Webinar Content Marketing Tips

webinar in marketing consulting office setting


Thinking about holding a webinar as part of your overall content marketing strategies? Webinars are a terrific tool for getting in front of a large number of interested prospects. However, there’s more involved than launching webinar software and speaking into a microphone on your computer. Use these tips when planning your first webinar.

  • Understand the webinar’s purpose – Many first-time webinar hosts make the mistake of approaching free webinars as platforms to pitch their products and services. While a short pitch near the end is generally acceptable and expected, avoid turning the entire presentation into a sales pitch. Make sure your presentation is useful, informative, and valuable to attendees. Otherwise, they’ll flee and you’ll be speaking to an empty audience.
  • Understand the audience – Who do you want to attend the webinar? What are their needs and problems? How can you help them? For example, if you know that you want to reach technically challenged CEOs, this understanding will drive everything from the title of the webinar and its content to how you advertise it – and more. Using personas is one way to understand and attract prospects.
  • Promote your webinar – Once you understand who you want to reach and what your webinar will cover, it’s vital to spread the word. Use email campaigns, blogs, social media, your website, and your sales team to spread the word.
  • Make every slide count – Whether you’ve carefully scripted the webinar from scratch or are repurposing material from an earlier presentation you’ve held, realize that your audience is paying to participate with their time and/or money. Unlike a live presentation where it would be rude to get up and walk out in the middle of a presentation, Webinar participants can exit the webinar with a click of the mouse button.
  • Encourage interactions – Webinar software often includes chat channels where participants can interact with one another as well as ask questions of you. This is a great way to build camaraderie and maintain momentum. It can also alert you to areas of confusion or interest. If the software doesn’t include such a feature, use Twitter with a hashtag. In fact, using Twitter could expand your reach and arouse curiosity among your participants’ followers.
  • Consider creating a second tier for interested prospects – Your initial webinar should go light on the selling. However, some prospects will be genuinely interested in learning more about your solution. Consider holding a second seminar, or series of seminars, for these prospects. These will likely attract a smaller audience. However, the audience will consist of quality leads who want to learn more about your offer.
  • Don’t do it alone – While technology makes it possible to host a webinar virtually anywhere, make sure you have a support team to handle technical issues, troubleshoot log-in problems, monitor conversations via the chat channel or Twitter hashtag, answer questions, and so on. This way, the entire webinar won’t be interrupted just because one user can’t hear your voice.
  • Archive your webinar – Though your webinar may have initially been a live event, it still has value long after its conclusion. Make sure to post an archived version of all of your webinars on your website or on social sharing sites such as YouTube for future prospects.
  • Repurpose webinar content – In addition to posting a video of your webinar on your website and YouTube, think about how else you might reuse the material discussed. Ideas include creating an eBook or special report based on the material, a series of blog posts, and podcasts. You can also use the questions and answers session for inspiration for future blog posts, articles, reports, and webinars.

When approached correctly, webinars are a fantastic form of content marketing. A single webinar can get you in front of a large audience both during the event and long after.

Web Usability and Eye Tracking: Location Really Does Matter

In the offline world, “location, location, location” is a common mantra. The same is true online. Where you place your most important messages, calls to action, video spokesperson, and other elements really does matter. This is due to how users interact with their computer screens.

Think about this for a moment from a Web user’s point of view. When you encounter a webpage for the first time, you don’t know much about it, right? You’ll quickly scan, from left to right (the way you were taught to read) in search of clues. Clues usually appear in the form of titles, headings, subheadings, and bulleted lists. These items tell you the page’s general focus. While your own experiences give you a general sense of how users view the Web, eye-tracking studies have demonstrated it.

In the Yahoo! Style Guide, Yahoo! discusses its own eye-tracking studies. Yahoo! concludes that there’s a general pattern to how people browse webpages:

  • First, users scan a page’s main sections to understand what the page is about and decide whether or not to stay on that page.
  • Users make decisions about the page within three seconds of viewing it
  • Users that stay on the page pay the most attention to the information located in the top part of the screen, typically the upper left corner.

Yahoo!’s eye-tracking studies and resulting heat map show that users tend to focus on a triangular section in the upper left corner of the screen. This upper left corner is prime real estate for your site’s most important content. Go to any Yahoo! page and see how Yahoo! puts this knowledge to work. For example, on the Yahoo! Personal Finance page, the Home and Investing tabs are located in this corner as are its most important categories (Banking & Budgeting, Career & Work, Family & Home, Insurance, Loans, Real Estate, Retirement, and Taxes). Less important information such as the date, “word of the day,” advertisements, and Yahoo! Answers appear elsewhere on the page.

In addition to the upper left corner of the screen, there’s another crucial piece of real estate: the area “above the fold.” Like a newspaper folded in half, the top section of a website, the section before it becomes necessary to scroll for more content, is extremely important. While users have become accustomed to scrolling, that first screen impression should contain the page’s most important element.

For example, if you want to feature a high-impact marketing video on a webpage, and that video is the most important element of the page, it should be located “above the fold.” A long textual introduction, advertisements, graphics, and other elements above the video could potentially push the video below the fold, leading to fewer views and poor results.

Location, location, location is a mantra that all Web property owners should adopt. What’s in the upper left corner of your website? What are you featuring above the fold? Share your thoughts and ideas with us!