Part 2: So you want to host a webinar. Now what?
In a recent blog we looked at how companies use webinars to drive sales, educate prospects and customers and generate brand awareness. Once you’ve decided a webinar is the best form of brand promotion and you’ve developed a strategic plan to host your webinar, you’ll need to determine the best way to market your webinar to ensure its success. The following are a few tactics that you can use to effectively promote your brand and boost your business through a webinar.
Part 2: Promotional activities
Post your webinar on the homepage of your website. Your homepage is likely the most visited page on your entire site. Take advantage of this by posting a link to your webinar at least two week prior to the presentation. Even if the webinar has a co-presenter or sponsor, this is an opportunity to show your value to your target audience. Make sure to share details about the webinar including date/time, speakers, topic description and a call to action for potential attendees to download a piece of content and/or register for the webinar.
Blog about your webinar. Develop a blog or a series of blogs to help promote your webinar. If you create a series of blogs, post them in the weeks leading up to the presentation, which will warm up your target readers to the webinar topic and help them to learn about the selected topic from different angles. Make sure to include a call to action to register for the webinar at the end of each blog post. It’s also recommended to develop a blog post for the day the webinar launches.
Leverage your speakers. Not only does your company and its staff need to promote the webinar, your speakers can also help! Often times, speakers have a large following and can reach people that you may not have access to on your own, so leverage their personal connections, social media networks and email lists to reach the biggest audience possible.
Market your webinar through your social media network. There is no better place to gain coverage for your upcoming webinar than through social media. Choose from some of the top sites including: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Google + or Tumblr to ensure larger attendance. It is beneficial to use tracking links such as bit.ly, goo.gl or ow.ly so you can determine exactly where your prospective attendees learned about the webinar. It’s also recommended to further share your webinar in various and relevant LinkedIn groups and also share an update on your company page so group members or page followers can easily find the presentation and register for it.
Create a hashtag. As you publish material promoting your webinar through various social media channels, you may develop a hashtag specifically devoted to the presentation. Be sure to include the hashtag in all areas including emails, the landing page social media and blogs.
Build a helpful landing page. Develop a landing page for your website that enables potential registrants to sign up for the upcoming webinar. The landing page should be gated and can be a simple form. The landing page will need to include:
- Who? – Introduce presenters on the landing page, including a brief bio and headshot.
- What? – Include an explanation of what the webinar will focus on and some of the key points that will be discussed, but don’t give too much away.
- When? – Provide potential attendees a date and time and include a link so they can add the webinar on the calendars.
- Where? – Clearly explain when and how attendees can access the webinar. Be sure to include all links and phone numbers if necessary.
- Why? – It is important to explain the value of the webinar. You will want to be able to ask the question, “What will people learn or be able to do after attending the webinar?"
Add your webinar to your email signature. Add an image or link to the bottom of your email signature to encourage registration for your webinar. This will assist you in obtaining additional attendees who may not see some of the other forms of promotion.
Email campaign. Develop an email campaign to promote your webinar. These emails can include information about the topic and speakers to entice readers to register for the presentation. It’s recommended to send three emails inviting potential attendees to register, two reminder emails about the upcoming webinar, one email thanking attendees for attending the webinar and one post-webinar email sharing the recording of the presentation. These emails should include the link to register for the webinar, the designated hashtag and can even include some of the previously discussed blog content.
Utilize paid media opportunities. If your budget allows, partnering with a publication within the same topic or audience following as your webinar can help garner additional attendees. You can also develop a small advertisement, either text-only or text accompanied with a simple design/graphic, to obtain placement with the publication and promote the webinar to a wider audience.
A 2013 marketing report by Content Marketing Institute found that 62% of B2B used webinars to effectively promote their brands, so be sure to use these promotional tips when planning your next webinar!
Planning a webinar and don’t know where to begin? Click here to learn basic tips!