We recently hosted a webinar on the ways in which thought leadership-building efforts in legal marketing and communications can advance firms’ business objectives. You can check it out here.
We also wanted to expand on some of the tactics that we touched on in the session. In this post, we’ll go through the steps to host a successful webinar.
Webinars are an excellent tool to provide value to potential and existing clients, build a law firm’s reputation in strategic areas, and enhance relationships with journalists. They can be tailored to fit current events, industry developments that matter to specific audiences, and attorneys’ areas of expertise, allowing you to showcase your firm’s thought leadership on topics that are strategic for the business. Moreover, the value goes beyond the session itself, as webinar content is valuable for remarketing efforts.
Here are some key tips for putting together and getting the most value out of a webinar:
Define your target audiences
Determine which audiences are most important to reach. This should be based on the firm’s business goals. A few questions to ask yourself are: Is there a practice area or partner that you should spotlight? Is there a potential client base among which you’d like to be better known? Are current clients the intended audience for the webinar?
Choose your topic strategically
Once you have your target audiences, you can tailor your topic, perhaps by focusing on a certain industry development or on an issue faced by a particular group. Homing in on a specific topic can give you the opportunity to dive deep and flex your expertise more than a general topic can.
Your topic should be tailored to the guest list. Make sure the content reflects what your audiences would find useful and intriguing. For example, our last webinar was on elevating thought leadership as a legal services firm, so we invited contacts that represented their firms’ marketing and communications departments.
Get the word out
Issue invitations early and follow up to encourage registrations. Some people will want notice further ahead of time to slot an event into their schedules; others might only decide whether or not to register the day of.
If the topic is relevant for any current clients, consider including in the event. Make sure the appropriate person at your firm reaches out with a personal note to invite them.
While the media shouldn’t necessarily be the primary audience, a webinar can be a relationship-building tool for journalists whose radar you’d like to be on. When appropriate, consider inviting members of the media, particularly trade journalists, to attend and participate in your webinar.
Consider posting the registration link on your social channels or pitching your webinar to an industry-relevant events calendar that your target audiences pay attention to.
Not everyone who registers will attend, but you can follow up with registrants after they sign up and before the event to ensure that the webinar (and your firm) stays on their radar.
Create an engaging presentation
Your audience is taking time out of their schedules to attend your webinar – make sure you keep your presentation efficient and engaging. Avoid text-heavy slides and use graphics or videos in the presentation to avoid losing audience attention.
Consider having a guest co-host who can add depth to the discussion and a hook for your audiences. For example, in a recent webinar we hosted for real estate professionals, we had Wall Street Journal housing and economy reporter Laura Kusisto co-host and offer her insights on the right approach for real estate professionals to get on journalists’ radar.
Interact with your audiences
Engage your audience with a poll or an open chat box for attendees to submit questions they may have during the presentation.
Live tweet key quotes from the webinar to engage your followers on social media. Use a dedicated hashtag if appropriate.
Record your presentation
Recording your webinar will enable you to repurpose it and extend its shelf life. Services like GoToWebinar will automatically record your presentation for you.
Repurpose your webinar
Just because your webinar is finished doesn’t mean it stops being useful. In addition to uploading it to your website and sharing it on your social channels, you can link to it in marketing materials and incorporate it into business development efforts for potential clients who might be interested in the topic.
Distill the content down into something more quickly digestible, like a data visualization, an infographic, whiteboard video, or one-pager, to provide those who attended the webinar with a refresher and to pique the interest of invitees who didn’t attend.
Hosting a webinar can be an effective way to build or expand your firm’s and attorneys’ credibility and thought leadership. While it may seem daunting at first to organize and host one, keep the tips above in mind and you’ll soon be hosting webinars like a pro!