Having success online can sometimes seem like catching lightning in a bottle: hard to do in the first place and even harder to keep in the long term.
A viral video will have its day in the spotlight, and a popular website may have its year, but what online media form can truly last the test of time?
One possible answer is: webinars, when inserted in the supporting infrastructure of a website and with effective viewer communication in place.
Sure, it may be a mouthful of an answer, but we think it fits the bill pretty well. Here’s three key ways to keep the precious audience you gained in your webinar for the long term:
Use Your Landing Page And Contact List Wisely
Many webinar hosting platforms will let potential attendees to your conference register ahead of time by inserting their user information and contact details.
A similar effect can be obtained with a first party landing page for your webinar, where viewers can also register beforehand.
This is a neat and tidy way to keep track on the prospective audience prior to the big day, and to tweak your preparations to reflect it (a very numerous audience may require two moderators or more, for instance).
However, even more importantly, the landing page and contacts in your email list can be invaluable for future webinars you may host.
Having a surefire way to reach an audience (regardless of its size) will definitely help boost your view count on future webinars.
Repeated interactions with attendees will also greatly help in building up a reputation as a trustworthy authority figure in your field of expertise (check out our guide on the matter for other tips on becoming an authority site with webinars).
Upload Relevant, High-Quality Content
“Sure” I hear you say “and solve world hunger while we’re at it!” Firstly, it would be great for your page ranking if you could pull off world peace too! On a more serious note though, we get it, this might not seem a piece of advice so much as a general guideline for your online career.
But it’s simply true. If your quality is high, and the content you focus on is interesting, relevant and topical to current issues viewers may have, you will simply have more success.
Invest in gaining knowledge and insights into your chosen specialty before sharing what you know with others.
Also, since you will be holding what is essentially a conference, brush up on your public speaking skills or find a more engaging speaker that specializes in that.
All this will contribute in making you seem confident and competent, fundamental qualities you will need to keep your audience coming back for more in the future.
Promote Your Events And Fill In The Downtime With Content
A talented social media manager promoting your conferences ahead of time and an engaging, friendly moderator during the event will do wonders at making your audience feel compelled to tune in to your talks, and feel at ease while listening.
The key is to spark viewer interest ahead of time and keep it high all the way to the end of your speech.
But that’s still not enough- you want to retain the audience you gained, and the sad downside to webinars is that they are pinpoint events: they cause a spike of interest around them, but they are only last so long.
What about all the time after your presentation, but before your announcement for the next webinar? To avoid losing your audience, you must keep them engaged with more content in other forms. Examples? Set up a website or blog to talk about the next topic you will be researching. Create “book club”-like events which are low maintenance for you but that will keep your audience engaged and in the right mindset for your next topic.
Whatever you choose, try to become a permanent fixture of your viewers’ online lives, but- and this is key- without seeming overbearing or annoying, or you’ll have the opposite effect.