Promoting your company’s webinars is absolutely essential for making sure they are successful. A lot of time and work goes into contacting potential speakers, setting up the logistics, and creating the content, and if you skimp on the promotion, you simply aren’t going to get the best bang for your buck.
There are many ways to promote your webinars before, during, and after the event. Try some of these to make sure you have a “full house” for your next presentation:
The Stuff We All Know About
- Social media – Post at least once on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Post multiple times on Twitter and even consider giving your audience a hashtag to use during and after the event. Don’t forget to also post about the event on LinkedIn Groups with audiences who will find the content useful. (Make sure to read the group’s rules first; they may require you to put the post in the Promotions tab.) After the event is over, upload the slides to SlideShare.
- Email – Of course you are going to email your database about the webinar, but make sure you aren’t a one-hit wonder. My past experience showed that three emails were most effective, with the last two being text only. Don’t forget to filter out people who have already registered!
- Website – Depending on your site, consider putting an announcement in the sidebar of every page in addition to a blurb on the homepage. Remember that people can come to your website on any page!
- Blog – Post about your webinar both before and after the event. A simple post with the abstract may work before the presentation, but try to be creative, too. I enjoyed putting together a five-question Q&A with the speaker to help people see what they would get out of attending the webinar. After it’s over, have the speaker write on the topic or develop a post based on the transcript. (And yes, always get a transcript for people who prefer to read versus listen!)
- Press release – If the topic and/or speaker are particularly meaty, put out a press release about the webinar and email it to your favorite online industry journalists.
- Advertising – You may have success in advertising a webinar on Facebook, Twitter, or an industry-specific publication if you have the budget available.
A Little More Creative
- Signature lines – Have all employees put a link to your webinar (pre- or post-event) in their signature line for a certain timeframe. It’s free, and just think of all the people your customer support team, your sales team, and your account managers email in one day! Great exposure.
- Leverage Other People’s Audiences (LOPA) – The easy win is to have your external speaker send an email and post on social media about doing a webinar with your company. If you have a partner or another non-competitive group that dovetails nicely with your product or the subject, ask if they would be interested in co-promoting the webinar with you. In exchange, give them the registration/attendee list.
- Inside the product – Many products have a “news” section or a feed for updates on the splash screen or dashboard. If your product has such a section, add a blurb about the webinar.
- Customers – Make sure to invite all your customers (via phone or email), but also encourage them to bring a friend. A gift for the customer and their friend might be a nice touch.
- Tradeshows and other events – If you are headed to a tradeshow or workshop, print up a few fliers about the webinar and hand them out. Also give them to your sales team as leave-behinds.
- Internal experts – Ask your internal SME to personally invite his or her connections. A personal invitation (via email or phone) is more effective than any mass communication will ever be.
- Announce your next webinar at your current webinar – Your current audience may be interested in attending your next event as well.
When You’re Ready to Try More
- LinkedIn posts – Write an original article regarding the same topic and post it on LinkedIn with a link at the end to register for the webinar. This will take some effort, but the exposure to your LinkedIn network will be worth it.
- Another blog – Instead of posting an original article on LinkedIn, guest post on another blog that has the same target audience as your webinar, and include a call to action to register for the event.
- Slider/pop-up – Consider putting a slider or pop-up on your website promoting the webinar. Although many people find them annoying (myself included), they can be quite effective. Just make sure not to leave it up all the time!
- Meerkat/Periscope or podcast – Try doing “sneak peeks” or post-event wrap-ups with either a live streaming tool or a podcast. Having a two-minute discussion on the topic is great way to hook people who may not be ready to invest an entire hour.
- Internal contest – Whichever employee gets the most registrants wins a cash prize! (Or something equally cool.) There’s nothing like some friendly competition between teammates.
- Make a separate website dedicated to the topic – This might work especially well for a topic that is central to your business that you will continue to create content for. Though it will take time to invest in both an educational website and your own website, if you build up an audience over time for your non-branded website, it could be a great source of leads and webinar registrations.
- Upload a “preview” to YouTube – Pre-event, take time to create a promotional video. Post-event, upload the first 10 minutes so that people can see what the webinar is about prior to registering for and watching the full recording.
Do you have any ideas I missed for ways to promote a webinar?