Webinars: a marketer’s best friend and biggest foe.
While webinars can be extremely impactful for generating and nurturing leads (not to mention celebrating and elevating your community), they can also create major headaches from a marketing and engagement perspective.
Getting people to commit to more screen time during the day can be difficult. Getting them to actually show up is a feat by any definition.
Plus, most webinars are a dime a dozen—especially in the post-pandemic era where many companies have scaled their virtual marketing efforts.
In a world of cluttered inboxes and frenzied feeds, how can you get in front of the right audience to drive awareness for your event? And, how can you get folks to actually show up for your event?
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. 🙌🏼
In this post, we’ll outline a five-step webinar marketing roadmap to getting in front of the right audience and driving more attendees to your virtual events.
📈 Stay up to date with the latest trends in our B2B Webinar Benchmark Report
First things first, you have to nail down your webinar topic and event format. We know what you’re thinking, “It’s a webinar, we know what we’re doing!”
While creating a webinar used to follow a “set it and forget it” format—a one-hour long event, one speaker, slides, and Q&A—that’s simply not the case anymore. At least, it doesn’t have to be.
Think of your webinars as mini-virtual events. There’s no reason to limit yourself to the “standard” format. Why not mix it up? Try ditching the slides and hosting a lively fireside chat, multi-speaker panel, or friendly “debate” session instead.
If slides and visuals are important to your narrative, try other types of content like video clips, polls, and live video questions to keep your audience engaged.
Your topic and webinar content are equally—if not more—important than the delivery method. Be sure to pick a topic that clearly aligns with the audience you’re targeting and an angle that is unique to what’s already in the market.
And remember—specific is better. Specifics and granularity can take otherwise generic content and instantly make it shine. Details paint pictures and create connections with the audience. When possible, use precise words and specific examples to support your story.
For example, what tells a better story?
… You get the point. Don’t go overboard or add fluff for the sake of details. But do get specific and tell a story with details to connect with your audience.
“Think of your webinars as mini-virtual events. There’s no reason to limit yourself to the ‘standard’ format.”
Alright, now that you’ve nailed down your webinar topic and your virtual event format, it’s time to focus on your audience.
Again, you’ll want to get granular. Instead of just “marketing managers,” think about specific personas or titles that will care about your topic. Understand how these folks operate, what their pain points are, and what language resonates with them.
For example, we recently hosted a webinar with our friends at Tray.io on using low code automation to scale events. Given how technical this topic is, we geared the content and targeting around folks in operations roles (marketing operations, sales operations, etc.)
Another recent webinar, The Great Debate: Post-Event Follow-Up, focused on post-event follow-up and who should own the outreach. Given the topic, we catered the content and promotion towards folks in revenue-generating marketing and sales roles (digital marketing managers, business development reps, etc.)
Once you define your niche audience, you’ll want to think about the best places to get in front of these folks. Where do they spend time online? How do they typically find content and events?
You’ll use this info in a bit when we talk about promo, so keep reading!
Now for the fun part: webinar promotion!
Our biggest hot tip is in the headline—promote your event early and often.
It’s no secret that people have short attention spans. Inboxes and newsfeeds are crowded, so one simple post or send isn’t going to cut it.
Email is often the number one source for generating webinar registrations, which makes total sense! These folks are already familiar with your brand and are generally warm to hearing from you. Depending on your marketing mix, email can generate over 60% of the total attendees for your webinar.
“Depending on your marketing mix, email can generate over 60% of the total attendees for your webinar.”
Here are three ways you can use email to promote your webinar:
The biggest takeaway here is to avoid blasting your entire database. Be intentional about your outreach, or run the risk of being marked as spam!
Of course, if you’re using webinars for lead generation, you’ll want to reach some new folks that aren’t in your database yet. We’ll cover that next!
Social media can be another highly effective marketing channel for generating webinar buzz. The key to winning on social is to only focus on the most relevant platforms and go all-in on your promo.
Here are a few social spots where B2B marketers might want to promote events:
📹 Hot tip: 85% of social media users want more videos from brands. Give the people what they want! Try having your webinar host create a personal video invite. This can be super simple—a “talking head” style recording introducing themselves, sharing info about the event, and inviting folks to join can work magic! Check out our example below 👇🏼
Your website is prime real estate for promoting upcoming webinars. Folks visiting your website are there to learn more about your brand, product, or service. Take advantage of these warm eyes with strategic banners and popups.
Here are three ways to promote upcoming webinars across your website:
Unfortunately, many platforms operate on a “pay to play” model, making it difficult to get traction organically. If you have the budget, try experimenting with paid promotions to drive webinar registrations. Be sure to monitor registrations to keep your cost per lead in check.
Here are three paid placements to try for webinars:
💰Hot tip: Be strategic with your advertising budget with retargeting campaigns. This way, you’re reaching folks who are already familiar with your brand or content. Retargeting can be used across display, search, and social media campaigns.
Last but certainly not least, ask your partners and other “friendlies” to spread the word within their networks. It’s as simple as asking.
For partners or event co-hosts, whip up a few assets and sample promo copy that they can easily use on their end.
Ok, you’ve got a promo plan in place. Awesome!
Now it’s time to shift gears a bit and focus on the webinar registration experience.
The data is a bit murky, but the average landing page conversion rate is only around 2% - 6%, which isn’t great. Of course, not everyone who lands on your webinar page is going to want to attend your event (as much as we wish that was the case!). However, there are things you can do to increase your chances of securing the bag (er, registration).
Simply put—make your registration process as simple as possible to increase your event registration conversion rate.
How can you make this process seamless?
First, be sure you have a prominent form or call-to-action that anchor links to a form. Folks are generally familiar with landing pages, so they know what to expect. Don’t interfere with this familiarity—this isn’t the place to get creative. Instead, stick to a straightforward webinar landing page with only the most relevant information: general topic information, speaker details, and a registration form. Peep this example from RevGenius—can’t miss that CTA!
Then, be sure you’re only asking for essential information—name and email address. You can always capture more data later or fill in the details on the backend with data enrichment (via solutions like Clearbit). Prioritize getting more registrations over more data, always.
Finally, use a webinar solution that automatically sends registrants a calendar invite. This is a small but mighty way to be sure your event is on folks’ radars and to make showing up easier than ever.
Say goodbye to buried email invites and hello to calendar blocks and magic links! 👋🏼
Speaking of automatic calendar invites, this is key to making sure your webinar registrants become webinar attendees. By blocking time on the calendar, you ensure your event is front and center and that nothing else accidentally gets booked during this time.
Reminder emails are also critical to keeping your webinar top of mind. You typically have two options for automated emails: Your webinar platform or your email/marketing automation platform.
Using your webinar provider for emails is convenient because you can easily add magic links and other event info without having to copy/paste the info into another platform. However, you might prefer to keep all marketing emails in one place. Whichever route you pick, be sure you schedule a few timely reminders before your webinar to keep the event top of mind.
Magic links are also essential to ensuring folks have a frictionless event experience. These aren’t your standard Zoom links. Instead, Magic Links grant access to an event without the use of a password or asking attendees to set up a profile in advance. Nifty!
If you have a webinar with multiple sessions or tracks, having a platform that automatically redirects folks to the next presentation is critical for preventing drop-off.
Whew, that was a lot! If you’ve made it this far, you’re well on your way to simplifying and scaling your webinar marketing strategy.
To simplify things a bit more, here’s a list of “must-have” assets and marketing tips:
🔥 Hot tip: Many of these items can be templatized to save time in the future. If you’re using a project management tool, create a template that you can copy for all future webinars.
Creating content that “wows” your audience and a full promo plan is just the beginning when it comes to how to market a webinar.
You’ll also want to monitor promotion analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. With the right tools in place, you can quickly pivot to pull back on tactics that aren’t working and double down on promotions that drive results.
Here are five places to keep data in check during your webinar marketing:
📈 Hot tip: Create a single source of truth for all webinar marketing data. This could be as simple as a shared spreadsheet or as robust as an analytics dashboard. Whatever your route, benchmarking this data over time will create more transparency and help teams measure the success of the webinar program.
Thanks for hanging in there with us!
If you enjoyed this post, just know that these webinar marketing tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg. 😉
Puns aside, we’ve got several more resources to help you transform webinars into top lead and revenue-generating events.
If you haven’t already, be sure to snag your free webinar marketing checklist (no gate, just download and enjoy!), and peep our post below on repurposing your webinar content across multiple different formats and channels.