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Why is it that so many Webinars are bad? The technology makes it easy, but that doesn't mean that the presenter is good, the content valuable, or the topic of interest. I signed up for an association Webinar on marketing communications this week. I bugged out early. Want to know why?

Plain and simple - it sucked. And that wasn't the first. I've participated in many - some free, some paid. Here's my take...
1. If the Webinar is being used for lead generation, it shouldn't be SO obvious that the entire presentation is an ad for the vendor's product or service. That happens regularly when Webinars are offered for free as part of an association's membership benefits or directly by a B2B supplier.
2. If the Webinar includes a guest, the host should ensure that the format and topic are synergistic. It's very unprofessional when two presenters are not in synch.
3. The Webinar speaker should have skills or training in.... training! This is especially true for Webinars in which the screen is filled with PowerPoint slides and you can't see the speaker. All we have to go on is his/her voice. The worst is when the speaker reads a script. Yikes. A white paper would have been preferred.
4. The Webinar should walk the talk on the promotional copy. If the advance marketing copy describing the topic and content isn't the same as the presentation, it's lost all credibility. Try getting the audience to return for another one.
5. Webinar planners should ideally identify their objectives. What do they want to achieve? If it's content marketing, then they should give the audience something of value without any strings attached. That's a soft sell approach for brand awareness.
If it's for lead generation, the content should be valuable, too, without obvious advertising. The lead comes from the registration information for the planner's database.
If the Webinar is a product in itself and the planner charges a fee, it had better fulfill the audience's expectations and have a dynamic speaker.
What's your experience with Webinars? Have they lost their appeal? Are they overused or abused? Let's hear.

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image of Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel

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