups. Instead of being locked in a delayed feedback loop, you learn from the process and iterate for your next webinar. During live presentations, your audience will be much more forgiving of any mistakes than they would in a highly produced video or similar piece of content.

“If you have sales team of 40 people doing 5 demos a day, you are not getting enough leverage. Webinars let you do a demo for 3000 people at once.”

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director at MobileCause.

Spending a few hours to engage personally with a large swath of customers and prospects without physical barriers in place can have a huge impact on the growth of your business.

EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE; THEN LEARN FROM YOUR AUDIENCE

Sometimes webinars aren’t only about how you can inform your audience, it’s equally important to use the opportunity to get feedback from your customers, as well as prospective customers who may not have purchased your product yet. Successful businesses rely on this engagement and real-time feedback loop to ensure they are always in step with their target audience to make informed decisions around both their product roadmap and future marketing initiatives.

Using polling or a Q&A during your webinar will help you gather feedback to improve your product and messaging. Is there any confusion around what your product offers? What its best features are?   Why haven’t your prospective customers purchased? Are you being asked to add a feature that you already have? Are there common themes surrounding the usability of your product or unsolved weaknesses that need to be addressed?

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director of MobileCause, conducts webinars at least monthly and debriefs with his team after each webinar to discuss what went well and what might need to be improved. His team also spends time analyzing the questions they were asked and comments they received to further learn from their audience.

For every customer that is giving feedback, there is another customer who thought the same thing and didn’t say anything. Webinars allow you to address both your silent and vocal customers, which will go further to increase your authority and credibility on the topics or products you are discussing.

This engagement may lead to prospective customers giving your product a chance or convince an existing customer to stick around a bit longer all while you are both growing your business and finding opportunities to improve.

FILLS YOUR CONTENT PIPELINE FOR MONTHS

Successful companies know that a well planned content marketing strategy is key to grow their businesses. Webinars are a great way to lay the foundation of your content marketing, as you are able to repurpose your webinar content in blog posts, video clips, infographics, meetups, webpages and more.

“Our webmaster takes webinar content to create evergreen SEO pages. We transcribe all of our content and visuals in pages and create a library to train customers and help potential customers.”

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director at MobileCause

Now that you have a newly filled lead funnel or have identified existing leads most likely to buy, you can combine the questions and comments you received during your webinar to create specific content to speed up your sales cycle or increase the retention of existing customers. Not only are you filling your content pipeline, you are creating content that will be exponentially more effective.

In future posts,  we’ll spend more time exploring  how to re-purpose your webinar to create the most efficient strategy to grow your business. But if you already have lots of content, we’ll show you how to become thought leaders and market leaders by adapting your content for webinars.

Are you ready to take the plunge and host your first webinar? AnyMeeting is a webinar service designed and priced for small businesses. We offer a full-featured web conferencing platform for all of your webinar, online meeting and video conferencing needs. Test us and let us know what you think–start your 14-day free trial now

New Webinar Scheduling and Recurring Meetings!

Scheduling a webinar is now easier than ever.

We’ve made a fairly large decision about our webinar product and we hope you like it.  In order to make our product as easy to use as possible for our webinar customers, we’ve streamlined the user interface by removing the Start Now button.

Now when you log in to your Webinar Pro account, there’s really only one foolproof way to get started with your webinars — just click the huge Schedule button. After that, pick a title and time for your webinar, and you’re all set.  You can edit your registration form and invite your audience when you’re ready.

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We decided to take away the Start Now button because it was actually starting a meeting and not a webinar and people were getting confused.  Also, we found that most of our webinar customers have a workflow that almost always starts with scheduling, so this was the best option for our webinar customers.  Feel free to let us know if you love or hate this change.

If you want to run quick and simple online meetings from your webinar account, you can schedule them ahead of time, or simply go to your shortcut meeting URL.  Here’s a great article that explains how it works.

We’ve also streamlined your webinar management

Once you’ve scheduled your webinar, our new “details” screen walks you through the process of managing your webinar.  There are simple buttons at the top that help you through each step.  Additionally, all relevant information about your webinar is nicely tucked away in a tab layout.

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You can now schedule recurring meetings!

A very popular feature request is now yours! Now when you schedule a meeting, just click the “This is a recurring event” checkbox and you’re off to the races.  Let us know how you like it!

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Hope you love it!  If you have any questions about any of this new stuff, please don’t hesitate to contact our support department at support@anymeeting.com.