Webinar Planning Template
Hosting a live webinar on the surface seems straightforward. On the surface, it is, but if you want to maximize its potential, you will need to put in some forethought. Many people are running webinar events, in fact it happens to be the most common virtual event. That doesn’t mean we should trivialize how hard they are to execute successfully as we go through the critical elements of webinar planning. Not everything will apply to you, and that is okay. The article aims to highlight any areas you may have overlooked or undervalued. I would recommend you have some sort of organizational structure. Using a project management app or even a document to have all your plans organized in one place is advised. If you need a checklist to build off, checkout an example of what we use.
You need to create defined goals for your webinar. Consider what value you are trying to bring to your attendees and what you are trying to get out of it yourself. The outcomes you are looking for can range from increasing product demos to increasing newsletter signups. Understanding this will help you when it comes to structuring your webinar presentation.
- What is the webinar topic we are presenting to the audience? Does that topic bring them value? Does that value translate into your outcome goals?
- As the purveyor, what are your outcome goals for the webinar? Setting specific goals and metrics that you can track will determine the overall success of your webinar. Our blog post about How to measure the ROI of a Webinar can give you some idea of where to start.
Who is the target audience? What are their needs?
- Write out who is the ideal webinar attendee. Ask yourself why and how you provide the answers they are looking for. This will assist in determining who you are going to target for your marketing campaign.
- What are the specific skills and information they are seeking? This will assist in determining the content and the type of speakers you want to have in your webinars.
Content + Format
Now that you know what your webinar presentation will be and who your webinar attendees will be. It is time to start conceptualizing what the structure of your webinar will look like. Here is a basic outline you can build off of. This may seem like lots of extra work, but this will help in creating a successful webinar in the long term.
Webinar format - Determine how you want your information to be delivered to your target audience
- Panel discussion
Webinar Structure - Build out your webinar agenda design and flow. Below is a basic structure you can build off of.
- Open Doors
- Main Session
- Q&A Session
- Close Doors
Assets - Creating custom assets will help elevate your webinar from just having a floating head on the stage.
- Powerpoint deck
- Graphics such as overlays, backgrounds, and logos.
- Handouts: such as case studies and marketing material that you may want to share
Interactive elements - These are fantastic engagement tools to help maintain the attendee's attention. Remember, in a virtual environment, you are competing for the attendee's attention.
- Call to actions
Formalize your marketing strategy for your target audience. This may vary depending on the demographics of who you are targeting. Please check out our article regarding promoting your webinar marketing best practices. Here is a brief list of items to consider for your marketing strategy.
- Email Marketing - Leverage your email database of your target personas. The majority of registrants still come from email promotion.
- Social Mediate Campaigns - How are you going to promote your event on LinkedIn? Facebook? etc? Can you incentivize registrants to share somehow?
- Partnership and Co-marketing collaboration- Can you host a webinar with another company and jointly promote it?
- Landing Page Design - Your landing page is the door to your webinar or event, make sure its on brand and makes the webinar look interesting.
- Communities - Are there communities or groups where you can promote your event to the correct audience? If you do this be sure to checkin with the owner of the community and ensure its ok to share or promote your event.
- When should you start promoting the event? It's best practice to begin promoting your webinar two weeks before the webinar. For large events, starting earlier than that is better. If you have co-marketing partners, make sure to coordinate with them and promote at the same time to maximize reach.
Establishing who is involved and what are their responsibilities, along with setting a timeframe to have deliverables completed will help set expectations and keep things on track. A detailed and consolidated plan will relieve stress and confusion for everyone involved.
Date and Time - Setting a date between Tuesday and Thursday are the most popular days of the week to host a webinar. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are the most popular times of the day.
Equipment needed - Nail-down equipment required. Remember to factor in time to test equipment.
Webinar/Production team - List who is part of your production team and their responsibilities.
- Lead Manager
- Live event producer
- Asset Designer
- Marketing Manager
- Event Marketing Manager
Timeline - Establish a timeline for deliverables for the life cycle of the webinar. You should include pre and post-event planning deliverables. Give yourself about eight weeks to plan out your webinar correctly. Allowing you enough time to get all your preparations and marketing strategy to be effective.
Registration - Establish how you want to receive your webinar registration. Many webinar platforms have their own built-in forms that can integrate into various CRMs like Hubspot and Marketo. Don’t forget to check out our blog post regarding boosting webinar registration.
The Follow Up
Establish a post-event plan to continue the conversation with those that attended your event. Providing additional content post-webinar helps push conversion for attendees who are on the fence. At the minimum, you should have an email campaign for post event follow-up.
- Recording of the webinar
- Additional Content/Insights
- Additional Call to Action
- Cross collaboration with other teams, such as ensuring post-event data is appropriately integrated with your CRM
After your initial follow up, you now have a treasure trove of unique content ready to be repurposed, reformatted, and distributed through all of your other marketing channels. While most webinar recordings are stuck in long form video format, there are tons of new tools on the market that can help you cut them up, transcribe them, and turn your long form content into short form video or even into text formats. If you choose a webinar tool like Welcome, we automatically generate short form clips, fully transcribed and branded, as soon as the recording is done being processed. These clips are great to be used for:
- Blog posts
- Social Media/LinkedIn posts
- Sales collateral
- Outbound marketing
- Web pages
The event is over, and it is time to measure your efforts. During the goal-setting phase, you should have established what metrics and values you are looking for. Now is the time to review those values and evaluate your wins and losses. If this is your first webinar, don’t be hard on yourself if the outcomes are not what you expected. Brand awareness and trust take time; the best way to do that is to keep consistently producing more webinars. Each webinar will offer you new insights and new values that you look into measuring.