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Webinars can be a great way to connect directly with prospects in an informative and helpful way. But careful planning is needed to achieve a high number of quality attendees.
Webinars have been around for some time now, as an easily digestible way to get information into the right hands and connect with valuable prospects online. But since the onset of the COVID-19 era, the marketing world has become saturated with online conferences, info byte videos and even online trade shows ad nauseum.
So, if you feel a webinar would be the best way to get your message across, you’d better make sure that the marketing of your webinar, as well as the event itself stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
It’s often said within the business world that it takes seven touches before a prospect will internalise and respond to a call to action. To be most effective, it’s important that these ‘touches’ take a variety of different forms, engaging with viewers in varied and thought-provoking ways.
Fortunately, these days there are so many ways you can promote an event, and the more channels you use to get the word out there, the better the chances are that your webinar will be well attended and achieve its desired goals. That being said, simply throwing out a webinar promo to a vast audience and repeatedly bombarding them with the same message will just irritate and probably have the opposite effect!
Put simply, touches need to be repeated and varied, but also highly targeted. A scatter gun approach is not going to achieve the numbers or the quality of prospects that a more tailored method can bring about.
To successfully tailor your messaging, you need to have a clear awareness of the demographic you’re trying reach and not just the business sector or job titles. Think a bit more outside of the box. Is there a particular age group that is heavily represented in this sector? Think about promoting your webinar in a way that might appeal to that generation. Is the host of the webinar a good fit in this respect?
Beyond the core business side of things, are there any particular ethical concerns or pertinent issues facing the sector/s you’re looking to target. For example, sustainability, increased automation, political issues such as the long-term ramifications of Brexit? Businesses are looking for solutions and answers to their problems, so don’t sell for the sake of selling, sell to solve!
Getting down to the nitty gritty, there are so many options to choose from to promote your webinar, but whatever you choose, keep in mind the above points about tailoring your message. You can apply the same principles when it comes to advertising. To spread your webinar promotion far and wide, it’s important to use a wide variety of different advertising formats. For example, digital advertising, social media posts and eblasts. But as with the messaging, carefully choosing the channels you promote through can help get the message more directly into the hands of your target demographic.
If you’re advertising on LinkedIn for example, consider using ‘second chance’ advertising. This works on the basis of retargeting people who’ve already visited your company’s website. In brief, this involves adding an Insight Tag into the coding of your site’s global footer. This then sends a signal to LinkedIn, which enables visitors to your website to be identified via their LinkedIn profiles, and targeted directly with advertising. It’s a bit like cookies but without the permissions!
Another approach to consider on LinkedIn is contact marketing. This is where you upload your own existing database of prospects onto LinkedIn. These individuals are then identified by LinkedIn and can be targeted as a group. During an extensive pilot with Matched Audiences, advertisers saw a 37% increase in click-through rate with this feature. That’s well above the expected average and demonstrates the value of a tailored strategy.
As well as social media, some of the best trade publications also now offer an excellent range of targeted advertising. Bearing in mind that a webinar is obviously an online event, traditional print advertising is not really appropriate here. Yes, your webinar could be publicised in this way, but in today’s hundred miles a minute world, you need to make any online event as easy and quick to access as possible.
So, if your webinar is especially aimed at a particular sector or industry, seek out the top trade publications for that sector and consider things like web banners on the homepage with a ‘click to register’ button. Some publications also offer eblasts, sent directly to their readerships, and they may offer you the option of segmenting these by region and job title. Most crucially, bear in mind that the popular trade magazines that also have an online presence are not always the best for digital advertising, and vice versa. Make sure you do your research. Check out their numbers for monthly impressions, revisits, unique monthly visits etc before you commit.
Finally, if you do still feel it would be beneficial and strategic to get your webinar promo into a printed publication, for example in the brochure of a popular trade show, make sure you add a QR code into the advert. Again, it’s all about making it as quick and easy as possible for people to join in.
Whatever variety of advertising you use, avoid the temptation to overcomplicate matters with elaborate gated entries. If you’ve got people interested in joining the webinar, the last thing you want to do is put them off at the last minute with a long-winded entry form that they don’t have time for. The same goes for post-event communications. Feedback nagging is likely to cause a prospect to go cold and disengage, so keep communications helpful and to the point.
Reading all this can make the whole area of webinar promotion look like a bit of a minefield. With so many options and potential pitfalls to avoid, promotion of a webinar takes carefully considered research and planning. Given the high level of competition for our attention that we now all face every day, there’s no quick fix.
Perhaps you want to do this but you feel you just don’t have the manpower or the expertise. Or maybe you want some in-depth support on how best to promote a webinar to a specific business sector.
If this is you then get in touch with Allott and Associates, the B2B marketing and PR specialists. With over 30 years’ experience in the B2B marketing sector, we’ve worked on hundreds of campaigns using a highly integrated approach that gets messages into the correct hands and gets results!
Get in touch here or contact us on 01423 867264, to start your journey to webinar success!