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6 Ways to Get More Out of Hosting Webinars

The benefits of webinars are numerous — for brand awareness, thought leadership, and even lead gen. But webinars can also involve a significant investment in time and resources, so it’s important to make sure you have a strategy that will pay off. If you’re not seeing a lot of results from your webinars (or if you’re just getting started with webinars in 2014), learn how to take a fresh approach to your strategy using a few of the ideas below.

1. Invite a guest presenter.

Ask a partner or client to present on their area of expertise. Not only does this take the pressure off of you to come up with content, it also benefits your partner or client, and introduces a new topic to your audience that may be outside your realm of expertise.

2. Try two presenters.

Having two presenters instead of one can add a whole new dynamic to your webinar. Having two people from different departments present on their respective areas of expertise and then explain how they are able to work together and complement one another allows you to reach a wider audience—and often makes for a far more interesting presentation.

3. Make it interactive.

Allow attendees to submit questions throughout the presentation, and include a short Q&A session at the end of your webinar. This can be an invaluable opportunity for your attendees to get personalized advice direct from an expert — and can ensure that your audience sticks around until the end of the hour.

4. Include a poll.

Many webinar platforms allow the presenter to take a quick poll of attendees during the webinar. This is another great way to add interaction to your webinar and can also give the presenter a better idea of who they are talking to, allowing them to subtly adjust their content accordingly.

5. Incorporate social media.

Allow your attendees to interact with one another during the webinar via social media. Create a hashtag and include it on all of your slides, and highlight short, shareable stats (140 characters or less) that your viewers can share with their networks.

6. Don’t let your efforts end with the webinar.

After all the work that goes into organizing, promoting, and running a webinar, don’t let your efforts end there. Record your webinar and host it on your website (behind a form if lead gen is a priority), in a blog post, or on social networks like SlideShare—or better yet, all three. Webinars can be valuable and easily-digestible sources of information, so use them to attract visitors to your site and establish your business’ thought leadership.

Also be sure to follow up with your webinar attendees, since they are often valuable prospects for your business. If you’re using marketing automation, consider creating a short lead nurturing track for post-webinar follow-up, and offer additional content to keep attendees engaging with your company.

What are some other ways to increase the effectiveness of your webinars? Let us know in our comments section, and be sure to download our free Webinars Handbook for tip sheets and worksheets on organizing and optimizing your webinar strategy.

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