As more and more lawyers and firms increase their webinar programming during the COVID-19 pandemic — both to replace in-person programs and also to step up the delivery of thought leadership — several best practices for successful digital events are becoming apparent.
Here are five:
1. Obvious Passion
Most lawyers I’ve met are passionate about helping clients, solving problems, guiding businesses and individuals to critically analyze situations, make sound decisions, and craft appropriate solutions. They get excited about their work, and truly want to play a part in the success of the people they represent.
...digital events allow lawyers both to showcase their expertise and to convey their passion
That’s why webinars are a great platform for law firms. Because lawyers are both the product and the presenters, digital events allow lawyers both to showcase their expertise and to convey their passion for the subject at hand.
Firms can maximize the impact of their webinars with presenters who are passionate about the topic, who get excited about the solutions they’re providing, and who convey their enthusiasm for rolling up their sleeves to work through the problems facing their audience.
2. Quality That Aligns with the Brand
Firms that are focused on the quality of their webinars are the firms that time and again achieve high ROI on their programs: positive growth in sign-up and attendance numbers, opportunities for follow-up and relationship building, and, on occasion, new assignments that can be tracked back to a specific webinar or series.
That requires effort and attention to detail on everything from the slide layout to preparing speakers to starting and ending on time to seamless technical execution with a comprehensive platform that works consistently (like ON24). These firms sweat both the small stuff and the big stuff, so that attendees can focus on the substantive content of the webinar, and it shows.
...webinars [in which] clients get the same experience they’re become accustomed to receiving from the firm
In other words, they align their brand – high-quality, service-oriented, authoritative, expertise, etc. – with their webinars so that clients get the same experience they’re become accustomed to receiving from the firm. Who could argue with that strategy?
3. Targeted Promotion
It’s no secret that webinar promotion is a critical element of every successful program. But how are firms publicizing their webinars to ensure success?
They’re alerting clients and prospects most likely to be interested in the topics they’re presenting, through targeted emails to particular mailing lists. They’re planting seeds for interest in the topic to grow by writing thought leadership pieces on the issues and mentioning upcoming programs in other webinars on related topics. They’re also posting about the program on social media networks: those of the firm, those of the practice group, and those of speakers and other lawyers who practice in the same areas.
In short: they’re getting the word out to people who they know are either already or very likely to be interested in the speakers and subject matter.
4. Programs Built on Hard Data
Now more than ever firms are using data to guide their webinar programs. They analyze readership data to identify potential topics and trends. They evaluate analytics to see who’s sharing which updates and thought leadership pieces. They pay attention to who’s attending their webinars, who’s visiting their website, who’s sharing their content online, and other actionable data to re-evaluate their strategies and modify their programs so that they align perfectly with the concerns of their audience.
...leverage the interest and activity of key readers
And they leverage the interest and activity of key readers – like the GC who forwards an article on recent developments in employment law, for example, to her entire legal team – to develop new programs and propose in-house webinars to clients who are clearly focused on a specific issue.
In short, they review and respond to content marketing data drawn from a multitude of sources to make sure their webinars are hitting the topics that keep their audiences up at night.
5. Follow-up, Informed by Data
Similarly, firms with successful webinar programs are those that extract – and act on – data generated from the firm’s programs and events.
That means monitoring attendance lists to follow up with registrants who ended up not attending the program. Connecting with participants who asked questions to make sure you gave them comprehensive answers. Giving people an opportunity to actively participate in the webinar – with online polls and surveys on what they’d like to see in the future, for example – and then following up on those responses.
And it means reviewing the “long-tail” data generated from completed webinars that have been posted to your website or content portals to track renewed interest in a topic.
[Katie O'Rourke is Regional Vice President, Sales at ON24. Connect with her on LinkedIn; follow for her latest writing on JD Supra.]