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Association Webinars: A Beginner’s Guide to Content Planning

Don’t let your association fall behind in the world of webinars. Start by planning your content, and work your way towards a successful series your members will love.

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As those of us who keep up on technology trends in the association world know, professionals are no stranger to the value of an impactful webinar. Unsurprisingly enough, according to the Content Marketing Institute, over 60% of marketers are incorporating webinars into their content marketing strategy. And to piggyback off of that statistic, a study done by ReadyTalk found between 20%-40% of all surveyed webinar attendees turned into qualified leads. So, the market value and effectiveness of webinars can be reflected in the numbers. And as we know it, members are always looking for associations to provide professional resources for their members.

But if you’re a beginner to the world of association webinars, things might seem a bit tricky. Where does one even start to put together a successful web program for members?

We’ve discussed the importance of hosting a webinar in the past, as well as how to take that webinar to all new levels for members. But we’ve never exactly gone over the best way to start planning for your webinar if you or your association is a beginner in the webinar world.
That is until now. We’re giving you a beginner’s guide to content planning for your association’s first webinar. We’ll show you how to pull ideas for webinar content, how to take those ideas and form them into functioning webisodes, and how to cut corners on cost when your association is struggling with resources.

Repurposing is key

No matter how much we try, sometimes we have to accept that the idea bank inside our heads is completely dry. If your association wants to start a webinar, but has zero clue as to what topics to cover and what new ideas to explore, repurposing your other forms of content is a go to method that can solve that problem. By taking ideas from past content produced, you can then switch up the format and deliver members a brand new way to absorb that information. Consider using your association’s past blog posts, ebooks, checklists, and any other downloadable/readable content its produced in the past as a launch pad for new webinar topics.

For example, let’s say your association has a blog series on how members can advance in their profession. These blog posts are prime webinar fodder that can be used to build a template for your association’s first webinar. You can even expand on these topics and provide more in depth conversation about the pieces that you’ve written (which gives your blog readers the incentive to check out your webinars).Similarly, you can also use your repurposed content as springboards to help you jump to a completely different idea.

If you’re looking to produce webinars that do not repeat information you’ve previously covered in blog posts and ebooks, that still does not mean you can’t use this content to help you brainstorm. Dig into your pre-existing content and take your ideas into consideration when trying to spark webinar content premises. And speaking of taking inspiration from your own content…

Find inspiration in others

If you’re looking to create a webinar, try finding inspiration in others in the webinar world around you. Using other webinars and industry-related content created by other peers in your field can help you get a better understanding of the topics your association would like to cover for its members. It’s important for your association to know more about the content that you’d like to produce so that you can get a better grasp on how to go about doing so. Take the time to research more about webinar leaders in your industry and see exactly how they go about executing their content. What kind of topics do they cover? What ideas are they using to come up with content? How can you use these ideas as inspiration to come up with content of your own?

You can find content similar to what you’re looking to produce by browsing search engines and using keywords to help your search. Then, once you’ve found content that speaks to you, study it and relate it back to your own webinar plans. Be sure to also take ample notes about delivery and tone of the webinars you watch. While content it important, you also want to make sure your members enjoy the content they’re taking in too. Learn from experts and use their tips to influence your own webinar delivery.

Use an outline

Once you have a few ideas in your head and you feel ready to create your association’s webinar series, it’s time to start hashing out the details. And what better way to do so than by outlining your webinar from start to finish. Much like any other written piece of content, using an outline can help you provide insight and organization to your webinar plans. It’s also a great way to see the bigger picture of your plan and observe where content gaps might lie within your webinar topic. To get started with your outline, you want to discover exactly what your key points of your webinar will be.

More specifically, what information do you want your members to take from your webinar? You want to make sure your webinar is educating members above all else, and planning out your key points can help you keep education at the forefront of your webinar plans. You should also outline any details and specific facts that you’d like to include within your webinar. It can be easy to forget about details during the execution of content, so planning for these details to shine through beforehand can help you remember.

Member feedback can help

Finally, if you find yourself still struggling to tie loose ends together and create a well rounded webinar, you can always use your members as a life raft. What do we mean by this? Well, your association is going out of its way to create webinar content for its members. So, you should make sure the webinars you’re creating are ones that members will relate to and learn from, right? Consider surveying your members about the type of content they’d like to see in your association’s webinars.

Tailor a survey around the answers your association is looking for about developing content. You can ask both open and close ended questions that will allow you to get a feel of what your members are looking to learn. For example, you can ask members questions like “What sort of topics would you like to learn about?” or “Would a webinar on (insert topic here) interest you? Why or why not?” With questions that allow members to open up and share their opinions with you.

With the proper base to a webinar, your association can see success in its content production. Don’t let your association fall behind in the world of webinars. Start by planning your content, and work your way towards a successful series your members will love.