Hosting a webinar? Be sure to market and promote it properly
Ideas for driving interest in your webinar.
Many B2B brands rushed to embrace the webinar format when the pandemic tightened its grip and entire workforces set up their workstations at home.
But as we said in our previous blog, how webinars fit into your B2B lead generation strategy, if you choose a webinar as your core asset in a lead generation campaign, you need to market and promote that webinar properly.
Why? Because webinar audiences have become more familiar with virtual communication, more aware of the scope of collaboration technology, and more sophisticated in their ability to use it. This means that expectations are higher among webinar audience members, and it’s up to the webinar creators and host to achieve two rather challenging tasks:
1. Get people who register to attend the webinar to actually attend the webinar on the day.
2. End the webinar with most – if not all – of your audience engaged and receptive to receiving more content on the topic.
Point two, we will address in a later blog; point one is the sole focus of this blog.
So, how do you drive interest in your webinar in the weeks leading up to the event? And how do you make sure those who register to attend the webinar tune in on the day?
Driving interest through content marketing
When you’re planning a webinar and advertising this fact to your target audience, you need to capture as many registrations as possible because many of the people who register to attend will not end up doing so.
We have all responded to a ‘register to attend X webinar’, fully intending to tune in, but 101 things can crop up in the meantime – meetings get moved, projects overrun, or other tasks take precedence. Or, the content used to persuade potential audience members to attend is just not persuasive enough.
This brings us back to content marketing. To effectively market and promote your webinar for lead generation in the weeks or months leading up to it, you should aim to use all the appropriate tools in the content marketing toolbox.
It is important to take a best practice content marketing approach. This means you should first identify your audience for this specific webinar, and from there, drip feed snippets of information at the right time on the right platforms in such a way as to pique their interest and encourage sign-up. This could involve using a range of marketing channels and promotion tactics, such as outbound social, outbound direct email, blogging or PR.
Once you’ve piqued their interest, you will need to keep them engaged right up to the day of the webinar. It may sound like a big ask, but it is necessary to guarantee a good attendance rate.
Content marketing tips to boost attendance at your webinar
So, a member of your target audience for your webinar has registered that they will – or plan to – attend your webinar in however many weeks’ time. As they have registered to attend, you will have their name and email address. This represents a commitment on their part that they will attend, but it still doesn’t guarantee it.
How do you increase the chance of them attending? It is the power of well-placed, high-quality content in addition to the odd name drop if you have famous or celebrated names participating in your webinar.
Be guided by the preferences of your audience above all else in terms of how and where they like to receive content, but here are some ideas for how to keep your registered audience engaged:
1. When they register, direct them to a landing page with a thank you message. Here, reveal a few snippets of information to hook them in. Perhaps there is going to be a surprise guest speaker, a not-to-be-missed interactive game or reveal they will learn something to their advantage if they attend. You don’t need to deceive or mislead; simply hint at a benefit they will get by attending the webinar. What’s in it for them?
2. It depends on what software you use, but make it easy for someone to add the webinar event to their calendar. For the less organised, this can make all the difference to them attending the webinar, or not.
3. Once the webinar is in their calendar and they’re aware there is a benefit to attending, you could serve them more high-quality content, perhaps via email or social media. You could provide access to an exclusive preview video. In the video, highlight an exciting or standout feature or aspect of the webinar, then make it clear there is more for attendees to get their teeth into should they attend.
4. Offer a free prize (something related to the webinar topic) and let people know you will announce the winner in the webinar. Then ask people to post on social media about the webinar using a hashtag you have created. Make it clear the prize winner will be picked at random among those who post on social media about the webinar and use the hashtag.
5. If your guest speaker is the main draw, market the webinar using their voice. Write a short blog about the speaker, revealing their expertise, and hint at the benefit attendees will get out of the webinar. You could also give people access to the speaker in the weeks leading up to the webinar, allowing them to submit questions. Let people know their question/s will be answered by the speaker during the webinar.
There are many ways to keep your potential attendees hooked in the run up to the webinar. Just make sure every piece of content you put out in promotion is high-quality, interesting, informative and of benefit to them, and make it clear they can expect no less from the webinar itself.