As more organisations realise the value and effectiveness of webinars as part of their broader marketing and content strategy, competition to attract an audience is heating up.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to use all the marketing options available to boost your audience numbers.
Just like any other marketing campaign, selling your webinar is about reaching as many prospective attendees as possible, and motivating them to register for your event.
However, your marketing shouldn’t stop when your event begins. Your webinar itself can be another platform for promoting another upcoming event, while there are also opportunities to promote your webinars after the event.
Following are some tips to marketing your webinars before, during and after your events.
Before Your Event
While it’s important to give your prospective attendees enough warning about your upcoming event so that there’s still space in their calendar on your proposed date, don’t make it so far out that they put it in their ‘I’ll deal with that closer to the date’ pile of things to do.
First you’ll have to set up your landing page, which should include a clear call to action and a short registration form to capture names, email addresses and other relevant details. Grab the attention of your readers by asking a question, or highlighting a statistic or controversial issue relevant to your topic. Include the title, time, topic, presenters and cost, and include a brief overview of your webinar in 3 to 4 bullet points. Make sure you also include brief presenter bios, as well as their photos.
We suggest kicking off your marketing campaign around 4 weeks out from your event with a mention in your corporate newsletter (or newsletters), adding it to the relevant pages on your corporate website and as many email signatures in your organisation as possible, promoting it on social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and sharing it on relevant forums and other online groups.
If you’ve got the budget, you might also want to invest in Google Adwords — especially if your topic area includes a highly searched keyword or phrase.
Don’t forget to ask your presenters and partners to share information about your webinar on their social channels, and if your event features a well-known speaker, exclusive content or a topical issue, consider advertising it on relevant media channels.
If you are running a webinar series, it’s worth creating future registration pages ahead of time so you can highlight your upcoming webinars through your registration page redirect links, as well as in the webinars you host.
Dedicated Email Campaign
Start your dedicated email marketing campaign around 7 to 10 days before your event with an invitation email, and follow that up with a last chance email 2 to 3 days before the event date.
Send a confirmation email (automated if possible) to everyone who registers.
Event reminders to registered participants, which generally have the highest open rate of all, are the best place to include any additional important information such as a link to your event and joining instructions. Send them either the day before or a few hours before your event.
Make sure all your emails contain a link to the event landing page and a point of contact for any questions.
During Your Event
Social platforms including Facebook and YouTube prioritise live content so live streaming your event is a great way to attract a whole new audience, as well as rank higher in your community’s news feeds. Live-streamed videos actually generate six times as much engagement as on-demand video on Facebook. Assign a staff member to monitor your simulcast for live questions that can be fed back into the webinar.
Live tweeting your event is another good way to attract more viewers. Keep it concise and create impact by focusing on key points of interest, interesting facts and quotes from your presenters, and compelling visual content. Engage and retweet attendees and speakers, and make sure you use relevant hashtags and your presenters’ Twitter handles where possible. When live streaming your event, make sure you include a link to your event in each of your tweets. If you’re short-handed, consider preparing tweets before your event and scheduling them to run during the webinar.
Your webinar is also a great chance to maximise your brand exposure, promote your experts, share other content and promote upcoming webinars. The best webinar technology providers will be able to offer you an opportunity to brand the platform with your approved colours and logo.
If you’re filming your event in a studio, you’ll also have the option of customising the set to reflect your brand, messaging and theme. In contrast to remote webinars, where the camera can only accommodate a backdrop of about 1 square metre, there are a number of more impactful ways you can film your webinar in a studio, such as by utilising a green screen background in your corporate colours.
Consider offering gated downloadable assets such as ebooks, checklists, guides, whitepapers and presentation slide decks in your event resource pack.
Your webinar is also a great place to promote previous and upcoming webinars, so make sure you include links to previous webinars as well as a link to register for your next event.
After Your Event
Make sure you follow up with everyone who attended, as well as everyone who registered, within a few days of your event.
Include a link to a recorded version of your webinar so they can watch it in their own time and share it with others. You can also include links to any relevant content that you might have shared during your webinar, as well as any other relevant webinars and podcasts you have. Don’t forget to promote your next event as well.
Consider creating a post-event wrap-up which you can stream through Facebook Live, or use the audio from your webinar to create a podcast.
Interrogate your webinar reports — including such things as conversion rates for your landing pages, email open rates and feedback — so you can establish how successful your marketing was and how you might improve your marketing program in the future.
For more tips on everything you need to know about creating and marketing your webinar, download Redback’s Webinar Organiser’s Handbook