Pre-pandemic, webinars sounded alien as people preferred face-to-face seminars. But now, with physical distancing and remote working policies, the tables have turned. As a result, we have experienced unprecedented growth in webinars, which have become a hit for many organizations. Webinars offer a safe, convenient and affordable way to connect with the target audience.
As good as it sounds, webinars come with their fair share of challenges, the most common being attendees dropping off every now and then. Just like a performer would want to glue their audience to their seats for the entire show, webinar planners similarly aspire to maintain their webinar attendees from the beginning to the end of the session. Drop-offs can result from several issues; such as, unstable internet connection, but it signals a problem when it persists.
This begs the question: what can you do to keep people from joining and leaving in the middle of your webinars? Keep reading for expert webinar tips on winning and retaining your audience's attention from the first moments of the webinar to the last ones.
Webinar Tips: How to stop people from dropping off your Zoom Webinar
1. Target the right audience
Finding the right audience for your webinar is the first and arguably the easiest way to stop people from dropping off. People leave webinars when they realize they are not interested in the topic under discussion. Therefore, while creating the webinar's marketing materials, ensure that you are as straightforward as possible on what will be discussed. Avoid the urge of sensationalizing topics or using click baits to draw people to your webinar because the moment they realize they were sold hot air, they will drop off.
You can use your CRM to fish out data about your customers and, after that, segment them according to their demographics, interests, and whatnot. You can also create a list from chat rooms, mail groups, and forums. Find out where your target audience hangs out the most and use the right channel to market to them. This way, you are assured of quality leads - individuals who are willing to sign up for the webinar and stay put to the end.
2. Be interactive
It is not just enough to attract the right audience to your webinar; you have to consistently pique their interest so that they don’t drop off. And since webinars are online, you need to work twice as hard to engage your audience and keep things interesting. Listening to a monotonous presentation and seeing slide after slide is likely to bore your audience, and when they get bored, they are likely to leave the webinar earlier even if they are interested in the webinar topic.
Various studies have shown that most people can actively focus on a presentation for 7-10min; that’s why experts suggest changing up your presentation every 7-10min. Here’s are a few webinar tips on how to make it interactive:
- Create polls for your audience to answer
- Let attendees ask questions and tell them that there will be a Q&A session at the end to answer their questions.
- Ask them to write their opinion in the chat
- Interact with your attendees in the chat: If you are a speaker, ask a colleague to manage the chat and the questions.
- Create small interactive challenges. For example: Take 2 minutes to write down X
- Choose a random attendee and engage with them 1-1. This will change up the flow of your presentation and give it a more authentic feel.
3. Create a unique and beautiful presentation
Nothing will make your attendees leave faster than a boring set of PowerPoint slides. Always aim to make the presentation visually appealing. Add some beautiful graphs, images, or even gifs to keep the audience visually engaged. Don’t be afraid to be quirky with your slides if it means getting the audience interested. In his book, The Content Marketing Handbook, marketing consultant Robert Bly advises speakers to have fun in their presentation, and we couldn't agree more.
The best practice currently is the use of PowerPoint presentations with talking heads instead of voice-over PowerPoints.
4. Get them excited about the speakers
A great topic alone is not enough to keep your audience from dropping off during a webinar session. Ensure you use great speakers to keep things exciting throughout the webinar. You can never go wrong with inviting industry experts and influencers to your webinar as speakers.
The standard procedure is to have the speaker with the most influence speak last to give the audience something to look forward to. Before the event, run a mini-series on your speakers highlighting their expertise, the time they will be speaking and the topic they will be covering. A great moderator will also help liven the webinar and keep the audience engaged.
5. Add a surprise or promotion at the end
Another tip you can use to keep people from dropping off your webinar is to add gifts/promotions at the end. This should come out clearly in the marketing materials and be mentioned during the webinar. For example, you can have various giveaways such as free membership, access to an upcoming paid webinar, or some promotional items. Another promising "surprise" that works well is an unannounced open forum where your audience can ask questions and interact with the speakers.
The best way to go about this is to study your target audience, know what they value then find meaningful gifts worth waiting for. You can also ask questions, have the audience respond in the chat box, and indicate that winners will be announced at the end of the webinar.
Don't offer replay as a promotional item, as this will work against your intent to keep your audience throughout the presentation. According to Laura Phillips, a launch strategist and founder of Love to Launch, "One big mistake I see in email sequences is sharing that a replay will be available. I don't recommend saying you won't be sharing a replay if you intend to, as you'll lose the trust of your audience with mixed messages," advises Phillips. "But explicitly stating you'll send out a replay is inviting people not to make it a priority.”
When it comes to webinars, there is no one-size-fits-all manual. So keep experimenting, keeping in mind the webinar tips mentioned above.
If you are interested in reading more webinar-related blogs, you can check out our blog at Predictive Response. Predictive Response specializes in marketing automation for Salesforce. We also create Salesforce native apps such as ZFusion, which seamlessly integrates Salesforce and Zoom Webinar, so all your webinar data gets recorded on a CRM for future use.
Happy hosting and be sure to let us know what worked for you!