8 Steps to Hosting a Successful Retail Webinar

Webinars are one of the most effective communication mediums around. They’ll help you save time, cut costs, increase your versatility, and connect with anyone in the world. If you’re interested in harnessing the power of a retail-centric webinar, this step-by-step guide will help you ensure that your webinar is not only effective, but keeps attendees coming back to you for more information.

1. Choose a Topic

Select specialty topics that offer something new and useful to the retail community. The topic must be strong enough to stand alone and feature an issue that grabs attention. Distinguish yourself with master class topics that display your expertise on retail subjects.

2. Incorporate Your Blog

Stuck for ideas? Turn an existing blog post or article into a webinar. It’s also a good idea to use your blog or website to promote your webinar. Write a post about what attendees can expect to learn, what kind of useful information it will provide, and who can benefit from attending.

Post a short video on your blog promoting your webinar.  A video will draw people to your webinar much more effectively than text alone.

3. Choose a Convenient Time

Because you can connect with a large audience and reach anyone in the world with a webinar, it’s important to consider time zone differences. If your audience is halfway around your country, halfway around the world, or even a mix of both, adjust the time of your webinar to meet the needs of the people you want to reach.

4. Use the Right Software

You don’t want to host a webinar that’s bogged down by complicated software and slow run times. Software like GoToWebinar helps you easily set up a webinar, connect with your audience, and ensures your webinar runs as smoothly as possible.

5. Create a Landing Page

It’s really important that you set-up a landing page to take registrations for your webinar.  Registrants will provide their names, company information, and email addresses, allowing you to expand your database.

Webinars can also attract new customers to your business, help generate revenue and increase subscriptions to your products or services. A landing page can be used to briefly describe your services, help build your brand and keep customers engaged. Consider using Landerapp or Formstack to quickly create your own landing page.

6. Promote the Webinar

Naturally you’ll want to ensure that people will attend your webinar, which means you’ll need to network, advertise, and find your target audience.    The first step is to craft an email invite specifically around your event. Think about adding an image, your company logo if you have one, and a good call to action.  Be sure to include the top three points on what attendees can expect to learn.

And in addition to using your website, consider social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to inform people about your event.  Assign a unique hashtag to your webinar event so you can track the conversation and answer questions related to your webinar.  And don’t forget to add this information to your newsletter, if you have one.

7. Build a Successful Partnership

Why not make your life a whole lot easier by partnering with an organization that has a customer database akin to your target demographic.  Take Vend POS for example. Partnering up with Vend means your landing page is taken care of, and you’ll have access to their extensive database of retailers, retail consultants, and people with a general interest in all things retail, to promote your event to. Vend is already set up with GoToWebinar, so you’ll also have access to great software at no charge, which keeps your costs low, and helps you reach thousands of people who are going to care about what you have to say.

8. Do a Practice Run

Before you begin your webinar, perform a practice run. Rehearsing will help you build confidence in your webinar delivery, hone your message, identify weak spots in your presentation, and provide a more concise presentation.

Presentation Tips

These general presentation tips can make your webinar more successful.

  • Be sure to stay on message, and take care to avoid tangents or off-subject information.
  • Add visual aids to your webinar to keep audiences engaged, such as charts or graphs.
  • Relate real world examples to the information you provide to help audiences make a connection between theory and practice.
  • Offer a live Q&A section at the end of the webinar.
  • Ask a second person to run the technical aspects of the webinar.When someone else handles these details, you can focus on delivering the webinar without distraction.

Follow-Up

After your webinar is finished, that’s not the end. Send a thank you email to registered participants, ask for feedback, and inform them about your other services or future webinar dates. Following up will engage your attendees and increase the likelihood that they’ll attend your next webinar.

If you follow the advice above, you can offer an informative webinar that educates your audience about your area of expertise, in a very cost-effective way. Feel free to email us at contact@theretaildigest.com to learn more about hosting a webinar with Vend.

 

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