Take a moment and think about what webinar format you are currently using.
- Do you leverage a slide deck while you’re on a conference call for specialized training?
- Are you offering product demos for your prospective clients?
- Have you been training your employees with a video of your PowerPoint and a voiceover?
These examples are the most common types of enterprise webinars for training and sales purposes. However, exploring various webinar styles can give you a new and more engaged audience.
Start elevating your webinar format with 5 new styles.
1. The Chat-Style Conversation
Imagine watching late night TV. You have 2 speakers or co-hosts discussing the topic at length. This will give your webinar attendees in-depth insights from two charismatic industry experts. Keyword here is charismatic. No one will follow your webinar if your speaker is monotone. Even if they are at the top of their field. Animating and charismatic speakers will breathe life into your webinar event and keep your viewers engaged. This webinar format provides a more engaging dynamic between the two presenters who can get to the heart of the discussion.
Find two different types of experts on your webinar with their own following. By doing so, you’ll have substantially increased your regular audience reach. Also, it will add credibility to your webinar if you can find well-known speakers.
Don’t know where to start finding said experts? Look into your own internal team. See if your VP of Marketing or even CEO is able to spend a day recording a webinar about your topic. Try locating the industry and technical expert. One can tell your audience about the ever-changing trends and another to explain how that affects them.
Consideration: Just like your favourite late night TV show, it is fairly easy to veer off topic. Sometimes, this can be great for engagement purposes. But don’t stray too far from your topic as you can start to lose your audience. Give your speakers an agenda or checklist that they can adhere by so they have some direction.
2. An Ask-Me-Anything Webinar Format
There are multiple tools that you can add to your webinar to make it more engaging. We also know that it’s standard to include a Q&A in your webinar. But have you ever implemented a live Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) style webinar?
Are you recording a demo for your prospective clients or a training video for your employees? Chances are, they will have numerous questions. Create a bank of commonly asked questions and address them during your event.
Not sure where to find your questions?
- Look at previous Q&A’s in your recent related webinars.
- Embed a long-answer field in your landing page.
- Drop a quick survey in your email marketing initiatives.
- Broadcast the same survey over your social media.
- Leverage the polling options on social media.
Now group your questions into categories. Organize them in a way that flows from one topic to the next. Remember to include an actual Q&A segment during your webinar for more questions. This style is great for making the most out of your training videos.
Consideration: Ensure that you have enough content to talk about in the event that you don’t receive many questions during your live event. Always be prepared.
3. Repurpose Client Case Studies
Look at your web traffic analytics and select the case study with the most downloads. Or the most engaged with. Build a webinar based on this client and topic. But how exactly do you repurpose a case study into a webinar?
Reach out to a client that you have previously done a case study on. Ask them to talk about how and why they use your service and how it has benefitted them. Ensure that you are linking your case study in your webinar platform for attendees to access themselves. This is a great sales tool as your prospective clients can ask your real client how your service has helped them.
Consideration: Prepare your client with questions you anticipate your webinar attendees will ask so they are not caught off guard.
4. The Interview
This is a common style most B2B marketers leverage.
We have seen interview-style webinars with and without a slide deck. Personally, we are a fan of leveraging a slide deck because it enables us to stay focused while illustrating our points in a visual way.
The interview is a simple but great webinar format where a moderator asks the questions to the industry expert. Usually, the moderator has prepared the frequently asked questions by prospective clients and webinar attendees. Similar to the chat-style webinar format, you will want to find an engaging speaker who understands the ins-and-outs of your topic. A good moderator will be able to direct the webinar and keep it on course. Listen to our podcast channel, Lessons From The Frontline, as an example of interview style content.
Consideration: Ensure that you have a solid bank of questions to keep the webinar event flowing with good transitions.
5. Panel Discussion
Leveraging the panel discussion style webinar format is great for two reasons.
- Speakers who maybe camera shy will be mostly talking to each other, not facing the camera.
- Similar to the chat-style, each speaker will have their own set of followers who may come to your event. This helps increase your audience reach.
If you can find different types of experts, your audience will benefit by gaining various insights. Another benefit to this style is that it’s more casual, which makes it more engaging for your audience. It’s also a great way for your attendees to get 2-5 experts to answer any of their questions.
Consideration: Vet your speakers thoroughly to avoid biased opinions.
There are more engaging ways to elevate your webinar style. Here are our top 5 webinar format choices:
- Chat-style: Have two Thought Leaders speaking about your topic.
- Ask-Me-Anything: A great way to address commonly asked questions about your business, service, or even industry.
- Repurpose Case Studies: An opportunity for prospective clients to see how exactly your product or software has helped other similar businesses.
- Interview: Leverage a moderator and a speaker to discuss your content.
- Panel Discussion: Reach new audiences with a set of speakers who can bring more insights to the table.
On top of the previously stated considerations, you also have to ensure that you are selecting the best speaker(s) for your program. Download our free Webinar Presentation Evaluation tool to help you find the right speaker for your webinar program.