Developer Relations: What makes a Good Webinar Strategy?
I’ve presented in a few webinars for developers in the past but not enough to have good data on what constitutes an optimal webinar strategy. I’m posting in hopes others might take pity and share their evidence / references to help me make an informed decision.
- Webinar Frequency — how often should you do a webinar, how often should you repeat content previously presented in a webinar.
- Live vs. Pre-recorded
I’m comparing two options for a webinar frequency decision:
One and Done Strategy — Run webinar on a topic once and then make the recording available to anybody that registers after the originally scheduled event.
Amortization Strategy — Run webinar on a topic multiple times and still make the recording available, but repeat the live session again periodically (each quarter) to offer opportunity for Q&A and minor changes / updates.
There is effort involved in producing new content and promoting it in a webinar. A few rough estimates of the amount of time involved with each activity:
- Create new content (2–3 weeks)
- Marketing for an upcoming webinar (1–2 days)
- Deliver content at the scheduled time (1–2 hours)
There is inevitably some follow-up questions from participants as well that take time which is expected. There doesn’t seem to be an added cost of hosting more than one webinar (fixed monthly cost) and I’m assuming no advertising expenses relying only on organic leads.
If the content being delivered has value to the audience then we should see registrations. I’d hazard a few assumptions:
- Some cannot attend due to a scheduling conflict no matter when you schedule it
- Some cannot attend because they were unaware it was happening until after the fact
- Human behavior is to commit to spending time in a scheduled webinar but less likely to watching a recording of one on-demand that can be viewed anytime
- Some will find significant value in the opportunity to participate and ask the host questions which doesn’t happen with recorded session
- Incremental cost of repeating a session is smaller than the effort of creating it the first time or creating new content for a separate webinar
- One can more successfully promote future upcoming webinars than recordings of past webinars — through newsletters, social media, web sites, etc. even if we’ve done the topic of that webinar in the past
- If the webinar was valuable, those who attended the first time will send news of a second occurrence to colleagues
My hypothesis is that the Amortization Strategy is the better approach where better is measured by the number of registered participants who get value from the webinar. I’d welcome any evidence based perspectives that might change my mind and save me from a long period of learning from mistakes.
Using some fuzzy napkin math to estimate a model of attendance over the course of 12 months.
- Attendance (as with meetups) would be 1/3 of registrations though some that missed will probably watch the recording later
- For n attendees, there is a factor for each subsequent event of new registrations. I’d expect the second instance to be better attended than the first if announced at the same time for instance. I’m using 1.0, 1.25, 0.75, and 0.5 as factors against n if running same content each quarter.
With that model in mind, the Amortization Strategy would yield a 352% increase in registrations per original content produced and 163% more over the course of the year even accounting for the opportunity cost of fewer new original presentations.