Webinar Strategy and Planning


Successful webinars require a solid strategy and planning. Work with our team to make sure you have a plan that achieves your business goals.

Webinars are exceptional ways to make otherwise static content more engaging and generate conversations with your prospective customers. With many opportunities for engagement, you need to plan every step carefully - otherwise - you will waste the unique opportunities a webinar can provide.

Start To Create Your Webinar Strategy By Asking Questions

Successful webinar strategy and planning begins by asking questions. What goal do you want to accomplish? Who is your audience? What are the major pain points, concerns, or challenges for your audience? How do you solve customer challenges? And - do you have people on your team with experience in running a webinar, or do you need outside help?

By making a list of these starter questions, you can kick-off the planning process.

Webinars may seem like simple, online events, but like any event, they require many steps to be completed, and often require a significant investment in time and management.

Once you have started asking and answering questions about who your audience is and what they are interested in, you then need to build out a comprehensive outline of your planning process and event activities.

This step is one of the most crucial parts of any webinar, because not planning for steps you need to complete, or contingencies you need to plan for, can result in serious mistakes that either make your event less successful or a complete failure - and the waste of many hours of time, loss of money, and a damaged reputation in your industry and with your customers.

Below is a basic outline of the webinar strategy and planning process we follow. Please keep in mind that this is only an outline, and that all webinars require a much more detailed, day-by-day plan. In some cases, the start of a webinar's activities can be as much as two months before the actual date of the event, and will continue (to varying degrees) after the event is over.


A key to our success in webinar strategy and planning has been our extensive experience in a wide variety of industries, and covering a large number of topics. Our experience makes us very successful planners.

Webinar Strategy and Planning

As we have mentioned above, webinar planning is critically important. Though webinars are online events, the are still events. You need goals, success metrics, a compelling topic and smart marketing to attract an audience, interesting speakers, technology, content, support, a comprehensive engagement strategy (pre and post-event), and many other details.

Below is a outline of a webinar planning checklist and process that you can use to get started.

If you decide you want help in your webinar planning, our first step would be to meet with you and your team to discuss your company, your goals, your competition and your prospective customers. Once we understand the challenge or pain in the marketplace, your capabilities and goals and expectations, we can then craft a specific webinar program with metrics for success, social media, content marketing and an analytics report, so you can view the results as the plan unfolds.

What Stage of the Customer Journey is Your Webinar to Address?

Ask yourself, "Where is your audience in the buying cycle? At what stage of the customer journey are they?" Answering these questions will help define not only what content you need to create, but potentially who your audience is for the webinar.

For example, if you are looking for people who are at the top of funnel, your webinar should focus on thought leadership and lead generation. For a middle part of the funnel audience, you should consider a webinar topic around positioning and influencing. Lastly, if the event is for people who are at the closest point for purchasing a product or service, then your topic needs to be more about demonstration and closing.

A helpful way to look at this first step in Webinar strategy is to think of your event as needing to meet people at different stages, such as:

  • Discover: A webinar at this stage is designed to acquire and engage. Typically, you are thinking about identifying challenges, opportunities or trends. Your topic should reflect a big issue and present content that educates and seeks to provide some resolution - albeit at a high-level.
  • Explore: A webinar at this stage is designed to deepen an engagement and acquire an opportunity for a sale or service delivery. The content should be more specific and thus the audience will be more targeted.
  • Evaluate: A webinar at this stage is designed to meet the needs to an active opportunity. Content should be more demonstrative, have a greater amount of detail and be more personalized / tailored to the audience.

Who Is Your Audience?

Knowing your audience is another critical part of defining your strategy and planning your webinar.

Are you targeting executives or practitioners, people with specific job titles or a broad base of people in a specific industry? Is this an event more geared for existing customers, prospective customers or partners?

It is important to define the "who" so you know "what" content is going to be best received.

Assemble Your Team

Conducting a successful webinar hinges on not just getting the right content in front of the right audience, but also build the right team to ensure all the key tasks are accomplished.

From selecting a topic, identifying the right speaker (or speakers), to creating the promotional assets, marketing the event and then hosting it - there are quite a few moving parts and responsibilities.

We often recommend clients start the planning process by looking at the end date and working backwards. This will help determine if you have enough time to adequately prepare as well as what steps need to be completed and by when.

As for your webinar team, here are some roles you need to consider:

  • Project Manager: A person who keeps track of all the deliverables, people responsible for each task and the deadline. The project manager is the chief enforcer to make sure steps are not skipped and everyone does their job.
  • Technical Producer: A person who make sure the technical components work, such as video, audio, webinar platform, Internet speed and any technical pieces.
  • Marketing: The person or team of people who are responsible for driving audience acquisition through event promotion and conducting the post-event activities including follow-up and event analysis.
  • Moderator: A person who introduces the speaker (or speakers) and handles audience engagement as well as manages the webinar show - scripting the event, asking questions and driving interaction with people in attendance.
  • Speaker(s): The person or people who present the content / insights that everyone wants to hear from.

Set Goals / Define A Successful Webinar

For your webinar strategy, you will want to set measurable goals. Put simply, you want to answer the question, "What are your trying to accomplish with this event?"

Are you focused on raising your profile and build brand awareness?

Or do want to increase visibility of your subject matter experts (SMEs) and showcase thought leadership?

Even if you have no experience with webinars, you need to establish some outline of what a successful event will look it. It could be a specific number of registrations or it could be a specific number of high-quality post-event conversations. Whatever your goal, it needs to be something you can measure or quantify.

Select an Event Format

We have organized, managed and participated in hundreds - probably thousands - of webinars over the last 15 to 20 years. During that time, we have found selecting an event format to be an important part of the strategy and planning process.

Here are some event formats you can considering for next webinar:

  • Single Speaker: One expert shares their insights or tips.
  • Two Presenters or Moderator and Presenter: Instead of just one presenter, you have two presenters or a moderator and a presenter. Two people having a dialogue can be more engaging for the audience than a single presenter format.
  • Virtual Panel / Roundtable: We have conducted dozens of virtual roundtables and they are great - if managed well. A panel of experts can bring your audience different experiences, perspectives and solutions. This can be one of the most educational formats available.
  • Q&A Webinar: A webinar dedicated to "questions and answers" from any number of speakers is a great way to get an audience involved and create value for those who attend. We recommend ALL webinars have some form of Q&A, but an event dedicated to answering questions is a very customer-centric event format.
  • Interview Webinar: Similar to a Q&A event - but directed to the speaker. It would be similar in structure to how many talk radio programs operate, where the host talks about a topic with a subject matter expert. Planning and managing this kind of a program is more complex than a traditional webinar because there is more dialogue.
  • Product / Solution Demo: This is often an event format for buyers or people close to a buying or use stage. To make a successful demo webinar, you must personalize as much of the demonstration to your audience as possible. If they cannot feel or see a direct connection between what you are presenting and their own needs - your demo will not be a success.
  • Snackable Webinar: This is a webinar that - regardless of format - only lasts between 10 and 15 minutes. With so many people experiencing what has become known as "Zoom Fatigue" or fatigue from online events, a shorter event that does not take up much time is often an excellent choice. For a "snackable webinar" to be successful, you need to have focus on your topic and discussion points and really have a clear call to action at the end. The better you bundle the event and keep it simple and focused, the better the event experience for your audience.

Identify Your Webinar Technical Requirements

Technical requirements are another essential piece to your webinar strategy and planning. But they go beyond just selecting the webinar platform. Here is a list of things you want to consider, including the webinar platform:

  • Webinar Platform: While there are many functional similarities between webinar platforms - not every solution has the same feature set, integrations with other software and user experience. You need to make a list of questions and see which platforms check-off the most boxes. Questions include but are not limited to:
    • Do the registration pages integrate with my CRM?
    • Can I send emails from the solution, such as invitations and reminders?
    • Does the platform easily allow people to be on-camera?
  • Microphone and Headset: Sound quality is an important technical consideration for your event. Not only do you need to choose the right microphone for anyone speaking, but you want to make sure they can hear well (and have comfortable headsets). And - when you test the equipment using your webinar platform - you want to make sure that the right settings are selected so your desired mic and headset are the ones selected.
  • Video Camera, Lighting and Location: Not even webinar is on-camera. In fact, most people prefer to be off-camera. However, if you want to make more of a visual connection with your audience, video will be important. There are many affordable, high-quality cameras. Beyond the camera, you want to make sure you have a ring light or other lighting that makes you look good when the event is streaming. Lastly, your location is important. Make sure you are not in a dark place or have a background that looks sloppy or has unprofessional objects.
  • Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is critical. A hard-lined connection is always preferred over WiFi. We have noticed that some webinar platforms require more bandwidth than others for a successful broadcast. If you don't have a strong and stable connection, you may notice (or your audience may notice) video and/or audio lag that creates skips or poor quality.

As with any technology, we recommend you test everything you plan on using for the webinar together to make sure it works. Testing and practice is critical.

Create Your Marketing Plan

The foundation of your webinar strategy is going to be your marketing plan. In creating a webinar, it is essential that you accept that only producing a webinar is not a strategy and will not be successful. A webinar is only part of your larger marketing plan and the webinar itself also requires its own marketing plan.

Here are some marketing plan tips that you can use as part of your webinar strategy and planning:

  • Promotion: Make sure you have a comprehensive promotional strategy that gives you enough time to secure the audience you are need for a successful event. Be sure to include post-event promotion in your plan.
  • Use Data and Quotes: Plan to use data and quotes from the webinar in other content. For example, if your webinar speakers have statistics - plan to use those in a post-event blog post recap and/or social media (as a graphic). Quotes also are great for social media sharing and for call-out boxes in subsequent reports.
  • Post Webinar Engagement / Follow-up: You may be surprised, but many businesses and organizations do not have a detailed post-event / follow-up strategy in place. For those that do - many stop following up after one attempt when studies show it could take several to secure an opportunity. In short, one event will be success without reaching out many times after the event is over.
  • Review Poll and Survey Data: Whenever you conduct a webinar, you should have at least one poll and a post-event survey. This data will be very helpful in personalizing your post-event communications. Most webinar platforms link questions and survey responses to specific people. If you know that "John Smith" asked a question about your service or provided details about their greatest challenges, you can then personalize your response to their needs.

Determine Your Call To Action (CTA)

Every webinar requires some "Call to Action" or step or decision you want your audience to take. Even if your event is purely informational, you still want your audience to do something.

In short, the CTA is the moment you share your offer, price, bonus or guarantee. It is a clear, simple step you want people to take.

If you are not sure what this action is - think back to each stage of the process in the webinar. From the first message to the last communication you are creating a series of actions to drive someone to take one specific step forward. For example:

  • Email Subject: This is designed to get a person to open the email so they can read it.
  • Email Headline, Copy and CTA: Once a person has opened the email, does your headline grab their attention? Does your copy get them interested? If so - the call to action is to start the registration process.
  • Registration Page: The registration page has one function - to get people to register for the event. If you learn that you have driven 300 people to your registration page, but only 10 have signed up, then your registration page has failed you. Achieving registrations is the only function of this step.
  • Webinar Reminder Email: The sole purpose of the reminder email reminder is to encourage as much "Live" participation in the event as possible.
  • Webinar CTA: Hence, the webinar "call to action" is the next step in the process. What do you want people to do? Complete an assessment? Set up a meeting? Download a report?

Much of the CTA will depends on the level of event you are conducting (eg, is it a "Discover," "Explore," or "Evaluate" level event.

Content Needs to Focus on What Problems Your Audience Has

The content for your webinar should not be about you - it should always be centered around the problem or challenge facing your audience. Even a run-of-the-mill sales webinar still needs to offer something that meets a need - otherwise no one will attend and no one will buy.

Some ways to get started planning your content include:

  • Review performance of existing content and see what content is generating the most engagement.
  • Examine industry trends, hot topics, innovations and new regulations. Something is likely to map back to your audience.
  • Receive insights from your customers and/or prospects from surveys, assessments and conversations. One of the easiest ways we have found to creating a webinar topic is to learn what are the most common challenges account executives are hearing from their customers.

Acquire Your Audience

Audience acquisition is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. While a highly persuasive email and event landing / registration page is important - you also need to have a high quality list of potential contacts. If you do not have a list and you are starting from scratch, or you want to grow your audience beyond the people you know, you will need to take advantage of both outbound and inbound channels to build the right audience for your webinar.

Deliver the Webinar

Delivering the webinar should be easiest part of the process - provided you have completed the steps before this one.

That is not to say that delivering a "live" event is stress free or without problems. This is why it often helps to have a professional team with experience help you and be there to prevent problems from arising OR to quickly resolve the problems so your event can be a success.

Your Webinar Experts has a highly trained team that can help you put together your entire webinar strategy and plan as well as deliver a successful event.

Your Webinar Experts specializes in creating and managing highly successful webinars, online classes and virtual events for consumers, businesses, government agencies and organizations. which improve outreach, engagement and opportunities. We also help orgainzations with remote working strategies, tactics and technologies. We are ready and able to help your company.

Contact us today to discuss your needs.