Lots of companies in the B2B space offer webinars about marketing, public relations and social media, among other topics. The purpose of these is two-fold. The first is to present useful information to participants who have signed up to learn about the topic. The second is to promote the company running the webinar. If the material is well presented and offers real insight into the topic, participants leave with a good feeling about the company. That’s a positive brand experience. But if you feel like you just wasted an hour out of your busy day, that does not reflect well on the presenting, or sponsoring, company.
I recently sat in on two webinars from two companies and had two very different experiences, mainly due to their incorporation of web conversational tools into the presentations. Based on these two examples, here is a list of five things to look for at the beginning of a webinar to determine if it is worth your time. If you are planning a webinar, keep these things in mind to provide a better experience to your customers and potential customers.
1. Provide Twitter address for questions and comments
If the webinar leaders do not announce a way to interact with the presenters during the seminar, this is a broadcast not a conversation. Twitter is the most common way to take questions during a live presentation. If you can’t ask questions, this will limit your involvement in the presentation. Sometimes presenters’ points need to be clarified, and if there’s no way to do that during the webinar, you are left shaking your head.
2. Hashtag to follow conversation on Twitter
A hashtag is a keyword or abbreviation placed anywhere in a tweet, or twitter message, that tags the message as part of a larger conversation. There may be an official hashtag for a webinar or event, or sometimes participants agree on hashtags as they go. This is one of the strongest benefits of an online presentation. Participants can connect and communicate about the topics being presented. It is also a great way to share information and knowledge that expands the presented information. By following the Twitter backchannel of a webinar, you can engage with new contacts who are also interested in the subject of the webinar. From the presenters’ side, it generates Twitter buzz as lots of people tweet the company’s name (if that’s the hashtag).
3. Contact information for presenters
Whether the webinar offers a means to ask live questions during the presentation or not, you need to be able to contact the presenters after the webinar. Questions might come up after the presentation and you will want to follow up. Again, there might have been a good point in the webinar, but if you can’t clarify the details, the point is not made.
4. Way to get presentations later
Just like you might want to contact the presenters after the webinar, you might also want to get a copy of their presentation. Slide Share is a common option for posting presentations. These presentations allow you to easily share ideas and concepts with colleagues and clients who were unable to participate in the webinar.
And finally, more companies are using video to present their ideas. It is a much more engaging medium than audio. Sometimes it is just easier to follow a talk if you can see the speaker and watch their facial expressions. This is not a dealbreaker for a successful webinar, but as people get more comfortable with video, this will become a requirement.
Originally posted on Koroberi.com.