Webinar marketing is a perfect strategy for growing your business regardless of your industry. It’s helpful for building brand awareness, gaining credibility, generating leads, and even driving sales. However, even if you the best webinar software, to make webinar marketing work for you, you need to take build a solid webinar promotion strategy first.
With 67% of marketers increasing their investments in webinar marketing since 2020, it’s getting more and more difficult to stand out with another webinar.
When you start thinking of a promotion strategy, Facebook advertising might be the first option that comes to your mind, and for good reason. After spending a few minutes scrolling through your Facebook feed, you find at least three ads promoting an online course or a webinar. So, are there any alternatives at all?
In this article, we’ll guide you through the 10 most effective ways to promote your webinar without the need to lay yourself out to do better than your numerous competitors on overcrowded Facebook.
Think of the promotion strategy even before you come up with a topic for your webinar. Such an approach enables you to develop a webinar with your audience in mind (not just your goals).
Even if you think you know your audience inside and out, spend a couple of minutes or even hours answering the following questions:
- What language(s) do they speak? Although English is the most common choice for companies with audiences all over the world, you might achieve way better engagement if you focus on several languages other than English.
- Where do they spend their time online?
- Are they active on social media?
- Are they following you on social media? Why or why not?
- How do they prefer to find out about events?
- Are there influencers they follow and trust?
- When would they have time to attend a 30-45 minute webinar?
- What are the most common questions you receive through a contact form?
When you have all these questions answered, you have a better idea of people and channels affecting your audience’s opinion and can start working on the creation and promotion of your webinar.
One more question that we haven’t included intentionally in the abovementioned list is: ‘Should we host a live or on-demand webinar?’
The answer greatly affects your future promotion strategy.
Live webinars are conducted in real-time. They create a sense of urgency with an audience, encouraging them to apply without thinking for too long. It’s also more likely that at least 40-50% of leads will attend the actual webinar when there’s no chance to watch it anytime.
On-demand webinars are pre-recorded videos your audience gets unlimited access to after the registration. This format allows you to prepare high-quality content and avoid any technical issues that often arise during live webinars.
Since on-demand webinars hardly create any sense of urgency, registration-to-attendee rates are low for this format.
Typically, live webinars outperform on-demand ones. The only tangible advantage of on-demand webinars is that they can become a great long-term lead generation technique. You can leverage SEO so your webinar landing page ranks successfully without the need to invest in paid promotion. As SEO takes time, you can only benefit from it when it’s a part of a long-term strategy.
We recommend that you take the best of both worlds – first, announce a live webinar and host it, and then use the recording to offer an on-demand webinar in the long run. In this scenario, you have a chance to enjoy the benefits of multiple marketing tactics, including FOMO (‘Fear Of Missing Out’), live streaming, SEO, content marketing strategy, and many more.
Caution: shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below ↓
In the further sections, we’ll guide you through the best 10 strategies for promoting your live webinar in a short time.
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We’ve already mentioned it’s important to think of the webinar promotion before ideation. Here’s the key reason why it’s so critical: if you decide to collaborate with someone else on the webinar, you might want to discuss and pick the topic together.
How do you choose a company to partner with?
Rule #1: Your companies should be related but non-competing.
Drift is a conversational marketing platform that enables businesses to deliver personalized customer experiences with live chats, AI chatbots, and target account engagement tools. Outreach is an integrated sales engagement platform for sales reps and leaders. Both companies offer solutions for businesses, targeting primarily marketers and sales representatives. While their products are tightly related, they aren’t interchangeable. This is a perfect scenario for a partnership that’s mutually beneficial.
Rule #2: Your prospective partner should have their own audience.
You need this partnership to grow your reach. Therefore, pick a company that can use their website, social media accounts, or a personal brand to promote the upcoming event.
To measure the size of your prospective partner’s website audience, you can use an SEO tool. The necessary functionality is accessible on a free SEMrush plan – all you need is to enter the site URL and switch to the Domain Overview report. On the dashboard, you’ll see the estimated organic search traffic and paid search traffic. These numbers aren’t precise, but you’ll get at least some idea of the site engagement.
Rule #3: You should find a way to make it a win-win situation.
Nobody says you’ll manage to partner with a popular brand without offering anything in return. Your collaboration should be a fair deal for both parties.
When considering different companies, think of how you can be useful for each of them. Otherwise, you’ll just waste your time begging huge enterprises for a favor they’ll never do.
When you decide on the webinar topic, you can start actively promoting it across your owned marketing channels. And your website is the first channel you should turn to.
For instance, the editorial team of Search Engine Journal successfully uses their site to distribute their own and their partners’ webinars.
You see, you don’t have to choose only one placement. Use sidebar banners, bottom sticky banners, pop-ups, and takeovers. Just make sure your banners don’t hurt your site design and usability.
This strategy works primarily for B2B marketers.
It’s insanely difficult to run a social media account that stands out. Each time you post from your business account, your content gets a handful of views, a couple of likes, and one or two clicks. So why waste time distributing your live webinar on social media?
Sharing generic content on your company’s LinkedIn account will never drive exceptional results. Instead, follow the tips below to maximize your reach fast.
Tip #1: Create a LinkedIn Event.
First of all, create a LinkedIn Event for the upcoming webinar. When you set up an event, LinkedIn allows you to send invitations to your 1st-degree connections. If a person signs up, they’ll be receiving reminders in the Notifications tab a few days before and on the day of your event.
Tip #2: Encourage your employees to share the news.
Personal branding is the key to success on social media. Company accounts on social media always drive lower engagement rates than personal accounts do. Therefore, encouraging your employees to keep their profiles live and share company updates regularly is the best thing you can do for your social media presence.
Tesla is the 8th biggest company in the world, but the brand Twitter account is yet to reach the popularity of its founder’s account.
However, clicking on the ‘Share’ button below the original post on your company account. It’s best for each person willing to share the news to create original posts covering the topic from their own perspective. These posts look catchier than regular re-published content.
Tip #3: Research and tag people who might be interested.
Use your social media posts to invite relevant people to watch the webinar. Just do some research based on your target audience’s jobs and level of experience, and make a list of the 5-10 most active accounts. Tag them at the bottom of your post or in the comments to get more traction.
Tip #4: Reach out to industry influencers and ask to distribute the news.
Even if you don’t collaborate with anyone on the webinar, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask influencers and relevant companies to share the webinar invitation with their audiences.
To make it a win-win scenario, offer them to help to spread the word about their updates in return for mentioning your webinar in their content.
Tip #5: Experiment with formats: use videos, images, polls, and compelling stories.
LinkedIn now offers an opportunity to share LinkedIn Stories from members and organizations. The format works similarly to Instagram and Facebook Stories and is only available on mobile devices. It’s a perfect way to diversify your promotional efforts and make the campaign feel more casual.
Besides, diversify your regular posts with different content formats. Shoot a brief preview for the upcoming webinar, run a poll to create some hype for the topic, and spice things up with the aforementioned Stories.
Consider using Instagram Live to host your workshop. This way, it’ll be easier to promote the event on the platform, and you won’t lose prospective attendees who don’t feel comfortable with other webinar hosting platforms.
To effectively promote the upcoming session, use organic and promoted Instagram stories. The more content formats you leverage (photos, collages, videos, polls, etc.), the more attention you’ll catch.
Here are a few best practices for successfully promoting your webinar on Instagram:
- Optimize your landing page for the mobile experience;
- Use a countdown timer;
- Create animated collages;
- Show short webinar previews;
- Use polls to generate interest;
- Add the landing page link in bio.
To increase your reach, you might want to allocate some budget to run Instagram Stories Ads.
Caution: shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below ↓
Do you have a mailing list you’ve built as a result of previous campaigns? It’s time to move those people further down the funnel with the help of email outreach. Set up an email marketing campaign that incorporates a sequence of emails built for the specific parts of the webinar promotion funnel.
Consider including the following emails in your campaign:
- A pre-launch email;
- A signup email;
- A signup autoresponder;
- A reminder email;
- Post-webinar follow-up email with a recording and/or survey;
If you can fit it in your marketing budget, do it. The best way to reach the right people is to display your banners within articles they read every day.
When browsing the content of their favorite blogs, audiences are less distracted compared to those moments when they scroll through social media feeds. On social media, users mostly pay attention to posts shared by familiar accounts, e.g. friends, colleagues, relatives, influencers. On news websites and blogs, people scan and evaluate everything they see on a page.
Some websites are included in the Google Ad Network so you can submit your banners through the Display Network. Others don’t partner with third parties but offer to negotiate placements directly with their editorial teams.
Say, you’re promoting a webinar on how to build links without paying for them. You can turn to Search Engine Journal (SEJ), the online resource for SEO experts. The company sells banners that you can buy through the dedicated application developed specifically for SEJ. When your order is confirmed, your banner ads will appear within the placements you’ve specified (in the sidebar, under articles, at the bottom of the screen, etc.).
The cost of displaying your ads on one reputable website for a month can reach $5.000-$10.000 and more. If you want to advertise your webinar across multiple websites and spend less money, programmatic native advertising is the right choice for you.
Native advertising is a method of advertising that involves displaying ads that match the look and feel of the editorial content on publisher websites. Unlike sponsored ads negotiated with vendors directly, programmatic native ads are traded through a centralized platform.
Platforms, like Outbrain and Taboola, have extensive networks of publishers in various categories and countries. You can either advertise your webinar across all the available publisher websites at once or get more granular and pick websites you want your ads to be displayed on.
The campaign creation and optimization processes on native advertising platforms work similarly to the ones on any other traditional ad platform. However, native advertising is a more affordable alternative to Facebook and LinkedIn ads. With an average CPC of $0.3-$0.8 for desktop devices, you get a chance to reach highly engaged audiences and drive quality leads.
The major benefit of the format is that your ads are assimilated into the editorial environment and don’t feel like typical display ads. When seeing your ads, visitors don’t distinguish them from the other content recommendations on the page and are more likely to interact with them.
You’ll find a lot of webinar promotion campaigns among native advertising examples. Here’s just one of them:
Quora has become increasingly popular among marketers.
It’s a place where you can find out what questions your target audience has on a specific topic. Moreover, you can answer these questions and promote your brand ‘organically.’
To promote your webinar on Quora, type keywords related to the topic of your webinar and make a list of questions you could answer with a link to your webinar. Answer those questions and share the webinar invitation for more detailed information.
As your Quora answers will be visible long after the live webinar, make sure to either add the link to the on-demand version right away or replace the landing page links after the live event.
There are plenty of online communities in every niche you can think of. Take a look at Slack communities, Facebook groups, Instagram pages, forums, and you’re sure to find the right one(s) where your webinar will be warmly welcomed.
Below, you see Hiba Amin, Senior Marketing Manager at Hypercontext, sharing the webinar invitation in the Slack community for digital marketers. Such a method doesn’t always drive crazy traction but it definitely helps to reach the most relevant prospective customers.
Instead of talking too much, let’s take a figurative wellness marketing campaign. A CBD company has announced a webinar on the benefits of CBD for fitness and bodybuilding. To encourage their leads to share the webinar invitation with their network, they are also launching a giveaway of a free pack of oil. A winner is randomly chosen among people who have shared the information about the webinar on social media.
The above-mentioned approach allows both to build credibility among the audience that is already familiar with the brand and to attract completely new leads from your audience’s network.
Alternatively, you can announce you’ll run an event giveaway right during the webinar to increase signups and attendance rates.
These are the most effective and affordable strategies for webinar promotion. Start by picking several ideas and implementing them. Stay consistent with your efforts, and you’ll see the results soon.