If you want to hold a successful webinar, you have to learn how to make your webinar interactive for the audience. Webinars are like your college classes; the more enjoyable the instructor, the higher the attendance rate.
The same concept applies to public speaking. Keynote speakers with a reputation for wowing the audience have an easy time pulling crowds to their events. An interactive webinar hooks and keeps the attendees interested.
Let’s discuss the tools to use in your webinars to make them more enjoyable so you can always attract a huge audience.
How to Make Your Webinars Interactive
Influno indicates that only 40% of webinar attendees pay attention from the beginning to the end. Moreover, 75% of marketers prefer hosting live webinars for immediate engagement.
These statistics show that webinars have the potential to create high audience engagement. But that's if you create the right environment for your audience engagement.
Here are techniques to make your webinar interactive:
Include a Q&A session, especially at the end
Ask your audience questions
Use polls on issues requiring feedback
Adopt interactive webinar formats (AMA, interview, panel discussions, and case studies) once in a while
Pose puzzles with rewards to your audience
Spark discussions on hot topics
Use games to make your webinars more fun
Note: These techniques are better implemented with the right webinar tools. Let’s discuss some of the most efficient tools.
1. Include Live Polls and Surveys
Live polls and surveys increase interaction, and most of the webinar software have them. But even if your software lacks the feature, you may incorporate other poll applications like Survey Monkey into your webinars.
Your target audience doesn't want a lecture or you talking at them; rather, they want you to speak to them. Polls and surveys enable you to maintain two-way interactions with your customers.
Polls grab your audience's attention and compel them to share their views on the subject matter. Therefore, you learn something new about your target audience. For example, ask questions relevant to your audience's pain points.
Always post the poll at the early stages of the webinar. Your audience will have enough time to participate as the session continues.
Also, display the poll results during the live sessions. It will encourage the audience to participate in the poll.
2. Q&A Platforms
Your target audience joins your webinars with certain needs in mind that they hope you will address. Therefore, most of them will use the Q&A opportunity to seek further clarifications on any issue you haven't addressed or on matters you've discussed.
If you aren't hosting a Q&A webinar format, then you should at least allocate enough time for this session towards the end. Questions stimulate significant engagement with your target audience.
That's why 81% of marketers use Q&A as an engagement tool during webinars. Also, many consumers prefer attending a webinar where the host takes questions from the audience.
Use webinar hosting platforms that offer Q&A platforms. That will make it easier for your audience to ask the questions and also for you to manage the Q&A session.
For example, such platforms let your audience ask questions but aren't made visible until the Q&A session. Therefore, you will have fewer or no distractions when the webinar is ongoing.
3. Include Chat and Discussion Boards
Did you know users are tired of social media groups and shifting to independent online communities? On the other hand, the online community's market revenue increased from $392.95 million in 2014 to $1.2 billion in 2021.
Online communities are gaining popularity because people want serious platforms to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals. That’s an opportunity to market your webinars as one of the serious platforms.
Give your target audience a reason to want to be part of your next online event by turning them into active participants in your webinars. Discussions encourage interactions among your target audience and make the webinar livelier.
Note: Send your webinar attendees discussion topics ahead of the actual date. That offers them ample time to prepare discussion points or familiarize themselves with the topics.
Also, invest in webinar software that gives you better control over the discussions. For example, the ability to mute and unmute the audience.
On the other hand, introduce a chat board to encourage a sense of community in your webinars. It allows your target audience to network, which could be another reason they look forward to your future webinars.
4. Utilize Whiteboards and Annotation Tools
You cannot afford to take the education aspect out of webinars. Therefore, incorporate interactive tools like whiteboards that enhance your education content delivery.
Most of the latest webinar platforms already include this feature to facilitate interaction with your audience. The whiteboard increases the practicability of your presentations, where you can even make live drawings for further illustrations.
Whiteboards are also excellent collaboration tools for team meetings. Whiteboarding makes brainstorming on project ideas easy. Your team members can draw workflows and visually represent their ideas in live meetings. Hence minimizing errors and confusion during the project implementation phase.
Annotation tools further enhance collaborations in your webinar project team meetings. The tools allow your audience to add comments or further explanations to content you share with them on webinars.
For example, use the annotation tools to highlight and comment on the presentation document of one of your team members. It eliminates the need for further clarifications after the webinar meeting has ended.
5. Add Gamification Plugins
Your target audience deserves some fun when attending your webinars. Gamification will improve their engagement levels.
You only require certain gamification plugins, such as Lens, to add games to your webinar. The plugins contain features like rewards, points, leaderboards, challenges, and badges to create engagement and fun.
Only offer rewards for audiences who achieve significant milestones like topping a quiz or earning specific points. It will make your games more competitive, hence improving audience engagement.
On the other hand, badges, points, and leaderboards encourage your audiences to participate in challenges or polls that get them closer to the main rewards. Therefore, your webinar attendance rates will also increase as your audience doesn't want to miss out on advancing their scoreboard.
6. Include Interactive Video Elements
An interactive video is a form of media that allows your audience to interact with content within the video itself. It encourages your audience to engage with the video content more than they would with the traditional linear video.
For example, include clickable links in your videos that direct the audience to your landing page.
Interactive videos enable you to connect with your audience emotionally, audibly, and visually. These elements increase the interactivity and dynamism of your webinar presentations by breaking up the long text blocks and slides.
The following are techniques to make your videos interactive:
Hotspots, for example, a hyperlink to your ecommerce page.
Overlays such as CTA, images, texts, or visual prompts that your audience views once they click on a hotspot or get to a time trigger.
Time triggers. For example, a time trigger that opens an overlay without your audience having to click on it.
Branching. For example, make a business systems onboarding video that branches to various directions depending on the customer's knowledge of the systems.
7. Incorporate Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) into Your Webinars
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the latest trends making waves in corporate training webinars. These technologies are revolutionizing how you orient or train your employees.
They improve the interactivity of your webinars by allowing your audience to interact with the reality of their workplace or space. For example, defense contractors use this technology to train airforce pilots to operate their latest fighter jets or choppers.
Transform Your Webinar into an Interactive Powerhouse
Are you ready to transform your webinar into an interactive powerhouse? Contact us for guidance on how to implement these tools and craft engaging webinar experiences that resonate with your audience.