The beginner's guide to webinars for accountants

How to make them work for you

Absolute beginners – get back to basics with our new guide to webinars for accountants

PracticeWeb has launched a new series of short, easy-to-understand guides covering the basics of digital marketing, one aspect at a time, because we’ve been listening to the accountants we work with.

This guide has been written specifically for accountants and firm marketers who don’t know where to start when it comes to running a webinar and want to learn enough to be able to support their practice with their online events programme.

In our beginner’s guide to webinars we look at:
  • What is a webinar?
  • What are the benefits of running a webinar?
  • Getting started, getting the basics right
  • Engaging your audience
  • Your presentation
  • Promoting your webinar
  • Tracking your results and following-up
  • Choosing the right webinar platforms
  • Tips for running the perfect webinar.

We hope this guide will help you to better understand the underlying principles of webinars and to be more confident in embracing running events online – the new norm for all of us.

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Sample: The beginner’s guide to webinars for accountants

Introduction

The PracticeWeb team was prompted to put together this guide from a few conversations I had a couple of months ago.

Speaking to a group of accounting practice marketeers, the general consensus was that COVID-19 had significantly changed the way events could be run.

They’d all been used to organising networking events for their accountancy practice partners, but knew they would have to adapt and embrace running events online – the new norm for all of us.

Everyone agreed they needed to understand how to run the perfect interactive event if they were to continue with their pre-coronavirus marketing programmes.

They also wanted to know how best to track a return-on-investment from this type of event.

As a marketing professional myself, I’ve also been worried about the logistics of running webinars remotely from home.

With that in mind, I’ve written this PracticeWeb guide specifically for people who don’t know where to start when it comes to running a webinar and want to learn enough to be able to support their practice with their online events programme.

Philippa Jordan

Marketing Manager

PracticeWeb

First things first: what is a webinar?

Put simply, a webinar – short for ‘web seminar’ – is an interactive video presentation or a workshop held online, hosted via specialist software.

You won’t usually be able to see or hear the audience while you are presenting a webinar, but events can be as interactive as you want. Attendees have the option to ask questions and respond to polls via the software to the presenters, for example.

They’re usually scheduled and run live but you can also record them and allow people to watch them back later at their leisure, although without the interactivity.

Webinars tend to be business-related although the COVID-19 pandemic has seen people using them in all sorts of new ways, with everyone from exercise and wellbeing instructors to knitting groups and pub quizmasters embracing the virtual world, and keeping their brands visible.

If your firm has something to say and wants to connect with potential clients then a webinar may be the best way to share this information with your target audience.

And for attendees, it can be a great way to undertake professional development with relatively little investment of time.

What are the benefits of running a webinar for your firm?

If you are new to running webinars, the task can seem a daunting one but it’s very much worth it. Once you’ve got to grips with the technology, there are real advantages to running events online and some easy wins for your accountancy practice.

First, it is significantly cheaper than running a physical event as you don’t have to locate and hire a venue, or pay for catering.

Another bonus is alleviating the necessity of travel. Hosts and attendees can literally log in from the comfort of their own home via a link they receive when they register.

By cutting out the need for a commute, you can reach a larger audience. What’s more, you can also reach a UK-wide audience, especially if you promote across multiple channels, such as LinkedIn.

Another positive is convenience. In registering for a webinar, if you are then not able to attend the live event, you can catch up by watching on-demand.

I often find myself watching webinars on-demand later in the week when my workload is more under control.

As host, all you need to do is capture the attendees’ registration details and if they don’t log in at the scheduled time, send a link to a recording with a simple ‘sorry we missed you’ message.

By recording your webinars, you’ll also gain an asset you can convert to different formats and share with your audience through other channels, such as on YouTube.

“One point of view is that by offering a recording, you make it easier for people to skip the live webinar.

If numbers on the day are important to you, bear this in mind.”

The more webinars your firm undertakes, the more you establish yourselves as industry experts in a particular field. For example, perhaps you have something to say about bounce-back loans – a hot topic of the day.

If so, a webinar will help you stand out in the marketplace, above the competition.

Another option, which is something we’ve done before at PracticeWeb, is to record a simulive webinar, which is similar in every way to a webinar just without the stress of it actually being live.

This works well with product demonstrations and explainers and is also a good way of introducing your firm’s partners to the art of presenting webinars without the pressure of performing live.

What’s inside our beginner’s guide?

  • What is a webinar?
  • What are the benefits of running a webinar?
  • Getting started, getting the basics right
  • Engaging your audience
  • Your presentation
  • Promoting your webinar
  • Tracking your results and following-up
  • Choosing the right webinar platforms
  • Tips for running the perfect webinar.

Make webinars part of your marketing strategy

If there’s one thing to take away from this guide, it’s that your webinars should have a purpose – to contribute towards your overall business and marketing goals.

PracticeWeb can support you in developing comprehensive brand and content strategies.

We’ll advise on the best formats for communicating with your ideal clients and help you come up with enough content ideas for a year.

Contact us today if you would like us to help you.

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