Webinars have always been an essential part of the B2B content marketing mix. Why? Because they’re incredibly effective. In fact, a recent study found that 59% of content marketers regularly use webinars as a content marketing tactic, and 61% rated webinars, in general, as very effective. But they’re not without their problems. One of the biggest difficulties facing marketers who host webinars is gaining an audience. We’ve hosted several webinars and podcasts for our clients with good success and now we’ve got a solid plan template how to drive attendance and deliver value.
We start advertising our webinars a month out with a carefully planned marketing communications schedule. In the plan are emails, social media, forums and business contacts.
Website – First, we create a signup page and a blog post for the event. Making a single landing page for all your webinars is key to building an audience and getting repeat attendees because they know where to find information about your events. A single landing page for all events makes it easy follow and a quick way to direct people to your webinars, plus gaining SEO from a page with many viewers.
Emails – The rule of two applies perfectly here. Our first email is an introduction and invitation to the webinar. Our second is a more personal email closer to the date of the webinar with quotes from the guest speaker(s). A second email provides a sense of urgency and tailoring it to be more personal shows exactly why someone should attend.
Social Media – We integrate sharing features on web pages and blog posts about the webinar so they can become part of the marketing. If a client uses Facebook we also put up an event page there. This can give higher virality as the event landing page has the potential to be shared and reach more potential attendees.
Forums – Once all the appropriate forums are researched a carefully crafted post is uploaded to each one. Be wary as forums are usually social areas and readers do not like sales messages. Use these particularly if your webinar is free to attend.
Time your emails perfectly.
Explore your target audience and see when they open their emails. For business clients we’ve found that Tuesdays in the morning are best.
Provide on-demand recordings.
Sometimes attendance is low not because people don’t want to attend, but because they can’t. Always provide a recording of your webinars for on-demand viewing after you’ve had the event. This provides a format to sell your webinars as well. Keep promoting recorded webinars, as well, because on-demand viewers often become live attendees for future events.
Get your guest speaker involved.
Chances are that your guest speaker and presenter has email lists, blogs or social media accounts which they can use to promote the event as well. Encourage them to use their networks because it benefits you both.
What tactics have you started using to make your webinars successful? Share them with us in the comments below.