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But when your workload is already full (and whose isn’t?), how do you add another marketing channel into the mix?
In this post, I’m going to show you how to do a webinar the smart way when you already have heaps of work on your plate.
But before you invest more time reading this, answer two questions (especially if you lead a marketing team): “Will webinars really increase sales and should my team invest in them?”
I can’t answer that for you. But I can present a few stats to help you decide if they’re a worthy investment.
According to a 2016 study that analyzed 12,780 webinars:
Those numbers are a virtual all-you-can-eat buffet for marketers…
Naturally, we want in.
Whether this is your first, or fiftieth, webinar, you’ll find value in the path-of-smartest resistance we’re about to travel.
Here’s what’s ahead. You’re going to:
Grab your free planner and templates so you can follow along. We’ll be using them throughout the post.
Now, let’s crank out a crazy-good webinar, shall we?
Our approach is dead simple; and we’ve written about it before.
An MVP’s goal is to get you through a loop of “idea → ship → analyze” as quickly as possible.
Our own Nathan Ellering says it like this:
“The idea behind a minimum viable project is to eliminate risk by helping you:
Our aim is to make your webinar an MVP. It’s to find the baseline that will produce the largest return from the smallest amount of effort.
Sounds nice, right?
To do this, you’re going to do one of two things:
For our purposes, we’re going to repurpose an existing piece of content.
But if you’re going to opt for path number two and create something fresh, check out this post so you know exactly what your audience is dying to know from you (it’s called your “content core”).
Now, if you don’t know your top-performing pieces of content, you should start there. To snoop out your winners, you can of course use Google Analytics.
One of my favorite ways, though, is using the analytics dashboard right inside of CoSchedule. It’s a quick way to run a report of what content has performed the best on social media.
To generate this report, start by logging into your calendar. Then, click on the “Analytics” icon on the left sidebar:
From here you can run one of three reports. In this case, we’ll run the “Top Content” report:
After our digital elves crunch your numbers, it will generate a report like the one below. In this case, you can see that our post, “How to Write Emotional Headlines That Get More Shares” has resonated well:
Now, after 15 seconds of clicking, I have an incredible candidate for an MVP webinar topic.
My audience is interested in this content. And even better, they believe their audiences are interested too. I know this because they shared it with them.
To further corroborate this, I can check out this post’s 30-day traffic in Google Analytics:
Now, with just a few more seconds, I see that this post got 2,084 page views in the last 30 days and 1,126 unique visits—not bad for a post that’s over 6 months old.
After 30 seconds of clicking around, I’m sold!
(I know, easy sell right?)
However, I’m really confident this topic will play well because not only do I have the traffic data on my site—but I see the social side as well.
As you narrow down your webinar topic, I urge taking social stats into account alongside traffic to your article or blog post.
Once you’ve landed on a subject, the rest is a matter of process.
So we’re going to walk through the 4-stage approach we use for webinars at CoSchedule. We’ll cover each in detail, below.
The stages are:
Notice that this is exactly how your free MVP Webinar Planner is organized. So make sure you download it and follow along!
There are five steps to adapting your content for a webinar:
We can already cross step one off the list! We’re going to host a webinar on writing emotional headlines that people want to share.
Step One: ✅
Now, we need to decide which format will work best for this webinar. Chances are you’ve attended a webinar or twelve and already have an idea.
In our case, a presentation or interview makes the most sense. Also, we can add Q&A breaks throughout and at the end.
So, I could either interview the original author, our CEO Garrett Moon, or have him present. Alternatively, I can adapt his content into a presentation of my own.
To keep things (and schedules) simple, I’ll take the risk of being a bore and prep a webinar where I present the content myself.
To keep things engaging, I will also have opportunities for Q&A with my attendees.
Step Two: ✅
Next, it’s time to adapt the actual content into my script, or talking points.
The key here is to pull the main points and simply bullet-point them. You’re not creating a manuscript to read from. You’re creating an outline to talk from.
In this case, it’s also worth revisiting the social media stats for insight into what people loved most about it.
This post got CRAZY love on Pinterest—which is of course all about pics.
As I read through the post to begin writing my script, I see some beautifully designed + highly informative images.
Especially this one, with 180+ power words for writing emotional headlines (which you should share/download and start using in your work immediately!):
I know that this needs to be a centerpiece to my presentation and will certainly become a part of my slide deck (more on that in the next step).
Here’s where the “MVP Webinar Talking Points Template” comes in:
This template is setup to map your existing content straight into a presentation webinar format.
When you open it up, you’ll notice introductory content, and then five sections for each slide.
We like to layout our content color coded like this:
From here, simply open up the template and use its structure to map your content into talking points, links to pertinent resources you want to mention, and transition statements.
A great way to adapt your post into a script is to think about structure.
For instance, the post I’m adapting in this example breaks down into this structure:
From this outline I can add bullet-points below each item to explain it. Those become my talking points and, as you’ll see in the next step, each point becomes a slide.
Easy as pie because the hard work has already been done.
^That’s why this qualifies as an MVP project :)
Your content will then drive the slide deck you design. And when you move through the process this way, your slide deck will be much easier because you’ll know exactly how many slides you need and what’s going to be on them.
Step Three: ✅
Next, we like to actually sit down with Ashton, our designer, and walk through the outline with her.
This is also a frictionless process because she’s the one who designed the post graphics. Now, we simply need to cover the content that needs to be on each slide and the presentation’s flow.
If you don’t have the benefit of a professional designer, though, no problem!
If you’re doing this yourself, make sure to work through a guide like Canva’s “Presentation Design 101.” This article is an excellent primer on things like how much info to include per slide, how to choose great fonts, color palette choices, and more.
This article walks through ten principles with an example slide presentation to illustrate each.
Another helpful article is “The Know It All Guide To Color Psychology In Marketing.” This post walks you through the nuts-and-bolts of which colors go well together and why it matters.
Step Four: ✅
Finally, it’s time to create a free giveaway for your webinar viewers.
You can get pretty wild here—however, remember the reason behind this step. Your giveaway simply needs to help your viewers put what you taught them into action.
Obviously, the format of your giveaway resource is largely dependent upon your content.
In my example post, I would create a 3-part giveaway bundle like this.
First, I’d include the “180+ Power Words For Writing Emotional Headlines” graphic I embedded above. It’s incredibly actionable and easy to reference. So it will add value to anyone who wants to write shareable headlines.
Second, I’d create a headline writing template in either Excel or Google Sheets. The most helpful way to do this would be to take the five steps to writing emotional headlines (listed in the talking-points outline above) and give the viewers a place to work through each.
It could look something like this:
It covers the five steps working from left-to-right.
This way, it gives the user an option of either using our tool (notice the link at the top of the sheet) or of working the process manually.
Either way, it eliminates any additional prep work on their part. This allows them to simply fill in the blanks following a proven formula for success.
When you create resources, the sure-fire way to make sure they’re helpful is to ask this question: “How can I help my audience implement the advice I’ve given?”
Your giveaway resources should answer that question.
Notice also that this example resource also serves a business purpose for CoSchedule. It offers them a simpler way to accomplish the task—using our tool—without forcing them to use it.
They can get the same results using this resource, but it helps them see how much legwork our tool saves them.
Now that my giveaway resources are finished, I can drop them into a file and then compress them into a .zip file. To do this, I simply right click on the desktop file and choose “Compress” (Mac) or “Send to > Compressed” (Windows):
I now have a solid 2-piece giveaway resource for my webinar viewers. And because it’s compressed, it’s ready to be emailed out or easily downloaded via a link.
Step Five: ✅
Now that we’ve adapted existing content into a webinar format, it’s time to make sure we get people to register!
Your strategy on this is highly dependent upon three factors:
To get eyeballs on the screen, this stage has three steps:
For our example, we’ll look at promoting to an existing audience. However, here’s a quick note on whether or not to invest in advertising your webinar.
To decide if spending money on advertising, you obviously need to forecast what kind of return to expect—also called “Return on Ad Spend” (ROAS).
ROAS is straightforward. To calculate it, simply divide the gross revenue your ad campaign generated by what it cost.
So, if your campaign generated $5,000 in gross revenue and you invested $1,000 in ad spend, your ROAS = $5.
[click to tweet]
This could also be expressed as 500 percent or a 5:1 ratio.
You can also calculate this as revenue minus spend divided by spend. (e.g. $5,000-$1,000 = $4,000 → $4,000/$1,000 = $4 or 4:1.)
Of course, if this is your first webinar, you don’t have the benefit of past metrics! As a guideline, when we test advertising on a new channel at CoSchedule, we set a budget of about $20 per day.
Then we measure impressions, CTR, and ROAS before investing more heavily.
Creating landing pages has become something of an art. But their core function is simply to act as a clear signpost and vehicle for conversions.
For an in-depth strategy behind creating landing pages, check out this article we published.
The first thing to understand is that a landing page must include three basic elements:
Create an Unbounce account, then sign in. Once you’re in, it’s time to click on “Create New Page” to launch your first landing page:
Next, you can opt to design a landing page from scratch—or easier—work from a template. In this case, Unbounce has magical templates designed specifically for webinar promotion.
Choose “Webinar” in the templates column:
Next, you’ll find a few pre-designed templates. Click on the one you like (I just went with the first one) from the selection. Then, enter the name of your landing page on the right-hand column of the interface.
Then click “Start With This Template.”
Now we’re into the fun stage—designing your page and writing your copy!
Unbounce uses a standard WYSIWYG interface that’s pretty straightforward. You can go as wild as you want here… But the bones are adding your headline, your body copy, and creating your CTA.
Whatever your cup-o-tea, knock out your landing page content, then move onto the geeky integrations stuff so your CTA button has a place to send form info.
Next, you can integrate your email service with Unbounce. Here are the directions for integrating with four major providers:
Now, everyone who opts-in via your landing page can be neatly organized into an email list ready to receive more info about the upcoming show!
(If you can also go further in your analytical snooping with a Google Analytics integration if you want more insight into your visitors.)
Step One: ✅
At this stage, we have our webinar content ready to roll. We have a sweet slide deck and a killer landing page hooked into our email service.
Now it’s time to setup the webinar itself so you can officially begin promotion.
However, this is where people often get hung up. Why? Because there are so many webinar platforms to choose from!
The big deal here is to stick to your basic needs and then jump into the tool.
When you’re hosting a webinar, the main technical considerations you need to make are:
There are a bunch of other details to think through, but these are the main questions you need to answer so you adequately prep for showtime!
Let’s walk through setting up a webinar in Zoom. To start, make sure to grab yourself an account by clicking on the “Sign up” button in the upper-right.
Once you’re in, click “My Webinars” in the column at left, then the “Schedule a Webinar” tab at the top of the dashboard.
From here, enter the deets like the webinar title, description, date/time, duration, timezone, whether you require viewers to register, and your video settings (these control whether or not viewers can see you and/or your co-hosts).
When you scroll down, you’ll see more settings. Select your preferred audio and whether or not your viewers need a password to view (we like to let ‘em view as easily as possible).
Also, notice you can choose to have the webinar start recording automatically—this is a really good idea so you don’t accidentally forget to record it. If it’s your first go ‘round, you’ll be surprised at how easy this is to do because you’re focused on so many different things at once. So make it easy on yourself and tick this radio button.
And now, polish it off by choosing “Schedule.”
Once scheduled, you’ll see your webinar’s rap sheet. This dashboard displays the info you input as well as your webinar ID (which you’ll want to keep handy for sharing and organization).
Additionally, if you plan to reuse these settings, go ahead and select “Save this Webinar as a Template” for efficiency’s sake.
Step Two: ✅
Next, there are two more essential tabs: “Invite Attendees” and “Email Settings.” And these bring us into the next step… Sending those promo messages!
The important item in the invitation tab is the “Registration URL.” You’ll want to grab this to share with your email list, on your website, and on your social channels.
(And remember, if you selected the setting that requires individuals to register, they’ll need to visit this link to gain access.)
The next tab to note is “Email Settings.” Here you can set reminder emails for everyone who registers. (Or, if you’ve added them to a segmented list via your email tool—like we do—make sure to schedule them now!)
This is a great idea because it takes one more detail off your plate—and an important detail at that.
So choose your settings using the “Edit” text to the right of each option.
Once your webinar is set up and scheduled, it’s time to roll out the digital red carpet and promote it.
Because your webinar may be outside of the norm for your content, I recommend approaching it as its own marketing project.
If you’re a CoScheduler, here’s how to painlessly setup and automate the entire thing!
(If you’re not a CoSchedule user, snag a free 14-day trial to promote the heck out of your webinar and get as many eyeballs on the screen as possible 👀)
Now, the promotional channels we use aren’t surprising:
We covered how to set up your landing page—now it’s time to make sure your registration link or email opt-in is correct. This is important because you’ll be sending all of your traffic here to convert traffic into an audience with your stellar CTA!
This is one of those, “Duh… Of course we’ll post about it on our site…” line items. However, in the flurry of promotion, it can be easy to forget about this one until the last minute instead of posting ahead of time.
If you anticipate your webinar will drive business (which if you’re investing the time, I hope you do!)—test some ads on Google Adwords or Facebook. Or whichever channel you get the most traction on. If you’re torn on where to allocate budget, here’s a nice breakdown of the difference between Adwords and Facebook ads.
Finally, if you’re co-hosting a webinar with an industry influencer, make sure to give them all relevant details so they can promote it on their channels as well. Also, if you play your cards right, you can use guest blogging as a promo strategy.
Alright, now that you’ve promoted your webinar like a pro, it’s time to execute.
Step Three: ✅
As with any skill, practice makes perfect. To deliver the best webinar you can, it’s important to rehearse and prepare.
To help you prepare well, this stage has five steps:
There are a million articles and tips to become a great presenter out there… However, my favorite thing to do when I want to sharpen my presentation skills (which is always) is to watch phenomenal presenters and learn by example.
For example, here’s one of my favorite Seth Godin talks:
Once you’re sufficiently inspired, it’s time to login and test out your webinar tool.
We’ll continue with Zoom.
I suggest creating a test webinar using the steps outlined above. This way you have a pressure-free opportunity to test all of the buttons, features, and potential kinks.
When your webinar window launches, you’ll see an interface like this (except with your face instead of mine):
Here’s a quick rundown of the controls:
Once you’re comfortable with the interface, hit record and run through your presentation. This will allow you to practice your talking points, switch from being on-camera to narrating your slide deck, and then ending the webinar with style.
(If you’re really hard core, record your run through and watch it back to make improvements or notes of sticky spots.)
Step One: ✅
Now that you’re comfortable in the tool, spend a few minutes double-checking the details.
These may include:
Congrats—you’re ready to webinar with the best of them!
PS: Don’t forget hair and makeup 🤡
Step Two: ✅
Our rule of thumb is to log on 15 to 20 minutes early—especially when we’re co-hosting with multiple panelists. This gives us all the ability to ask final questions and ensure everyone’s equipment is working.
Then, we take the webinar live about 5 minutes early for some banter with the early comers!
This is where you can ask classic webinar questions like:
^ You know, to keep it light.
This helps you warm up and connect with your audience while also giving you a final technical check to make sure all systems are go.
Just don’t forget to press “Record” when you officially kick off the webinar.
Now, it’ll be (mostly) smooth sailing to the end!
Step Three: ✅
When you’re live in a webinar, you naturally want to watch the clock and make sure you’re getting through your content quickly enough.
However, as noted in the talking points template, make sure to give your viewers every chance to ask questions as you can.
It’s tempting to plow through your content—especially if you’re running behind.
However, webinars give you a unique opportunity to connect directly with your audience. So take it.
If people are asking you relevant questions, answer them!
(The Q&A pauses are color coded in green.)
Our webinars are untraditional because we’ll even jump out of the deck to answer questions—especially when they’re about our product.
Never be afraid to rock an impromptu product demo when it makes sense and directly answers your viewers’ questions!
Sometimes off-script moments are the best!
A framework we use to present content is to always begin with the content our audience most wants to talk about → then move to the intersection between our desires and theirs → and finish with what we want to talk about.
This way, if you’re going to do a product demo (whether planned or impromptu), it can act as the bridge. This way, you can show how to apply your advice using your product.
So your talking points move from left to right over the course of the webinar.
This way, you don’t end with a product demo—which often sends drop-off rates through the roof!
Step Four: ✅
Finally, webinars are a great way to gather feedback for specific content. You can use viewers’ questions and comments for this.
And you can also use the “Poll” feature. This is also a nice way to encourage interactivity midway through your presentation.
To use it, click on the “Poll” icon at the bottom of your presentation window.
This will launch a dialog box that allows you to add questions on-the-fly, or select from a pre-made poll.
Once you click on “Add Questions,” a poll-creation page will load in your browser. You can name your poll, write questions, select single or multiple-choice formats, and craft answers for your audience to select from.
Once you’re finished, choose “Save.”
Your poll will now be available in your webinar window. And when you’re ready to use it, simply click “Launch Poll” to collect the data.
Anytime you have the chance to gain real-time feedback from your audience, take it. The more insight you have on your audience’s problems, thought processes, and buying motives, the better you can help them—and in turn, position your product or service.
Step Five: ✅
Way to go! You just knocked out your first (or fiftieth) webinar!
Now, do a little dance to celebrate before wrapping up this MVP 💃🏽🕺🏾
The final stage of your MVP webinar is short and sweet.
It’s all about three things:
To follow up well requires a thank you, pertinent links and resources, and a reiteration of your webinar CTA. The “MVP Webinar Email Follow-Up Template” has a place for each.
And as the name implies, we simply do this through an email.
Step One: ✅
If you used Zoom, you’ll find your recording in one of two places:
For me, I chose to record my webinar straight to my hard drive. So all I have to do is navigate to the “Zoom” folder that was automatically created when I installed the software.
Then, I’ll find the webinar by date, like so:
It organizes them by date of recording and other nitty-gritty details. This way if you host the same webinar (with the same title) multiple times, you can easily differentiate them.
I recorded this webinar on July 5, 2017—so that’s the folder I’ll select.
Next, you’ll find three files within the recording folder (you can ignore the “m3u” file for our purposes).
The two you’ll be concerned with are the “m4a” and the “mp4.” As indicated, the m4a is audio only. So if you just want to make the audio available, that’ll the file for you.
The mp4 is the video + audio file, which is what we’re looking for here.
Now that we’ve found our stellar webinar video, simply upload it to your video host of choice, nab the link, and share, share, share!
If you’re using YouTube, navigate to your “Creator Studio” account, and click on the “Upload” icon in the top-right corner of your window.
Next, you’ll be prompted to either select the video file from your folders list or drag-and-drop it. You can also decide whether or not you’d like your video set to “Public,” “Unlisted,” “Private,” or “Scheduled” view (here’s more on the use-cases for each).
Once you’ve selected your file, it’s time for the moment of glory!
Now is the time to upload a custom thumbnail, add awesome tags, swipe your promo copy for a description, and manage other details (here’s a step-by-step walkthrough).
Well done, you. Now share that link for everyone to see.
Step Two: ✅
Finally, we arrive to the last step in the MVP webinar process. It’s time to gather and organize any feedback or new ideas you got from the webinar.
After all, there’s always something to improve or optimize. So take a few minutes while things are fresh to record audience feedback or notes you may have taken.
I use a combo of CoSchedule + Evernote for this. But any note-taking app that you have easy access will do.
I begin by creating a new marketing project in CoSchedule:
Then, I select the “Idea” content type:
Next, it’s business-as-usual. Throw in a title, choose any pertinent labels or tasks. Or even add some comments for team collaboration.
This will allow one place for all of your team’s ideas and feedback to live.
The reason I like to log ideas in my CoSchedule dashboard first is because of the flexibility and ease of retrieval.
For instance, what if you jot down a real winner-of-an-idea and it becomes a blog post or video? You can simply convert it by clicking on the content type button on the top of the page and select the new content type.
And last, there’s nothing worse than coming up with sweet ideas and then losing track of them—or even forgetting about them altogether.
Now that I organize my ideas this way, this doesn’t happen. It keeps everything in one place so I don’t lose a thing.
Step Three: ✅
Houston, we have lift off…
If you made it through this post, you’re ready to host a webinar you know is going to resonate well.
You have the right tools and templates. You’ve got a proven process. Now all that’s left is to try one of your own.
And when you do, make sure to let us know how it went on twitter and share your link. We love learning from webinars too :)
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