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Best Practices for Developing Impactful Thought Leadership via Webinars

At HousingWire, webinars are one of our most popular products. A webinar enables clients to showcase their expertise, generate leads and interact with the HousingWire audience. Each webinar is custom and specific to each client – they decide the topic and bring the panelists. From there, HousingWire offers industry and content expertise, promotes, hosts and moderates the webinar. 

We sat down (virtually) with some of our long-standing webinar clients and got some feedback regarding best practices for webinars. 

What is the purpose of a webinar? 

Webinars allow you to educate, generate leads and increase brand awareness. It is your chance to educate and engage with an audience.  

“A webinar is a good format to not only set the stage for the problem you are collectively solving for, but also to talk about how you solve it in different components.  A webinar enables you to showcase the problem and to be able to talk about it from different perspectives.”

How do you determine the content for a webinar? 

A good webinar topic is determined by two factors — context and timing. 

The context should revolve around what’s happening in your industry now. It is important to address a problem as it is happening. You want to provide the audience with something valuable. People are taking time out of their day to listen in, make sure it’s worth their time. You also want to keep in mind that people could view the webinar at a later time on demand. 

What are some of the benefits of having a media partner host a webinar? 

Creating, promoting and hosting a webinar is a lot of work to undertake. If you have a media partner host the webinar, you are offsetting several tasks and responsibilities. 

When you host your own webinar, you can only reach the people you know. However, when a media partner hosts the webinar, you gain access to their audience. This is one of the most important responsibilities the media partner has, delivering that list of qualified attendees. 

Additionally, a media partner will handle the marketing around the webinar and all technology aspects day of. These two tasks are crucial to the webinar preparation, execution and success. 

“When it is under the umbrella of a media publishing entity like HousingWire, you are getting added credibility, but also the benefit of [them] marketing it to their audiences.”

How do you measure the success of a webinar? 

There are several factors that can determine the success of a webinar. The quality of leads, audience engagement, and increased brand awareness to name a few. 

“Anytime you can get over 400 people that will take an hour out of their day because this seemed like valuable content, valuable enough that they reserved the time in their calendar to listen in and engage, then that’s an hour of their time that you didn’t have previously.”

It’s important to remember that one factor should not solely determine whether your webinar was a success or not. A webinar is a part of a broader campaign. 

“A webinar is part of a broader campaign and there are other components. You should take the sum of the parts to measure the effectiveness of an overall communication campaign effort.”

Why should you do a webinar? 

There are several reasons why a webinar should be a part of your marketing tool kit. One of the best reasons is that you will increase your brand’s awareness. It is important to put your brand in front of your audience, time after time, as it will help reinforce your brand. 

“When it comes to sharing a voice and presence, over time it really does add up. And when your competitors are doing it, you can’t be silent. Even if you think your target audience knows you already. If they do, that’s great, webinars can serve to reinforce that trusted expert relationship.”

In summary,  the top 5 best practices for webinars are:

  1. Webinars are your chance to educate and engage the audience. 
  2. A good webinar topic is determined by context and timing.  
  3. When a media partner hosts the webinar, you gain access to their audience and they will handle the marketing around the webinar and all technology aspects day of.
  4. A webinar is a part of a broader campaign and there are other components.  Take the sum of the parts to measure the success of an overall communication effort. 
  5. A webinar will increase your brand’s awareness. It is important to put your brand in front of your audience, time after time, as it will help reinforce your trusted expert relationship. 

Interested in our Webinars or Lunch & Learn Virtual Panels? Talk to our team today.

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