"How do I get people to attend my webinar?"
This is a common question we run into, and it’s easy to see why. People put a lot of time and effort into the webinar itself, but they often overlook one of the most important elements - promoting it.
A key component of any webinar programme and plan is the marketing aspect, which isn't just sending an email invite and event reminder. Promoting your webinar, just like putting it together, requires a plan especially if one of your main goals is lead generation.
Who is your target audience? What channels are they on? Where will you see the best conversion rate?
These are all questions you should ask yourself as you’re putting your marketing plan together. To help you promote your webinar and maximise your lead generation, we put together some useful tips.
1. Start early
A lot of people don't start marketing their webinar until well after they’ve put their content together. But guess what? You can start promoting from the minute you finalise your webinar title.
The absolute minimum time period we recommend is two weeks, but it is definitely better to start as early as possible. As soon as you have that title decided on, you can start letting people know.
2. Utilise email (and early)
The best tool at your disposal for promoting your webinar will be email. This is because, theoretically, your contact list will be warm and engaged, so highly likely to attend your webinar.
You’ll want to email your contacts more than once - at least an invite and a couple of reminders - but it’s important not to spam them. There is a line between regular communication and annoying them. Just be sure you have a purpose for each email and you should be fine.
3. Make use of social media.
Twitter alone has 336 million monthly active users worldwide. LinkedIn has 250 million monthly active users. These networks provide an amazing opportunity to promote your content, as well as to increase your social audience.
The idea is to create a social media schedule across your networks. Establishing a schedule that details when and how frequently social media posts will be made can increase organisation and you can target your posts according to the network. For example, utilise Twitter to post scheduling details of the webinar (times & dates). Meanwhile, via Instagram, you can post screenshots of the webinar, giving a taste of what viewers can expect.
Social media is not only an effective way of spreading the word and gaining new contacts, but also gives a gentle reminder to those already registered that the event is coming up (hopefully keeping up your attendance rate).
4. Don’t be afraid of paid marketing
Ideally, your webinar will be part of an overall webinar programme. Even if it’s not, paid social and PPC can be an effective way to promote your webinar.
With both strategies, targeting is key. If you’re using PPC, targeting the appropriate key words to ensure you’re getting in front of the right people. Paid social is also a great option as you will get in front of your current social circle as well as put you in front of a whole new audience.
5. Use your website/blog
You are your own best resource and (hopefully), people are already on your website or reading your blog. These people are already more engaged and have more of an interest in your topic than someone who randomly comes across a hashtag or PPC ad.
How do you take advantage of your traffic for your webinar? Write a blog about the event or a related topic and promote it to your contacts. Be sure to include a CTA or link to your registration page in the blog. This will get in front of people who may not have otherwise been looking to attend a webinar.
Most hosts overlook their own website when thinking about webinar promotion, and they end up losing out on qualified traffic.
6. Consider using outreach
Outreach marketing is when you reach out to individuals or organisations that have a shared interest in what you or your company offers. This can be an effective tool when trying to get your webinar in front of a qualified audience.
So how do you do that? One way is to reach out to bloggers in your niche that can promote your event and that are willing to cover it, once your live webinar is over. This will require doing research into relevant influencers and building a relationship. It will likely take more than one email to convince someone your content is relevant for their site, but if you take the time to nurture the relationships they can be a valuable resource.
7. Webinar promotion should be a mini campaign
With all of the resources at your disposal, it would be easy to work in silos, each element on their own. If you want to maximise your success, however, you should be thinking about all of these tools as different parts of a campaign, working in tandem to drive people to your webinar.
The most important part of this is to create a plan and set goals. How many email conversions do you want? How many new contacts from social are required? If you set these out early, you can then use them as a guide to build a webinar promotion campaign. You may even want to think of a hashtag to keep a cohesive element to all of your promotion.
When if comes to webinars, the days of "build it and they will come" are long gone, so you’ll need to spend as much time on promoting your webinar, as you have spent on creating it. But don’t worry, if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to plan a webinar that generates more leads than you’ve ever had before.