When we were first brainstorming on topics and coming up with the content for our first GiveShop webinar, we had these goals in mind. We wanted create content that would be:
- Relevant — create content for our community of collaborators, whether they are skilled professionals or recent grads
- Relatable — provide examples of what organizations and projects are looking for and case studies/stories from volunteers
- Motivational/Inspirational — help potential collaborators see and understand the benefits of volunteering and the impact they can create
- Practical — offer guidance and provide steps one can actually take so that they can start volunteering
- Resourceful — link to helpful resources and websites
Once we created the storyboard and majority of the slides for the webinar, our next focus was on getting the word out about the webinar. For this, we turned to Facebook and Instagram advertising for our social ads. We ran our ad on Facebook and Instagram (on News Feed, Stories, In-Stream, and Instant Articles) between March 6–27 with a campaign budget of $250.
This webinar campaign was targeted to people between the ages of 22–55, living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and who have expressed interests in philanthropy, donation, nonprofit organizations, and volunteering. The campaign was shown 148,649 times and reached 109,787 unique persons. This yielded in 135 clicks (CTR of 0.09) to our webinar landing page, where people could learn more about the webinar, topics, presenters, and register for one of two sessions.
Aside from advertising on Facebook and Instagram, we also shared about the webinar through email marketing. Leveraging the subscriber list from our monthly newsletters, we shared out our webinar and included direct links to the Zoom webinar registration pages.
In addition to our digital marketing efforts, we also shared our webinars with our bootcamp partners. We have been super fortunate to partner with some top name UX and coding bootcamps, and through them, we are able to share some of our offerings with their students and recent grads.
As the webinar dates drew near, we busied ourselves with finalizing the content. We also wanted to share the content with the team to get feedback before the actual deliveries. And while the team had been using Zoom for the last year, this was our first time using Zoom to deliver webinars, so we also wanted to make sure we familiarize ourselves with all the webinar features. We did a run dry one week before our webinar, and we’re so glad that we did.
Here are some lessons we learned:
- It’s important for the host and presenters to log in early and use the practice sessions before the start of the webinar to get ready.
- Familiarize yourself with the poll, Q&A, and chat windows to ensure your webinar will run smoothly with these interactions.
Here are some things we liked about Zoom Webinars:
- We were able to create webinar registration pages and easily duplicate it for multiple sessions.
- It was easy to customize and put our own branding on the registration pages.
- It helped track registrations, send registration emails, reminders, and post-webinar emails.
- We were able to create polls and surveys all in one place.
- It was easy to record the webinars and share the recordings.
- It was easy to run reports (registration, attendance, polls, surveys, etc.) after the webinars.
- While people were clicking the ads on Facebook and Instagram, we weren’t generating any actual sign-ups for the webinar through the ads.
- On the other hand, within days of sending out the email marketing piece, several people signed up for the webinar.
- It was a good decision to purchase the webinar feature on Zoom to help us manage registrations and reports for our first webinar. This ensured that we could focus on our content, without the worries of having to manually manage registrations and interactions during the session.
- It takes a lot of time and effort to put together a webinar. But we’re glad to have had the opportunity to share our knowledge with the community. It was also a good experience for us to speak to an audience, as well will likely have more speaking engagements in the upcoming months and years.