Polls make a webinar interactive and attractive. Polls can achieve more than a simple opinion poll. They can also be used to gather more information about the participants or as a knowledge test. So don’t just use the poll, think carefully about it. The use of polls has the following advantages and characteristics:
- Enriching the knowledge of the organisation and participants with polls
- Points of attention when using polls; numbers, use and response
A poll is a good way to measure the involvement and interest of participants during the webinar. By linking the question to the objectives, a poll can be used to discover valuable information. A poll as a ‘warm-up’ is a good start to a webinar and has a triple function. Participants are all online and don’t know anything about each other, with a poll they can identify themselves with others. At the same time, the information from these questions can be used to enrich participant profiles, which is especially interesting for webinars with marketing purposes. Finally, it gives participants the opportunity to practice in an online environment that is still unfamiliar to some. The poll questions below are often used by experts to enrich customer profiles:
- What position do you hold within your company? (For example: director, manager, HR employee, consultant, other);
- In what industry do you work? (For example: education, government, banking, insurance, other);
- What topic of this webinar are you most interested in? (For example: benefits & applications, benchmarks, case study, etc.).
Profile enrichment polls can also be launched later in the webinar. For example, in the middle of the presentation on a relevant topic. For example, the following questions could be used in a webinar about a mobile phone product:
- What is your monthly cost for mobile telephony? (For example: <€10, €10-20, €20-30, €40-50, >€50, I don’t know);
- To what extent is 4G internet interesting for you? (Likert scale).
These polls provide more information about the webinar participants and help to determine the value of leads. In addition, participants also enjoy finding out more about each other.
If education is one of the objectives of the webinar, polls can be used as an excellent knowledge test. A webinar can be started with this, the current knowledge level of participants can be measured in this way. At the end of the webinar, such a poll can be used again to measure the difference in knowledge level before and after the webinar. Naturally, this type of poll can also be used in between webinars on related subjects.
A poll at the end of the webinar is a powerful way to end and let participants make the link between the content of the webinar and taking action. Think about what a participant would ideally do after the webinar and incorporate this into the poll. For example, you could ask:
- To what extent did this webinar help you in the decision-making process? (Likert scale);
- How will you deal with topic X after today (e.g. I will look for more information, I will follow a training, it is not for me, other).
The poll that calls for action can be used for different types of webinars, depending on the objectives.
By launching a relevant and interesting poll question, participants are actively involved in the presentation. The response to a poll is a good indicator of the involvement of the participants. Webattract uses the following figures for success:
- <50% response, substandard
- 65-85% response is the objective
- >75% response is very good
A poll cannot be launched just like that. It must always be preceded by an explanation in order to obtain as accurate and high a response as possible. This is best done by showing a PowerPoint slide with the question before the poll. Then, tell the participants what the poll is about, go through the answer categories and state how much time they have to answer the question. Tell them that the results will be visible in the webinar player in a few minutes and will be discussed. Keep in mind that there is a delay of about 1 minute in the results. This means that the time between the launch of the poll and the discussion of the results needs to be filled. It is important to include this in the planning and to include it in the script. When the results are known, it is a must to reflect on this verbally. Emphasise, for example, what stands out, or what most people answered, and make a link to the content of the presentation where possible.
Finally, the number of poll questions used should not be exaggerated. Research has shown that the use of 2-3 polls (for webinars lasting 30-60 minutes) is an optimum average. Another rule that is often used is to launch an average of 1 poll per 10 minutes. This avoids the risk of participants feeling ‘questioned’. Of course, the number of polls also depends on the objectives of the webinar. For example, a webinar involving internal communication may contain more poll questions to gauge opinion than a software demonstration webinar. Furthermore, when formulating the polls, it is important that they are simple and clear and that the answer categories are also comprehensive. Naturally, both of these are always dependent on the target group and the subject of the webinar.