For Plezi, webinars have been part of our content marketing strategy for more than three years. They’re a great way to nurture our prospects and answer their questions, and their conversion rates continue to improve. But you’ll probably have to try out different ideas and make some adjustments before you find the magic formula for webinars.
We wanted to let you benefit from the mistakes we’ve made and what we’ve learnt about webinars. So we’ve planned a series of articles that bring together both practical advice and things that we’ve tested ourselves to help you make the best use of this exciting new content format.
In this article, we list all the different things you can do to promote your webinars. Want to know which ones are best for generating leads? Or how can you nurture your existing contacts using the same tools? All you need to do is read our guide!
How to promote a webinar: our checklist
Regardless of the process you use to create a webinar, it’s important to start with a specific goal in mind. Do you want it to generate leads, or to move existing prospects closer to purchase?
Focusing on the end goal you want to achieve makes it easier to decide:
- How to present your webinar;
- Who to invite, and using what communication channels;
- What to do after the webinar.
At Plezi, we use our webinars mainly to move existing leads further on in the marketing funnel and closer to purchase. 80% of our leads see at least one of our webinars before they become customers! On average, 22% of the people who view our webinars are new leads.
The webinars we produce in partnership with others usually have a higher number of registrations, they also generate significantly more leads than this. The only difference lies in the communication channels we use and how we promote them.
In this article, we’ll show you what communication channels to use to both give your webinar maximum visibility and to generate qualified leads.
1. Send emails
Email is still one of the best ways to communicate when your webinar is designed to nurture leads. A short email invitation to a great webinar can reactivate leads that are stuck in the marketing funnel. Here are some ways you can use email to promote your webinars:
Segment your contacts
Using marketing automation software like Plezi, you can identify those prospects who are interested in the webinar topic (using the software’s tags), enabling you to better target your email campaign.
💡 If you want to ensure good email open rates and avoid sending prospects invitations to webinars they’re not interested in, you need to segment your contacts rather than send emails to your entire database.
Most people are inundated with emails every day. Don’t add to the problem, but instead send emails only to those people who will find your content useful.
Send multiple emails
It’s no secret that there are a huge number of online events happening at the moment. If you don’t want your webinar to be lost among the competition, be sure to send several reminders so that those who have registered for your webinar don’t forget about it.
💡 At Plezi, we like to send an email 2 or 3 weeks before a webinar, an email the week before, and an email the day before.
If you use a webinar platform, you can schedule emails to be sent automatically directly in the software. We use GoToWebinar to automatically send a reminder a day before the webinar and a final reminder one hour before the start.
Example of a webinar registration confirmation email sent automatically by GoToWebinar
💡 When is the best time to send an email? At Plezi, what works best for us is Tuesday and Thursday, either around 9am or 2pm. Try sending emails at different times to see what works for you and adapt your email schedule accordingly.
Make the email short and appealing
The main goal of your email is to encourage prospects to find out more information on the webinar’s dedicated landing page. It needs to be short and concise, highlighting the most important information about the webinar (e.g. date, time) as well as information that will make prospects want to learn more (e.g. the list of guests, the possibility of leaving being able to join in the discussion).
💡 If you really want to give more details about what will be covered in the webinar, it’s best to present these in list form.
Keep it natural
By doing this, your emails will be a lot easier to read for a start! Your B2B prospects are still human and showing that you are too helps create a connection with them. So when it comes to writing emails, you shouldn’t be afraid to be honest, original, and even a little different.
Add to your email newsletter
Dedicating a small amount of space in your email newsletter to upcoming webinars works really well. Newsletters are one of the best ways to stay in touch with prospects who have shown an interest in your content. These contacts are more likely to listen to what you have to say and therefore more likely to register for a webinar.
At Plezi, as soon as we mention our webinars in our newsletter, the number of registrations goes up!
2. Optimize your social media posts
Unlike emails, which are designed mainly to nurture leads already in your database, social media posts are a great way to generate new leads.
They let you reach an audience that is much larger than your current list of contacts and enable you to greatly increase the visibility of your webinars. Another very useful thing about social media is that you can post content right up until the last minute to attract viewers! Here’s how you can optimize your social media posts:
Choose the right social media network
LinkedIn and Twitter are the best social media networks for B2B businesses. We use both of these networks to launch our webinar three weeks before the actual date and to post reminders the same day.
💡 It’s a good idea to post on social media before your webinar as a reminder to those who have registered that it is about to start.
💡 Nothing starts discussion better on social media ahead of a webinar than using a LinkedIn or Twitter poll to ask a question related to the webinar topic.
Write clearly and attractively
Writing a catchy tweet or LinkedIn post is a great way to stand out from the huge number of messages we are exposed to on these networks. Here are some ways you can grab people’s attention:
- above all, be natural;
- clearly present the most important information (e.g. date, time);
- emphasize your topic and angle;
- keep your sentences short and use space between them;
don’t forget to use hashtags including those you may have created for the webinar.
Include a great visual
Using visuals is especially important on social media. They need to contain the most important information about a webinar (e.g. title, date and time) and specify the content format. It seems obvious, but sometimes people forget these basic things.
💡 Including a photo of your presenter or guest helps people relate to your webinar and frequently increases registration rates.
Visual elements (e.g. image, gif, video) also greatly increase the visibility of your posts. But you don’t have to be a graphic designer to get started. There are a number of free tools available, like Canva, that help you make great images very easily.
Example of a web banner promoting a Plezi webinar on social media
Make a video teaser
What better way to promote a webinar than by using video? This doesn’t need to be super slick. You can make a simple video to announce the date of your webinar or make it quirky 😉
Video is a great format for social media and is easily accessible.
Have employees engage with your posts to increase their reach
On social media, the absolute key to greater visibility for your posts and events is having people comment on them, like them, and share them.
At Plezi, we encourage all our team to either post on social media themselves, or to like and comment on our posts to increase their reach. It’s a quick and effective way of increasing engagement.
3. Create a LinkedIn event
In 2019, LinkedIn relaunched their Events platform. While this feature can be a great way to increase the visibility of your webinars, it does carry one risk: anyone can see who has registered, and possibly steal your leads.
Despite this risk, the feature can help boost webinar registrations by increasing the number of reminders sent before a webinar starts. Keep an eye on this feature and see how it evolves. Have you already tried using LinkedIn Events? What did you think?
4. Promote webinars with ad campaigns
If you’ve already set up retargeting or user acquisition campaigns, using these to promote your webinar can make a huge difference. We often do this, and the benefit is that there’s no need to create campaigns from scratch to do so. It can done with just a few clicks by adding or adjusting some of your content so that campaigns are focused on your latest webinar.
5. Put email signatures to work
This is something that people often overlook but given the number of emails you send it can be a great way to reach prospects.
At Plezi, it’s mainly our salespeople, our CSM (customer success manager), and the marketing team who send emails to people outside the company. We make sure the email signatures they use change with each new webinar or for our other marketing campaigns.
💡 Banner formats for email signatures are very small, so remember to make the information as LARGE AS POSSIBLE!
Example of an email signature banner image promoting a Plezi webinar
6. Add pop-ups to your website
By adding pop-ups to specific pages of your website, you can attract a new audience of website visitors who might not know much about you yet but who are interested in the webinar topic.
At Plezi, we used SumoMe to place a pop-up on our website that encouraged people looking at our article about webinars to attend our webinar about… webinars. That’s a lot of webinars. But trust us, it works!
7. Add Calls to Action to your web pages
Calls to action (CTA) are clickable buttons placed at strategic locations on your website (e.g. at the end of relevant blog articles) that can help turn readers into webinar participants.
From a prospect’s point of view, they’re very helpful. The CTA is perfectly placed to direct them to more in-depth content on the same topic after they’ve read a blog article. And the people reading these articles might want to register for your webinar! If they want to learn more about a specific topic, you can use CTAs to very naturally direct them to your webinar and, as a result, increase your conversion rates.
8. Speak to other B2B marketers
If you have other B2B marketers in your sector in your network and you’re used to sending each other updates about news and events, webinars are great to share with them. This can be a very good way to both increase the visibility of your webinar and generate leads outside of your normal network. Other B2B marketers can often have a large network of their own, some of which may well be qualified and interested in your webinar topic. This is an easy way to reach potential webinar participants!
9. Advertise in industry media
Blogs and print magazines in your sector can also greatly increase the visibility of your webinar. Points of contact for these are usually easy to find. The most important thing is to advertise your webinar in media typically viewed by your prospects.
For example, we often do different articles in Marketing Week, but also advertise our webinars there:
Example of an ad from Marketing Week advertising our webinar
Now you’re got a webinar topic your prospects will find interesting, a well-crafted landing page, and a solid strategy for promoting it. That’s just about everything you need to make your next webinar a success. But did you know that you can also generate a lot of leads after a webinar has taken place? Our next article in this series on webinars will look at different ways to leverage your webinar after it has happened so you can continue to use it to generate leads.😉
Check out all the articles in this webinar series:
- Webinars: how to find a great topic for B2B prospects
- Webinars: how to create a landing page that converts