HOSTING A Webinar

OTime to complete: 20 hours over 8 weeks

This project will walk through the necessary steps to plan, build and successfully host a webinar.

Completing these steps will allow you to:

  • Get people registered for your webinar
  • Ensure the registrants attend your webinar
  • Generate leads, educate customers, create MQL's and more based on the goal of the webinar you create
Step 1: Determine your buyer persona for the webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Identify which buyer persona(s) you would like to attend the webinar. The buyer persona you identified will guide all of your decisions in the following steps, so it's critical to have your audience clearly defined.

  2. Decide on which lifecycle stages the webinar will be for; subscribers, leads, marketing qualified leads (MQL) and/or customers.

Pro Tip

8 weeks may seem like a long way out to start planning for a webinar but it's not. Inevitably you will be in a time crunch.
Need help identifying your personas?
Watch the Buyer Personas training videos!
Step 2: Pick a webinar date and time
Learn how

To-do

  1. Select a date/day of the week that is best for the audience you identified above. 

  2. Select a time. Be conscious of time zones. If you hope to have attendees from multiple time zones find a time that works for the majority of the target audience you that are you hoping will attend.
  3. Go to the Calendar tool and add in your webinar date. 
  4. Build a schedule for building out the remaining webinar assets in the calendar. You can assign tasks if there are other people on your team helping. 

Pro Tip

For days of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are typically best for B2B. B2C is highly specific to your persona.

For times, lunch time tends to be a good for webinars. The more relevant and interesting the topic, the less important timing is.

Watch how to use the Calendar tool!
 
Step 3: Determine a topic for your webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Talk to your sales and services team to uncover popular questions and hot topics.

  2. Use top blog article views and most downloaded offers to identify a relevant topic.


Pro Tip

Selecting the right topic is key to the webinar's success. Take the necessary time to select an ideal topic.
Step 4: Assemble your webinar team
Learn how

To-do

  1. Find and confirm the following roles
    - A speaker/presenter who is knowledgeable about the topic you have selected.
    - A host to manage intros/outros and keep the webinar running smoothly. 
    - Someone to answer questions.

  2. Reserve a room to ensure you have a place to conduct the webinar. Make sure the room has a wired internet connection. The room should have minimal echo when speaking.

Pro Tip

Finding a guest speaker/presenter can be a great way to increase the visibility of your webinar.

Step 5: Select a webinar platform
Learn how

To-do

  1. If you currently do not have a webinar platform, the following are among the most popular: Citrix GoToWebinar, Cisco WebEx, Adobe Connect, anymeeting, WebinarsOnAir, FreeScreenSharing.com.

  2. We recommend GoToWebinar. The HubSpot and GoToWebinar integration will automatically build lists of registrants who attend and those who don’t, so you can follow up with them appropriately. Sign-up for a 30-day free trial of GoToWebinar.

Pro Tip

When determining your webinar platfrom consider your audience, who will be presenting the webinar, and the various formats you'll need after the webinar has been presented.
Wonder how many steps it takes to integrate HubSpot & GoToWebinar?
Take a peek at the GoToWebinar user guide!
Step 6: Setup the webinar registration page
Learn how

To-do

  1. Follow the instructions for the webinar platform you chose for setting up a webinar.
  2. Be sure to select the option, if available, to send reminder emails 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour prior to the start of the live webinar.


Pro Tip

Double check the time zone as different platforms default to specific time zones.
Need some help setting up a webinar in GoToWebinar?
Check out the GoToWebinar user guide!
Step 7: Create a new campaign in HubSpot
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Campaigns tool
  2. Create a new campaign and give it a unique name that is consistent with the topic of the webinar.

Example

Pro Tip

All assets created in the following steps will be connected to this campaign. Be sure to take the time to understand the Campaigns tool!
Need some help getting started?
Watch the Campaigns training videos!
Step 8: Add webinar goals, start and end date to the campaign
Learn how

To-do

  1. Use the SMART goal setting framework to set a clear goal

  2. Include the visits, leads, and customers goal in the campaign you created. 

  3. Set a start and end date for your campaign. 



Example

Pro Tip

If this is not your first webinar, use analytics from past webinars as a benchmark for setting your goal.
Watch how to create a campaign in HubSpot!
 
Step 9: Identify and add keywords to the campaign
Learn how

To-do

  1. Staying in the Campaigns tool, either add or select 3-5 keywords that are consistent with the webinar topic. These keywords will be used in the webinar content assets like landing pages, calls-to-action, and blog posts.

Example

Pro Tip

Keywords that are related to the topic are ideal, but keywords for related/complementary topics are also good!
Need some help getting started?
Watch the Keywords and SEO training videos!
Step 10: Create a registration form
Learn how

To-do

  1. Go to the Forms tool
  2. Create a new form and name the form something that will be easily recognizable. This form will be filled out so that a visitor can initially register for your webinar and after the fact watch it on demand.
  3. Save the form. It will be used later as you build out a landing page. 

Example

Pro Tip

The more perceived value your webinar has to the persona(s) you are focusing on the more fields they will be willing to fill out.
Watch how to create a form!
 
Step 11: Create a thank you page to host the webinar recording
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Landing Page tool
  2. Create a new page and select an appropriate thank you page template. 
  3. Name the thank you page to be consistent with your campaign name and webinar. Include "Thank You" or "TYP" at the beginning of the page name to keep things organized. 
  4. Write a clear, action-oriented header at the top of the page. 
  5. Confirm that the navigation is showing on the page. 
  6. Leave space for where you will embed the webinar recording after the live webinar takes place.
  7. Include social sharing options. It will default to the thank you page, so you'll want to go back and change this to the landing page that you'll create a future step. 
  8. Tag the thank you page with the campaign name that you created in step 7. This is found in the Options tab in the tool. 
  9. Save the thank you page if it follows the above steps.

Example

Pro Tip

If you have a call-to-action (CTA) for a different offer, insert a CTA to move the lead further into the buyer’s journey. A common CTA on a webinar thank you page is to request a demo, consultation or free trial.
Watch how to create a thank you page!
 
Step 12: Create a landing page for the webinar recording
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Landing Page tool
  2. Create a new landing page and select a landing page template that is similar to the one you used when creating your thank you page.
  3. Name the landing page and be sure it's consistent with your campaign name, webinar, and your thank you page name. Additionally include the word "recording" or "on-demand" so it is clear this landing page will be used to generate leads after the recording of the live webinar is posted. Include "Landing Page" or "LP" at the beginning of the name to keep things organized. 
  4. Write a clear, action-oriented header at the top of the page to watch the recording.
  5. There should be no menu navigation or links on the page.
  6. Explain the webinar and its value in 1-5 sentences within the body of the landing page. Use numbers, bullets and bolding in the copy, and include a relevant image or graphic of the content offer or topic.
  7. Include the speaker bios and head shots.
  8. Select the form that was created in step 10. 
  9. Select the thank you page (that you created in the above step) as the page that a person will be redirected to after submitting the form. 
  10. Tag the landing page with the campaign name that you created in step 7. This is found in the Options tab in the tool. 
  11. Save the landing page if it follows the above steps. 

Example

Pro Tip

In many instances, your landing page for the recorded webinar will generate more leads over time than the initial landing page to register for the live webinar.
Watch how to create a landing page!
 
Step 13: Create a thank you page for those who register for the live webinar
Learn how

To-do

Only complete this step if you are using the GoToWebinar integration, skip it otherwise.
  1. Navigate to the Landing Page tool
  2. Create a new page and select an appropriate thank you page template.
  3. Name the thank you page to be consistent with your campaign name and webinar. Make note in the name that this is the thank you page for the live registration. Include "Thank You" or "TYP" at the beginning of the page name to keep things organized. 
  4. Write a clear, action-oriented header at the top of the page.
  5. Confirm that the navigation is showing on the page. 
  6. Confirm the date and time, suggest they add the time to their calendar and set the expectation they will receive reminder emails in the days leading up to the webinar.
  7. If you have a call-to-action (CTA) for a different offer, insert a CTA to move the new lead further into the buyer’s journey.
  8. Include social options. It will default to the thank you page, so you'll want to go back and change this to the landing page URL that will be created in the next step. 
  9. Tag the thank you page with the campaign name that you created in step 7. This is found in the Options tab in the tool. 
  10. Publish the thank you page if it follows the above steps.


Example

Pro Tip

You know what topic your lead is interested because they registered for the webinar. Think about providing a few links to blog posts around the same topic on your thank you page.
Watch how to create a thank you page!
 
Step 14: Create a landing page to register for the webinar
Learn how

To-do

Only complete this step if you are using the GoToWebinar integration
  1. Navigate to the Landing Page tool.
  2. Create a new landing page and select a landing page template that is similar to the one you used when creating your thank you page.
  3. Name the landing page and be sure it's consistent with your campaign name, webinar, and your thank you page name. Make note in the title that this landing page is for the live webinar. Include "Landing Page" or "LP" are the beginning of the name to keep things organized. 
  4. Write a clear, action-oriented header at the top of the page.
  5. There should be no menu navigation or links on the page.
  6. Explain the webinar and its value in 1-5 sentences within the body of the landing page. Use numbers, bullets and bolding in the copy, and include a relevant image or graphic of the content offer or topic.
  7. Highlight the date and time.
  8. Include speaker bios and head shots.
  9. Select the form that was created in step 10.
  10. Select the thank you page (that you created in the above step) as the page that a person will be redirected to after submitting the form. 
  11. Tag the landing page with the campaign name that you created in step 7.
  12. Under the publish tab check the box "Page expiration", then select the thank you page you created in step 10 to redirect the page to and enter in the start date and time of your webinar.
  13. Copy landing page URL. It will be used in a future step. 


Example

Pro Tip

Headshots and bios are a great way to increase the conversion rate of your registration landing page.
Watch how to create a landing page!
 
Step 15: Connect GoToWebinar to your landing page
Learn how

To-do

Only complete this step if you are using the GoToWebinar integration

  1. Once your landing page is set up, locate your form module and click it to edit. 
  2. Find the GoToWebinar Registration area and select the webinar which you would like to register contacts who fill out the specific form. 
  3. Publish the landing page when done. There is no relationship between the GoToWebinar registration page and your new landing page. Using the landing page replaces the need for the GoToWebinar registration page.

Example

Pro Tip

Be sure to check the confirmation emails that are being sent to registrants. The registration emails will be coming from GoToWebinar. You learn more about sending confirmation emails to registrants here.
Need some help getting started?
Use the GoToWebinar Integration user guide!
Step 16: Create a CTA to register for the live webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Calls-to-Action tool.
  2. Create a call-to-action (CTA) and continue using the same naming convention as the above assets.
  3. Tag the CTA with the campaign name that you created in step 7. 
  4. Paste your webinar registration URL from within the field labeled Link URL. If you're using the GoToWebinar integration paste the landing page URL from step 14. The CTA redirects to the registration page/landing page when clicked on. 
  5. Design the CTA so that it is attention grabbing. Use accent colors and/or images. 
  6. Make the text of the CTA action-oriented and include keywords that are consistent with the content offer and landing page.
  7. When complete, embed the CTA on appropriate website pages.
  

Example

Pro Tip

Timezone, timezone, timezone. Whatever you do, don't forget to include the timezone of the live webinar.
Watch how to create a call-to-action!
 
Step 17: Create an email to promote the webinar to your current leads
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Email tool
  2. Create a new email and keep the name of the email consistent with your campaign name and content offer.
  3. Determine the From Name and From Email Address (or the name the recipients will see). Make sure emails are sent from real people.
  4. Tag the email with the campaign that you created in step 7. 
  5. Create your email subject - this will be the first thing your recipient sees, so make sure it grabs their attention and invites them in to read your email and engage with your content. 
  6. Create the email body. It should explain the value of the webinar and clearly state the presenters, date and time. Make the content easy to scan and personalize when appropriate. 
  7. Insert the CTA that you created in step 16 within the email body.
  8. Send a test email to review your email. Make any necessary changes. 
  9. When your email is complete, determine your send date and time within the Sending tab of the Email tool.
  10. Select the recipient list for the email. This will be a list or lists all of the contacts inside of HubSpot you want to notify about the upcoming webinar.
  

Example

Pro Tip

Sending two invites to the same list with a 1-2 week period in-between should increase registration without coming off as "spammy".
Watch how to draft and email in HubSpot!
 
Step 18: Write blog articles helping promote the webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Blogging tool.
  2. Create a new blog post. 
  3. Pick one keyword from the keywords you identified in step 9 and double check it's related or complimentary to the webinar topic. Optimize your blog post around this keyword. 
  4. Write a clear blog post title and include the keyword within it. 
  5. Write the body of the blog post and format your blog properly. Include whitespace and images, use subheadings, numbers, and bolding. The keyword focus should be used naturally throughout. 
  6. Insert a CTA at the bottom of the blog post. Use the CTA that you created in an earlier step. 
  7. Tag the blog post with the campaign name that you created in step 7.
  8. Write a meta description. It should be 1-2 sentences describing your blog post and should include the keyword focus within it. 
  9. Preview and review the blog post.
  10. Schedule your blog post for now or schedule for a later date. 
  11. Repeat 2-10 two or three more times. You should have a few blog posts that cover the same topic to help promote your content offer. Schedule these blog posts at separate times.


Example

Pro Tip

The webinar CTA should serve as the next logical step after a visitor reads the related blog posts that you create. 
Need some help thinking about blog topics?
Use the Blog Topic Generator!
Step 19: Schedule your related social media posts
Learn how

To-do

  1. Go to the Social Publishing tool.
  2. Identify a #Hashtag you will use for the webinar.
  3. Determine which social media channels you will use for promotion. 
  4. Determine your posting schedule. Vary your message along with the dates and times.
  5. Compose and schedule different social media posts and include links to either promote your registration page or the landing page (if you are using the GoToWebinar integration) and/or your related blog posts.
  6. Tag the scheduled social media message(s) with the campaign name that you created in step 7.


Pro Tip

Social media promotion for your webinar doesn't end after just one or two posts. Schedule posts even months after your webinar campaign has launched. Be sure the posts link to a blog post/website page with a CTA to watch the webinar recording or link directly to the webinar recording landing page.
Watch how to create a social publishing schedule
 
Step 20: Create a draft of the webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Create the outline ideally using a program that allows for easy sharing such as Google docs, Evernote or Microsoft Word.
  1. Use Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote to build your webinar deck.

  2. Using the outline develop all of the slides just focusing on the text and not spending too much time on the order.

  3. Organize the slides to tell a clear and engaging story aligned around your agenda items.

  4. Update/edit the text as needed to ensure the story flows for slide to slide and agenda item to agenda item.

  5. Add images to slides. A few sites you can get free images for commercial use from include: Free Stock PhotosSkitter Photo, Travel Coffee Book, Magdeleine, Pexels, and public domain archive.

  6. Review deck and re-organize slides again as necessary.



Pro Tip

An hour webinar typically has 3-7 agenda items depending on the complexity of the topic selected.

Step 21: Complete a dry run of the webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Do a test webinar using the platform you selected.

  2. Have a coworker or friend log into the webinar.

  3. Test the audio (both phone and VOIP). 

  4. Share your slide deck and confirm with your coworker/friend that the slides are progressing.

  5. Test out the question pane and get familiar with how you will be answering questions during the live webinar.


Pro Tip

Have your coworker/friend dial in from outside the office to accurately test the audio. 

Step 22: Get setup for the live webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Start the webinar 1 hour prior to the start time

  2. Dial in and check that the audio is working

  3. Put yourself on mute, double check you are on mute

  4. Have your presenter dial in no less than 30 minutes prior to the webinar start time

  5. Check audio again and go back on mute

  6. Share your screen so the first slide appears, then pause the screen share. This will confirm to attendees they are in the right place and the right time.



Pro Tip

You are bound to identify an issue during setup. An hour gives you plenty to time resolve most issues including contacting your webinar platform provider if need be.

Step 23: Run the live webinar
Learn how

To-do

  1. Begin sharing the screen with the webinar presentation in presenter mode (full screen).

  2. Unmute the phone lines of the host and presenter.

  3. Remember to click record. Make a note for yourself, this is critical. If you have promised a recording, but forget to record you will have to run through the webinar again and record it.

  4. Answer questions as they arise in the question pane. If a question is asked multiple times you may want to ask the question directly to the presenter.


Pro Tip

Breath and slow down. A great way to get the audiences attention is to take a long pause. It's a great opportunity to take a sip of water as well.

Step 24: Upload recording to the thank you page
Learn how

To-do

  1. Upload the recording to YouTube, Wistia or Vimeo
  2. Add the recording or video embed code to the thank you page you built in step 9.
  3. Publish the thank you page.
  4. Find the landing page that you created in step 12 and publish it. 


Pro Tip

The sooner you can provide attendees and registrants with the recording the better. It's not yet time to celebrate the completion of your webinar campaign.
Need some help embedding your recording?
This Wistia Video user guide shows you how!
Step 25: Create a call-to-action to watch the webinar recording
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Calls-to-Action tool.
  2. Create a call-to-action (CTA) and continue using the same naming convention as the above assets.
  3. Tag the CTA with the campaign name that you created in step 7. 
  4. Paste the landing page URL (from step 12) within the field labeled Link URL, so that the CTA redirects to the landing page when clicked on. 
  5. Design the CTA so that it is attention grabbing. Use accent colors and/or images. 
  6. Make the text of the CTA action-oriented and include keywords that are consistent with the webinar topic & landing page. Be sure to call out that this is to watch a recorded webinar.
  7. When complete, embed the CTA on appropriate website pages.
  

Example

Pro Tip

Depending on your persona(s) the word "on-demand" may be more enticing than "recording."
Need some help getting started?
Watch this tool's training videos!
Step 26: Send follow-up email to attendees
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Email tool
  2. Create a new email and keep the name of the email consistent with your campaign name and webinar topic. Add "attendee follow-up to the name."
  3. Determine the From Name and From Email Address (or the name the recipients will see). Make sure emails are sent from real people.
  4. Tag the email with the campaign name that you created in step 7. 
  5. Create your email subject - this will be the first thing your recipient sees, so make sure it grabs at it's clear the webinar recording in included. 
  6. Write a simple follow-up email thanking the attendees for attending the webinar. Include a link to the recording on the thank you page you completed in step 24.
  7. Send the email to the list of attendees the GoToWebinar integration automatically created. If you used a different webinar platform import the list of attendees into HubSpot and send the email to that list.
  8. Send a test email to review your email. Make any necessary changes. 
  9. When your email is complete, click send.
  

Example

Pro Tip

Write this email a few weeks prior to the webinar and simply drop in the link to the thank you page.
Watch how to draft and email in HubSpot!
 
Step 27: Send follow-up email to registrants
Learn how

To-do

  1. Navigate to the Email tool.
  2. Create a new email and keep the name of the email consistent with your campaign name and webinar topic. Add "registration follow-up" to the name.
  3. Determine the From Name and From Email Address (or the name the recipients will see). Make sure emails are sent from real people.
  4. Tag the email with the campaign name that you created in step 7. 
  5. Create your email subject - this will be the first thing your recipient sees, so make sure it grabs at it's clear the webinar recording in included. 
  6. Write a simple follow-up email. These people did not attend, reflect that in the email copy.  Include a link to the recording on the thank you page that you created in step 24.
  7. Send the email to the list of those that didn't attend that the GoToWebinar integration automatically created. If you used a different webinar platform import the list of attendees into HubSpot and send the email to that list.
  8. Send a test email to review your email. Make any necessary changes. 
  9. When your email is complete, click send.


  

Example

Pro Tip

Don't count the no-shows to your webinar as disengaged or uninterested. Treat them just as well if not better than those who attended.
Watch out to create an email in HubSpot!
 
Finished this project? Schedule a call with your CSM to review!