Webinars: where marketers splurge on everything but the most important element - the abstract.
You know this is true.
In the rush to complete a laundry list of tasks involved in producing a webinar - landing page, speaker selection, social media promotion, email blasts, etc. - the abstract receives far less attention and care than its due. But this is a mistake that could be costing you.
A strong abstract can give your webinar the best chance of succeeding by attracting the right ICP and generating interest and curiosity, while a badly-written and poor-quality abstract will confuse or turn people off and reduce attendance.
So we should be aiming to write really, really persuasive abstracts, instead of settling for mediocre ones.
What exactly constitutes a strong abstract?
In today’s world of information overload, people are making snap decisions about what to pay attention to and what to ignore. So think about the abstract as a big billboard advertisement: if it’s done well, it will get your ICP’s attention.
To “sell” your webinar to prospective attendees, a powerful abstract must:
- Communicate why this webinar topic is important and distinctive clearly; don’t write a mystery story that leaves it to them to figure out.
- Highlight why the speaker or their perspective matters - why should your ICP take it and take you seriously?
- Spell out the value that attendees will receive by attending the webinar. This sets up expectations so when people do attend, they get what they were hoping for.
Easier said than done.
Writing this requires both creativity and strategic thinking. There’s a lot of information to pack in about the speaker and the topic, whilst playing on your ICP’s challenges, motivations and goals. But here’s a framework that can help:
A blueprint for crafting a powerful abstract
Step 1. The headline
- Ask an interesting question
- Address a specific problem or goal - the more focused, the better
- Use ‘How to’ or ‘Steps’ to show the value the attendee will get
- Add personality when possible
- Convey it in 12 words or less
- Is your [function/issue of concern] strategy really working?
- How to [achieve a goal] in [timeframe] without [a pain point]
- The do’s and don’t of [an issue of concern]
- How to [achieve a goal] in [number] of steps
- [Number] ways/strategies/tips/secrets to [achieve a goal] in [current year]
- [Topic] trends changing the way we [something you take for granted]
- The do's and don'ts of webinar landing pages
- How to double attendee turnout at your webinars in just 5 steps
- 10 new strategies to help you easily build a pipeline for webinar guest speakers
- On-demand vs. live webinars: Which is better for MQL generation and why
- 5 ways webinars will change in 2024
Step 2. The introduction
- Get straight to the point - no fluff or generalizations. Don’t tell the reader what they already know.
- Set the context by establishing the pain points. Your reader is looking for someone who understands their challenge or problem.
- Or prompt curiosity by asking a question that asks readers to a) re-examine the status quo b) ask themselves a question that they should be asking
- Convey this in 1- 3 sentences
- Here’s a great example by Cloudsmith: “Containers and Microservices architectures are no longer the new kid on the block, and it may be time to take a fresh look at your ecosystem.”
- Or this by Mindtickle: “It’s time for sales leaders, enablement, and ops to align on one common purpose: increasing revenue productivity. But how do you go about doing it?”
- And this by Common Room: Building one-on-one relationships with community members is one of the most rewarding and impactful parts of leading a community program—but how do you scale to meet member needs when one turns into one hundred thousand? And how do you manage an ever-growing pack of internal stakeholders to ensure they understand (and contribute to) the value of your user community?
Step 3. The rest of the body
- Having established a pain point or prompted curiosity, use the rest of the abstract to build trust and interest
- Use bullet points to give the audience an idea of the talking points that will be discussed in the webinar. Keep it short and crisp to make it skimmable.
- Always keep in mind your intended audience - do they prefer stories or facts? Would they want demonstrations or just recommendations?
- Use industry-specific terminology to set the expectation that you’re already attuned to your target audience.
- Highlight your speaker’s domain expertise and industry experience to substantiate credibility. If you can quote any details pertinent to the pain point/goal discussed in the webinar, even better.
- Another one from Cloudsmith:
In this session SLSA experts from across the industry gather to discuss the practical uses of the framework and address topics such as:
What controls are included in the specification and why
Real world developer approaches to software supply chain security
What's working and what's not working in software supply chain security
Featuring: Isaac Hepworth, Group Product Manager, Software Supply Chain, Google
- And here’s a description about a webinar titled ‘Is the MQL dead? by Drift that provides background for the talk and highlights the specifics that will be covered:
- Here’s one more example that gets everything right
Drive better impact from a well-written abstract
We hope that if you take away anything from this piece, it’s an understanding of why your webinar abstract deserves as much time and care - or more - than the other activities in your webinar production laundry list.
Stick to this 3 step blueprint and you’ll be able to set the stage for a compelling and engaging webinar experience that drives positive results, such as increased attendance, participant engagement, and post-webinar actions.