One of the questions our clients often ask is “How Long Should My Webinar Be?” and “What Is the Best Webinar Length?”
We have an answer for you: keep it short, possibly under 10 minutes.
The History of Our Short Webinar Format
We Call It a “WebiNINE—9-minute Webinar”
Nearly two years ago, long before the pandemic and the sharp rise in screen fatigue, Jay Baer pioneered a novel new idea for webinars. Deliver a full webinar in just nine minutes! We call this a “WebiNINE.” It was unheard of or certainly not popularized. But with our move to this format for C&C webinars and then with our clients, we universally saw marked benefits. So much so, we now boldly pronounce the death of the 45-to 60 minute webinar!
The Benefits of a Short Webinar
There are five irrefutable benefits to this shorter format:
1. Shorter means more people sign up because it doesn’t take up a whole hour of their day.
Face it, 1-hour blocks of time are often difficult on a daily calendar. It’s a big ask for something as non-essential as a webinar. But nine minutes, heck, that’s not even 10 minutes. That’s not such a big ask in time commitment.
2. Shorter means people who cannot make it live are more likely to watch the recording.
If you monitor your internal webinar attendance ratio, the number of people who register vs. the number who actually show up, you know it’s never 100%. Often far lower. And the convenient excuse we all tell ourselves when our carefully planned schedule for the day goes off the rails is, “I’ll just watch the replay of the webinar.” And you know from your own experience, that often does not happen either. 45 minutes to an hour of time commitment is still a big ask. But that nine-minute webinar replay is quick. It may be just the right length to squeeze in before starting that project you’ve been procrastinating on anyway.
3. Shorter means it’s much better for the sales team to send a link to prospects. It’s much easier to ask a prospect to watch 9 minutes vs. 60.
If your webinar content plays any role in lead-gen or customer retention (it usually does), consider the ease and helpfulness your sales team can provide by offering a quick, nine-minute webinar on a topic of interest to the prospect, vs. the expectation and imposition of something much longer. Prospects are busy. Make the message relevant and quick (no more than nine minutes).
4. Shorter means it’s easier to create highlight videos of 1-2 minutes for use in social media.
There’s less to plow through to cull out those gems for atomization across other channels. You’ll quickly find the nine-minute format is, by necessity, all gems! This makes reposting, booting, and sharing much more efficient for everyone involved.
5. Shorter often means content itself is better.
Like comedians, most people can do 10 strong minutes of education content. 45-60 is a whole different ballgame.
Knowing you have only nine minutes to convey your message, or messages, forces you to focus on the key elements and leave everything superfluous on the cutting room floor. That means better content. That can lead to better engagement, retention, and sharing by the viewers. Script your webinar, or at least outline it, rehearse it, and time it with a stopwatch. Always strive to wrap it up without sounding rushed at the end.
How to Format Your Short Webinar
Here’s your opening script:
Introduction: Minute 1
“What this Webinar is, and yes, it will be done within nine minutes.”
“Yes, it is being recorded, and yes, we will send out a link afterward.”
“No there will not be any Q&A because we have a lot to share with you in the remaining 8 minutes and 30 seconds.”
Content: Minutes 2-8
Now dive into your first point. Get right to it, be direct, and keep your thoughts focused on that primary point. Then, move on to the next.
In our experience, making five to seven points is about where you should aim. Any more than that, and it may become rushed and difficult to support each of those points sufficiently. Averaging about 60 seconds per screen is a good benchmark.
Closing: Minute 9
Keep the closing short and succinct. This is not a time for Q&A, but you can use this time as an opportunity to have leads contact you directly with their questions, which is also a good way to start conversations with your audience.
Need help creating webinars for your company?
Contact us now — we’d love to help you generate leads with webinars.