Just like any IRL conference, webinars are only as great as your ability to interact with your audience. Good speakers know how to capture their audience's attention, maintain a rhythm and use their momentum to create something new.
Polls are great for getting to know your attendees and engage with them. If you are not using them, you should. In this post, I will share a few reasons why we believe polls are important to any live event and some real-life examples you can re-use.
Here are four reasons why you should integrate polls into your next webinar:
Often, there's a tradeoff between asking your attendees a lot of things during registration and keeping a good conversion rate.
My opinion is that you should ask the bare-minimum, the essentials, during the registration process. Then, during the webinars, use the polls to capture any extra information.
This is particularly useful for sales-oriented webinars. Your registration form is your minimal qualification form. Polls will give you those extra points you need to distinguish warmer leads from the rest.
For customer training or content marketing webinars, polls are great to actually meet your customers or your readers and fill-in their profile (firmographic or demographic information, usage, needs, requests, etc.).
Here are 3 simple examples:
Are you looking to buy a <solution> in the next X days?
Yes | No | Not sure
This one is really simple, but it will help you better qualify your leads during the webinar.
How did you hear about us?
Online search | Referral | Advertising | Other
We use that last poll in every webinar. The reason is very simple, it helps get a better understanding of the word-of-mouth going on around Livestorm, which is very hard to measure, and the current impact of our acquisition channel.
Which option best describes your needs?
I need to do A | I need to do B | I need to do C | ...
Understanding why people are looking for your blog, solution, shop, will help you disqualify bad fits and/or iterate on your value proposition.
You wouldn't want to spend 1 to 3 hours every week or every month on a piece of content without knowing if this content has helped someone at some point, right? So don't forget to add that simple question at the end of each webinar:
Was this demo/webinar/training useful?
Yes | No | I'm still confused
Asking this will help recalibrate your webinar until you find your content sweet spot, something that will motivate attendees to come back every week/month.
You can even ask very specific questions about the format:
Was the webinar too long?
No, it was ok | Yes, it could be 10 minutes shorter
What time of day works best for you for the next webinar?
Morning | Afternoon | Evening
Asking technical questions will help you understand the environment of your attendees and prevent any problem for the next sessions:
Did you encounter any technical problems during the webinar?
I could not connect | Audio issues | Video issues | Other | No, all good!
For that last one, you can let people select multiple options at once.
This is something we started doing recently for our Flash Sessions at Livestorm. Flash Sessions are 15 min webinars in which we cover one specific feature or aspect of webinars.
For the past month, we talked about our newest feature: Recurring Events. But now we need to find a new topic. Polls have been great way to test interest for new topics.
Here's an example of what we send:
What would you like to see next in our webinars?
Measuring ROI with webinars | How webinars can nurture leads | How to promote your webinar
In our latest customer story with GoCheck Kids, they noticed that the better the engagement was, the more likely people were to purchase. So they decided to use polls to ask a question to their attendees at the beginning of the webinar to create initial engagement.
Here's the kind of questions you can ask:
How do you do X at the moment?
I do A | I do B | I don't do it...
If you are an accounting software, maybe you can ask something like: "How do you generate your payroll automatically?". The idea is to leverage that initial question to create a discussion, initiate engagement and emphasize on the "need".
Or it can be completely unrelated to your business:
Are you on time for your holiday shopping?
Wait, what? | Yes! | Working on it
The important is to create interaction.
The conclusion is fairly simple. Don't pass on polls. Actually, this advice also applies to real life. No wonder that most stand up comedians or TED conference speaker always open with a "poll". It creates empathy and a sense of engagement.