Hosting webinars is an effective way to generate leads for your organization.
Many marketers are becoming aware of the importance of webinars for attracting high-quality leads, but frequently overlook the fundamental importance of webinar promotion.
The benefits of hosting a webinar include the ability to build authority and trust, develop new relationships and gain a deeper understanding of your target audience. But without a solid webinar promotion strategy in place, you’re unlikely to reap these benefits.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to begin promoting your webinar six weeks before the event – and it should be ongoing up until this time. If not, your content is likely to disappear into the depths of the Web.
This article will guide you through a variety of creative and proactive steps to ensure your webinar is given the best chance of success as practiced by Green Hat, B2B digital marketing agency:
Step 1: Build a Landing Page
So you’ve created a webinar – ideally on a platform like GoToWebinar, Adobe Connect or ReadyTalk – but now what? How are people going to know it exists?
You need a high-converting landing page.
Keep these tips in mind:
1. Optimize the landing page with your audience in mind. Are they savvy marketers, or budding entrepreneurs? Are you using the keywords your audience is searching for?
2. Create persuasive copy with killer headlines that make people want to join your webinar. Be direct, succinct, use bullet points and create a sense of urgency. No one wants to read through numerous paragraphs of clunky text!
3. Use video (or attention-grabbing images) to introduce people to your webinar topic. Video increases conversion rates by up to 80% – but if you don’t have the resources available, an image will also work.
4. Include a link on your homepage directing visitors to your landing page. This will ensure website traffic isn’t wasted, and you receive the greatest opportunity for exposure.
5. Create a form above the fold because if visitors can’t see your form, they are more likely to bounce from the page. Keep the form short – five or six fields is enough. Here’s an example of a well-laid out webinar landing page.
Green Hat Insight: We used LinkedIn Pulse to drive traffic to the webinar landing page. Relevant B2B content was created that focused on the theme of the webinar and linked to the landing page. LinkedIn Pulse was an ideal option to target due to the audience. It is best to determine where your audience ‘hangs out’ and create a promotional strategy around this.
Step 2: Share Your Landing Page via Social Media Promotion
Take Advantage of Partnerships
If you’re having a speaker from another organization participate in your webinar or you have a relationship with people in the topic’s industry, leverage this relationship.
Ask them to share the link to your webinar landing page in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Facilitate this process and make it easier for them by drafting social media blurbs yourself.
Generate a Special Hashtag for Your Webinar
Create an industry-specific hashtag, especially for your webinar, and use it throughout your social media promotion efforts.
This will stimulate discussion around your webinar topic, and generate excitement among attendees across a variety of channels.
Just remember to keep your hashtag short, as you will find limited space for promotion on platforms such as Twitter, which limits you to 140 characters.
Devise a Social Media Calendar
Download a spreadsheet to map out when and what you plan to post on each social media channel.
Share it with other people in your organization to see if they have any ideas or input. Include days, blurbs and times for posting (see example below).
Green Hat Insight: Twitter has been an effective way to promote events for us. So, we created a 3-week social media promotion schedule to increase awareness around the webinar where we sent out a variety of tweets reminding audiences to sign up and participate.
That resulted in 67% more signups compared to the previous event which received little social media promotion.
Step 3: Create Content Based around Your Webinar Topic
Utilize the Power of LinkedIn
LinkedIn Pulse is an effective way of increasing interest outside your network.
When you share an article, you leverage the platform’s power and can reach a massive audience.
To do this, login to your LinkedIn account and hover over ‘Interests’ and select ‘Pulse’ from the drop-down list.
Click ‘publish new post’ and you will be taken to a WordPress-like text editor that allows you to write an article, ideally based on the topic of your webinar.
Include a call to action at the end linking to your webinar landing page.
Write Blog Posts for Your Website
Promote your webinar topic by writing content about it.
For example, if your webinar is on marketing analytics, you might want to research case studies of organizations who have conducted successfully measured campaigns – or even discuss a top 10 list of analytics and automation tools.
Just remember to link back to your webinar landing page, suggesting that readers can learn more about this topic by attending.
Outreach to Industry-Specific Publications
Where does your audience hang out?
Research relevant industry publications and find the right place to submit your article. The more visitors a target publication receives, the higher the exposure your webinar is likely to get.
But keep in mind that selling your webinar straight away is not likely to be very appealing to editors; so provide value first by offering them content their readership is likely to find useful, informative and engaging.
Green Hat Insight: We often contact publication editors through LinkedIn and ask if they would be willing to accept guest contributions. In doing so, we increase levels of exposure to our brand, content, and events.
To find editors of a publication, simply Google: “publication name” editor + LinkedIn.
Step 4: Leverage Your Email List
Send Out Three Newsletters Prior to the Event
Include topic-focused content about your webinar in the newsletters, as well as a call to action that sends readers directly to your landing page.
Ideally, you will want to send one to your email list three weeks prior to the event, then two more prior to the event.
Include a sense of urgency in your subject lines such as ‘Limited Spots Left in Our Webinar!’ or ‘Only 3 Days before Registration Closes’ for example.
Email Registrants Leading up to the Event
It’s common for webinar registrants to forget they’ve signed up to a webinar.
Send two emails – one 4 days prior to the event – and another the day before to keep them on their toes.
This ensures registrants are kept updated and facilitates excitement about the upcoming webinar.
Green Hat Insight: We utilized our subscriber list to generate further interest in the event by contacting people who have large email databases and might want in on the webinar for their own audiences.
It’s definitely made an impact on attendance.
If you can communicate that their audience would also enjoy the topic — you might get hundreds of extra registrations!
Step 5: Additional Webinar Promotion Ideas
Don’t Forget about Paid Media
If you have a budget to drive more traffic to your webinar landing page – consider conducting a PPC campaign. This will help supplement your organic, outreach and social media efforts.
Target long tail keywords to keep CPC costs low if your budget isn’t large, but always keep them on-topic.
With the blog post about your webinar in hand, amplify it with a service like Outbrain allowing even more reach to new audiences who find your content offering valuable.
Ask Your Sales Team to Promote the Webinar
Sales departments are an untapped goldmine.
They are constantly speaking with your customers – whether through social media or on the phone – and know your audience better than anyone.
Ask them to bring the webinar up in conversations and join in the promotion via social media.
Include a Link to Your Landing Page in Email Signatures
Create a small image that advertises your webinar and link directly to its landing page.
Whenever you’re corresponding with people, it could potentially peak their interest. It’s a clever way to gain extra exposure for your webinar.
Green Hat Insight: All employees used a special email signature advertising the webinar, which included a link to the landing page for signups. 45 clicks were received during the promotional campaign, resulting in 29 additional participants.
Webinars can be one of the most powerful lead generation tools in your business’ arsenal; especially when creating new relationships and ultimately attracting new clients.
I hope you’ll keep these tactics in mind when you are promoting your next webinar, but always remember to experiment for yourself.
After all, what works for some organizations may not work for others.
Do you have any questions about how to promote your next webinar? Feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to help!