Preparation for a webinar is important, but to be able to “pack the seats” and get maximum webinar ROI, you need to promote it. Fortunately, the Internet offers many great sites where you can display your message and target it at the right audience. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you do just that!
When Do I Start Promoting My Webinar?
The tricky part is that if you advertise too early, people will forget about your webinar, or why they even signed up. If you do it too late, their calendars might already be booked. It’s best to choose a few different times to send out your ads – to remind those who signed up why they wanted to attend, or give a last chance to those who didn’t see or respond to your ad the first time around. Interests and situations change, so repeat your key value points, and a couple of new ones to keep it fresh.
Tip: Remember to promote the webinar even if you’ve reached your registration limit – a good number of people tend to not show up for webinars they signed up for so it’s always smart to have a “waiting list”.
Tip: Take into account different time zones if you expect international audiences – it’s useful to use automated communication tools to schedule your emails or Tweets.
Where do I promote it?
This is the first and most obvious place. Prepare a special landing page or a box on your home page. You can also embed your meeting room on your website, complete with your own logo, color scheme and links.
If you have a subscriber list, you can invite them with the help of email marketing. Set up a series of emails using an autoresponder and remember to send the last one on the day of the webinar – just as a reminder, so that people get a gentle nudge or a last-minute chance to sign up.
Tip: It’s always a good idea to have a sign up form on your website to add subscribers and collect leads – especially if you’re running a series of webinars.
Tip: Just be sure to target your messages – gather relevant information and then send out your invites to those people who should be interested in the subject.
If you run a blog, this will come naturally. Write posts informing readers about the webinar – and give some info on what they can expect. Remember to make this as attractive as possible – it’s your space (no character constraints), so use it wisely. Link to the blog from your website, and share the link to the post on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t underestimate the importance of great copy here. Use catchy – and relevant – text that will appeal to people the moment they see it. Mention your event on related blogs or community sites your target audiences frequent for industry news and updates. Use the comments feature, but…
Tip: When “promoting” your webinar on other blogs, don’t be too pushy with your webinar advertisement – remember you’re visiting somebody else’s blog and you might be considered a spammer. You can always mention your webinar, though, in response to someone’s question or if it fits the topic of discussion.
Create some buzz! Use Twitter and Facebook to post and Tweet about the event. Again, create a schedule to remind and reach new attendees. You could start advertising a week before, then follow every two days, then once again on the day of the webinar, e.g. 4 hours before the event, so people still get a chance to block out some time on their calendars.
Tip: You can use services like socialoomph.com to schedule your Tweets and Facebook statuses, so you can just set and forget. 🙂
You can also create an event on Facebook and invite people. Just remember that clicking “I’m attending” is by no means equal to a webinar registration. What it does help you with is when visitors see their friends are attending, they might click on the link, thinking it’s got to be of some value – or simply out of curiosity. Whatever the reason – it’s always-free publicity.
LinkedIn and other professional websites and forums
Join topical and professional industry groups to reach people who might be interested in the subject of the webinar. Engage in discussions and, again, don’t be too pushy – that’s frowned upon even more in these types of groups. Be professional, to the point, and give some info on the webinar if it fits the theme of the discussion.
Tip: You can also set up your own discussion on the theme of your webinar.
Visit webinar listing sites. Some of them, like WebinarHero, tweet links to webinars they’ve listed, so this gives you even more exposure. Whichever channels you use, remember that your copy should always specify who should attend and offer a summary of the subject(s) to be covered. After all, you want to direct your message to the right people to ensure you deliver a rewarding experience – both for you and for your audience.