Hosting a Successful Webinar: Marketing

Friday, September 25, 2015
Michelle Kalaskey
Communications Specialist
Schooner Strategies

Previously, we wrote about the basics of hosting a successful webinar. Next, we’ll discuss how to best market the webinar.

You’ve done the heavy lifting for the webinar—you’re planned and booked your speakers, you’ve chosen a date, you’ve carefully considered the best topics for your audience... So now that you are ready to share all of this great information with your desired audience, how do you go about marketing?

Thankfully, marketing a webinar is a fairly simple process. Some websites recommend marketing at least one week in advance, but at Schooner, we’ll typically begin marketing 4-6 weeks in advance—that way, the audience is well aware of the date we or our clients will be presenting and they can block off that time on their calendar to attend.

In most cases, attendees will begin registering the week of the webinar, not when you first start marketing—this is completely normal, so no worries! Earlier marketing just means that you’re reminding potential audience members about the webinar so they have more time to consider it. Plus, starting marketing for the webinar at least seven days out can increase your registration by 36 percent, according to MarketingTechBlog.com.

Email Distribution

Although our instinct when we promote projects is to do it over social media, we recommend focusing on email distribution to spread the word of your webinar. On a scale of 1 to 5, email earned a 4.46 for webinar promotion; the second highest was social media at a 2.77. When planning email distribution, which should be sent Tuesday-Thursday, ensure you create three campaigns:

  1. An initial campaign to generally promote the webinar—ensure you cover the problem/solution that your audience will be interested in.
  2. A couple days/week later (depending how far in advance you’re marketing), include a list of guest speakers or results-driven language. Well-known guest speakers may be a bigger draw than the topic of discussion.
  3. Lastly, for those who have registered, send out an email the day before or day of the event to increase attendance levels. The average registrant-attendee conversion rate is 42 percent! Be sure to also include a registration confirmation email so attendees can add the webinar to their calendars with all of the necessary log in information.

In addition, when picking email lists, keep in mind that a webinar attendance rate is around 30 percent, according to HubSpot. So if you want 300 people to attend, be sure to blast the webinar information out to at least 900 people. One way to entice your potential audience into attending the webinar is to give the attendees something special. For example: tickets to special events, free consultations with potential clients and so on.

Social Medi

Of course, utilizing several different channels to market the webinar is absolutely a good idea. And as you can imagine, it’s much more difficult to oversaturate an audience on social media than it is through targeted email campaigns. Social media should be used to promote the registration link and remind the audience that the webinar is coming up; as the webinar date comes closer, the number of reminders should increase.

In addition, social media can reach a potentially bigger audience than email distribution does. Promoting the event on Facebook and Twitter also give the advantage of chatting with potential attendees and promptly answering any questions they may have. The personal back-and-forth interactions may help convince a person to attend—and tell other members of their office about it.

Final Thoughts

Marketing a webinar may seem like a daunting task, but it’s no more difficult than marketing any of your other projects. Just ensure you prioritize email distribution campaigns and social media to promote the webinar, and you will surely see your registration list grow. After all, one of the best parts of post-webinar activity: the attendee list becomes a brand new leads list

Join us next time when we’ll discuss the ever-important follow up process after the webinar has been presented to ensure client retention and conversion.

Sources

Lisak, J. (2013, December 20). 10 Tips to Promote Your Next Webinar. Retrieved September 18, 2015

Slagen, D. (2012, September 4). 18 Ways to Guarantee Nobody Misses Your Next Webinar. Retrieved September 17, 2015