Live and on-demand webinars continue to be an effective way to engage an audience: they’re educational, informative, accessible, and direct! But, you have to know how to market a webinar effectively in order to get attendees and start seeing the results of that engagement.
Whether you’re hosting an informational webinar for members or a membership overview for prospective members — or anything in between — we have 7 tips for generating excitement and, more importantly, registrations:
First, what is a webinar?
The term is used widely, but you can think of a webinar as a virtual presentation. Typically, one or more speakers will give a presentation on a topic, while attendees listen in. Often they can engage in other ways — submit questions (to be answered in a chatbox or live), participate in polls, take follow-up surveys, etc. — depending on the system the webinar is hosted through.
You should consider webinars as a great marketing tool for your association or chamber for a few reasons:
- You’re providing valuable content to your members and/or your community at large. (And sometimes, you’re also providing something tangible like a continuing education credit.)
- You’re making that content more accessible, given the online nature.
- You have a captive audience to share your message with.
- You can monetize your webinars by charging a fee to join or view the recording — and you can even provide a member benefit by making them free to members only.
Now that you understand the value of hosting them, let’s go over a few tips for how to market a webinar so you get yours off on the right foot.
How to market a webinar: 7 tips
- Pick a killer topic
A thoughtful, hyper-relevant topic will strengthen everything else you do to market your webinar. Start with timeliness: is there any seasonality in your organization — aka, things that members are concerned about every year at the same time? Are there any widespread concerns to address?
If nothing stands out as timely right now, think to the future: are there any hot trends you can help members understand better? What can you help them get a jumpstart on for next year?
- Set goals
Before we can get into specific tips for how to market a webinar, you’ll need to set some goals to track your efforts: one for how many people you get to register, and one for how many people actually attend. And, even better if you can track how many registrations are coming from each marketing activity, so that when you do future webinars you know where to focus most of your marketing efforts.
One thing to address: In a perfect world, everyone will join live — but, typically, only about 50-60% of registrants will. Which brings me to my next point...
- Create an email schedule for promotion and reminders
Marketing your webinar via email is the most direct way to reach your audience, so you’ll likely want to focus your promotional efforts there. Start with about one email per week starting one month before your webinar, and adjust from there based on how quickly you reach your registrant goal number.
As far as your attendee goal, you’ll want to create a couple of reminder emails to send to your registrants, too. Those should include something of value beyond the reminder, like an article that applies to the topic or tips for getting the most out of joining the webinar.
- Write a blog
Another quick and easy tip for how to market a webinar is to write a blog post. You’ll have most of the content already (the webinar description, speaker bio, etc.) but a blog post is a good place to expand a little more on the content and, specifically, the value that attendees will get out of joining.
- Use your internal channels
Your newsletter, regular meetings, Facebook, LinkedIn — don’t forget those, too! Make a plan to mention the webinar across all of the appropriate marketing channels a few times during your month-long (or so) promotional period.
- Partner up
Hosting the webinar alongside another organization is a great way to expand your reach. Look to your partners (or organizations you’ve always wanted to partner with!) to find opportunities to present valuable content to your shared audiences. It’s a win-win, really!
- Offer to provide a recording and/or transcript
As long as the system you use to host your webinar allows, you should always record the session so you can promote it as on-demand content in the future.
How does that help with marketing the webinar itself, though? Not everyone will be available at the designated date and time, but you can still promote the fact that you’ll be providing a recording to everyone who registers.
Alternatively, if you want to keep that group separate from those who are planning to attend live, you could create a separate landing page with a form to capture information of anyone who just wants the recording.
Hopefully, these tips for how to market a webinar have you off to a good start! But beyond the marketing, there are a ton of other logistics that come with hosting a virtual presentation, event, or conference. For tips and tricks on how to plan, promote, and execute a virtual event of any kind, download our free guide!