7 Types of Engaging Webinar Formats for Your Audience

webinar formats

The demand for webinars is progressing like never before. It has been heavily adopted by industries & businesses, and individuals across the globe. However, the main challenge that they face is keeping the audience hooked.

Are you tired of hosting webinars in a mundane way and finding it challenging to keep your audience engaged?

Don’t worry; join us as we explore seven engaging webinar formats you can implement immediately to connect, inspire, and captivate your target audience to act. You will even learn how to create a buzz in your webinars through storytelling, live demonstrations, interactive polls, surveys, Q&Ans, etc.

So, let’s get the ball rolling.

7 Types of Webinars That Are Most Popular

1. Ask Me Anything [AMA] Webinar

At times, webinar hosts conduct a webinar with a normal presentation and hope that it will gauge audience engagement. But, they can’t get the necessary audience attention and fail to spark a meaningful connection. 

How to cope with this?

With the help of conducting an Ask Me Anything [AMA] Webinar. These are also known as Q & A webinars. These types of webinars are created to enforce direct interaction and build engagement with the audience and webinar host(s). The primary purpose of this webinar format is to offer a transparent platform where users can post any questions and hosts can address any of the concerns or issues efficiently.

Let’s look at a few of the advantages of this type of webinar:

  • Higher authenticity & trust: It offers a transparent space where the audience can directly connect with hosts or panels. 
  • Better Engagement: The interactive nature of this format ensures higher engagement from start to finish. 
  • Customized content: The entire discussion happens on the questions based on the interests of the audience, resulting in more satisfaction. 
  • Networking opportunities: AMA webinars ensure high networking opportunities as participants can connect with like-minded individuals from different industries. 

Now the question is, how can you get relevant questions from users constantly? You can obtain seamless questions from the users via integrating different things like live chat, keeping a submission form, and requesting users to post questions in any of the media you share on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The higher the questions you obtain, the higher you can answer questions to the users and keep them engaged.

2. Panel Discussion

A panel discussion is a type of webinar format in which experts from different fields come together to talk about a specific topic. These experts or panelists carry out lively discussions and share their opinions, insights, and expertise in front of their audience.  

It is one such type of webinar that not only enforces engagement but also helps you increase your following, as each set of experts has different followers. Moreover, it is highly popular as it lets you deliver fresh viewpoints, promote interactive discussions, and establish yourself as an authority around the audience.

To lead this webinar, a moderator asks a different set of questions and asks panelists to share their perspectives on the same. The moderator ensures that the entire webinar goes in the right direction. 

If you are planning to host this webinar, you will probably be playing the role of a moderator. Here are some thought-provoking questions you can ask the panelists to keep the conversation growing.

  • What are the latest trends in (topic or industry), and how would they affect the future?
  • As per your experience, what are the problems faced by the professionals in your industry?
  • How can your (field or industry) adapt to the latest technological advancements?
  • What sorts of skills & knowledge people joining your (field or industry) should consider to stay ahead of the curve?

The main purpose behind asking these questions is to inspire panelists to share their opinions & insights. Apart from this, for constant engagement in your webinar, you need to get audience participation. Here are several webinar best practices you can follow for audience participation.

  • Live Chat: The most straightforward method to get questions from the audience.
  • Pre-submitted Questions: It is an approach in which you get questions from the audience before the webinar. It helps you to conduct a more structured & curated webinar.
  • Social Media Hashtags: It is yet another unique approach where you inspire users to post their questions, insights, or anything they like in the webinar using hashtags. The moderator can analyze all the tweets and start a discussion with the panelists on relevant topics.

3. The Online Event or Conference

The concept of online events and conferences has transformed the way we share knowledge, opinions, perspectives, etc. Moreover, it is one of the cost-effective ways to reach a vast number of people and increase webinar attendance. If you are already running an offline event, an online event would work as an extension with the same speakers, brand, and overall infrastructure. 

Over the years, there has been a constant shift in the number of events & conferences held offline. There are several crucial reasons behind it. 

Firstly, online events or conferences break all geographical boundaries and allow you to connect speakers and attendees worldwide. 

Secondly, the trend of online events & conferences is rising due to convenience. All the attendees can save resources & time, which they would have spent on travel and other things in offline events. In addition, participants are free to attend the event on their own time.

One excellent webinar example of an online event or conference is Smartling, which offers a cloud-based translation management system for businesses. Amid the pandemic, they hosted a virtual event in the form of a webinar. According to reports, they received over 1400 registrations, and an impressive 42% of those attendees participated live. It’s great to see how companies adapt to the current situation and find new ways to connect with their audience.

Here are several key features & capabilities you will need to make it a success.

  • You will need the best platform for webinars or video-conferencing that works efficiently and supports essential functionalities like chat, online polls & surveys, etc. Examples: WebinarPress, Zoom, Webex, etc. If you want to go for the cheaper option, then WebinarPress is a good choice. It lets you create live and automated webinars directly from your WordPress site. 
  • Hosts also require a virtual presentation tool with essential features like slideshows, videos, live demonstrations, or virtual whiteboards to deliver rich presentations.
  • An effective event management system to manage registration, ticketing, and attendee communication. 

4. Product Demos

Webinars have already become one of the best strategies for marketing things. Product demo webinars are just a part of it. 

Suppose you have created a modern & innovative product and want to put it in front of the audience. How do you achieve this? With the help of the product demo webinar. In this type of webinar, you mention essential things about the product, like the features, benefits, and use cases. You can even go one step further and explain how it functions by using it in action. 

To achieve the above things, you need to leverage different tools like screen sharing, extra videos & sliders, or present the entire product in front of the camera. 

This type of webinar format works well for the latest product launch, consumer research, or brand establishment.

Apart from the above things, here is the list of statistical data that prove the effectiveness of the product demos among businesses. 

  • Videos have higher engagement among the audience and can lead to a better conversion rate. According to various studies, users retain 95% of the information when they watch a video and 10% when they go through the text.
  • As per Aartisto, 73% of people are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video. 
  • Around 73% of B2B marketers state that webinars are the best way to generate high-quality leads.

Also Read: Best Tips for Webinar Presentation

5. Masterclass

As the name suggests, it consists of a master who speaks on a specific topic. In simple words, here, you need to invite one or two speakers who are ready to come in front of the camera and share their knowledge & skills with the audience. You can also call this webinar an enhanced version of the presentation or a how-to workshop.

Masterclass is an excellent webinar for everyone that wants to improve their skills without spending much. You can leverage this webinar format to reach a wider number of people and teach them some skills that help them move forward.

In the first place, you should be clear about what is your purpose behind holding a masterclass webinar. Then, you should choose a trending webinar topic for your masterclass that aligns well with your area of expertise and the interest of the potential audience. 

  • Define your expertise: Go inside and define what you are passionate about. Know your strengths & weaknesses.
  • Know your audience: Conduct thorough research to know your audience. The best way to know your audience is to create different personas. A user persona consists of various demographics, interests, pain points, and aspirations of the users. 
  • Research topics: Look at the latest publications, blog posts, social media discussions, news, etc., to discover new topics.
  • Solve a problem: Find a problem your target audience faces and try to resolve it through your masterclass by offering practical solutions and actionable advice.
  • Test the topic: Before you choose a topic, share the top topics that you shortlisted with your colleagues, friends, and family members to know what they think about it. You will get further insights on these topics. Now, you should choose a topic that resonates well with your potential audience.

After choosing the topic for your webinar, you need to focus on keeping the audience engaged through the webinar. Integrate attractive images & videos to keep the audience engaged. Besides this, you can also leverage polls & surveys, Q & As throughout the class.

6. Interview

The interview webinar mainly involves a deep conversation between the host and the speaker. It is one of the popular webinar formats in which you need to decide the topic, time, and speaker in advance and then ask thought-provoking questions. The host wants to know the experiences, opinions, and perspectives of the speaker and present them to the audience. The host also gets questions from the audience through live chat and presents them to the speaker.

An example of the interview webinar format is an informational interview between a good host and a thought leader.

If you plan to host this webinar, you must first invite an influential guest speaker with a massive following. Then, it would be best to prepare a strong portfolio of questions you wish to ask the speaker to keep the conversation flowing smoothly from start to finish.

Include the results of several polls, visuals, etc., and let the speaker throw some light on it. Aside from this, you can also keep a Q&A session where the audience can ask several questions, and the speaker answers them. 

In the end, you should summarize all the things discussed during the entire webinar and share them with the audience. You should thank the speaker and audience and share any additional resources, social media connections, etc.

7. Case Study Webinar

A case study webinar is an absolutely fantastic way to convert visitors to leads and prospects down the line. 

To organize a case study webinar, you can repurpose any existing video or written case study. Along with that, you can invite all the happy customers of your products or services into a webinar to share their experiences. 

In a case study webinar, there would be a lot of real-life scenarios, challenges, solutions, and results that a business has obtained while working on a product. 

If you plan to host a case study webinar, you should have first worked on a product and made it successful. 

You should define in detail the entire product. Explain all the challenges you have faced and then share all the strategies, tools, and processes you have followed to overcome them. In addition, you should also mention the increased sales, efficiency, and positive customer feedback. 

The audience will lose interest if you are just doing a plain webinar. Therefore, you should consider making it interactive by asking Q & Ans. 

Also Read: 3 Things to Follow Post Webinar

Conclusion

Webinars are one of the most effective ways for your marketing purpose. Whether it’s a panel discussion, Ask me anything, product demo, online event, case study, or interview, all the webinars have their purpose and formats. 

When you choose the right webinar type, you can share incredible insights, spark better conversations, present your product or services, resolve issues, or share real-life examples.

 

Author Bio

With years of experience in the field, Jay loves to share insights and expertise on product development, customer research, and user experience. Outside of work, you can find Jay curled up with a good book, exploring new ideas in philosophy, or discussing the latest products with friends and colleagues.

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