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How to Create a Successful Webinar | 12 Steps for Hosts in 2024

Learn how to create and host a webinar successfully! Our full guide covers everything from planning and promotion, to webinar hosting and recording.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
January 22, 2024
13
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Are you setting up a webinar for the first time and unsure where to start?

Creating an engaging webinar relies on many aspects, so you’ll want to prepare properly. You’ll need to learn the ins and outs of webinar planning, promotion, software and more. 

We’re here to help. Our ultimate guide covers a full step-by-step on how to create a webinar. Read on for the full tutorial, along with extra tips and dos and don’ts on how to make a successful webinar!

Why should you create a webinar?

Webinars are great for marketing new products or services. Let’s look at some more reasons why creating one can be helpful to your business. 

Convenient for a worldwide audience to attend 

Getting new customers from across the world is a challenging task. But hosting a webinar is one of the best ways to do so. Your physical location does not bind you, and anyone can join no matter where they are.

Establishes you as an authority 

The mere act of hosting a webinar makes people see you as an authority in the field. And if the webinar is especially informative, with unique-never-before-seen information, it can boost your credibility further. 

Easy fodder for content creation 

You can repurpose webinars into blog posts, social media clips, online courses, and podcasts. A good webinar is like a gift to your marketing that keeps on giving.

Great for lead generation 

The registration process for a webinar naturally collects contact information, giving you access to the most precious commodity in marketing – a person’s inbox. Plus, if your webinar is value-packed, it’ll likely convert all those leads into potential buyers. 

Analytics help marketing strategies

A webinar gives you insights into your customer base.  

For instance, the combination of registration and attendance analytics lets you know the number of people interested in your product offerings. Feedback and surveys let you know what your ideal customers’ likes and dislikes are. 

Instant feedback for your business 

While conducting a webinar, the attendees can tell you directly, live on the call, what they like or dislike about your offering. 

Also, the questions they ask or concerns they voice will give you insight into how to improve your product.

Great for demonstrating products or services 

A webinar is the ultimate way to showcase your product or service, using real-time demonstrations and walkthroughs. Plus, you can address customer queries or objections instantly.

How to create a webinar: 12 Effective Steps

Step 1: Figure out your target audience

Before you begin brainstorming webinar topics, understand who your audience is first. Start by noting down their pain points and interests. You can do this by:

Conducting surveys: Take advantage of tools like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or Typeform for this. You can ask questions like:

  • What topics are you interested in X niche?
  • What challenges are you currently facing in your business/industry?
  • What skills are you looking to develop that our webinars could potentially address?
  • Are there any specific questions or issues you'd like us to address in a webinar?

Social Media Listening: See what your customers are saying on social media. Look at what topics your customers are discussing, the questions they’re asking, and the challenges they face. Use tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Brandwatch to help with this.

Email feedback: Have a newsletter or have regular email communication with your customers? Fantastic, you can ask them for their input on topics they might be interested in. Include a survey link or tell them they can reply directly to the email.

Website Analytics: Use your website analytics to see what content your customers are engaging with the most. 

Sales and Customer Service Feedback: Your sales and customer service teams will have the most insight into your customers’ needs and interests.

Competitor Analysis: If your competitors have created successful webinars, analyze their strategy and see what you can learn from them. 

Step 2: Brainstorm and choose webinar topics

Using the input above, brainstorm and decide on the webinar topic. Here are some steps to choose the right one:

  1. Figure out what you want your webinar to achieve: Are you aiming to educate your customers, introduce new products or services, establish thought leadership, or something else?
  2. Narrow down the list: Once you’ve figured the above out, assess each idea for relevance to your audience, alignment with your goals, and feasibility.
  3. Validate your ideas: After shortlisting potential topics, you can ask people on a social media poll about their topic interests. 

Step 3: Choose the most suitable webinar format

You may think a webinar is just one speaker talking throughout, but this can get rather boring. The key to making a webinar successful is to use a format that engages your audience and matches your topic. You can choose from formats such as the following:

Panel discussion:

This involves a few speakers discussing a specific topic and usually answering questions on the matter. This makes the tone more conversational and interactive. 

Tutorial or demo:

In this webinar format, you’ll showcase how to do something generally revolving around your product or service. 

Q&A:

Get your audience involved and answer all their burning questions on a specific topic.

Interview:

Invite a matter expert and get their credible input around a topic or question.

Step 4: Decide on the right webinar platform

Next, choose the right platform. When scouting for one, the factors you’ll have to consider are:

  • Audience size
  • Budget
  • Ease of use
  • Interactivity features
  • Integration capabilities
  • Recording and storage capabilities
  • Customer support

We’ve reviewed some of the best webinar platforms and detailed each of their features here. 

Step 5: Select the ideal time for the webinar

Find out where your potential attendees live and set a convenient time that’s ideal for all. 

Step 6: Create the registration page

Creating a registration page is important not only to sign up attendees, but also to generate excitement for the webinar. 

You can create landing pages using a webinar hosting platform like EverWebinar, Get Response, WebinarNinja, or BigMarker. Other third-party tools you can use are Eventbrite and HubSpot. 

At a minimum, ask for the attendee’s name and email address. Requesting too much additional information can deter sign-ups. 

Step 7: Make the content

Before working on the content, whether that be working on pre-recorded material, scripts, or structure of the webinar, decide on the type of webinar you want to conduct. Some of the different categories include:

  • Presentation webinars
  • Interview Webinars
  • Workshop or Training Webinars
  • Town Hall Webinars
  • Case Study Webinars
  • Product Demo Webinars

Next, outline the webinar’s structure:

  • Introduction: Begin with an introduction of yourself and your company. It’s also important to establish credibility so the audience has a strong reason to listen to you. 

Then give a quick overview of how the webinar will flow and the general rules of conduct. 

  • The meat of the content: This is the heart of the webinar. Break down the main content into sections. For example, depending on the topic, it could look like Background>Problem>Solution>Case Studies>Tips/Strategies. 
  • Q&A time: This is where you interact with your audience. Try to anticipate questions attendees may ask and prepare a good response. This is the webinar section where your audience will derive maximum value and establish trust. So allocate enough time for this section. 
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points of the webinar, thank your audience for their time and participation, and present your Call to Action (CTA). 

The CTA could be anything from downloading a resource, signing up for a service, or scheduling a follow-up call. 

Step 8: Promote your webinar

Even if you’ve created the most kick-ass webinar possible, it won’t matter if no one shows up. So start promoting your webinar weeks in advance. 

Some ways to promote your webinar include: 

  • Creating an email marketing campaign 
  • Posting on social media (posts, teaser videos, etc.)
  • Promoting the webinar on your website
  • Creating blog posts related to the webinar topic
  • Paid advertising
  • Partnering with influencers and other businesses to promote the webinar. 

Step 9: Practice your webinar

Rehearse the webinar with a friend or a colleague. But if you’re uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience, you may want to hire an industry expert or get someone from your team who can do so. 

Step 10: Technical setup

Make sure you find a nice and quiet place. And the basics of high-speed internet and a decent laptop aside, you’ll need a camera, headphones, a microphone, and good lighting.

Your laptop might already have a built-in camera and microphone that’ll do the job, but if you want to hit the webinar out of the park, it's a good idea to get some separate gear. We’ve reviewed some of the best headphones, microphones, and cameras (while these are meant for podcasts, you can use them for webinars too), so you have a look at those articles to find the right one for you. 

Step 11: Conducting the Webinar

Log on at least 15-30 minutes before the webinar starts. This will give you time to resolve any last-minute technical issues. 

As attendees come pouring in, welcome them and let them know when the webinar will start. You could also play soft background music or display a countdown timer. 

It’s important to respect your attendees' time. Give the introduction, deliver the main content, and follow up with Q&A. Wrap up the session by summarizing the key points and letting the attendees know the next steps. This could be downloading additional resources or purchasing a product or service.

Step 12: Post-Webinar follow-up

Thank your guests for attending your webinar

After the webinar, send a Thank-You email to all registrants within 24 hours. 

In this mail, include a recap of the webinar, add key takeaways and the CTA.

For the no-shows, you can send a separate email on what they missed. Add a link to the recording or briefly summarize what was discussed. 

You can even share any resources referenced in the podcast, like a book, blog post, video, etc. 

While you’re on your way to mastering the art of webinars, it’s a good idea to always ask for feedback when possible. Post-webinar is a great time to do so, so that you could send a feedback form in your Thank-You mail. 

Ask attendees what they liked, what they didn’t, and what topics they’d be interested in the future. Keep the survey short and to the point to increase completion rates.

Take your webinar further

Here are some more best practices for ending the webinar cycle profitably:

  • Nurture leads: Segment your attendees based on their engagement level during the webinar. For instance, highly engaged attendees might be ready for a sales call, while less engaged attendees might benefit from more nurturing via email campaigns or additional resources.
  • Analyze data: Webinar platforms often provide analytics about attendee behavior, like how many people attended, how long they stayed, and how they interacted during the event. By taking advantage of this data, you can understand what worked and what didn't and then make improvements for your next webinar.
  • Repurpose webinar content: Don’t let all the hard work you’ve put into the webinar go to waste, so consider repurposing it. It can be turned into a blog post, an infographic, a series of social media posts, or a YouTube video. 

Note: Riverside has a feature called Magic Clips that makes repurposing content extremely easy. Using Ai, Magic Clips identifies key moments in your recording and turns them into short shareable videos. You'll maximize on one recording and turn it into multiple forms of content. This can help you reach a larger audience and get more value from your efforts.

Creating top-quality webinars with Riverside

recording a webinar on riverside

If you’re looking for a webinar platform to start immediately, check out Riverside. It’s easy to use and records in high-quality (with up to 4K video resolution). 

With Riverside, you can host a webinar with up to 8 participants and 1000 audience members. While your audience isn’t part of your recording, you can invite them to be through a live call-in. You can expand your reach by streaming to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any custom RTMP.  But where Riverside stands out is in its recording and repurposing capabilities.

Not only does Riverside record in top-quality resolution, but we offer local recording to make sure your internet won’t get in the way. This means everything records directly on your device instead of relying on your web connection. 

But once you’ve got your studio-standard recordings, you can easily repurpose them with our text-based editor. We use Ai transcriptions so editing your recordings is as simple as reading through a text-document. Any text you delete in your recording removes the matching video and audio in your recording. This is great for polishing your long-form webinar video, but you can also use our Magic Clips tool to turn webinar highlights into shareable social media content. All it takes is one click, and Ai does the rest.  You can also download your recordings transcripts to create blogs or webinar notes. 

Learn more about Riverside, or sign up for seamless webinars!

Incorporating Interactive Elements: How to create engaging webinars

Webinars don't have to be boring, with the host talking for hours on end. Here’s how you make a webinar more interesting. 

  • Use Visuals: Visual aids like slides, images, graphs, infographics, and videos can make your content more appealing and easier to understand. They can help you explain complex topics and keep your audience engaged.
  • Keep it Interactive: Engage your audience throughout the webinar. You can use tools like polls, quizzes, or live chats to make your webinar more interactive. Encourage your audience to ask questions or share their thoughts.
  • Tell Stories: People love stories. They are easier to remember and can make your content more relatable. Use case studies or anecdotes to illustrate your points.
  • Use breakout rooms: Breakout rooms can drive interaction and help people feel like they’re part of a community. These can also increase people's trust and loyalty to your brand. 
  • Real-Time Annotation: Some webinar platforms allow the presenter to annotate their screen in real-time, highlighting important points or guiding the audience's attention.
  • Live Chat: Encourage participants to use the chat function to comment, ask questions, provide feedback, and interact with each other. 

Dos and Don’ts for hosting successful webinars

Dos

  • Do leverage social proof: Use testimonials, case studies, or examples of other people who’ve had success with your methods or products whenever you can. 
  • Do invite guest speakers: While it isn’t a must ‘do,’ it’s very helpful. Adding an influencer or an expert co-host/guest makes webinars more interesting and adds insane value to your webinar. It can also attract their followers to your brand. 
  • Do relax: While it sounds oxymoronic, do try to relax. Sure, prepare thoroughly for the webinar in advance (especially if you’re not an experienced webinar presenter), but then just let go and trust in yourself on the day of the webinar. 
  • Do keep mobile users in mind: Not all your attendees will join from a desktop. So increase the size of text and visuals, and choose a webinar platform that supports mobile (FYI, Riverside works great on mobile). 

Don’ts

  • Don’t use text-heavy presentation slides: A long wall of text does not engage the reader. It can overwhelm the audience’s cognitive capacity, decrease engagement, and reduce attention. 

It’s better to use text sparingly. So as an alternative, use elements like bullet points, images, charts, graphics, and videos to bring your message to life. 

  • Don’t ignore your audience: It can be easy to forget about your audience when focusing on presenting information and trying to deliver a value-packed webinar. But you must remember to engage with the audience from time to time. 

Ignoring your audience can make them feel undervalued and less likely to engage with you. 

So during the webinar, pay attention to the chat, respond to feedback (for example, attendees may claim your voice isn’t loud enough), and answer questions that may be relevant. 

(Note: You can always tell your audience to hold off on questions till the end, but some questions may be too important to neglect).

  • Don’t forget to hit record: This can be your biggest oopsie! Especially if you’ve already promised to record the webinar. 

FAQs on How to Create a Webinar

How do I create a webinar for free?

Many platforms allow you to create a webinar for free. For example, you can leverage the free versions of platforms such as Riverside or Zoom to run your webinar. However, free versions often have limitations, so check each company's pricing page to know what these are. 

How much do I charge for a 1-hour webinar? 

The amount you charge for a 1-hour webinar may vary based on your expertise, content value, target audience, and market rates for you niche. 

As a rough guide, you can charge anywhere between $30 to $250. But again, this can vary wildly, so reassess this price periodically, taking into account feedback from attendees and changes in your market. 

However, if you’re just starting, consider offering a few free webinars to generate interest, gain experience, and get testimonials. This can also help to build your reputation before you start charging.

What is the best platform to host webinars?

The best platform to host webinars depends on the kind of features you want, your tech-savviness, your budget, and other factors. 

To know more about these, as well as our recommendations for platforms, read our best webinar software review. 

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