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Content Marketing

5 Webinar Best Practices That Will Get You Warmer Leads

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Webinars are exploding in a post-COVID-19 world where virtual events reign supreme (and probably will for the foreseeable future), so best practices are more important than ever in 2021. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Your viewers are bombarded with webinar invites these days, so send plenty of reminders! 
  • Webinar audiences have limited time, so they appreciate short-and-to-the-point content.
  • 20% of your attendees will request a recording, so why not send it out before they have a chance to ask?
  • An expert-informed approach can ensure that your webinars follow the latest and greatest guidelines for a kickass virtual event.

The year 2020 is one that we won’t soon forget! Social distancing turned the entire marketing world on its head, especially live events.

Without the competition of live, in-person networking, webinars have become the new standard (even if it wasn’t 100% by choice). Webinar best practices are evolving fast as we enter into 2021.

The 2020 numbers for webinar platform usage say it all:

  • The share of people using Zoom, Teams, and similar platforms jumped to 41% of all users on the internet
  • ClickMeeting use rose by 375% (and attendance on the same platform rose 560%)
  • On24 produced 330% more webinars in March 2020 compared to the year before 

Webinars have some unique selling points that help ensure they’ll stick around long after the coronavirus crisis has passed. We’re watching event marketing history unfold before our eyes! 

We love webinars because: 

The value of webinars

  • They create so much value: Webinars make it easy to give your audience real value, offering live recordings, Q&A with experts, and tailored follow-up content.
  • The sky’s the limit for attendance: Virtual events open your doors to global attendees from all over the world, so you can aim high and fill ALL the (virtual) seats.
  • You can get the world’s best guest speakers: You aren’t tied to geography or travel schedules when you have the best speakers in the world available just an email away.
  • They connect you with your biggest fans: With webinars, you might see the same superfan show up every time.
  • You can get up-and-running fast: Live events take time to source everything, including venues, guests, travel accommodations, sound, and lighting. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Virtual events can slash that time commitment.

Audience expectations around virtual events are changing

Now that webinar overload is a thing (how many e-vites did you get last week?), audiences are getting picky about which events to attend. Their expectations are getting higher, so you’ll need to step it up to keep their attention. 

Check out these numbers:

  • 92% of attendees expect a live Q&A at the end of a webinar
  • 85% of attendees prefer webinars to last 30 or 45 minutes
  • 38% of attendees prioritize interesting and relevant webinar content
  • 32% of attendees are most engaged by a passionate, energetic webinar host
  • 32% of attendees want webinars to start at 11 a.m.


You have to pay attention to what your attendees want if you plan to fill virtual seats. If you don’t, your competition will—and you’ll lose those viewers forever.

Check out these 5 tips for webinar best practices in 2021: 

#1: Send reminder after reminder (after reminder)

Your invitees get a lot of emails about webinars, so you have to make an effort to cut through the noise. That means sending one invite isn’t enough. Heck, it’s not enough to send two or three! 

Consider sending out reminders on a mindful schedule to keep your event on the invitee’s mind, for instance:

  • Upon registration
  • 7 days before the event
  • 5 days before the event
  • 3 days before the event
  • The day before the event—it’s Webinar Eve!
  • The morning of the event—2-3 hours before the start time 
  • 15 minutes before the event

It’s best to space reminders out and not send them every single day at first. Putting them out every second day keeps you in the invitee’s sights without overwhelming them. 

The morning of the webinar is the only exception. You’ll want to send an email a few hours before and a few minutes before the event starts. It’s your last chance!

#2: Scrutinize your webinar deck and script

Content is the biggest factor for over a third of attendees. It’s not enough to slap together a pretty presentation on Google Slides if the deck doesn’t actually have anything to say. 

To capture and hold viewers, your webinar has to:

  • Address a specific problem
  • Get to the point fast
  • Offer value to the viewer

#3: Log in early and use pre-webinar announcements

On many platforms, if the attendees log in before you, the room appears to be inactive until you join as the host. That can lead them to wonder. “Am I in the right place?” and potentially bounce. 

Log in before your attendees do—as early as 30+ minutes prior. Throw up a pre-webinar slide to assure everyone that they found the right virtual room. Attendees tend to be more patient if they know they’re not lost! 

#4: Keep it short and sweet

We’re all crunched for time, and every hour is valuable. When you’re putting your deck together, keep that in mind. 

Ask yourself this: 

Does every slide add tangible value, so the reader is getting back more than their time investment? 

If not, it gets the ax. That’s simple, right? 

#5: Push the recording and slides within 24 hours

Out of your registrants, it’s common for 35% to 45% to actually attend. That doesn’t mean that the rest don’t want the information. In fact, many B2B business owners actually prefer recordings over live attendance. 

It could be that there’s a time conflict and they’re hoping they can get a copy of the webinar by registering. 

Make sure you deliver for those who can’t make it by sending out the recording and deck within 24 hours of the presentation. 

They’ll thank you for not making them wait! And honestly, you’ll thank yourself too. The longer you wait, the more likely they are to forget about it entirely. 

Great webinars require an expert’s hand—or an entire expert team! 

Putting on the perfect webinar means attention to detail and firsthand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. If you’re not an event planner, you might be scratching your head and wondering how you can put these best practices to work. 

You could order a copy of Webinars for Dummies and put your scholar hat on, or you could get help from the experts who know how to tell a vibrant story in 100 slides. 

(Hint: That’s ContentBacon. We built the Ultimate Live Events Toolkit just for you, so download it now to get the scoop on throwing the best live events ever!)

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