By Bridgette Pereda, Project Manager at FreeConferenceCall.com
Here’s how to promote a webinar online in four simple steps:
- Decide who should present the webinar.
- Choose the best time and date to host your webinar.
- Choose the right webinar hosting platform for you.
- Promote your webinar with the help of blog posts, emails, an optimized landing page, notification bars, reminders and incentives.
Though it may not be apparent, the ways in which you promote a webinar are almost as important as the content of the webinar itself.
Here, we’ll explain how you can use a few simple techniques to successfully promote your webinar online. We cover:
- Webinars, What Are They?
- What Are Webinars Used For?
- Why Do Webinars?
- Are Webinars Effective?
- Who Should Present the Webinar?
- When Should I Host My Webinar?
- Where Should I Host My Webinar?
- Where to Promote Webinars?
Before we get into the steps you can take to promote your webinar, let’s first explore why webinars are so beneficial.
Why Do Webinars?
By hosting a webinar, you’re tapping into the many benefits of webinars to your business. What are webinars’ benefits?
- Establish credibility
- Increase your reach
- Build your audience
- Build connections
- Promote new products or services
- Low cost promotional activity compared to in-person events
Probably a top reason businesses consider webinars is that they are relatively low cost and are much more convenient than any sort of in-person seminar.
Are Webinars Effective?
Are webinars effective? Short answer, absolutely!
Goals that are very aligned with the advantages of webinars are:
- Promoting brand awareness
- Driving leads and ultimately new customers
- Increasing engagement and customer loyalty
Long answer, the key to ensuring you get a high ROI on your webinar and get your intended result for your investment is to know your goal.
Knowing your goal will help you design the content and format of your webinar.
Who Should Present the Webinar?
When hosting a webinar, it’s best to keep the number of presenters to three or less. This way, audience members won’t get confused, and presenters can more easily coordinate with each other.
When you’re deciding who, exactly, should be a presenter, consider these factors:
- Who is an expert in the topic being addressed?
- Who is comfortable with public speaking?
- Who is able to carve out the time required to put together a presentation?
- Who has a significant audience that you can leverage, if you’re partnering with another brand?
When Should I Host My Webinar?
Since everyone involved in a webinar can participate remotely, you have a lot of options in terms of what time you should host it.
First, think about your target audience. Are they mostly on the West Coast, the East Coast or the Midwest? This can help you sort out which time zones most of the participants will be in.
Then, select a time when you expect most of your audience to have some free time on their hands. For example, you may want to host your webinar online after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m. so that attendants can complete their commute before tuning in. Additionally, try to avoid lunch hour, which usually falls between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m in the attendees’ time zones.
A report from Bizibl Marketing found that Wednesday, Thursday and Tuesday, in that order, are the best days for attracting the largest webinar audience. On the other hand, webinars hosted on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday had very low attendance rates, so keep that in mind when scheduling your webinar.
You may also want to consider the option of pre-recording your webinar online. This is a convenient option when there’s not enough free time to host a continuous live webinar, though it won’t give you the chance to interact with attendees directly during the presentation.
To liven up a pre-recorded webinar, try including a live Q&A session at the end. This will give the audience a chance to ask questions, make themselves heard and have a bit of direct interaction.
Where Should I Host My Webinar?
While there are plenty of platforms that allow you to host an online webinar, some may be better suited to your needs than others.
FreeConferenceCall.com offers free unlimited webinar services, and is used by more than 800,000 companies globally. Its services include HD audio conferencing, video conferencing, audio and visual recordings, screen sharing, calendar integrations, mobile apps and customized landing pages. It was founded in 2001 and is based in Long Beach, Calif.
Join.me offers both limited free webinar services as well as more extensive paid webinar services. Those services include audio and video conferencing, mobile apps, screen sharing, calendar integrations, mobile apps and personal links. It’s owned by LogMeIn, and is based in Boston, Mass.
WebEx Event Center offers paid webinar services. Its offerings include audio and video conferencing, attention-monitoring tools, customized landing pages, mobile apps and recording. It’s owned by Cisco, which is based in San Jose, Calif.
Let’s compare some of the contenders:
Where to Promote Webinars?
As we mentioned before, where and how you promote your webinar can be nearly as important as the content of the webinar.
After all, if you host a webinar but no one was there to attend it, did it ever really happen?
Here’s where you should be sure to promote your webinar online.
1. Write a Blog Post
In a blog post, you can really dive into the meat of your webinar and explain what it will be about, who might be interested and how to register. Plus, blog posts give you an opportunity to put your own spin on things beyond a simple “who, what, where” announcement.
2. Send Emails
Whether your email list is big or small, it can be a great way to spread the word about an upcoming webinar. Don’t forget to use this opportunity to address each recipient personally — at the very least, use their first name. And, if possible, try to bring up their own profession or area of expertise.
If, for example, your webinar is going to touch on the subject of marketing, you might want to remind email recipients who work in the marketing industry that attending the online webinar could expand their library of marketing knowledge.
3. Use Your Email Signature
If you’re looking for a way to passively promote your webinar in addition to more direct techniques, try adding a snippet to your email signature that includes a link to the webinar’s landing page. And, speaking of a landing page …
4. Create and Optimize a Landing Page
Folks who are interested in learning more about your online webinar should have a dedicated place to do so. That’s why it will be worth your while to create an attractive landing page that clearly lays out the details of your webinar, complete with a registration box.
Don’t forget to optimize the landing page, so it’ll be more likely to show up in search engine results as well.
5. Try Notification Bars
Notification bars are sleek (but attention-grabbing) bars that sit at the top of your website, usually under the navigation bar. These can be used to present visitors with a compelling call to action without being too intrusive.
6. Send Reminders
Once folks have registered for your webinar, the last thing you want to do is let them forget about it. That’s why you should send multiple (hopefully automated) reminders in the days leading up to the webinar. It’s even better if those reminders include an easy way to add the time and date of the webinar to their calendar.
7. Allow Ample Registration Time
According to a report, 36 percent of people register for webinars more than seven days prior, while 64 percent register the week of the webinar. Knowing this, you should open registration and start promoting your webinar at least two weeks before the event.
8. Offer Incentives
Entice people to attend your online webinar by offering attractive incentives. Perhaps attendees will get a discounted price on a certain product or service that your company offers, or perhaps you can give away event tickets or free consultations. Don’t forget to remind registrants of your chosen incentives every time you send a reminder for the webinar.
No matter what kind of webinar you’re hosting, it’s going to take time and effort to polish your presentation, promote it properly and convince people to attend. However, if you have the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to successfully promoting and hosting a truly stellar webinar.
Hosting a high-ROI webinar online to drive new customers, brand awareness and user loyalty is never as easy as with FreeConferenceCall.com. Learn more about our rich-featured free webinar service.