To increase the amount of attendees in a webinar, marketers need to think outside the box and implement some unique ideas to stand out from the plethora of series in the marketplace.

During episode one of the ON24 and Which-50 webinar series Maximising Webinar ROI, Tim Johnston, Director Demand Generation, APAC & Japan at ON24 explained the five things marketers should consider in promoting their webinar.

This includes turning the webinar into a series, creating an engaging promotional page, using other channels to advertise your webinar, tapping into email promotion and cross-webinar pollination.

  1. Adapt the “Netflix effect”

Marketers should not think about their webinars in a “one and done” approach, they should be thinking about them in the long term and to produce them in a series.

Johnston said marketers should have a long-term mindset around webinars resembling something closer to your favourite TV show where you create a community around your content.

“Essentially, you can do this via a monthly programme or maybe it’s a quarterly programme, but more recently, with people finding more time on their hands and with attendance rates actually going through the roof.

“In this environment we’ve seen, attendance rates have been as high as 75 per cent, where people aren’t spending a lot of time to self educate during this period and finding themselves with more time on their hands while they’re working from home.”

An example of this would be a two week series with seven webinars ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes in length.

He said they like to think of this as the Netflix effect in the B2B world where you’re creating a centralised location.

“Your prospects, your customers then binge on content that you’re producing, and you want to get them hooked. You want to get them excited about the content in the next episode in the series,” he adds.

  1. Nailing your promo page

To get someone to sign up to your webinar, they’ll most likely be visiting your promotional page. Marketers need to make sure that this page shows all the relevant information to a possible audience member but also stands out so they want to watch your content.

Johnston said when people are choosing to sign up to this webinar, they’re making the assessment whether it is relevant for them and the insights they will get out of it.

He said think about your promo page as your promise to your audience about what you’re going to deliver and what you’re going to expect.

“It’s really important that you deliver on that promise because if you fail to deliver on that promise, they won’t come back for your next one, you’ve got one chance of doing this right,” Johnston said.

When designing titles think about the copywriting principle and the one-on-one. For example, use number based titles as in ‘10 common ways to increase ROI’.

“There’s always this concept of having a numeric base figure in the title so that people feel that they’re walking away with some substance.”

It is always better to use short-form copy on the site. Johnston recommends using a combination of succinct, punctual descriptions for the synopsis and build out the bullet points to tease the content and layout what an audience member could expect from attending.

Using technology that helps your customers do a one-click register form adds efficiency and an uptick in registrations according to Johnston.

“People hate forms and more that you add fields into these forms, the higher the drop-off, the lower the conversion.”

  1. Tapping into other channels

When promoting your webinar, sending out emails every day will not help you increase signups instead marketers need to tap into other channels like social media.

Johnston recommends also leveraging your internal teams, finding ways to get them excited about the content and getting them involved in promoting the webinar.

He said brands need to be promoting the event more than two weeks before the event to create more noise.

“If you’re allowing yourself a longer runway and you think about your webinars as a serialised programme, it opens up opportunities for your sales teams and for your customer-facing teams to be involved in the promotion behind a series, which has a longer shelf life.”

Some of the ways you can leverage internal teams include writing copy that sales reps can use in their day to day interactions with customers.

Also present a producer, a singular slide that would go into all their customer-facing decks, and that would not be promoting just a singular webinar, but it will promote the whole series itself.

They also utilise email signatures which have been a successful tactic. “But the email signature is golden, they don’t need to do anything. And you can control it with the right technology.”

He also notes getting your webinar speakers to promote the event too.

Johnston uses a recent example, “A webinar that was run with Adobe, one of the thought leaders on that webinar, did a fantastic job of promoting and brought in hundreds of registrations that wouldn’t have otherwise got if he didn’t continually promote to his network.”

  1. Importance of email registrations

While sending out promotional emails every day isn’t recommended, they still count for 60 to 80 per cent of webinar registrations making them a vital part of any webinar marketing strategy.

Johnston said marketers should not use the same copy in every email as it looks lazy.

“As marketers, we need to find different angles, whether that’s highlighting the strengths of our presenters or the expertise that they bring to the table. Or the angle or the problems that your webinar content is going to solve,” he said.

A tactic that has been working really well is adding plain text emails to your promotional strategy.

“This idea of this plain text is understated execution, which looks like a regular email. This has been by far the biggest contributor from the email channel, in terms of registrations, and the reason is simple.

“We position it as a personal note from the speaker, everyone loves a touch of personalisation as a personal invitation from the speaker to you.”

Another tip is changing the sender name from the brand to someone from the brand. For example, instead of ON24, use Tim from ON24. This has proven to be effective in open rates.

Your emails should follow the same principles largely as the promotional copy that sits on the registration page.

“Simply show or tease a little bit about the webinar in the format of either it could be bullet points.

“But more recently, I’ve seen some great examples where a customer of ours has just included one slide, the punchline of their presentation in the email to promote the event.”

Johnston said that drives curiosity and creates this appetite to receive more. It’s this idea of drip-feeding and that that concept has worked well for that particular company.

  1. Cross webinar pollination

The last tip is the idea of cross webinar pollination, this is bringing the audience along with you to the next webinar.

Johnston said, “This is a really effective way to do it. So often, we are running webinars and before we even show the first slide, we’ll have our moderator or our presenter introduce the next session in the series.”

He said by asking the audience to sign up for the next webinar that often is what happens.

About the author

Athina Mallis is the editor of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which ON24 is a corporate member. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply. 

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