To maximize your webinar marketing success, you need to make your webinars interactive. Engagement increases the likelihood of conversions post-webinar, and luckily, building it into your sessions is easy with webinar platform tools.
Keeping your audience attentive is a good start. However, engagement activities add personal interactions that take the webinar beyond a passive experience; audience members become willing (and happy) participants.
Below, we explain why webinar engagement is important and the best ways to foster it.
Why Does Webinar Engagement Matter?
Engaged webinar attendees actively learn and absorb the presentation content. Audience members who aren’t engaged do so as well but more slowly and walk away with less value gained from it.
Grab your audience’s attention with engagement tools to keep them wide awake and absorbed throughout the session. As a result, they’ll be more likely to understand the knowledge you impart and appreciate your message.
Webinar engagement tools accommodate various learning styles. Visual learners, for example, prefer activities where they can use their eyes so they more easily absorb, say, the images in a PowerPoint presentation.
The value of engagement activities is in the retention they promote. While beneficial to individual audience members, it’s also good for your brand since you’re the one providing that rich knowledge. By engaging audiences and keeping their minds focused on the event, you can feel confident they’ll retain:
- The knowledge you impart
- Positive memories of the experience
Additionally, engaged audiences are more likely to get involved with your brand by:
- Asking more questions during Q&A sessions
- Entering the right breakout rooms
- Participating in audience polls
- Taking notes
- Remembering your brand after the webinar
Interactive elements also serve to build relationships with attendees. They help prospects and existing customers see your brand not just as a name but as a living entity they can communicate and interact with. As a result, engaged audience members develop a closer connection to your brand.
The ultimate goal of a webinar is to drive conversions, oftentimes directly to sales. Engaged audiences are more inclined to take the action you want them to take, whether that’s signing up for a trial, enrolling in another webinar or demo, or making a purchase.
Types of Webinar Engagement Activities
Here are some of the most common, simple, and effective ways to boost engagement during live webinars.
Q&A sessions are the bread and butter of webinar engagement. They greatly facilitate two-way communication by allowing your audience to ask you real-time questions and vice versa.
Asking your audience appropriate, relevant questions can be particularly effective because you talk with them instead of at them. Some webinar attendees will be more open to asking questions, while others to answering them. So, well-planned Q&A sessions are among the foremost easiest webinar engagement strategies to consider.
Live Polls and Surveys
Live polls are a softer alternative to Q&A sessions as they generally require less thought, and shy attendees find it easier to answer a poll or survey question than have the spotlight trained on them during a Q&A session.
While polls and surveys yield lower levels of engagement, you should still sprinkle them throughout your webinar. They demand a degree of attention from the audience and are a reliable way to keep everyone engaged. The simple act of answering these queries is a soft commitment to the webinar. So, spread out polls and surveys strategically.
Webinar platform Demio offers comprehensive live polling and surveying features. You can use polls to help select relevant webinar topics for future sessions, thus keeping attendees engaged while collecting crucial information that supports marketing and sales. With Demio, polls and surveys are an easy, dual-purpose tool.
Think of chats as more open-ended but also useful for audience questions. Chats provide information-gathering benefits similar to the other activities we’ve discussed. You can monitor audience engagement and responses as well as gauge success over time to upgrade your webinar quality.
Demio comes equipped with all of the analytics you need to grasp exactly what’s going on in your chat box. The platform enables you to analyze webinar results with ease, including the ones mentioned here and others for improvements to your presentations.
Featured actions netted Demio users over 400,000 clicks in 2022 alone. This category of interactive elements ticks all the right boxes for holding your audience’s attention and can take the form of:
- Booking a demo or sign up for a free trial
- Rating the webinar
- Receiving a free download
- Signing up for a newsletter or coupon
- Taking part in other giveaways that require simple actions
Effective featured actions share three commonalities:
- They’re useful to your audience members
- They’re highly relevant
- They move your audience toward the desired action
When you employ featured actions correctly, your audience is more likely to follow up on further education, demos, or some other relevant step that also benefits you.
Breakout rooms are virtual spaces where you can section off your audience from the main webinar event.
Webinar hosts typically use breakout rooms to isolate and more appropriately handle specific audience segments. For example, if it’s revealed that 10% of your attendees are more knowledgeable than the rest, they may appreciate content that’s narrower or more in depth. So, you can bring those knowledgeable audience members to a breakout room where a presenter can provide a more targeted and engaging presentation.
Not all webinar platforms offer breakout rooms, or, if they do, the usability of that feature may be poor, so research potential platforms before adopting any.
Although “games” is a broad category, all formats under this umbrella term are highly engaging and make excellent icebreakers.
You can create a variety of games and edit them as you wish. Popular options include:
- Virtual scavenger hunts
- Virtual bingo
- Virtual card or board games
Pre-webinar Engagement Strategies
Engagement activities should actually start ahead of the webinar. Start by creating a webinar outline and define your webinar target audience. From there, you can leverage interactivity to generate excitement, then follow up with an excellent webinar experience. This occurs in the days and even minutes before the event.
Social Media Promotion
Advertising your event on social media is an effective addition to email and other promotional activities. Let people know about your event and engage with them in a way that uniquely represents your brand.
Social media platforms open the door to greater creativity and engagement through reactions, comments, and shares.
Successful social media promotions encourage online shares. They do so by being entertaining or meaningful to encourage users to reshare the content on social media. Even a gentle reminder to share content on other platforms can increase your number of shares.
Get your audience thinking well before the event begins.
Pre-webinar surveys build anticipation while providing rich audience input to incorporate in the session — specifically, to personalize the webinar experience. Be sure to pose questions in an enticing way to generate excitement for your webinar and get attendees to participate.
You can collect feedback on what interests them and what they’d like to hear more about. In this way, surveys act as a direct form of communication between organizers and attendees. You can then follow up with changes or additions to the webinar content that demonstrate how you embrace audience opinions. Even the smallest touches based on this information can maximize personalization in your webinars.
Post-webinar Engagement Activities
Engagement needs to continue even after the webinar ends. Post-webinar engagement activities help you keep the conversation alive and your brand fresh in your attendees’ heads. What’s more, they’re easy to launch and provide lots of options to secure good results.
This is a conventional strategy, but it’s important to make sure your emails provide additional value rather than a generic endnote. A thank you is a must, but you can also include much more, such as:
- A summary of the presentation or highlights
- A recording of the webinar
- Trivia or another game to recap
- Informational handouts like PDFs
- Other materials that engage the people who attended
Flex your creative muscles here; for example, you can build your own game to send to attendees after the webinar. Think about what’s useful to your marketing and sales team and what content will represent your brand.
A discussion forum is especially valuable for members of a dedicated community. If it’s applicable to your webinar content, we suggest opening a discussion forum. Doing so positions yourself as an authoritative thought leader and community builder. This can be highly influential for some attendees, as you foster networking opportunities for your audience and while benefiting yourself as well.
Like their pre-event counterpart, post-webinar surveys can gain you a trove of invaluable data. Once you’ve gathered data, you can use it to make sure it was an effective webinar or learn how to improve them. Repeat this process for every webinar to enjoy productive results.
Whether they’re sent via email or some other medium, giving additional resources keeps your audiences’ brains active. You can provide articles, videos, ebooks, or other content that builds upon the value offered during your webinar. As a result, they’ll fully realize the value of your session and want to come back for more, knowing you’re a credible source of information.
A recording of the webinar is another great way to keep engaging with attendees and make your brand stick in their memories. Audience members greatly appreciate receiving a recording they can refer back to for the key information you disseminated.
Extending the Conversation
This may be a broader tip, since you have several ways to keep the conversation going and the value coming. Connect with attendees on social media, create forums, and push other forms of engagement to drive your message home!
Foster Webinar Engagement That Converts
If you want to maximize your webinars’ success, you need to use engagement marketing to make interactivity a core component of each one. Webinar platforms help you lay the groundwork to foster greater engagement with attendees. They get everyone involved more easily, regardless of how shy or unknowledgeable they are when they sign up for your webinar.
Demio lets you take advantage of the most critical tools to build converting webinar interactions. Engagement is at the core of Demio’s platform; work with its features to produce more personalized webinars that hold your audience’s attention and achieve successful results every time.