Planning events is a cumbersome task, and webinars are no exception, bringing their own unique challenges. However, thanks to their efficacy, they won’t disappear as a marketing tactic anytime soon, so finding the right webinar planning tools and software is essential.
Professionals across industries must understand how to leverage webinars. A 77% focus rate proves that audiences are paying attention, but the heavy lift is on the host to provide valuable content that keeps attendees engaged. While the pandemic may have temporarily required webinars, the benefits they offer far outweigh their necessity in specific situations.
The Benefits of Webinars
Webinars are a convenient type of event. With few requirements to join one, any marketer will want to leverage webinars’ ease of use to reach potential customers. These virtual events require a single device (smartphones and tablets can suffice) with an internet connection of 10MB/s.
Meanwhile, for those hosting webinars, they’re a low-budget option to reach a wide audience. Although they require preparation, the material needs are far lower than those for in-person events. And, despite the virtual setting, the right strategies can produce high-impact experiences that create positive results.
With their convenience, broad reach, and low cost, webinars open up a new world of opportunities for businesses.
What Makes a Webinar Successful?
A successful webinar meaningfully communicates a specific idea that’s relevant and engaging to its target audience. A vague presentation that fails to delve into any specific point won’t have as strong of an impact.
In practice, this means a successful webinar should:
- Improve your brand’s reach and reputation
- Increase your authority in your company’s niche
- Generate as many new leads as possible
- Be repurposed into as many other applicable forms of content after the fact
- Drive retention and renewals among your existing customers
All goals for a successful webinar require long-term strategic thinking. That’s why different webinars produce vastly different results. Half-hearted webinars don’t secure meaningful viewership and produce mediocre results.
For your webinar to be effective, it should aim to inform and inspire. The right webinar platform should provide features that make it easy to present your brand and information while engaging your audience. The primary purpose of that is the specific, quantifiable result you want to achieve with a webinar, such as:
- Publicity, as measured by webinar attendance
- Lead generation (such as collecting email addresses)
- Identification of high-intent prospects
Keep in mind there are other qualitative goals to consider when crafting a webinar:
- Answer audience questions (meaningful interactions other audience members can appreciate).
- Gain insights that enable you to improve your products and services.
- Build trust with your audience and broader customer base.
- Reach people who otherwise wouldn’t interact with your business.
Preparing for Webinar Success
A great way to set yourself up for a successful webinar is to make sure you have the tools in place to stay organized, track your goals, and develop an easy-to-execute plan.
Webinars can have hundreds of moving pieces. Staying organized makes it easy to share event details with your team, ensure planning is on track, and reduce the overall anxiety that comes with webinar planning.
You don’t need to wait until the end of a webinar to determine whether or not it was successful. Build your webinar goals into your overall planning process to track your progress from the beginning. Referencing and reporting on established goals throughout webinar planning can guide webinar development and strategy and make sure everyone is working towards the same outcome.
Things happen, and people get sick, but that doesn’t mean you need to cancel your webinar. A successful webinar has contingency plans that cover what happens if a guest can’t make it or you need to troubleshoot your webinar technology. A webinar plan that keeps all your information in one place, is easy to track, and provides the details needed to pull off a great event sets you and your team up for success from the very start.
What Are the Best Webinar Planning Tools?
Regardless of the type and scale of the webinar you plan to host, having the right webinar planning tool(s) is essential.
There are several key aspects of planning that you need to be aware of. The best tools are effectively able to facilitate comprehensive planning, but in a way that isn’t too difficult or demanding.
The best webinar planning tool enables you to organize:
- Promotion schedules
- Webinar content
- Important data
- Downloadable or shareable content
Your viewers’ experiences will largely depend on you and your tool’s ability to plan a walkthrough for them. Successful webinars have successful before, during, and after processes. Your planning tool for the “before” part includes common features such as dashboards, RSVP features, and thorough templates. Extra planning features like custom forms, employee organization, and graphs can also make a huge difference. The key in these cases is usability.
We will go over which of these aspects each webinar planning tool excels in.
Monday.com is a cloud-based project management software company with built-in templates that make webinar planning easy.
The Webinar Plan Template is a strong feature placed in the Event Planning Campaign interface. It’s well designed and user-friendly. It enables multi-platform management with labels for each platform alongside a color code for easy recognition. This makes the planning stage easier. Of course, going into the webinar with more knowledge about your audience is always a powerful benefit. In addition, the RSVP feature enables custom responses.
Monday’s Event Campaign Planning offers a lot of continuity as well. It’s designed to let you build on previous experiences to optimize subsequent events.
With Monday.com, you would create the webinar plan using an event template or create your own from scratch.You can build your plan with the help of:
- Other integrated apps
- Custom forms
- Progress bars and other engagement features
- Employee assignments
- Several other organizational and design tools
Trello is a collaboration tool designed to help teams of professionals collaborate on all kinds of projects. Its base service is free, but larger organizations can pay for enhanced services and more features.
Trello’s features are similar to event planning facets included in platforms like Asana. In terms of webinars, Trello can be a robust webinar planning tool when all its teamwork features are used strategically:
- Member tracking
- Due dates
The timeline view feature organizes tasks chronologically. It’s well designed for both short sprints and long-term planning.
Trello’s integrations push it further, making all marketing efforts easier to manage. Integrations with Slack, Dropbox, Gmail, Salesforce, and hundreds of others add to its usability.
While Trello doesn’t specialize in webinar planning, it’s an inexpensive tool that even large enterprises can benefit from.
Evernote is a note-taking tool designed to replace the sticky notes all over your office wall. Maybe you don’t use sticky notes, but Evernote does offer an incredible platform for note-taking and process management.
If you’re looking for a free online event planning tool, Evernote boasts a comprehensive list of features. It also has a paid version that unlocks some advanced functions if you find the free version helpful but want to expand upon it.
Evernote is a comprehensive project management solution and one of the best (free) webinar planning tools. It stores typed notes, images, PDFs, and many other attachments for reference. The storage system is where Evernote shines though, making it easy for your team to find key information they need for any task.
Social media provides the ideal environment for event promotion. For some businesses, social media events fit ideally into their webinar plans. If this is the case for your business, Everwall is the tool for you.
Everwall has the tools needed to create a custom social media wall. It’s a bit more packed and potentially distracting than other types of event design. But it also results in a higher sense of popularity, making your event appear to be a much more established and popular occasion. If that’s what you’re looking for and you want to maximize your overall reach, you’re a part of Everwall’s target market.
The tool is highly customizable and can easily be tailored to fit your brand.
If social media is a big part of your webinar planning process, we recommend considering Everwall.
The aptly named “Clickfunnels” is a funnel creation tool. It’s designed to build a complete marketing campaign, where you advertise your webinar, generate leads by getting viewers to click through to your landing page, and have them fill out a form.
Clickfunnels offers a specific product package because it’s already proven to be very successful. If your webinar is the lead magnet in a larger marketing campaign, Clickfunnels is a tool you can’t afford to go without. The company understands the value of webinars in a click funnel and gives guidance on how to leverage their platform for webinar success.
Clickfunnels is one of the best webinar tools for the direct value it offers, so it’s priced accordingly. It’s more expensive than most tools on this list, but it more than pays off if you use the best marketing practices to generate leads for your webinar.
HubSpot is one of the largest online marketing platforms. As a “hub,” it sells several massive service packages dedicated to different aspects of digital marketing. It also offers many smaller, singular tools that can be used to prepare for an effective webinar.
HubSpot offers its own Webinar Planning Kit that includes a guide on how to use its features. The guide is free — a smart marketing technique from HubSpot to market their services. But these services have a strong track record, as their hubs provide the tools you need to market a webinar.
The marketing hub alone provides landing pages, email marketing, and other features to help you generate more leads.
You can use HubSpot to generate leads, nurture them, and invite them to your webinar event. With the HubSpot and Demio integration, you can maximize the value of your webinar by mapping your webinar’s impact through the marketing and sales pipeline.
7. Bonus — Demio
Each of these tools covers one or more of the key aspects of webinar planning. But your webinar preparations aren’t complete without Demio.
Demio is an ROI-driven, engagement marketing platform that seamlessly hosts your live and automated events. Use it to create any type of webinar campaign, from a single session to a complete series. It even comes with automated lead generation features that capture leads for you while you sleep!
Check out Demio today for the event hack that completes your webinar marketing campaigns!