Webinars – also called web conferences – are a highly effective content marketing tactic. In fact, a recent B2B Content Marketing study gave them an extremely high effectiveness rating, second only to in-person events.
And while in-person events can be costly, webinars can be conducted inexpensively through services such as WebEx or ReadyTalk and repurposed extensively, making them one of the best marketing values around.
But how do you market successfully with webinars? Here are seven tips for success…
1. Take off your marketing hat
Though webinars have a huge potential to generate leads, you cannot approach them from a “marketing” perspective. Instead, focus on ways to deliver value to your target prospects. Examples of good webinar topics include updates on new industry regulations, primers on new industry trends and strategies for increasing profitability. The more specific the topic and useful the information, the greater your webinar’s chance of success.
2. Make it enticing
A great title is essential for gaining webinar attendance. Consider the value of the webinar from your prospect’s perspective and craft your title around that value statement. For example, a webinar on new regulations for pharmaceutical companies targeted to Chief Financial Officers might be “Calculating the Financial Impacts of New Pharmaceutical Regulations”.
3. Generate plenty of publicity
There’s nothing worse than hosting a party that no one shows up to – that’s why it’s critical to put lots of effort into publicizing your webinar. Enlist a copywriter’s help to craft an enticing email invitation and consider sending a direct mail letter to some carefully selected new prospects as well. Promote your webinar on your home page, through your social media accounts and even enlist the help of your sales team to call potential attendees, if appropriate.
4. Simplify signup
Once interested prospects visit the webinar attendance page, don’t overwhelm them with a complex signup form. Whittle your form down to the bare minimum your sales team will need to follow up with participants once the webinar is complete. Don’t use your signup form to qualify leads; it will only be a turnoff to potential prospects.
5. Send reminders
Sending one email within 24 hours of your event reminding prospects of the webinar’s value proposition is a good idea, but don’t send more than two reminders or you may be seen as annoying.
6. Practice makes perfect
Your webinar is a reflection of your company, so when W-Day rolls around your presentation needs to be polished and professional. Have your presenters rehearse in front of an audience before the event takes place, familiarize yourself with your webinar technology and have a backup plan in place in case something goes wrong. The best way to learn what makes a good webinar is to attend several yourself – organizations such as the American Marketing Association offer a steady stream of webinars for marketing professionals.
7. Reuse and repurpose
While webinars are live events, they can be used for a long time to come. Including an archive of your webinars is a good idea; you might also reserve a few and send out the webinar archive link as a special “treat” for your prospect list on occasion. Additionally, consider enlisting the help of a copywriter to convert the content of your webinar into an informative white paper.