Shares best practices for making a video and turning it into an eWebinar
There are a number of best practices you can follow when putting together an eWebinar. Most of them have to do with making sure your video presentation is crafted around the things an eWebinar can do and highlights a few ways in which an eWebinar is different from a traditional, live webinar.
Here are the best practices we've learned ourselves and that we've picked up from our customers.
Planning your content
It doesn’t have to be perfectly produced
Just because it’s a recording, doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, edited, and produced. Think about the last time you joined a traditional live webinar. If the host stumbles on a sentence, he or she just says it over again. It’s no different when recording a video for an eWebinar. It’s almost more authentic than a perfectly produced video that can sometimes feel more like a promotional video. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have your video produced if you want to. Just don’t let it stop you from getting started. Webinars are often delivered in a more casual setting anyway. It’s the content that matters. Webinars are not TV shows.
Keep things timeless and evergreen
If you plan to have your eWebinar run for any length of time, it's a good idea to avoid referencing things that might date it or cause it to lose its relevance quickly. Keep things somewhat evergreen. Avoid referencing current events, holidays, the weather, or even times of day. "Welcome" is better than "good morning", for example. Little things can pull people out of the experience unnecessarily, if you're not careful.
Don’t lie to your attendees
One of the questions we get the most is whether or not attendees know an eWebinar is a recording. The short answer is it depends on how you want to deliver your content. It’s totally up to you. Some people don’t mention if their presentations are live or not. Others prefer to purposely tell attendees by saying something like “This was recorded earlier but our team is managing the chat live”.
Everything is live in a traditional webinar. In eWebinar, it's the interactions and chat that are live. Only the video is recorded. So it’s not that an eWebinar is “not live”. It’s that the live components are just different. You know your audience best and should choose how explicit you want to be with them. Just don’t lie and tell them the video portion is live when it’s not! The last thing you want is for your customer to feel tricked.
Set expectations and encourage engagement in the beginning
Take a few moments up front to set attendees' expectations and let them know your presentation will be an interactive experience. Say something at the beginning like,
"I'm using a webinar platform that lets me engage with you while I present. You'll see questions, polls, and tips pop up throughout my presentation, so make sure you look out for them."
Let attendees know that questions will be answered in chat, and only in chat, so they know where they should direct their questions and not to expect Q&A at the end.
"Questions will only be answered through chat, so please make sure to use the chat box to send any questions or comments you might have. We'd love to hear from you!"
If you don't plan to have a Moderator available for chat, then you might want to add something like, “We'll get back to you as soon as we can.” If you do plan to have a Moderator at all times, you can say something like, “Our team is monitoring the chat live! So please reach out." It's all about setting the expectation of when attendees will get a response from you, so they don't get frustrated.
You can also invite people to give a thumbs up when they agree with something they hear during the presentation.
"If you hear something you like or just want to share some encouragement, give me a thumbs up! Look for it in the bottom right-hand corner of the video."
A helpful trick is to draw special attention to the first one or two Interactions. If you can get attendees to participate early on, they're more likely to engage throughout.
"You'll see a question just popped up for you, if you wouldn't mind taking a moment to answer it. I can give you a second if you need it." (Pause.)
Pausing to give people time to respond is a good practice, since it makes attendees feel like they should.
Once you’ve taken a few minutes to set up for attendees how the experience will work, you don’t need to mention every interaction. In fact, it’s better if you don’t as it's more natural that way. But a little effort up front will go along way in driving up engagement from attendees as well as the amount of time they choose to stay and watch your eWebinar.
Use the interactions to drive engagement
eWebinar's interactions turn a presentation into a two-way experience. Attendees don't have to just sit there and listen. They can respond! So don’t miss the opportunity to interact with your customers.
When planning your content, remember you'll be able to add interactions throughout. Use them as a way to drive engagement and increase attendees’ watch time. Don't go for more than three or four minutes without looking for a way to add one. But don't add so many that it's annoying.
Here are some good examples of how you can use interactions to drive engagement:
Question: To collect feedback and suggestions from your users
Example: “If there was one change we could make to our product today that would make your experience better, what would that one thing be?”
Link: To deliver more content to attendees
Example: “Here is a link to an article that goes into greater detail than what I will be able to cover today.”
Request to Contact: To surface your highest quality leads, the ones most likely to convert
Example: “If you’d like to discuss more of what we have to offer, fill in the form you see popping up right now. We'll reach out and set up a time to talk."
Poll: To gather quick stats about and information from your audience
Example: “I'm curious, how did you find us? I've got a poll coming up here. I'll give you a few seconds to answer that.”
Remember the goal of interactions is not just to collect and deliver more information. It’s also to make the experience more interactive and give your attendees something to do. That way, they'll stick around until the very end!
Recording your eWebinar
Choosing a recording solution
There are a number of great recording solutions out there you can use to make your videos. Choose something you are comfortable with that allows you to record both the person presenting and his or her screen and that can be downloaded in a hi-res format. (We recommend a minimum resolution of 720p.)
At eWebinar, we use Loom and mmhmm to record because we find it to be the easiest solutions to use. However, these solutions don't have advanced editing features. If that’s what you need, our customers use solutions like Screenflow and Camtasia for editing.
Recording more than one presenter
If your recording will involve more than one person, many of our customers use live webinar solutions, like Zoom or GoToWebinar, to record their videos. You can download the video file afterwards and upload it into eWebinar.
The great thing about having another person in your video doing the presentation with you is that it’s easier and more natural to have a conversation with someone versus doing it by yourself. If you are new to eWebinar, inviting someone to create a video with you is a great way to get started.
Creating your eWebinar
Crafting your interactions (now and over time)
When adding Interactions, consider replacing the titles of the Interaction cards so they don’t all say “Question” or “Tip” at the top. This will break things up visually and add a bit of personality. Include fun call to action buttons for Links and Offers, like “Claim this now!”. Your interactions can even evolve over time. If, for example, after running your eWebinar for a while, you know that a question always comes up at minute ten, you can add a Tip at 9:45 with the answer to that question to lower your own support in the future.
Take advantage of the Waiting and Exit Rooms
Remember you can add interactions both before and after your presentation. A good way to engage attendees early on and to get them familiar with the interactions is to ask them a Question a couple of minutes before your presentation begins in the Waiting Room. It could be something small talk-ish, like "Where are you joining me from today?” Or a way to ask something more meaningful, like "What kind of work do you do?"
The Exit Room is a great place to ask for feedback right after your presentation ends, by using the Feedback interaction. Ask something like, "Did you enjoy my presentation?" Or, "Did you get what you'd hoped for out of our session?" It is also a great place to encourage additional questions. For example, you could add a Tip near the end of your presentation inviting people to stay for Q&A, saying that your team will be sticking around afterwards for an extra thirty minutes to answer questions.
NOTE: Keep in mind that interactions in the Waiting and Exit Rooms will not appear to attendees who choose to watch a replay instead of attending a scheduled or “just in time” session.
Be creative and try out new things
Our customers are constantly showing us new ways to make eWebinars effective and engaging. So don't be afraid to experiment. You can use the analytics to figure out what interactions get the most engagement. In the end, the point is to have fun, be creative, and find compelling ways to bring your brand and your content to life.
Want to share best practices you've learned? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.