Improve Webinar Success With These 5 Tips

Kyle McCarthy
Events Marketing

You probably know that marketing webinars are one of the best ways to educate your audience and promote your organization, but do you know how to get more registrants? What about creating the best possible user experience for all your attendees? Follow-up and lead nurturing after the webinar?

These are all essential steps to producing the best possible webinar for your organization and your attendees, but many marketers aren’t aware of their value or don’t know how to address these critical webinar components.

If you’re dedicated to producing more online events but want to improve your webinar success moving forward, please keep reading to learn five great tips for proven webinar results.

1) Create Demand Gen Campaigns to Secure Webinar Registrants

This probably goes without saying, but there’s no point in hosting a webinar if nobody bothers to show. So you need to create effective and efficient demand generation campaigns to get more people to reserve their seats. 

Before launching these campaigns, however, you need to create a dedicated landing page for your online event with an easy-to-complete form and clear and concise copy listing the following:

  • The primary topic and your main talking points
  • The date and time of your marketing webinar
  • Who will be participating and their expertise

Your form on the page should include less than five fields (and ideally no more than three) and a prominent “Submit” or “RSVP” button.

Once your landing page is complete, you can begin leveraging it to secure webinar registrants. Here are a few different ways to get your target audience to commit to your webinar.

  • Link to your invite landing page in your marketing newsletter.
  • Create Google Ads and paid social campaigns using highly targeted keywords aimed at specific demographics.
  • Enlist all team members to promote the webinar in their email signatures and via the appropriate social media channels.
  • Depending on your audience, write a blog on the same topic as your webinar and create a call-to-action that links to your invite landing page.
  • Link to the webinar on your form submission “Thank You” pages.
  • Create an organic social media campaign. 

Encourage your target audience to join your webinar any way you can, as long as your efforts align with your brand guidelines and don’t break the bank.

2) Increase Webinar Attendance With Lead Nurturing

Before you launch your demand generation efforts, you should create a lead nurturing campaign to ensure that your registrants actually attend the webinar. This should consist of a series of 3-4 emails reminding registrants of the upcoming event and also include a link to different content assets that are related to the webinar topic.

Copy should be brief and reiterate the topic, presenters, and date and time of the webinar and say something to the effect of: 

“We’re excited for you to join us at our webinar next month on {date and time}. If you’d like to learn more about {Topic X} before the webinar, please click this link to read an eBook we recently wrote on the subject!”

Short, informative, and to the point.

Different content assets you can use include:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Success stories
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • And even previous related webinars

At this point, you already have your registrants’ contact information, so the links to these content assets should be ungated whenever possible. You want to balance your lead generation efforts with the user experience, and the best way to do that is to collect information slowly over time and provide valuable content that keeps your users engaged. And don’t send too many nurturing emails; you don’t want to alienate your audience and motivate them to unsubscribe before they even have the chance to attend your webinar!

How to Use Online Events to Build and Strengthen Lasting Relationships

3) Use Webinar Polls During Your Event to Improve Engagement

Most marketers are used to sending follow-up surveys after a webinar, but you should also be posing questions throughout your event to keep attendees engaged and collect valuable information along the way. Additionally, many of your attendees might be reluctant to participate during the Q&A portion of your webinar, so polling them throughout the event is a great way to field questions and learn more about your audience in real-time.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when creating your webinar polls:

  • Only ask one question at a time to avoid confusion.
  • Use plain language and simple questions to get the most accurate answers.
  • Write questions that benefit your attendees as much as they do you.
  • Don’t ask too many questions on top of one another (one question every 7 minutes seems to be the sweet spot).
  • Introduce your questions before asking them, and show your attendees where and how to respond.
  • Keep your audience invested by showing them the results.

The right webinar polling questions will increase user interactions and provide valuable data that you can use to improve your products and services, develop new content, and even perfect the way that you speak to your target audiences.

4) Create and Distribute an On-Demand Webinar

Just because you already filmed your webinar live doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to reap the benefits of your hard work. By creating an on-demand version of your webinar and then distributing that content to multiple channels, you can get more out of these online events over the long haul. Maybe your attendance for your webinar was in the 30% range, which isn’t bad, but could definitely be improved. By posting a recorded version of the event, you can actually exceed your registrant totals and market to an entirely new audience!

Some innovative ways you can use on-demand webinars include:

  • Create a “Webinars” section of your website and host your recordings there within days of recording.
  • Add your on-demand webinars to existing automated nurture programs with similar topics.
  • Develop organic social media campaigns to highlight your on-demand webinar series.
  • Write blogs on related topics and then embed your webinar as a prominent call-to-action on the page.
  • Send it to all registrants as part of your “Thanks for Attending” email, along with social links to encourage advocacy sharing.
  • When it’s time to present your next webinar, you can include a link to this on-demand webinar as an extra incentive to join and as proof of the value of your webinars.

On-demand webinars should be gated, as these are premium content assets and are likely being viewed by users who did not sign up for the original event recording. The best practice here is to allow your audience to watch about 5% of the webinar and then present a brief form they must complete before they can continue watching.

5) Create Automated Programs to Follow-Up With Attendees

Now that you have established a real relationship with everyone who viewed the live and recorded versions of your webinar, you should create automated email campaigns that allow you to email your webinar leads. 

Similar to the lead nurturing campaigns you launched prior to the webinar, your post-webinar automated programs should consist of about 4-5 emails that continue to showcase your organization as a thought leader in your space. This time, however, you should include messaging and content that begins to explain how your products and services can help solve your email recipients’ primary pain points.

For instance, our automated programs usually follow a format that begins with content usually found very early on in the customer funnel and then slowly narrows to more middle-of-the-funnel content before delivering a hand-raiser CTA:

  1. Blog closely related to the webinar topic — perhaps with the on-demand version of the webinar embedded on the page to jog the reader’s memory and give them another chance to share to their social media channels.
  2. Infographic that presents detailed statistics in a visually engaging way. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience, but you do want to make them aware of the issues you’re discussing as well as how their peers are discovering solutions to their main problems.
  3. eBook that delves deeper into the same topic you’ve begun to address with your blog and infographic. The eBook should be focused on how to tackle the issue it’s addressing, but there should also be an entire section near the end that is solely focused on how your organization helps your customers to overcome the challenge.
  4. Success story that illustrates how your customers are getting the most out of your offerings to solve their issues and generate better ROI. This offers real proof of your company’s worth to your new prospects.
  5. The final email should be a tidy summary of everything you’ve sent so far (with links to each content asset) and a friendly invitation to book a product demo, take a virtual tour, or contact a sales rep — whichever hand-raiser CTA is most applicable to your business model.

If these leads aren’t yet ready to speak to a salesperson once they have completed the entire automated program, you can place them in related programs based on their interests, demographics, company size, etc. This way, you always remain top of mind without having to hassle them with too many promotional emails or sales calls.

Act-On Can Help You Deliver Better Webinars

Now that you know the proper strategy to host, execute, and leverage your marketing webinars, you should look into Act-On’s webinar management functionality. Act-On simply and seamlessly integrates with Zoom Video Webinars, GoToWebinar, and WebEx so you can spend less time organizing your webinar and more time building great registration and attendance lists. 

With Act-On, you can:

  • Easily manage the process from start to finish using the Act-On Dashboard
  • Create a timeline of activities prior to and after your webinar
  • Develop all emails, landing pages, and registration forms related to your webinar
  • Track, analyze, and report your webinar data and results

For more information on how to deliver the best possible webinar, please download our eBook, “How to Use Online Events to Build Lasting Relationships.” Or, if you’d like to learn how Act-On can help you improve your online event management, please book a demo with one of our marketing automation experts today!

How to Use Online Events to Build and Strengthen Lasting Relationships