How does one attract an audience for a webinar?
It’s fine if you’re an established industry name.
You can simply draw viewers in through your name alone.
But, for those who have to fight tooth and nail to make themselves and their online events noticed, some serious promotional work needs to take place.
Marketing & Sales are always slugging it out with their competitor counterparts to grab a slice of the attention.
Especially when it comes to distributing upcoming presentations!
They need a variety of weapons in their arsenal.
That’s why we’ve chosen 8 of the best ways, we believe, to distribute your webinars!
You see it everywhere. Celebrities lending their image and name to a product or service.
Influencer marketing, as it’s known, has been a marketing staple for years.
And, it works.
It’s classic marketing.
You see Leonardo DiCaprio advertising a TAG Heuer watch, and you want one too.
Sure, remortgaging the house to pay for it is gonna be expensive in the short run, but that watch!
Using someone of influence, who can create visibility for your business, gives you access to a wider audience than you otherwise would’ve obtained without them.
Distributing a webinar using a well-known industry name, can potentially generate more interest in your event.
If they, for example, namecheck your upcoming presentation on their social media account, chances are their followers will see the message.
The hope then, is that they’re interested, because that influential figure is interested in it.
Using influencers is a different approach to posting a classic advertisement.
Think about it:
“I’ll be tuning in to xxxx’s webinar this week, one I believe any marketer should take time to view!”
Is better than you simply saying:
“Tune in to our event this week, be sure not to miss out!”
Having an endorsement like this from an influential figure can add extra weight to your overall promotion.
And, if you build a connection with said person, they can lend their name to future events or promotions that you run!
Ah yes, the medium of the written word and the type of content that keeps me in a job, blogs.
Let’s face it, any company worth its salt has a blog on their website.
That’s good, it means they can discuss a wide variety of topics and push content out on almost a daily basis.
Unfortunately, it also means the blogging market has become saturated.
As a consequence, it has become very difficult to stand out, what with all the content out there.
Sometimes, if content isn’t concentrated on a specific subject/topic, it can become lost in the shuffle.
Luckily, using blogs to raise awareness of an upcoming webinar, are!
Blogging is very effective at acting as a preview of what’s to come in an event.
You can begin to explore the main subjects you’ll be discussing, without giving too much of the good stuff away!
Plus, blogs serve the purpose of increasing the visibility of your website overall.
That’s because search engines such as Google, rank websites according to the amount of fresh content that’s uploaded on there.
Creating new blogs, related to your presentation, will improve your website index, helping drive traffic to your homepage.
Consequently, this means more people will read materials associated with your forthcoming event.
Which means… More awareness!
We’d say blogging shouldn’t be seen as your primary distribution channel of course.
But, it can play a smaller, but vital part of introducing people to your webinar, as they can be easily shared across social media.
Chances are, in the past, you’ve created an event on Facebook.
Birthday party, family gathering, big night out, something like that.
They’re brilliant as a reminder tool for those invited and a good gauge of how many people you can expect to show up (see numerous Facebook gaffes where 20,000+ partygoers have turned up to a small house party).
They’ve even created a subsite for them; Facebook Events.
With 550 million worldwide users, it’s clear that they’ve gained traction in the business world too.
If you’ve a considerable following on Facebook already, Events are a no-brainer when it comes to keeping your fanbase informed of your latest webinars through that medium.
They’re customisable, so you can:
- Include dates and times
- Post the URL of the registration page
- Upload banners and images
Also, if you’re charging to view your presentation, ticket links can be inserted (for both external and internal vendors).
Getting a little more analytical, you can also add keywords, so your online event becomes more visible on Facebook.
Think of it like this:
"Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it's an ad."
- Howard Gossage
But I’m waffling on.
The fact is, Facebook is superb as a distribution tool, because of the sheer reach of the platform and it’s tracking and analytics capabilities.
So, you’ll be able to reach a vast audience with your promotional content and keep tabs on who is interested in your event too.
Coming in from leftfield!
Reddit has become somewhat of a difficult second album for content marketing.
The nature of the platform and the relationship it has with people pushing marketing content onto there, makes it a tricky one to get right.
Reddit, for those unaware, is a discussion site, where users can post content about literally any topic out there.
Users can then upvote or downvote if they like or hate what they’re seeing.
When it comes to distributing business content, sometimes it can be downright successful or downright brutal.
Many redditors have become weary of marketers blatantly selling/advertising to them.
So, a tip before you decide to start marketing on there; you’d better have something interesting to offer!
Traditional sales pitches simply don’t wash with the community at large.
You need to find alternative ways to project your message across.
Otherwise, you run the risk of being downvoted quicker than you can say “Welcome to this week's webinar…”
But, I digress.
Promoting your online event on Reddit can result in success, but it requires more than just posting the link on there (you can be banned for just spamming URLs!).
One way to achieve distribution success, is to find or create a subreddit, related to your industry or webinar topic.
These are essentially discussions, within discussions.
Many content marketers find joy using this technique, as you’re likelier to reach your target demographic, by speaking to a more specific audience.
When you’ve found your niche, look at what’s hot on Reddit, when it comes to content.
Try to adapt your own promotional methods for your event to reflect this.
You might find the right audience on Reddit, but you have to work for it!
5. Press Releases
Some would consider Press Releases as a bit ‘old hat’ in an age of social media.
Or perhaps feel they’re more suited to major company announcements, for a more corporate-feel.
However, we’d politely disagree.
Press releases can give your event a bigger, more official feel, making it more of an occasion.
Drafting a formal press release can add a sense of credibility too, which can be invaluable when hunting for registrations!
If you’re trying to attract a certain type of audience, press releases may hold more weight with some, than Twitter posts.
They act as a good beginning point for your overall promotion campaign, so think of them as the starting gun, so to speak!
Make things official with a press release outlining
- Your event
- What it stands for
- What people can gain from attending
Then once you’ve set the ball rolling by releasing it, you can begin pushing more promotional content onto other platforms.
And, the press release itself can be shared after its release, via other mediums (social media, website, blogs etc.)
Another positive thing about press releases, is that there are an absolute abundance of free PR websites out there to choose from.
There are far too many to mention here (though they would drive my word count up).
Be aware, however, not all PR sites will reach vast audiences and only some have a good reputation of displaying your content correctly.
If you’re looking for a slicker release though, you can opt for premium packages on many of these sites!
Much like Press Releases, using your own website as a distribution tool will have the most success as a supporting player in your overall promotion plan.
Now, I realise advertising your webinar on your own website mightn’t exactly scream eureka to you.
But, it’s often overlooked, especially if a company hosts online events frequently.
Using your social media platforms to maintain visibility of your presentation would certainly take place.
So, why not on your website?
That’s because, obviously, different companies have different aims and targets for their website and any webinars they host.
For example, many companies want to have their products front and centre, with as few distractions as possible from it.
Therefore, any other side-goings on in the company are relegated off the homepage and into a sub-section.
Now of course, most of the time, you wouldn’t make it the main focus on your website, unless it was a huge event.
But, advertisement of a forthcoming webinar should be placed somewhere that is visible to incoming web traffic if you hope to drive registrations.
A technique for distributing your event on a company website, is to create a Widget/RSS feed on your homepage.
Here, you can advertise the upcoming online presentation and list information about it (date/time/title).
Then people can subscribe to notifications about any future events you might have. Simple!
It speaks volumes of Periscope that Twitter acquired it, before it was even publicly launched!
Clearly, they saw the potential for a live stream app and the explosion in popularity of user-created video we’ve seen in the past couple of years.
The premise of Periscope, is that it allows someone to live stream video and easily share the stream on their Twitter account.
As video marketing has, likewise exploded in popularity recently, Periscope has become a brilliant way to distribute content.
Can it be used to promote a technology (webinars) that, some would argue, it is in direct competition with?
You know the answer.
Of course it can!
Essentially, one can complement the other.
Webinars can’t offer the convenience and functionality of Periscope and self-streaming video.
Equally, Periscope can’t offer the same broadcasting quality that webinars can.
Marrying the two together can create a distribution channel for your online event that works.
If you were creating a video marketing strategy, you’d create snippets of video about your company and what it offers.
Apply this to promoting your webinar.
Use Periscope to broadcast clips of live video (a behind the scenes look at your event, for example!) that advertise your upcoming presentation.
You can be totally creative in this area, as there’s no time limitations!
And, the great part about using Periscope to do this, you can broadcast this video on your company Twitter account!
Ending on a familiar note!
Ahh email, the ever-reliable staple of any content and webinar distribution plan.
It’s basic function, as with physical mail, was to send a message.
Marketers took this on board and decided to use it as an effective promotional tool.
And, if your business has an extensive email database, email is extremely good at being just that.
With a targeted and well-considered campaign, emails can project your webinar onto huge numbers of people.
They’re a major part in the entire process of an event, from start to finish.
As a webinar distribution tool, emails should always extol the benefits of your presentation, selling it to any recipients.
Emails also need to relay information about the event itself.
They should provide the links to learn more about it and include CTA’s and links to drive the registration process.
Put simply, if emails are used correctly and optimised to have the maximum impact on your target audience, they can be an indispensable part of your distribution strategy!
Remember this quote:
"Appreciate email's great strength as the original disruptive Marketing Channel!"
- Kath Pay
Learning From This!
Without wishing to sound like an old schoolteacher:
What have we learned today?
A Combination of Methods.
Those are the two main attributes that any webinar distribution strategy should have.
And, that’s precisely what you should take home from this blog!
Sticking to one or two distribution channels can severely damage your chances of attracting a significant audience for your event.
So, don’t narrow your choices, utilise a number of these platforms to ensure you’ve explored every possible avenue with your promotions!
And, importantly, start looking at how one method can complement another in their usage as a distribution tool!
I.e. Start using Reddit to promote your Live Video stream on Periscope.
Hopefully you’ve found this post useful and perhaps will take a few things on board.
Did we miss a method out that's guaranteed you success in the past when promoting webinars?
As always, let us know in the comments below!