10 Successful Webinar Promotion Strategies

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Restate the key value proposition of your webinar in reminders, writes Ken Molay on The Webinar Blog. Never send reminder emails that just say, "Your webinar is tomorrow." Add a sentence that reinforces why they were interested in the first place: "'Just a reminder that tomorrow is your chance to learn ways to improve the efficiency of your operations.'"

Here are 9 more webinar marketing tips; the first two are also from Molay:

1. Reward live attendance. Think about offering a giveaway to all live attendees (such as a white paper or eBook), or holding a raffle for something more special (a signed copy of the speaker's book) to one live attendee. Make sure you promote this in the confirmation and reminder emails. It's not an attendance incentive if people don't know about it!

2. Start—and finish—on time. Don't penalize the attendees who make the conscientious effort to log in on time by waiting for an unspecified additional length of time in case an unspecified number of people happen to show up later. People who are late know they are late. It's not your responsibility to coddle them. Get a reputation for respecting your attendees' time.

3. Get the title right. We may be satisfied with a great speaker, valuable content and knowledge that the audience will really benefit from this. But Matthew Cibellis, director of programming, live and virtual events, Education Week, would say that one thing missing from that formula is a strong title. "It's the content that matters," he said. "And the title is the most important aspect of that content. We recommend to our advertisers to come up with a really good 5-8 word title. 'Think search, keywords.'"

4. "Topic is the number one reason why people register for a webinar," wrote Leslie Davidson from Davidson Direct. "Evergreen topics still pull, but they don't begin to compare with the hot topics of the day, such as new regulations. The most recent proof of that came from a client who did a paid webinar on the new tax law. More than 800 paid registrations and CD sales (yes, believe it or not, people still buy CDs). Same topic four months later brought in another 300+ paid registrations. So if it's a good topic, run it again."

5. Give people something to share. On the Blue Sky Blog, Jerry McCoy writes: "A webinar is a perfect opportunity to exploit the millennial generation's desire for recognition and promoting their own brand. Include them as presenters, guest speakers and moderators...  Being a millennial, I imagine how I would feel and what I would do if an organization had just invited me to play a part in an upcoming webinar. I'd feel extremely flattered, and after getting all of the details, I would personally send the registration information to my family, friends, and colleagues—especially those most interested in the topic we'd be covering. I would then post and share the event on every social media platform I use."

6. "Educate rather than sell," advised Hyon-Young Kim, webinar producer, Education Week, in a recent SIPA Annual 2018 session. "Product pitches often fall short. Think about how you want to frame it. Don't let your webinars leave your audience disappointed or feeling duped. We want our customers to come back."

7. Find what resonates and promote. Take polls, use video and leave ample time for Q&A during webinars, advised Kim. This will let you know what people respond to for future promotion. "If you see a lot of networking going on, you can interact directly and elicit responses..." she said. "One advertiser likes to pause for short, 5-minute question breaks during the webinar to keep everyone engaged. Use a Twitter hashtag and get the conversation started before, and then continue the conversation after." Promote this.

8. Market to non-subscribers and non-members. You can never tell what people will pay more for. Sometimes it's just in their budget to take webinars and not join or subscribe (where the webinars are included). Don't argue. Hopefully later on you can convince them that membership/subscription is better in the long run.

9. Use a quiz. In 2015, OPIS did their research and designed a simple but tough seven-question quiz to stump readers and convince them that they needed to register for this webinar to learn this information. The copy implied that if you did not know the answers, you would have a tough time preparing and complying with new regulations. This email was their best performing, bringing in 29% of the registrations.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…