How to make a successful webinar
Your webinar is the best… but you’re not alone anymore
The number of webinars has increased tenfold. Up to 4 times as many video live events were conducted in March 2020 compared to March 2019 according to this study.
Yes, of course, you can flood the market with reminder messages to get people to sign up for your webinar and then follow along. That’s not enough. Increase the value of your webinar goes far beyond choosing the right streaming software.
This article is based on our long experience with webinars for business-to-business communication.
But all our best practices apply to all uses. Our tips and tricks are also for you if you are doing a live stream for the general public (B2C). And this regardless of the target (Twitch, YouTube, Facebook or your own website).
Make your webinar a success: improve video content
Visuals determine the perception of quality on the webinar
Kombini, Brut, you know? What they have in common: these videos are dynamic. Kombini and Brut have a strong identity (graphic design: color, brand logo, name of the speakers…).
How can you replicate this model at your level? By using the same tricks: dynamism, graphics and information.
A dynamic video increases the number of views
Our attention is reduced in time. On top of that, we are very busy (calls, messages, e-mail).
Give dynamism to the program requires doing better than the competition.
Interactivity is essential. Questions from the audience are ideal.
In addition, vary the sources (video, graphics, etc.) keeps participants’ attention. Show this content while the speakers are speaking is a plus to “customize” a monologue for example.
Graphics: the secret behind a “superior” webinar
A graphic skin sets the tone instantly! Take the test: add a simple graphic or the speaker’s name to your video, then ask around. The verdict is clear.
What graphics to add to your streaming video:
- Speaker names (a “synth” in TV production jargon): essential because the majority of participants only view a portion; in radio, the host constantly repeats the speakers’ names, this technique can also complement the display
- Multiple sources: display the speaker and a media (e.g. video, photo, presentation); in the background, the graphic identity of the brand brings a real difference while the device is very simple
- A logo: there are several mistakes to avoid, including flooding the screen with logos. Very often, the brand’s logo is perceived by the manager as the ultimate reward (“my logo is present, therefore my brand is participating”). It is better to use brand logos on a jingle (short transition video).
PLUS: Make the webinar fun to trigger the desire to watch
The secret: dopamine. It’s the pleasure hormone. A notification? A game? An announcement of a fun activity? That’s an extra dopamine rush!
What’s next? The only thing left to do is to add dopamine to your webinars.
For example, you can host live quizzes and polls.
Webinar success: choose the right webinar tool
A good webinar tool must obey the triptych: quality, simplicity, security.
PLUS: Make the webinar fun to trigger the desire to watch
Historically, webinar tools have been video conferencing solutions. Gotomeeting, GoToWebinar, Webex (Cisco), Microsoft (Skype and Teams), Google Meet and Zoom are the market leaders.
JoinMe, Whereby, Pexip, Livestorm are newcomers.
The rendering quality remains similar: speakers via webcam and a computer screen displaying a presentation.
Video production tools
Provide a better visual experience requires a video production control room.
Typically, it is a device in which all the sound and image sources are entered, then the signal is sent to a streaming server (Web, social networks). The offer is rich, here are the market leaders for corporate video:
- Entry level: OBS software
- Mid-range: VMix software
- High end: NewTek Tricaster hardware
Use real video production for a webinar
Often, marketing features are also required (registration, mailing, smartphone application, interactivity…). Dedicated solutions exist, generally designed for premium events.
If the question and answer features of the webinar are sufficient, we can simplify. A single service is enough to answer both needs: a video conferencing solution coupled with a video production control room in the Cloud (i.e. as a service accessible from a web browser).
Vodalys Studio is a leader in this market.
Who will handle the technical solution for your webinar?
If you entrust the organization of your webinar to a video professional, you are lucky!
If you want to manage your webinar on your own, the number of options is considerably reduced: use a webinar tool for a classic rendering or use Vodalys Studio to produce a premium video format.
Websites, pages or social network channels host sensitive data. Their access is therefore controlled.
The same goes for marketing tools that have access to the contact database.
On the webinar tool side, Webex and others allow different levels of usage. For example, only the administrator has privileges to manage the webinar.
In the production room, connections to Facebook and YouTube for example are managed by the operator. Contributors do not have access to them! This is the case for Vodalys.
Take security into account when choosing a tool is essential. It allows you to sleep on both ears!
Succeed with your webinar: combine video conferencing and video production in the cloud
Video conferencing allows you to create a virtual meeting in a simple way. It offers comfort and features (e.g. automatic selection of the speaker who takes the floor). Among the offerings, we find Google Meet and Zoom.
To enrich the experience, the video of the videoconference is injected as a source from the video production platform. This stream is enriched with content (graphics, logos, titling, jingles, video topics…).
The result is streamed live to social networks or to the private web player.
Vodalys Studio is one of the leaders in this field.
Webinar success: choose where to broadcast live video
To broadcast your webinar, there are two options:
- Broadcast directly to a social network
- Use a webinar solution or your own website
- Live webinar broadcast on the Internet (YouTube, Facebook, etc.)
- Build loyalty among your social network followers
- Notify your audience through the notification mechanism
- Schedule the live event on a YouTube channel, Facebook page or group to inform the audience
- Limit access to the video by broadcasting in a Facebook group to which you control access
- Benefit from a platform optimized for video streaming, even with a large number of participants, with no geographical limitations and no associated costs
- Secure the broadcast by limiting access to pirates
- Public access: impossible to limit access to the webinar to registered attendees (unless using a closed private Facebook group)
- Marketing data: can’t determine exactly who is watching your webinar
- Branding: advertising and video at the end of the video are almost impossible to control
- Piracy: video can be downloaded via specialized software
- Diffusion viBroadcasting via a webinar solution or its own website
- Notify the audience that is following you via email (sometimes automated by the webinar platform)
- Determine exactly who is watching your webinar
- Limit access to the video with a dedicated link per participant for the most sophisticated webinar solutions, or a specialized portal [LINK TO VODALYS SITE PLATFORM] where you can find the archives of past events
- Benefit from an optimized platform for online meetings
- Secure the broadcasting by limiting access to pirates; the video is more difficult to download because it is not available in free access
- Cost (compared to social networks which are “free”)
- Scope: no network effect, only registered participants have access to the content
- Event : must be created in parallel on social networks or in an e-mailing software
- Video: only some solutions are optimized for smooth video streaming (this is the case of Vodalys)
All good webinar tools have one thing in common: they are all easy to use.
Make a success of your webinar: Produce your webinar on your own or rely on professionals
You’re on your own to create a webinar. But if you lack resources, what do you do?
- Webinar software is simple: delegate internally
If the technical solution is easy enough to use, you can delegate the production to someone on your team
In the two examples above (CJD and Dell), production is handled by people who are not video professionals.
- Delegate externally
Two types of services are possible:
- Complete webinar production: contact a video production company or a communications agency
- Assistance (implementation and realization): contact a webinar service provider like Vodalys
We’ve reviewed some simple ways to make your webinar successful while producing premium content.
It starts with improving the quality of the live video. The webinar software should have graphic features among others. Video streaming can be coupled with interactivity and video conferencing features to enhance the experience. It is important to decide in advance where to broadcast your webinar and how to best promote it!
Last aspect to make a success of your webinar: the subject, the speakers, the duration. Any trends? Keep it short, focus on gender diversity (men and women), vary the content (no more monologues on a Powerpoint background).
Always and again: quality!
Specialist in disruptive marketing solutions, François has been working in professional video since 1996. He has been working on video streaming since 2000. François has produced about 30 webinars, all using Vodalys Studio. And that’s just in the first 5 weeks of 2020.
Vodalys has years of experience in supporting professional clients. You can remain autonomous in the realization of webinars. Vodalys can assist you in the realization of the live video production service, from the delivery to the realization and its diffusion on social networks and the web. Finally, Vodalys provides complete webinar solutions including marketing and video access portal.
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