It’s 2023 and everywhere we look, a new type of technology is being invented and different aspects of life are being digitally transformed. One major example is the rapid growth of online communities. With social media being such a big part of most people's lives, it is no wonder that online communities are booming.
Because of the digital age we live in, building a vibrant and engaged online community is crucial for memberships and organisations. It not only creates a sense of belonging but also provides a platform for knowledge sharing, networking and valuable interactions. One powerful tool that can help you achieve significant community growth is creating a webinar strategy for your online community.
In this blog, we will explore how you can grow your online communities with webinars. Before we dive straight into it, we need to understand, what webinars actually are.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is typically an online seminar or presentation that allows individuals or businesses to connect with a virtual audience in real time.
They combine elements of video conferencing, presentations and interactive features to deliver engaging content. Webinars provide a platform for sharing knowledge, discussing important topics and connecting with like-minded individuals.
One great benefit of webinars is that they are designed to be flexible in this digital age we live in. They offer the convenience of attending from anywhere, meaning people from across the world don’t have to worry about travel. This then allows the audience to join from anywhere with an internet connection.
Webinars have become a popular tool for memberships and organisations to educate, inspire and grow their online communities. Let’s explore some effective strategies to grow your online community with webinars.
Webinar Strategies for Growing Your Online Community
Define Your Webinar Objectives
The first thing that we advise is to plan your webinars in advance. This part is essential. After all, you do not want to host anything without preparation and risk looking unprofessional.
You need to define your objectives for your webinars. Ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve with this webinar?" We recommend that you write a list of key goals and use them as reference points for your overall structure.
Your goals could range from being insightful or educational, generating leads or simply wanting to encourage engagement within your online community. Defining your objectives will help shape your webinar content and promotional strategies to attract the right participants.
Identify Your Target Audience
Who are you talking to? Understanding your target audience is key to creating an engaging webinar. Take the time to research and analyse your online community demographics, interests and aspirations. To help you do this, you might want to experiment with polls and surveys to get the answers you need.
This knowledge will guide you in selecting relevant topics that resonate with their needs and desires, increasing the chances of participation and long-term engagement. What could be worse than not having anyone turn up to one of your webinars?
Craft Compelling Content
Captivating content is the backbone of any successful webinar. You want your audience to come away with valuable information, whatever that may be. Structure your webinars around the goals you have created to deliver valuable insights, practical tips and actionable takeaways.
We recommend using a combination of presentation formats such as slides, videos and live demonstrations to keep the audience engaged. Incorporate interactive elements like polls, quizzes and Q&A sessions to generate audience participation and make your webinars more interactive.
Promote Your Webinar
In order to maximise attendants for your webinars, you need to promote them beforehand. The best thing to do is to leverage every tool you have. You could create a marketing campaign across all your channels.
Shout about your webinars across your website, social media platforms, email newsletters and any existing online communities to help spread the word.
Remember that it is important that whatever you create to promote your webinars, that it looks visually appealing and not just a title and a date. You need to create eye-catching graphics, engaging captions and clear calls-to-action that drive registration.
Collaborating with industry influencers or partners can help amplify your reach and bring in a wider audience and possibly new members. Check out our blog on how to welcome new members to your membership or organisation.
Utilise Webinar Tools and Technology
Do your research and invest in a reliable webinar platform that offers features to enhance the audience experience which can facilitate community growth.
You want everything to go as smoothly and user-friendly as possible. A good customer journey is key. Look for tools that provide seamless registration processes and interactive engagement features, like live chat, polls and surveys.
Another bonus feature would be to find a platform that offers analytics to measure webinar success. Having these analytics can be really beneficial and offer insight to help improve your webinars each time.
Encourage Interaction and Networking
Engagement is vital for online community growth. Encourage participants to interact during your webinars through live chat, Q&A sessions and audience polls. You could generate networking opportunities by creating dedicated discussion sessions where attendees can connect and share their insights regarding what they have just learnt.
Facilitating meaningful interactions among participants will strengthen your online community and create a sense of belonging.
Follow Up and Maintain Relationships After Webinars
After your webinars, it’s important to nurture the relationships you've built. Send personalised follow-up emails thanking attendees for their participation and providing access to webinar recordings or additional resources.
Encourage participants to join your online community, where they can continue the conversation, access exclusive content and engage with like-minded individuals. Regularly communicate and provide value by creating ongoing engagement for your online community.
Webinars are a powerful tool for growing and nurturing your online community. By following the advice above, you can create a valuable and engaging experience that drives community growth.
Webinars offer the flexibility and convenience of connecting with a virtual audience from anywhere in the world, making them an ideal platform for knowledge sharing and creating meaningful interactions.
If webinars are executed effectively, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and create a sense of belonging within your community. Remember, successful webinars require careful planning, engaging content and strategic promotion.
If you’ve found these webinar tips useful, then why not bring your membership online with a bespoke app? Book a demo with one of our experts and let’s take your membership to the next level with Ugenie.
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