As a marketer, your products and services may need additional clarification that can’t be achieved through a blog post, whitepaper, or brochure.  But how can you promote your product and add to your content strategy? Trusting your sales team? Although a vital part of closing people at the bottom of the funnel, you need a tool to get your potential customers more informed and more interested before you sick your team on their purchaser. The webinar, in no way a new phenomenon, is still a tried and true tool to build thought leadership and inform customers.

Unfortunately, many companies fail to promote their webcast effectively.  From preparation to follow-up, getting your webcast promoted is vital.  We look to share 7 of the best ways to get the word out and drive new leads.

1. Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

A British Military adage, this statement is vital for your webinar.  Whether marketing this through an agency or on your own, if you don’t plan properly, you will end up speaking to an empty room.

How Far in advance should you schedule your webcast?  Many experts say that at least three weeks is effective for planning and promotion, but depending on the size of the company, it may be best to take upwards of a month.  INXPO, a leading platform for webcasting, offers this advice:

“Never take a rushed approach to webcasting.  It is important to give yourself at least three weeks.  Depending on the event, you may need more time to prepare and achieve the best results.  There are several key reasons to give yourself this extra time.  First, it allows you to plan a better session and pull together all the resources you need.  Participants can always tell when a presentation has been rushed and speakers haven’t practiced.  Second, it offers you more time to promote your event and garner more interest.  Third, it allows potential attendees more time to make room in their schedules for your webcast, boosting attendance and participation.”

Also, Selection of the time and date is important. Odds are that you do not want to attend a webcast on a Monday or Friday, why would your attendees? Try Wednesday or Thursday at 1 PM ET.

2. Develop the Perfect Registration Page

You want your registration page for your webcast to convert and generate leads.  Inbound Marketing Company Hubspot shares these practices in their webcast advice.

  • Who? Introduce presenters on the landing page, with brief bios that explain who they are and why they matter — well, why they matter for this webinar, at least.
  • What? Include an explanation of what the webinar is about, and some of the topics it will cover.
  • When? Seemingly obvious, but ensure you provide a date and time so people can mark their calendars.
  • Where? Clearly explain when and how the webinar will be accessible. Typically, webinars are accessible via links, and can be joined 30 minutes prior to start.
  • Why? Explain the value of your webinar. What will people be able to do after they leave your webinar that they weren’t able to prior to attending?

We also shared our advice on Lead Generation Landing Pages in a recent post.

3. Get the Right Speakers, Prepare them in Advance

Depending on the type of webcast, it is important to call on the right people to get the point across.  Further, it is important that the speakers are well prepared and not going to back out at the last minute. A few brief points on preparing speakers:

  • Discuss the Subjects to be Covered
  • Discuss the Schedule
  • Discuss Expectations and Deadlines
  • Brief Speakers on the Webcast Software

4. Promote and Publicize

So, now that you have your date set, your speakers prepared, and your registration page perfected; it is time to start promoting.  Consider the following promotion ideas:

  • Email: Pretty obvious, email current individuals in your prospect list. Also, if you have the money, it may be worth purchasing an email list of targeted prospects.
  • Social Media: Also an obvious standard for promotion, promote regularly on social media sites.  Be sure to follow the best times to post.  Further, well-timed promoted posts could drive the right leads at the right times.  Consider using your personal profile to send messages to LinkedIn groups, and even considering sending a messages to all of your LinkedIn Profiles.  Further, use a viable hashtag for Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
  • Press Releases: For the right price, send your press release through sites like BusinessWire or PRweb. Make sure that your Press Release gets read with these press release tips.
  • Online Ads: Important for getting the right people, advertising to the right people is beneficial.  Also, we recommend utilizing retargeting techniques to stay at the top of mind.
  • Blog: Blog out a longer explanation of what you want people to know.  This will get them interested in the topic.

5. Don’t Let Your Audience Forget

Adobe offers valuable advice on the promotion of a successful webcast. Sending a reminder email or two is vital to maintain a relatively high attendance rate.  Consider these three tips.

  • Do include the same information in your reminder e-mails as you did in your confirmation emails.
  • Do send at least two reminder e-mails—the first 24 hours before the live event and the second one hour before the event.
    • Protip: Some program managers even send a reminder five minutes before the event.
    • Do test and compare your registration conversion and attendance rates to determine what works for your Program

6. Practice

Were you ever in theatre? If so, you know the importance of tech week. No matter how much you disliked it, a complete dry run was invaluable to success.  Plan the dry run to ensure that pacing, content, and presentations are matching up to your promises.

7. Follow Up

Whether or not the registrants attended, it is important to send a final email to either a) Thank Attendees, or b) Invite them to view an archived copy.  Just be sure to write these effectively.  You don’t want to send the thank you for attending to a non-attendee, or visa-versa.

Modern Marketing Partners, a Naperville based B2B Marketing Agency, has helped clients of all industries improve their webcast effectiveness through promotion, coaching, and moderation.  See our success proven as we host the upcoming Construction Marketing Association Social Media Summit in September.

Looking to improve your own webcast effectiveness? Contact us!