Webinars are a seriously useful way of disseminating a message to a huge audience. Most businesses use webinars as a marketing tool. They offer real-time connectivity – the audience can get involved, so it is a two-way thing. You can use a webinar to promote your brand, establish credibility, and provide online training. Webinars are cost-effective and if done right, very successful.
By conducting webinars, you can present your ideas and enjoy a two-way discussion, but for your webinar to be a success, you need people to sign up for it. For many businesses, this is the tricky part.
Choose the Right Topic
Choosing the right topic for your webinar is crucial. This was my major takeaway from the conversation I had with John, the Director and Co-Founder of Keen. It is pointless planning a webinar if the topic is a poor fit for your brand or your target audience is likely to be small. You need a good topic, one that is guaranteed to keep your audience captivated for the duration of the webinar, and one that will keep them coming back for future.
The best topics are broad but relevant. If you need ideas, brainstorm with your followers. Find out what they are interested in. Look at your website analytics to see which keywords draw visitors in.
Try to address evergreen topics, so they won’t get “old” quickly.
Optimise the Date and Time of Your Webinar
The topic of your webinar is important, but so is the date and time. Schedule a webinar at the wrong time and attendance will be poor. Think about the time-zone of your target audience – it’s pointless scheduling a webinar at 09:00 GMT if your audience is mostly in the US, as they will all be asleep.
Studies have shown that the optimum time for a webinar is midday, mid-week, but be prepared to experiment with times/days if you don’t get the sign-ups you expect.
Publishing blog posts is an excellent way to showcase a webinar, as you can target more keywords. You can post blogs on your own website, where they will be visible to your site visitors and subscribers, but you should also guest post on high profile websites. This helps your content reach a wider audience.
Include keyword links to direct visitors back to your sign-up page. Once the webinar has gone “live” you can edit the links to direct visitors to the recording page, so they can watch your webinar at their convenience.
Website SEO is important. Create a dedicated landing page for your webinar where visitors can find out more and sign up. Highlight the page so it’s one of the first things a visitor sees. If you do nothing else, at least devote time and effort to creating a killer landing page, as this will boost your sign ups a thousand per cent.
Make sure your visitors know what they are signing up for. Give them the information in an easy-to-digest format and focus on the benefits of signing up.
Regular website visitors should be your main priority when marketing a webinar, as they have already demonstrated an interest in what you do. Capture their attention with a prominent side bar link inviting them to register. Exit pop-ups are also useful, so try them out.
Don’t neglect social media. You need to get the word out to your followers. Publish social content and invite followers to share posts. It’s a good idea to establish a hashtag for your webinar and use it across all social platforms. This helps you track social engagement.
Use different posting strategies and vary what you say and when you say it. If you only post the same thing, repeatedly, people will switch off. Pin a Tweet so your webinar remains on top.
Create a sense of urgency with your posts. Use a countdown timer and invite viewers to “Save their spot”.
Email a webinar sign-up link to your followers and invite them to take part in a short survey. Let them know you are going to use the information from the survey in your webinar, which gives respondents a good reason to attend.
It isn’t easy persuading people to attend a webinar, but if the topic is compelling and you market the event in the right way, you are on the right track.