Webinars have been the bread and butter of experienced marketers for some time.
But as the world has become more remotely structured and digitally driven, they have seen a huge resurgence.
Webinars are an incredibly powerful and cost-effective way to generate leads—but they’re also a complex and multi-faceted operation.
To run a webinar that’s a knock-out success, there are many different cogs to turn in tandem.
Thankfully, you’ve got this to guide you through it.
Here are the 7 steps to running a successful financial markets webinar.
Step 1: Determine your KPIs
As with any marketing endeavour, before you plan your webinar, you need a clear idea of what you want to achieve from it.
Are you looking to reach new customers in a different market? Or deepen the relationships you have with your existing ones?
Maybe you want to have your say on a particularly hot topic, and establish your brand as an influential voice in your space.
Whatever it is, make sure it’s measurable, and something that a webinar will help to achieve.
Broadly speaking, webinars are best when your goal is to reach people, impart knowledge, establish influence, or offer upfront value to potential customers.
Step 2: Curate a panel
Now you’ve got an end goal in mind, it’s time to plan the content of your webinar to make that end goal a reality.
It must be exciting enough to capture the interest of your audience, and valuable enough that they will deem it a worthwhile use of their time.
The best way to add some value to your webinar offering is to draft in some “star quality”.
Think about reputable speakers in your space who could share some interesting knowledge and perspective on the topic you’re discussing, and reach out to them.
Drafting in guest panellists has a number of benefits.
Firstly, if they’re experienced public speakers, they know how to keep an audience engaged.
Secondly, if they have a loyal following of their own, that will extend your reach when it comes to promoting the webinar (but more on that later).
If you plan on having multiple speakers or guests, make sure their identities and specialisms complement one another.
Say for example you’re hosting a webinar on applying AI in financial markets—having one guest with expertise in AI, and another with deep experience and knowledge of the financial markets is likely to make for a well-rounded and insightful discussion.
Your panel of guests should work together to examine and dissect the topic at hand from numerous different angles.
There’s a fine art to this, but if you get it right, you might find your webinar travels in exciting new directions you didn’t even think were possible.
Step 3: Set the agenda
Once you’ve booked your speakers, and arranged a date and time for your webinar, it’s time to set the agenda.
Agendas are valuable to both those running the webinar, and those in attendance.
For the webinar hosts and speakers, an agenda works much like a script.
It helps you to plan and structure the event, ensure things run smoothly, and keep it at the right pace—so no one gets prematurely cut off, or goes on for too long.
Having an agenda will also mean you won’t forget to mention anything important.
For your audience, an agenda lets them know the running order of the event as well as any basic housekeeping rules—i.e. what to do if they have a question, or are experiencing technical difficulties, when designated breaks will be and for how long, as well as how they can reach out for more information once the event is finished.
This helps to manage expectations appropriately, and keep all attendees feeling involved and engaged.
Step 4: Commit to the collateral
Webinars come with a very high requirement in terms of supporting collateral.
The first and most important thing is the assets and slides for the webinar itself.
Use hi-resolution images and graphics that bring your discussion points to life—nothing cheesy, pixelated or dull.
Try to prevent things from getting predictable too.
Some slides could be more text focused, some may contain an image or a video, while others could include icons, diagrams or visualized data.
You get the picture, keep it varied.
When it comes to the amount of text on each slide, less is more—keep it clean, clear, and crisp—a handful of short bullet points for each at most.
Then there’s design work for all of the assets you need to promote the event—branding for the event itself, invitation and reminder emails leading up to it, a landing page and thank you page for registration, and graphics to accompany social media posts.
There’s a lot of work to do, so be prepared and get started well in advance.
Step 5: Promote it
Now it’s time to get the word around, and start driving some registrations.
The key is to treat the promotion of your webinar like any other marketing campaign.
Firstly, you need to promote it with good content that engages people, grabs their attention, and persuades them to click on your offer.
You also need to push it using as many different mediums and channels as you can.
Emails, social media, paid ads, SEO, blogs, videos, —don’t hold back.
Leverage media contacts and people in your network as much as possible, and of course, encourage all your speakers and participants to promote the webinar amongst their network too—whether that means notifying their email database or their social media audience.
Step 6: Practice
This is arguably the most important part of the whole process.
A practice session is key to ensuring everyone and everything in your webinar is aligned as it should be.
There are a lot of different things that can go wrong on a webinar—speakers interrupting each other, connection problems, participants not knowing how to use certain functions.
Running a practice session allows you to make these mistakes behind closed doors.
This means there’s less chance of them happening in front of your audience—and that if they do, you’ll know exactly how to handle them without derailing things or making anyone look unprofessional.
Overall, this allows you to rest assured that you and your panellists will work well together to nail the content at hand.
Step 7: Follow things up
Congratulations, you’ve just hosted a highly informative and engaging webinar.
But the work’s not over yet.
Following up with attendees is key to getting the most out of all you’ve put into your webinar.
As a rule, look to contact everyone that registered for your webinar within 24 hours of the webinar finishing, and ensure they have the following:-
- A thank you message (if they attended)
- A “sorry you missed it” message (if they registered, but didn’t attend)
- A summary article, with written up Q&As if applicable
- A link to the webinar recording for people to watch in their own time
- Slides from the webinar, and any other supporting materials
- An optional survey to gather feedback
- Details of how they can contact you.
This will ensure both you and your attendees get the most out of the experience. Enabling the conversation to continue, and maximizing chances of conversion.
Running a successful financial markets webinar: Key Takeaways
So, to sum up, these are the 7 steps to hosting a hit webinar for your financial markets business:-
- Determine your KPIs; have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, make it something measurable, and plan the contents of your webinar accordingly.
- Curate a panel; reach out to speakers who could share knowledge and expertise on the topic at hand, and make sure they complement each other.
- Set the agenda; this will ensure things run smoothly, keep your webinar moving at the right pace, and that your audience knows everything they need to.
- Commit to the collateral; create quality supporting assets—slides, emails, social posts, landing and thank you pages—there’s lots to do, so get started in advance!
- Promote it; treat the promotion of your webinar like any other marketing campaign, and leverage as many different channels and contacts as you can.
- Practice; practice your webinar to keep things polished and ensure that if any mistakes happen on the day, you know how to deal with them.
- Follow up; follow up with attendees to get the most out of all the effort you’ve put into your webinar, and maximize chances of conversion.
We’ve launched successful podcasts for a number of fintech and financial markets businesses.