Think about the last webinar you attended. Was it a presentation with one or two speakers and a handful of slides? This formula can be incredibly effective – with the right speakers, topic and visuals. But a webinar can be so much more. In fact, it can be just about anything you want!
Webinars give you a unique opportunity to present, interact with your audience, get on camera, show slides, play a video and a lot more. You can even do live, pre-recorded or hybrid webinars. It’s time break free from convention and try something new that will get people to take notice.
Here are six of our favorite out-of-the-box webinar formats and how to use them:
1. The Interview Webinar
This webinar format is different from what we’re used to because it doesn’t necessarily include slides—it’s just you and your interviewee(s).
To get in the right mindset, don’t think of it as a presentation. Think of it as Jimmy Fallon interviewing a celebrity guest, but probably with less lip sync battles.
Make sure you and your guest speaker or speakers are prepared with talking points and responses because you won’t have any slides to fall back on. And bigger personalities are a huge plus.
Take a look at how Intercom does the interview webinar:
They get quality guests to interview, and they even show a few slides in the background, but the speakers are front and center.
2. The Live Q&A Webinar
What’s great about a live Q&A is that you involve your audience and let them drive the discussion. It’s a good way to get to know your audience and begin building real relationships with them, which really sets your business apart when driving new customers and keeping them.
The best way to host a Live Q&A is to invite webinar attendees to come with their own questions around a specific topic. We recommend asking people to submit their questions ahead of time when they register for your webinar (you can easily include a field for this on your GoToWebinar registration pages). This gives you the chance to identify the top questions and prepare your responses.
If you’re using GoToWebinar to host your webinar, you can unmute attendees so they can ask their question live during the webinar. This additional interaction will keep your webinar engaging and dynamic.
If your first Q&A webinar is a hit, make it a regular series, and use your audience’s input to decide which topic you’ll cover. Your audience will love the chance to ask real experts their questions, and your Q&A webinars will become a go-to resource.
3. The Audit Webinar
People always want to know what they’re doing well and what they could be doing better. The audit webinar format gives your audience the rare chance to have an expert evaluate their work.
This format depends on audience participation. Have your webinar registrants submit something for review prior to the webinar. Then during the webinar, look at it and show what’s wrong with it and how to improve it.
For example, if your audience consists of digital marketers you could audit landing pages, ad copy, promotional emails, and the list goes on.
At GoToWebinar, we actually hosted an audit-style webinar where we did real slide makeovers. Attendees were able to see presentation slides go from bad to good and good to great with simple alterations. We also gave attendees practical tools to improve their own presentations.
4. The Workshop Webinar
This is one of the most valuable webinar formats. It gives you the opportunity to show your audience how to do something with a real-time demonstration.
With GoToWebinar, you can share your screen, allowing your audience to see exactly what you see—every click, scroll, and keystroke. This is an easy way to offer the practical, how-to content your audience craves. In fact, according to a GoToWebinar report on content engagement, 95% of professionals said they consume content to learn a new skill.
So instead of using slides to talk about strategy or best practices in the abstract, tell your audience how to do something concrete. Workshop webinars might cover topics like:
- How to use excel pivot tables
- Advanced techniques for Google AdWords
- Photoshop Basics for Non-Designers
The workshop webinar is also a great way to engage and train your current customers. Address frequently asked questions about complex processes or to take customers through account setup, best practices, and how to take advantage of new features.
5. The Case Study Webinar
We all know how effective case studies are when trying to win new business and demonstrate the value you deliver to customers. Bring your case studies to life with a webinar. Invite prospects and customers so they can get an in-depth look at how your case study subject is driving great results with your product or service.
During the webinar, you can either interview the customer or let them talk about their experience. Make sure they share exactly how they used your product and what results they experienced.
If you want to see an example, take a look at at this webinar from LucidChart:
In this webinar, the LucidChart user does a great job of showing the product, providing concrete examples of how he uses it, and how it benefits his company.
6. The Virtual Conference Webinar
This is a great alternative to an in-person conference. A virtual conference webinar allows you to host an in-depth, multi-hour, or even multi-session webinar over the course of one or two days. The best part is that your attendees don’t have to fly across the country in order to attend.
For a virtual conference, you can either charge for attendance or offer free registration in exchange for registration information to be included in your mailing list. Offer multiple educational sessions along with multiple speakers to appeal to different audiences, just like a regular conference. But remember to leave time between sessions to give your audience breaks throughout the webinar. Attendees may not get the networking benefit of a live conference, but the content will be just as good.
We hope these webinar formats gave you some good ideas. Remember, these are just some of our favorite formats but when it comes to webinars, there are no rules. So get creative and find new ways to interact with your audience. If you do come up with a groundbreaking webinar format, please share it with us!