Webinars save companies money on travel, letting professionals reach people across the globe from the comfort of their offices. A well-planned webinar can also boost sales, helping hosts establish thought leadership by offering free advice to attendees. Instead of conducting a workshop at an industry conference or local networking meeting, business leaders can reach wider audiences by inviting participants to an online conference.
But reaching those audiences requires getting the word out about what you’re doing. You can send out invitations by email, but you’ll likely only reach your current customer base that way. To get the word out to people who have never heard of your business, social media is the best approach. Here are a few things you can do to promote your upcoming webinar on your various social media platforms.
Consider Your Content
Your content is key to convincing potential customers to sign up for your webinar. Will your content solve some problem for them? Can they apply the information to their lives or businesses? As with any marketing effort, you’ll need to convince audiences that you have something that can benefit them somehow. A webinar helping an entrepreneur create more effective marketing campaigns is more likely to resonate than a webinar introducing your great new tech gadget.
Analyze Your Audiences
To solve your customer’s problems you must first know what those problems are. That starts by understanding your target audience. Learn as much as possible about those who currently buy from you, then use tools like marketing personas to create a mockup of your ideal buyer. If you’re a B2B provider, for instance, you may find your typical customer is a human resources manager for a small to mid-sized company. You can go further by analyzing a typical day in that professional’s life and outlining the daily challenges an HR manager faces.
The easier you can make joining your webinar, the better. If you’re promoting on social media, consider video conference software that lets attendees view the webinar directly on the site. You can post messages about the webinar and direct customers to watch on the day of the meeting. Since they don’t have to sign up for a separate service or track down an external website, you won’t lose your more technologically-challenged customers.
Create Blog Posts
Social media is designed for short posts, which can severely limit the message you’re delivering. Instead of merely blasting a webinar invitation repeatedly, write blog posts on interesting topics related to your upcoming event and share them across your various platforms. You can end with a call to action to sign up for your webinar. If the content helps a large number of customers, you’ll likely find it’s shared, giving you even more exposure.
Use Sharing Icons
Your content will be more likely to gain shares if you make it easy for people to post it on their own social media platforms. Whenever possible, add social sharing icons to your content, including blog posts and any online announcements you create about your webinar. If you save a recording of your webinar to share later, incorporate social sharing icons into that, as well. You’ll likely find these buttons are built into every piece of software you use to create content but if they aren’t, you can find them on the respective social media sites.
Start a Hashtag
In addition to making it easy for customers to find you, hashtags can also help strengthen your message. Create a hashtag for your webinar and use it in all of your promotional materials. You may not create a trending topic, but you’ll make more of a lasting impression on those who read about your event. If possible, associate your hashtag with a series of webinars you conduct to keep the momentum going long after your event is over.
Webinars are a great way to promote your business while also helping others. Choose content that helps your own ideal customers solve a problem and find ways to build awareness of the event. Even if attendance is low, over time you’ll find that awareness of your webinar and its associated business is increased with each online event. If you’ve created a video of the meeting that can be viewed later, your one-time event could send traffic your way for many years.
About the Author: Dan Steiner is a technology entrepreneur, author, and marketing consultant. He is currently serves as CEO of security firm Online Virus Repair Inc., while also running Avila Web Firm, a web design and internet marketing agency based out of San Luis Obispo, California. Additionally, he is as an active mentor and volunteer at startup events throughout region. Get more from Dan on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.