If you think it is difficult to get people to webinars, you are correct, it can be for several reasons. For example, starting with the simplest of them all, people all over are generally not used to attending seminars through a video camera. Furthermore, webinars whose potential attendees maybe spread out across the globe might not achieve optimal level of attendance due to differences in time zones. Many interested participants may drop-off because the webinar maybe taking place at an uncomfortable hour in their time zone, say 3 in the morning. Other reasons include inefficient marketing of the event. Maybe the advertisements were not enticing enough to get people to sign up and attend. You need to throw a good bait to hook people into attending your webinar. And that’s not all, you also need to provide them with a useful and satisfying experience so that they logout with a good impression of your brand, use your products and services when required, recommend them to other interested users and yes, attend future webinars that you organize.
Before we actually get into the marketing bit, let me dwell briefly on the content. It is where the proverbial ‘meat’ of a webinar lies. If your content is not powerful enough all your efforts towards developing, marketing, and conducting your webinar will go in vain. Moreover, without useful and interesting content to work upon, the marketing wouldn’t be persuasive enough. If you’ve taken good care of the content development then do follow up by ensuring that your advertisements are attractive and emphasize the webinar’s relevance to targeted users. If you succeed in doing that then you have much better chances of motivating your targeted participants to attend, even if that requires waking up at 3 A.M.!
Assuming that you have your final content ready, we will now move on to the challenging task of marketing it to ensure maximum attendance of targeted customers. Firstly, you will need to package it in an attractive manner (you may have very high quality content but your targeted attendees don’t know that!). Brainstorm for a good title – how will you decide what’s a good title? It does not have much to do with your personal taste and judgment. A good title should have certain attributes. What you should aim to convey through your title is a sense of urgency and importance. Relate the goals of your webinar with the requirements of your potential attendees. So instead of going for say, “How small-to-middle sized businesses in the U.S. can manage the effects of recession” you should go for something like, “How small-to-mid sized business can tackle the recession head-on and emerge victorious”.
For sending invitations, you can refer to your list/database of contacts. You should include your former and current clients if the webinar is applicable to their requirements. Call up important clients and prospects if you can do so. Don’t leave out friends and relatives who may derive benefit from the event, they may recommend other people as well.
You should draft your email with care, as its goal is to persuade the receiver to sign up. Many people make the mistake of writing emails that are dense with information. It seems that the writer has put in everything that he/she could think of to convince the receiver to attend the event. But that’s a mistake as most people who receive the email are most likely going to glance over it and then trash it. You need to have a hook which would pull them into reading it and eventually click the link to the landing page. Ideally you should write a simple and professional mail that does not suffer from an overdose of bold and capitalized words. Include a bulleted list which informs about the benefits of attending your webinar. Also include an impressive description of the speaker; your targeted audience should be convinced that they cannot miss listening to the speaker.
Clearly mention all the details of the event on your website including the topic, description, date and time, and contact details for making reservations. Your blog can serve as an effective marketing platform; use it to announce the webinar. Also incorporate information about the Webinar in your signature for various discussion forums. Make use of the various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn among others to inform your social network and keep them updated.
If your email does the job and the recipient clicks on the landing page link, then at least one thing is certain, he/she is now interested in knowing more about your webinar. So make sure that your landing page is a worthy follow up to the email. You should place clear and prominent buttons clicking on which would begin the registration process. Those who are convinced by the landing page would want to get registered. You should make the registration process as simple as possible. Don’t ask for too much information and make it clear what fields need to be compulsorily filled and those that are optional.
The next step involves ensuring that your registered users would show up during the webinar. You can do this in several ways. You can insert a calendar meeting link in the registration confirmation page through which users can place automatic reminders on their personal computers. You can also increase their interest by asking them to submit any questions they might have. Offer to answer their questions during the webinar if its fits the context. This will inspire many people to attend just to listen to the answer to their questions.
You should ideally send in your invitations 2-3 weeks in advance. Then send reminder mails 2-3 days before the event, make sure that you remind your recipients why they signed up for the webinar in the first place. This because many people tend to forget that in period between sign-up and event date consequently the purpose of your reminder would be defeated if they don’t remember why they signed up for the webinar. So once again frame your email in such a way that it emphasizes the importance and urgency of the webinar and how it would benefit the recipient.
The above make for some basic rules that would apply to most webinars in general, however you might need to tune your marketing plans according to your specific requirements. The above tips would light the way.