Webinars are a great way to position yourself as a thought leader in your space and educate your audience about how to get the most out of your products and services. These digital events can also help you nurture existing customers and even generate new leads. But none of this is possible if you’re not promoting your webinars the right way on the right channels.
Done correctly, webinars require a ton of work from start to finish, including:
Drafting/editing the slide deck
Drafting/editing your talking points
Creating in-broadcast polls, surveys, and handouts
Designing the slide deck
Creating a compelling landing page
Promotion (more on that in a minute… much more)
Transferring leads to Sales
That’s a lot, right? Especially for a small marketing team. So if you’re going to put in all this work, you might as well do it right to get the best possible return on investment. And perhaps the biggest part of doing it right is making sure you’re promoting it to the max.
Today, we’re going to review five ways to promote your webinar and ensure great registration and attendance numbers.
1) PPC for Webinars
Pay-per-click advertising is one of those channels that can be extremely lucrative with tons of great registrants or extremely cost-prohibitive with nothing to show for your efforts. It all depends on your level of expertise and vigilance with Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and paid social.
If you know what you’re doing and are willing to review and optimize daily, there’s a good chance you’ll recoup an awesome webinar ROI from your PPC efforts. If you’re new to PPC and don’t have the time to check in on your campaigns every day, you should skip this section and focus on the four webinar promotion ideas below.
For those of you interested in PPC for your webinar, the first thing you’ll need to do is develop your creative assets for your display and/or remarketing campaigns. The cost-per-click for these campaign types is usually far cheaper than paid search advertising, so display and remarketing ads are especially attractive for smaller companies or those marketing teams with limited budgets.
When designing your ads, make sure to include the pertinent details of your webinar on each (use multiple panels in a gif fashion if necessary), and keep the design minimal with vibrant colors and fonts to make sure it sticks out on the page. From there, choose your display placements and audiences and drop remarketing tags on relevant pages (such as the “Events” page on your main website). Make sure that the tone, look, and feel of your ads match those of your landing page to create a more seamless experience for your potential registrants.
Paid search campaigns require thorough keyword research. The average cost-per-click varies significantly by industry, so it’s possible that the CPC for your topic keywords is simply too expensive to justify a search campaign in the first place. Performing comprehensive keyword research will also help you identify long-tail phrases that are more tailored to your target audience and likely less expensive than root keywords that might also be too broad to generate a good cost-per-conversion.
Another advantage is that you’ll lower the risk of wasting your efforts on leads that are simply not a good fit. To improve your chances of success, your search ad copy should include your focus keyword(s) and also messaging about what the potential registrant can expect to learn by attending your webinar.
2) Email Your Existing Prospects and Customers About Your Upcoming Webinar
Based on the topic of your webinar, you should have a good idea of which audience segments you want to attend your event. Group your existing email marketing list to identify which of these segments you want to send email invites to.
When crafting your emails, follow standard best practices, including:
Create concise, compelling subject lines
Include relevant details (date, time, topic, benefits) in your email copy
Add detailed presenter bios with headshots
Include multiple calls-to-action redirecting to the same page
Encourage employees to include a banner invite to their email signatures
A/B test subject lines, CTAs, preview text, and copy (one at a time)
For best results, you’ll want to send multiple invites. The core of these emails should remain the same (details, benefits, presenters), but feel free to focus on specific pain points and challenges in each email, along with how the webinar will help the attendee overcome this obstacle. If possible, include stats or testimonials that reinforce your main points. Consider sending 3-4 email invites in all, and shorten the time between messages as you get closer to the date of the webinar.
Email #1: Two weeks prior
Email #2: One week prior
Email #3: Two days prior
Email #4: Day of
According to ON24, the average marketing webinar attendance rate across industries is only 36% (1), which means you have to nurture your registrants after they’ve committed to the webinar in order for them to attend. Once the individual registers, send a trigger email to thank them for registering. Then, stop the invite cadence and drop them in a new automated email nurture campaign that reminds them of the date, time, and benefits of the webinar over a similar timeframe as the one above.
In addition, you could consider adding a high-value collateral asset to these nurture emails. Informative collateral will prove your position as a thought leader, establishing trust and motivating the registrant to attend. We’ve recently started doing this here at Act-On, and the early returns are through the roof!
Lastly, you should send a thank you email that includes any content that was promised (slide deck, link to the on-demand webinar, handouts, content assets) within 24 hours. This will significantly increase the number of attendees overall and ensure better post-webinar marketing success resulting in more sales-qualified leads.
How to Use Online Events to Build Lasting Relationships
Whether through paid or organic campaigns, social media is another effective channel for webinar promotion — if for no other reason than the sheer volume of people surfing their social networks every hour of every day.
Despite the potential for a significant amount of impressions, you still want to make sure your social campaigns are highly relevant for your target audience (especially on paid campaigns). This means focusing your social media efforts where they’re likely going to make the biggest impact. Dig back into your personas to discover where your different audience segments are most active and place your emphasis on these platforms. A/B test the messaging of your posts to include multiple tones and different benefits of attending the webinar. In addition to sharing links to your primary webinar landing page, you can create LinkedIn or Facebook events pages for easier signups and more registrants.
Again, your copy and collateral assets need to be reflective of your destination landing page, but you might also consider including adding Easter eggs to the content your sharing. For instance, if you’re posting a blog that addresses the same topic as your webinar, you should include a prominent CTA in one of your content blocks or at the end of the piece (or both). In fact, you might want to update your editorial calendar to include relevant blogs solely for this purpose!
4) Include Webinar CTAs on Your Website
If you host, attend, or sponsor a lot of events, you need to have an Events section on your website, and you need to update this page regularly with working links to optimized landing pages where your target audience can learn about and register for your event. Further, you need to make sure your website visitors can easily find this page by including it in your primary navigation and also linking to it in your monthly newsletters and other outbound communications with prospects and customers alike.
You also need to include webinar registrant CTAs throughout your website, especially on your home page — ideally above the fold as a vibrant button or callout to draw the user’s eye. As mentioned above, you should also consider writing new blogs related to the topic of your webinar and including links and callouts that redirect to your webinar signup page. In addition, you should review your web analytics to identify top-performing blogs related to your webinar and swap out the existing CTAs to link to your upcoming webinar.
Lastly, you should include CTAs on relevant product and service pages. You know that people who visit those pages are already interested in that content, so why not take it a step further and invite them to learn more in an interactive setting? In addition to a button or callout, you might consider adding an exit-intent pop-up ad to capture new registrants before they leave the page.
One word of caution, though. While it can be tempting to plaster your webinar CTAs all over your website, it’s wise to show discretion in some instances. For example, don’t include any additional CTAs (webinar-related or otherwise) on your hand raiser pages (Contact Us, Book a Demo, Take a Tour, Pricing, etc.). You don’t want to distract from the central purpose of those pages, as the existing CTAs have a defined high-value purpose.
5) Promote Your Next Webinar on Your Current Webinar
Your work is never done. Even as you’re finally producing and broadcasting your webinar, you should be actively planning and promoting your next online event — even if it isn’t closely related to the topic of the webinar your guests are attending. If you’ve done your job correctly, you’ve established trust with your new prospects, so they’re likely interested in what you have to say on other topics in your industry.
Be sure to let your attendees know about your next webinar early on in the session, during any built-in breaks in the action, and at the end of the presentation. And when you send out the webinar deck after the event (to attendees and non-attendees alike), you should include a slide with a CTA inviting your viewers to click through to register for your next event!
Use Act-On to Plan, Promote, and Host Your Webinars
So many companies are producing such engaging webinars that they’re quickly becoming the go-to content asset for many marketing departments. Not to mention that producing a webinar is usually extremely cost-effective, so you’re very likely to generate a great ROI if you follow the tips we’ve just outlined.