New to webinars? Ready to deliver your first? You’re in good company. According to the most recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, webinars are among the top three most effective content marketing tactics, used by 62 percent of marketers.
Like anything new, it might seem complicated and even a little scary, but honestly, it’s not very complicated at all. In this article, I’ll discuss a few things you can do to get high attendance and plenty of qualified prospects.
I’ve Created My Content. Now What?
I’m going to take for granted that you’ve already prepared the content for your webinar: you’ve got your slides, your outline, and you know what your offer is.
Either that, or you’re going to get it together in a hurry after you schedule the webinar.
This article isn’t going to be about webinar creation; it’s about how to promote to get an audience to attend your webinar. (If you haven’t created the content for your webinar yet, read these simple steps to create winning webinar content.)
To get people to your webinar, you will engage in the three actions:
1. Choosing Platforms
2. Creating Ad Content
3. Building up Interest
Anyone who puts on a webinar has to do these three things but I am going to tell you the easiest and most effective ways to do each, based on my own webinar successes.
Ad and Hosting Platforms
Use Facebook pay-per-click ads for your advertising and GoToWebinar.com for the hosting.
GoToWebinar will let you try their Starter, Pro, or Plus levels for free, which allows you to host a maximum of 100, 500, or 2,000 attendees, respectively. (Their monthly rates are pretty reasonable too.) For a first webinar, I’d probably choose Starter or Pro, but go to their website and review the specifications and terms to decide which is best for you.
Then schedule the date and time for your webinar.
One great thing about the combination of Facebook and GoToWebinar is that they work really well together. Sometimes when the link in a Facebook ad gets a lot of clicks, Facebook bans the ad or the link. That won’t happen with GoToWebinar links.
There are other types of ads and other hosting platforms you can use but the easiest way to start is with Facebook and GoToWebinar.
Facebook Makes Targeting Easy
Facebook is a great advertising platform for many kinds of products and services because of its powerful targeting features. For instance, if your webinar is about a moneymaking opportunity, then naturally, you want to target people who are interested in such opportunities.
This type of prospect is likely already following one or more authorities in the moneymaking opportunities niche. So you can select people who are fans of such authorities or gurus.
Additionally, if the offer you are selling in your webinar is location-specific (i.e., it’s a live event in a particular city), you can choose people within a certain radius of the location.
You can also target attendees according to other demographics, including age and gender. You will see how to do this when you place your ad.
The Ad Sells the Webinar, Not the Offer
I assume that if you are putting on your first webinar, it’s because you have a product or service you want to promote and sell.
You will use Facebook paid advertising to drive traffic to your webinar registration page, where people can sign up. (You will get a link to this after you get a GoToWebinar account and schedule your webinar.)
So in your ad, tell them what they are going to find out in the webinar. Use bullet points that transmit benefits. Create some intrigue that gets them to sign up. This is a matter of effective copywriting more than anything else.
But do not mention the product or service you will be promoting. You will introduce that in the actual webinar.
Now, there are webinar “best practices” that suggest you promote your webinar for three weeks prior but that’s not absolutely necessary. In some cases, it’s a great way to ensure that people forget about it.
You can start promoting 48 hours in advance and if you create your ads right, people will see them and sign up. One thing I highly recommend is that you promote it as a “live workshop” or “free online workshop” or “free online training,” rather than as a webinar.
And remember to include in your ad the topic of the workshop or the benefit that the person will get. A rough example off the top of my head would be something like “Earn $10,000 a week from home? This free online workshop shows you how.”
From the ad, link your prospects directly to the webinar registration page—not to a sales page or your website or blog—right to the registration page, where they can sign up.
Create a headline on the registration page that corresponds with the copy in your ad. Build on the ad by promising a highly desirable benefit, or a way to overcome a challenge they have or some problem they’d like to be free of.
Make it irresistible, so that they feel compelled to sign up.
Build It up with Reminders
People will register for your webinar and you will accumulate a list of their email addresses. The day of the webinar, send the list reminder emails. Though there might be other effective ways to contact your list, email has several advantages:
1. It’s convenient (you just collected their email address).
2. It’s expected (everybody markets with email) .
3. It’s the top way to promote your webinar, according to the web conference technology company ReadyTalk.com.
So, prepare three follow-up emails to remind your list to attend. Remind them about what they are going to learn and how they will benefit (but don’t talk about your offer). Send them reminder emails 12 hours, three hours, and one hour before the webinar is due to start.
On average, you can expect 30 to 40 percent of the people who register for the webinar to actually attend.
It’s not difficult to get a lot of qualified prospects at your first (or any) webinar if you use the Facebook/GoToWebinar combination, write a compelling pay-per-click ad that sells the webinar (not the thing you’re going to pitch on the webinar) and send a sufficient amount of reminders to build prospect excitement and ensure a good attendance.