Referred to as the PowerPoint of the web, webinars show no shortage of popularity. After all, how many events can be attended at a drop of a hat, bring diverse and dispersed people together and cost next to nothing? Not many, which is precisely why these e-events are a rising commodity in event hosting.
Webinars also let users and presenters get to the meat and potatoes of a presentation, without having to worry about securing a location, coordinating vendors, waiting for RSVPs and then ping-ponging back and forth with vendors. Allowing experts to focus on what they excel in, webinars are (if nothing else) dead simple to host.
So why is webinar attendance not commensurate with webinar popularity? That answer, as almost always, is failed marketing. Most webinar presenters fall completely short of marketing their webinar. The rest market too little. For your next webinar, try incorporating some of these tips to ensure that a maximum number of people know about the event, attend and become engaged followers.
Before Your Webinar, You Should Be….
Start with your email list and social network. Reach out to people you know and trust they’ll do the same. However, nothing works as well as a reward. If possible, offer attendees worthwhile rewards based on the webinar and your business.
In addition to targeting a network of connected consumers, there’s one key piece of info and that’s your one page marketing PDF and landing page. They’re two different versions of the same piece of info. In short, there needs to be a link that directs visitors to a destination page that clearly outlines the webinar details and direct button or form to sign up with. What’s trending right now is clean layouts and color schemes that profile speakers and key points. In this way, the webinar landing page almost mirrors a high profile event.
Marketing Your Webinar During the Presentation, Involves…
Aside from Twitter hash tag usage and social media engagement, marketers can live stream the webinar and offer direct links across social sites and home pages to allow interested readers to opt-in quickly.
That said, there’s one element often overlooked in mid-webinar marketing. While most presenters are focused on drawing in new attendees, they forget about keeping the ones they have. In the first 30 seconds of your webinar, you have to hook your attendees just like an author hooks a reader. Follow that with a quick recap on your subject and a brief few minutes going over the agenda. Treating the format like a meeting will help users stay on course and give them a hint of what’s in store.
Post Webinar, Make Sure You…
Follow up with all registered attendees. Ideally and if possible, presenters should be engaging with subscribers based on their performance. Send a bulk email for those who attended, another for those who participated and a final one for those who didn’t make it despite signing up.
It’s customary to offer all subscribers a link to the presentation files via PDF or transcript. This is also used as bait to get more subscribers, though it’s a mistaken strategy. It doesn’t matter how many people signed up. What matters is how many people attended; then narrow that figure down to how many participated and how many after that engaged or converted. These are the only figures that matter. Sending a link to the complete presentation material as a freebie missed the opportunity to showcase your expertise. More often than not, those who didn’t attend won’t look at the given material either. Those who do may forget it soon thereafter and move on.
Your webinar as a marketing event is only successful if people are actually there and listening to you – which is no different than if it were done in a physical setting. So rather than just give content away, offer subscribers a second and (if needed) a third opportunity to view the webinar. The next time around, it can be set on auto-play or even hosted on YouTube if time and availability are issues. The key is to get subscribers to watch and listen to you and not just read them through some detached transcript.