How to market your webinar

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What is a webinar?

The process of creating a webinar is a long one, and it involves input from many parties. That being said even the most well thought through webinar can miss the target if the marketing isn’t correct.

We find that the most successful webinars are clearly communicated and are both educational and entertaining.

When you market your event it is important to keep your audience in mind. Ultimately you want registrations and attendees that you can form a relationship with.

The marketing of your event does not start with the external promotion. It starts as soon as you decide to have a webinar. Here are our best practices for marketing your event from start to finish.

1. Choose your topic wisely

When choosing your topic remember two things; 1. No one will want to listen to a topic they have no interest in and; 2. The narrower and more specific you make your topic the more you are cutting your list of potential attendees.

While these two don’t always go hand in hand it is important to get the balance right so you can appeal to a large segment while keeping the content interesting for them.

Finally, when you decide on a title make it catchy and memorable. It would also be worth doing some research into SEO. Your title is going to appear on all of your marketing content and pages related to the webinar, so get it right.

2. Get a solid sponsor on board

Once you have chosen your topic, get a sponsor on board. This will help in the promotion of the event and they may have some strong candidates for presenters.

Having a sponsor means you have a much larger net to cast, use their networks to promote the event. You can also permit them some creative influence, they may have some great insights that would help bolster your marketing effort.

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3. Outline your goals early

It is always important to set your registration and attendee goals early, as these frame the majority of your promotion. They also give you something to aim for, and to push towards. Keep an eye on your registrants as they come in and this will help shape your marketing going forward.

The great thing about these figures is that they feed into each other. We know that a typical webinar will end up with around 30% conversion from registrant to attendee. So we can use this knowledge (and a little math) to work one figure out based on the other. If we want 300 attendees we will be looking for around 1000 registrations.

Ultimately, to determine how many registrants you need, you should think ahead to how many actual attendees you want.

4. Choose the right date and time

If you’ve run webinars in the past you should have a good idea of when you are most likely to get the highest numbers. If not, it is worth looking into this before scheduling your first webinar.

We find Tuesday or Thursday afternoons are most popular. Monday tends to end up as a planning day, with Friday being seen as a recap kind of day.

The time of day however will depend on your intended audience. If you’re aiming for an Eastern US audience remember that our afternoon is their morning. A knowledge of time zones will certainly help here.

5. Build an informative registration page

Most webinar providers are flexible with registration pages and allow you to include anything you’d like. However, there are some key pieces of information that all registration pages should include.

The most obvious of these is a date and time. This needs to be clear and obvious as soon as someone logs into the page. There are some things that are sometimes missed with the inclusion of the date and time. Consider where your audience are based, you may need to include a time zone if it is likely that you will have registrants from other countries. You may also wish to highlight that the webinar will be available on-demand, this way if a potential registrant can’t make the time of the webinar they may still register for the on-demand.

A lot of thought goes into deciding who is going to present on a webinar, so it stands to reason that you would want to include their details on the registration page. This should, ideally, include, names, job titles and biographies.

Finally, you need to explain what the event is about. This is the core information people are looking for and the main reason that you can get them to register. So make sure that all the information is included without being too word heavy. Remember your SEO when creating this text so that search engines will pick up on your keywords.

The last point I want to add here is that ultimately we all want to gain something from our actions. So add a bullet point list of what your attendees will gain from the webinar.

6. Use your emails effectively

Emails can be a great tool in the promotion of your webinar and can be used at any stage of the process. It is always worth planning an email campaign for the promotion of your webinar.

When you confirm all of the previous points, look to plan out your email campaign (remember you can adjust later based on registrations etc).

If you have allowed a good amount of promotion time you will likely be sending around 3 emails with the aim of getting people to sign up to the event. If possible try to remove those that have registered each time you send out a mail shot. If they’ve already registered you are essentially spamming them by continuously promoting to them.

Keep the information concise; the registration page should be where they get most of the information, so make it sound enticing, but make them want to click through to your registration page.

Finally, you have your confirmation and reminder emails. Typically, these will be sent out by your webinar provider. When someone registers they should receive a short email, with dates and times and a calendar invite.

Once you get closer to the event you should send this information again as a reminder email. We recommend 24 hours and one hour before your event. But keep in mind weekends and bank holidays, perhaps switch your 24 hour reminder to a morning reminder?

7. Other marketing tools

Remember email isn’t the only way to promote your webinar. The fact that you are running a webinar is a clear sign that digital has a stronghold on the majority of marketing activities. So use digital!

Use your social media to promote your webinar – chances are not all of your LinkedIn connections find the content relevant, but I would think most of them know someone that would find it useful. So promote it through your relevant channels.

Remember those speakers and sponsors you were very keen to get on board? They will have huge networks of people who want to listen to what they have to say, so again ask them to share through their social media platforms.

In addition to this use your website and your previous webinars. It may not be homepage content worthy, and even if it is getting your development team to add it may be a difficult task, but make sure it is somewhere on the website and receiving traffic. Again, leverage your old content, every YouTube video I watch has thumbnails at the end dragging me to a previously released vlog or let’s play video, so do the same.

8. Don’t forget about the On-demand recording

A lot of people have a tendency to forget about their webinars once the live broadcast has happened. That makes running the webinar in the first place a bit of a waste. If you decided to run the webinar that means it is good content. So keep using it.

We spoke about using one webinar to promote the other, keep this up with On-demand content. Think of your hosted content as a spiders web, the more content you connect the bigger your web will be.

Also, blog about the event. Your webinar doesn’t have to stand alone. Plus, I don’t know one company that would say “I think we have enough blogs”. A blog based on content that is already there should really write itself.

So there you have it. 8 ways to market your webinar. Let us know how you market your events: have we missed anything?

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