So you’ve chosen your topic, lined up your speakers, sorted out a technology provider, finalised your agenda and created your marketing assets — now it’s time to get the word out.
Marketing your webinar doesn’t have to cost a lot, in fact you can do most, and even all, of it for free. From your own website and newsletters, to channels used by your partners and speakers, there are plenty of effective ways you can market your webinar that won’t hurt your budget.
The most effective promotional channel for webinar marketing is email, according to our 2020 State of Webinar Marketing study. It was selected by one in three respondents (34%), followed by company website (20%) and sales team outreach (18%).
Here’s a snapshot of some of the promotional channels most commonly used to market webinars.
Email Marketing is one of the most popular and effective methods you can use to promote your webinars.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, email sending volume increased by 45% last year alone, compared to 2019, which saw it become one of main channels to inform people about everything from new product lines to virtual events.
Why? To put it simply, it works. Globally, 30% of marketers say email marketing has the highest return on investment, according to Statistica. Even when you’re paying for it, it’s worthwhile according to a study by Campaign Monitor which found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, more than $40 is made in return.
When it’s done right, email marketing is powerful because it can capture your audience’s attention with a simple, yet effective, subject line. On top of that, because you can expand your distribution list by simply adding another address (with the correct consents), it’s immensely scalable.
It’s also an easy way to expand your contact database for future webinars.
Newsletters: Your own newsletters created for clients, customers, prospects, partners and other stakeholders are an easy way to get your message across to an audience you already have a relationship with.
More than one in three (31%) of B2B marketers say email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Not to be confused with a solus email (which generally refers to a third-party ad sent to an opt-in subscription email list of target prospects), newsletters are effective because you control the content and how it is presented. You can choose the length, style and design, as well as the imagery and branding.
Email Signature: One of the simplest ways to market your webinar is through email signatures. Think about how many people you email in a day. Now multiply that by everyone in your organisation.
A simple banner with a link directly to your event and registration page will do the trick.
It’s also easy to update so as you get closer to your event you can adjust it with a daily countdown or a ‘last chance to register’ tagline.
Company Website: Advertising your webinar on your website is a great way to target existing and prospective customers.
Once visitors click on your webinar link, direct them to your registration page. Consider placing this link on your home page and events and promotions pages.
You should also interrogate your website visitor metrics, so you can spread your messaging across the most relevant and popular pages across your site — remember not everyone enters your website through your homepage.
Webinar Series: If you are running a series of webinars, consider creating future registration pages ahead of time. This will allow you to market your upcoming webinars through your registration page redirect links and within the webinars you host – speaking to a captive audience!
If you’re not using social media to promote your webinars, you should be. Not only are many of the options available free, social media lets you reach a broader audience of like-minded individuals.
Social media also lets your audience do some of the heavy lifting by liking content and sharing it with their own networks. Short videos also work great on social media – so consider having your presenters record a short promo that you can use. Here are a few examples of the more popular channels.
Twitter: It’s easy to promote your webinar in tweets when you start your email campaign. Include a link to your registration page and don’t forget to target relevant industry groups and other organisations. Tag your presenters and include hashtags which will ensure more people see your post. On the day of your webinar, send a reminder email to your registrants and include a retweet button. You should also consider live-tweeting the webinar if you have the resources.
Facebook: Use your Facebook presence — such as your company Facebook page as well as an individual product page — to promote your webinars, as well as post quotes or images from the event. Facebook is also a great channel to share information on your speakers, relevant statistics, a new study or a book release.
YouTube: More than 1 billion people use YouTube, and they watch almost 5 billion videos a day, so neglecting it means you’re missing out on a lot of eyeballs. You can showcase previous webinars on your YouTube channel, as well as any relevant video that features your speakers or other guests. It’s a good idea to choose a technology provider, like Redback Connect, that lets you live-simulcast your webinar as well. YouTube will rank your content more highly as a result.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is viewed as a more professional platform than its counterparts Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you adjust your messaging and take a business-oriented tone which will appeal to more people on the site. LinkedIn also lets you easily target a specific audience based on their interests — just make sure you use the right hashtags. You should also encourage your colleagues, experts, presenters and partners to share your LinkedIn content to increase the reach of your posts.
Instagram: When it comes to Instagram, it’s all about the eye candy, and when you get it right, a picture really can be worth a 1000 words. More than 1 million people now use Instagram every month (only YouTube and Facebook are ahead in terms of monthly traffic) according to Hootsuite. What’s more, you might be surprised to learn that more than 80% of users are outside the US, and 40% of adults who use the channel earn over $US75K per year — so it’s not just a bunch of kids posting pics. Consider posting pictures of your speakers with a relevant quote, a simple but impactful graph, a book cover or tiles from your event.
Once you’ve covered all your own bases, take advantage of the channels used by your speakers and partners — expanding your reach can be as easy as sharing a link and asking them to share it across their networks.
By using a few, or all, of these options you’ll be boosting the reach of your webinar marketing across a whole range of channels and, as a result, reaching a whole new bunch of prospective participants without impacting your budget.