While professional service organizations, including law firms, have certainly embraced digital channels to connect with clients and prospects, even now many marketing and BD teams still struggle with ways to drive meaningful digital engagement.
Indeed, how do you get target audiences to tune into your online content? How can you transform impersonal readership into in-person connections? And one question I hear frequently: what is the best way to move webinars from static PowerPoint presentations to interactive learning experiences that lead to more client introductions and deeper relationships?
Here, then, are my seven tips to help you enhance webinars for deeper engagement and better results:
1. Let the Data Guide You
Before you schedule your webinar or create your digital content, spend time reviewing your audience data. Which issues are getting more attention? The topics that get the most clicks reveal precisely what’s keeping the clients and potential clients you’re trying to reach up at night.
Those are the subjects your digital content should cover, again and again.
2. Bring in More Audience Interaction
Increasing audience interaction is a great way not only to get more people to register for your digital events and webinars but also to stay engaged with them all the way through. Here are some of my favorite ways to do that:
- Ask invitees what they would like you to talk about before the webinar with a ‘submit questions on this topic’ option in the invitation. You’ll find out exactly what people need to know and can even follow up individually with those who provide a question.
- Encourage the audience to interrupt you during the webinar. Make it clear at the start of your programs that participants don’t have to wait until the end of the program to ask questions.
- Run polls during your webinars. They’re a great tool for finding out how people respond to a particular issue and let you offer guidance on the fly to the specific challenges they are trying to resolve.
- Create Calls to Action (CTAs) to steer people to additional content on particular issues, practices, and industries, which they can access and use long after the program has ended.
- Use breakout rooms to allow your audience to network and speak directly to the key speakers and subject matter experts in your programs.
3. Use More Real-Life Examples
Client stories explaining the challenges your clients faced and how you helped solve them give your audience practical, real-world demonstrations of your value. They make your advice concrete. And they present situations in terms that every person attending the webinar can visualize.
4. Avoid Legalese
Try to avoid abstract legalese when describing situations and solutions and instead use concrete, plain-language terms where you talk about the people impacted by the law. This is particularly important when telling client stories – the deeper you get into the weeds, the less relevant those stories may seem to your audience.
5. Use Better Visuals
When you can, find images and diagrams to replace the standard bullet-point presentations most lawyers typically use in their webinars. Your audience will appreciate the change, and it will ensure that you don’t commit the cardinal sin of reading your PowerPoint bullets one by one.
My particular favorite is including short video clips in your webinars and digital content. They’re great for breaking up static presentations.
6. Consider a Co-Host
One smart variation on the traditional webinar format is when firms bring in a host to ‘interview’ the lawyer. It livens up virtually every event while taking pressure off the subject matter expert to know the topic AND run the presentation.
7. Turn Your Webinar into a Client Interview
Webinars featuring client guests are always well-attended because your audience knows in advance that they will hear how others are solving the specific problems they’re facing. What’s more, it gives you an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with an important client.