Michael Steltzner of Social Media Examiner proclaimed 2014 to be the year of Webinars. And it was.
Inspired by industry thought leaders and e-learning enthusiasts, 100s of entrepreneurs and small business owners have jumped on the “Webinar Bandwagon”. Yet, just like 9 of 10 New Year Resolutions that consistently fail, new marketing tactics are doomed for failure without clear roadmap.
Marketers failed to achieve their goals by adding webinars to their arsenal in 2014 because they neglected the following building blocks:
- Community and Target Audience
You have to know your target audience wants and needs. What are the triggers your community react to? What kind of problem you can solve?
Webinars can be powerful when they are promoted to a very targeted audience and provide a solution to a uniquely painful problem.
Once you nail down your target audience, your next step is to build a level of credibility. . Ask yourself a question…Why should they listen to what you have to say?
- Hot Topic and Speaker
Let’s assume that my friend and super model Xenia, who graciously provided this picture, decides to launch a webinar “Winning Diet for Beauty Pageant: Last 30 Days.”
Most likely, she will attract a targeted group of models who are competing in beauty pageants. The fact that she was Miss Estonia consistently for 2011, 2012 and 2013 will add to her credibility on a subject matter.
Having produced over 200+ webinars, I know for a fact that both topic and speaker matter. Unless you are Tim Ferriss, John Lee Dumas or a well-known community leader, I wouldn’t recommend to hosting a webinar on your own. Ask your community what topic they would like to hear about and then reach out to a thought leader or authority on a specific topic and ask to partake in a webinar in exchange for exposure to your community.
After identifying your target communities, nailing down a speaker, and choosing a topic for the Webinar, guess what? It’s time to spread the word.
- Marketing and Distribution
Remember, your community members and newsletter subscribers should be the first ones to learn about your webinar. Hosting a webinar for them is a perfect opportunity to engage, foster relationship and move them further down your sales funnel. As soon as your landing page is up, announcements regarding your webinar through multiple channels–email, newsletters, social media–need to go out. Here’s the sequence that I use for webinar promotions:
- 4 weeks out – first announcement (email blast)
- 4 weeks – day off – on-going promotions via social media and newsletters
- 2 weeks out – blog post (interview with presenter)
- 1 day out – last chance to register (email blast)
- day off – email to all existing attendees encouraging them to tweet about webinar
However, promoting webinars to your existing audience is not enough. What you really want to do is to maximize on opportunities by attracting relevant segments of other communities and converting them into loyal followers. Here is how:
- Promote to relevant Facebook and Linkedin Groups
- Promote on Meetup.com
- Reach out to your trusted partner network and ask for promotion in exchange for lead share
- Guest Blogging on high-traffic websites
- Promote via Twitter and Google+
You can find some more information about lead generation using Webinars in this excellent blogpost by Lewis Howes.
Now. You have promoted your webinar to a targeted audience, nailed down the topic and recruited an amazing presenter. You have 100 -1000 registrants for your webinar – both metrics are acceptable based on your specific goals and the size of your target audience….
Congratulations! You are about 40% done. The last step is the most important one that marketers often fail to address.
- Experience and Execution
Whether it is a webinar, virtual event or an in-person conference, it is all about the experience your attendees get. Here’s my checklist on executing a successful webinar:
- Pre-event emails to attendees scheduled (1 week out, 1 day out, 5 min before the event)
- Practice run with webinar presenters done (presenters are fully comfortable with webinar software, aware of the webinar format and transitions)
- Powerpoint Slides finalized and uploaded at least 1 hour prior the event
- Follow up email sequence scheduled
Finally during the webinar, it is crucial to engage your audience by acknowledging content related questions and troubleshooting technical difficulties on the fly. Ultimately, seamless logistical execution and actionable content are the keys to success.
Webinars work magic when it comes to building global brand awareness and selling online products, subscription/membership services, and SaaS tools.
Are you using webinars? If so, what are you goals and what strategies do you use for a webinar success?
Looking forward to seeing you online at one of the upcoming Business 2 Community webinars.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 4 Building Blocks of A Successful Webinar
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