Tough Talks Made Easy: 11 Tips on How to Turn Webinar Nightmares into Dreams

Tough Talks Made Easy: The Webinar Waltz. 11 Tips on How to Turn Webinar Nightmares into Dreams
Written by Emily Poulton and Joseph Peters

If you’re in MOps you’ve seen this request before:

“Hi Marketing Ops Friends, we need to host a webinar next week, so can you get me the landing page link so we can get the invite out?”

Put your stress on hold. It doesn’t have to be this way.  Pour yourself a cup of tea (Emily) or coffee (Joe) and curl up with this week’s Tough Talk Made Easy.  We cover how to have a conversation with your friends and colleagues about how to get the most out of a webinar.  A little extra time can make the difference between a webinar that’s mediocre and one that’s great.

Tip One: Plan for Education

They really mean well.  Truly.  What we’ve found is that there often isn’t any education around building a webinar program.  They haven’t seen what’s under the hood.  Like many things we can’t fully appreciate how hard things can be (e.g. skateboarding tricks, memorizing lines in a play) until they are explained to us.  Take your stakeholder on a journey with you by taking the time to show them all of the ingredients for a successful webinar, including its promotion.  Ask the right questions and let them know all the elements you need before you can even start building the registration page. Sharing is caring, right? 

Shift roles from order taker to collaborator.

Tip Two: The Basics

Here is a list of what’s required as a starting point for any webinar conversation.

        1. Speakers and presentation

        2. Webinar software integrated into a MA system

        3. Promotional budget

        4. Promotional copy & assets

        5. Promotional channels

This list on its own can help get things on track.  It’s a far cry from the webinar request that we saw above.

Tip Three:  Friends and Forms

Now we start to get practical.  You’ll need a friendly guinea pig to start.  Get a stakeholder to work with you to develop a webinar blueprint or briefing form that gets at all of the pertinent information.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can help translate the scale of work that is involved in building a successful webinar.  This friend/victim can also be an advocate for the process, moving forward.

Tip Four:  Big Picture

There are two key questions to start here.  What is the objective of the webinar?  Who is the target audience?  This may seem like table stakes for some but it’s overlooked or assumed knowledge in many instances.  We can get into logistical questions like where and when will the recordings be available, later on down the list.

A good process flow can help show your colleagues the steps and complexities in a single snapshot.

Tip Five:  Be a Partner that Adds Value

Shift roles from order taker to collaborator.  Consider providing advice such as “I would suggest these channels; typically subject lines in this format have performed better; conversions by channel, by segmentation.”  If you have data to back it up, it will give your advice some extra weight.

Tip Six: Visualize

There are certain members of the team at Revenue Pulse that love a good process flow.  They can often be seen in real-time playing around with sequences in Lucidchart, just for fun!  A good process flow can help show your colleagues the steps and complexities in a single snapshot.  The magic happens when you can communicate clear timescales and dependencies against the sequences, as well as who is responsible for what.  “I need x weeks to deliver this from when I get the assets.  If I only get them next week, I will need x weeks from that.”

Tip Seven: Templates

Program templates will definitely save you some time.  Most often we find that a couple of templates can address 90% of the need.  If you have a system like Knak, you can create a series of modules that will allow you to assemble templates in minutes. 

Here’s one tip that can make your life easier after you start the program: self-service updates

Tip Eight: Test

Once you have the templates and the details uploaded it’s time to find a friend to test things out.  Testing is often overlooked, but if you can sign up for the webinar, get all the right emails flowing into the right lists, and have a link to access the webinar, you are golden.

Tip Nine: Self-Serve

Here’s one tip that can make your life easier after you start the program: self-service updates.  Create a shared space where relevant teams (e.g. Sales) can see registrants/attendees (e.g. SFDC campaign).  This saves you time from having to provide updates.

Make suggestions on what to do after the webinar has taken place.

Tip Ten: Follow-up

Make suggestions on what to do after the webinar has taken place.  You might suggest that a nurture program be set up for engaged audiences.  You could also ask if a follow-up email with other webinar suggestions, might be helpful.

Tip Eleven: Share the Results

Once you have the form and process smoothed out and underway, it might be time to bring the team together to share results.  Show how the process worked and share data on the results.  This is the fist bump, high-five moment. Don’t skip this one.

There probably isn’t much we haven’t seen when it comes to webinars at Revenue Pulse.  We know that some patience and education of internal stakeholders can go a long way in improving results and quite frankly the quality of work-life for those in MOps.

As always we’re ready to chat whenever you need a hand.



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