83% of participants say that the topic of a webinar is the decisive factor for participation. The choice of topic is therefore the most important decision and has a great influence on achieving the webinar’s objectives. How to make the right choice is covered in the next 2 points:
There is a wide range of possible topics for webinars. The main thing is that the content must provide added value for participants and not be a disguised sales pitch. The topics can be divided into a number of types, each linked to different areas of expertise and objectives.
A thought leadership webinar makes use of an expert speaker, who tells something about his area of expertise. An organisation positions itself as a knowledge party. Both existing customers and new customers are among the target group. The dissemination of thought leadership can be done with the help of a case study, for example. Participants can compare themselves to the example given and hear how a solution worked in practice. According to Webattract, this is very effective and a favourite among marketing and sales webinars in America. “How-to’s” are also popular types of webinars for marketing and sales. For example, a marketing agency covering the basic elements of SEO or explaining something about lead generation.
Training is increasingly done online via a webinar for various purposes. Firstly, for professionals from various fields, so that they can easily obtain the “personal education” (PE) points from their own workplace. In addition, training sessions are used for (software) demonstrations of products that have already been purchased to support customers, such as a CRM system. There are also product demonstrations that are used as a marketing instrument to enthuse participants to purchase or to maintain the customer relationship. Examples include an analysis of the stock market for private investors or an explanation of the optimal use of an online job board.
Finally, webinars are also often used for internal communication. Particularly for companies that are not geographically located close to each other or have several branches, a webinar is an efficient solution to communicate and retain knowledge. This mainly concerns current topics, such as a periodic update on how the company is doing or new developments. In addition, webinars also offer excellent opportunities for training employees. Bear in mind that individual access to a computer is essential for internal communication.
A webinar presents a solution to a target group with a specific problem, who are specifically looking for a (new) solution. If the webinar promises to solve the problem, this motivates them to attend the webinar (WIFM principle). Therefore, research well who belongs to this target group and what they ‘miss’. This can be done by regularly interviewing them and/or creating so-called buyer personas. Also research on social media can tell a lot about what questions the target group has. Furthermore, a successful topic must meet the following conditions:
- Enough to tell about content
- Interesting for the target group
- Relevant to the target group
- Concrete and specific
To simplify the choice of a suitable topic, it is also possible to use topic suggestions obtained from the survey of any previous webinar or during registration. It is not uncommon for the content of the webinar to be partly adjusted at a later stage as a result of feedback from the registration forms. Finally, the knowledge of marketing and sales about the interests and needs of the target group can also play a role in determining the topic.
When a topic meets the above conditions for a longer period of time, the choice can be made to repeat the same webinar (periodically). This is especially the case with (software) demonstrations and marketing topics. Repeating topics is efficient and saves development time and costs.