If you're trying to make your webinars more interactive, your first thought is probably that you should engage more with visitors through chat and either verbally call out interactions like "Drop a one in the chat if X” or trigger an occasional poll.
However, planning and creating a truly interactive webinar experience by baking interactions into it throughout is a lot of work (and doesn’t often make sense for a one-time online event!).
In addition, constantly triggering interactions or verbally calling out questions interrupts the flow of the webinar presentation and can be distracting to even the most experienced host.
So while well-planned live webinars are a good option for interactivity in some scenarios (i.e. guest speakers, panel discussions, and breakout rooms), one of the best ways to make a webinar more interactive and engaging is to automate it (especially if you want to present the webinar repeatedly).
Wait, what? Aren't automated webinars basically just video recordings? So way less engaging than live webinars, right?
Traditionally, yes. Automated webinars are known to be unengaging video recordings. In fact, this was a major issue we struggled with for years. We wanted to host automated webinars that retained all of the interactivity of live webinars, including live chat and interactions, but could find no webinar software that made that possible.
So we decided to build software that would – and that product is now eWebinar!
We soon realized that — under the right circumstances — it was possible to make automated webinars more engaging than live webinars, for two main reasons:
If you don’t think these a variety of interactions and chat could make such a difference, join eWebinar’s 20-minute on-demand demo. We use eWebinar to demo eWebinar, so you’ll get to experience its interactivity firsthand. (Our demo has a 90% attendance rate, 68% engagement rate, and 25% conversion rate. Not bad for a webinar that is available 24/7 in any time zone.)
So in this post, we’ll show you how you can make your webinars more interactive by automating them with eWebinar.
While there are probably 50+ different tactics you could use to make a webinar interactive, we want to give you the three most impactful things you can do that will give you the biggest engagement boost.
In a live webinar, the interactions are usually limited to a CTA at the end of the session, the host verbally asking questions, and maybe a poll question or two throughout. It’s mostly a passive experience. You just sit there and watch.
With so few options for interactions, hosts may only choose to engage the audience once in a while for fear of boring them. Not to mention it takes planning and preparation to create a fully interactive experience in a way that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the webinar.
eWebinar solves this problem by offering a diverse set of interactions that you can add every 3-5 minutes (or at whatever frequency you wish) without boring the audience or interrupting the flow of the presentation. A large variety of real-time interactions allows you to more effectively hold the attendee’s attention and keep them interested.
Yes, it still requires planning and preparation to create a great interactive webinar, but with webinar automation, you only have to record the presentation and pre-set the interactions once. After that, your audience members are guaranteed the same high-quality, effective webinar experience every single time and you get to reap the rewards of your work on an ongoing basis for a long time.
Here are just some of the interactions we offer:
Let’s dive into a few specific interactions you can add to increase your webinar engagement.
With the Private Message interaction, you can personally reach out to attendees and encourage them to chat with you. For example, if you’re about to wrap up the webinar, you can ask if there are any remaining audience questions.
This not only makes the webinar feel more personalized, but it’s also excellent customer data as you’ll be able to see what common questions frequently crop up that your webinar could address and it’s a great last effort to overcome remaining objections or hesitancy to your CTA.
The link interaction enables you to link to another page or file so that people can learn more about a feature, program, concept, etc. While many people worry that it could cause the attendee to leave, we’ve found that most attendees remain engaged with the presentation as they can hear the audio in the background while viewing the extra content and come back when they are done.
This is really valuable if you believe that people may or may not purchase/use your offering depending on their understanding of a particular concept or feature, as you can provide more information for those that want to go deeper without boring those that don’t. It puts more control in the hands of attendees to decide what they want or need to learn, which is what people want and expect nowadays.
Customer feedback is the best way to improve your webinar content, marketing strategy, and product, and eWebinar makes it easy to obtain with our Feedback interaction.
First thing you can do is ask webinar attendees to rate something from 1-5. You aren’t limited to simply asking whether or not they liked your presentation. You can also ask questions like “How would you rate our product against your current solution?” “How much would it impact your life if you solved this problem?”
Once they respond with a rating, they are able to enter additional comments if they want to share more. Freeform feedback like this from customers is pure gold.
Quizzes work like you would expect. You can ask a question with a set answer and, when attendees answer it, they are told whether or not they answered the question correctly. You can even add multiple Quiz questions to a webinar and show cumulative results at the end.
Quizzes are great for testing attendees' knowledge or just to make sure they are still paying attention. For example, when an attendee takes a Quiz, they will either feel great after getting the question correct (and listen closely to maintain their streak) or if they get it wrong, they’ll pay closer attention to get the next one right.
So how do you actually add interactions to your webinar?
First, upload a video to eWebinar (or import a recording with our Zoom integration) and then find the moments where you want to add an interaction. If you’ve done proper planning and scripting or used one of our many webinar templates, you will know exactly where you want them to go.
Automated Webinar Templates
eWebinar has an ever-growing library of free templates on a variety of webinar topics. Each comes with a recommended schedule for accommodating multiple time zones, suggested copy for your registration pages, email notifications like reminders and follow-ups, a variety of customizable interactions and, in some cases, a slide deck template, an effective webinar format to follow, and/or a training video.
Once you arrive at the moment where you want to add an interaction, select the type of interaction you want (i.e. Question, Quiz, Feedback, etc.), and add it. You can then customize it by adding images, changing the text, and more.
To maximize audience engagement, we recommend adding interactions every 3-5 minutes.
The benefits of eWebinar interactions include:
Read the NextHome case study →
So how do you actually add interactions to your webinar?
A major side benefit of interactions is they are a goldmine of customer data (e.g. What does your audience want? What are their main pain points? etc.). With this information, you'll be able to better optimize your webinar for the future and effectively segment your post-webinar marketing automation in your CRM, like HubSpot.
Traditionally, automated webinars don’t offer live chat. This means that while automated webinars scale more effectively, the tradeoff is that you can never respond to questions and objections in the moment, resulting in lower conversion rates and customer satisfaction
It is one of the main reasons we built eWebinar! In fact, we still don’t know of any other webinar software that makes live chat possible in automated webinars without you having to attend every single session to do it — which defeats the purpose of webinar automation!
Here’s a quick overview of how chat for automated webinars works in eWebinar:
Read the ActivePipe case study →
In fact, we’ve found that eWebinar’s chat is more engaging than chat in a live virtual event for a couple of reasons:
With eWebinar’s chat, you’ll be able to deliver a more personalized experience that makes the attendee feel as though they are attending a one-on-one private session – without the hassle of scheduling a call, and the anxiety of “another Zoom call.”
eWebinar doesn’t support fake chat. Consumers are savvy and it is not worth undermining their trust in you. You can read more of our thoughts on this here.
Once you've created an automated webinar, added interactions, and enabled live chat, you'll already have a much more interactive, engaging webinar than most webinar experiences (even more so than most live events!).
However, you can always make some optimizations to improve your webinar.
Rather than just blindly testing different content, interaction placements, and CTAs, eWebinar gives you access to rich analytics and customer data that will better inform your future decisions.
Out of the box, you’ll be able to see:
However, the most valuable customer data comes from the responses to the interactions themselves. For example, you can ask people questions like:
You can ask any question you like, and then you can use the information to adjust the messaging in your webinar, improve your digital marketing targeting, and to gain any other advantage you can through solid customer data.
There are plenty of automated webinar software solutions, though we're particularly proud of eWebinar and believe it can offer the ultimate interactive webinar experience. Specifically, these are some of the key differentiating features that set eWebinar apart:
If you’d like to experience eWebinar for yourself, join our automated demo today!
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