Sabrina dedicates her time to helping businesses generate leads and meaningful revenue through the use of webinars and virtual events. For over a decade, she has worked with businesses of all sizes, ranging from Forture 100's to small startups. She works to re-design their event strategy so they can deliver highly successful outcomes through a combination of best practices and the implementation of proven technologies. She currently serves as the VP of Marketing for Onstream Media, a leading provider of audio and video communications, and actively contributes to various publications including TSNN. Follow her @onstreammedia
There are many ways to market and promote webinar events, but one of the most powerful ways to increase webinar attendance is by the integration of social media into your webinar marketing toolkit.
Let’s take a look at eight ways to use social media to increase webinar attendance:
- Run targeted ads on social media. Social media channels are where the people are. And Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram all offer the ability to run highly targeted advertising campaigns. Allocate a piece of your marketing budget for webinar promotion.
Pro-tip: If you’re not sure how to most effectively place ads on various social media channels, find an expert to help you. The investment in the services of a professional will make a big difference in your success rate.
- Employ remarketing and retargeting tactics. Consider past webinars you’ve run; were there people who registered but didn’t turn up? If so, advertise to them using targeted emails or retargeted ads. Chances are, they’ll be interested this time around. Similarly, website visitors and social media followers make for the perfect audience for your webinar. Placing images on your website promoting the webinar is also a good way to target them. You could also retarget website visitors. For instance, when someone visits your website, you can display an ad to them that promotes the webinar when they next visit Facebook or LinkedIn. You can easily set up a retargeting through the use of a tracking pixel, and the end result is definitely worth it. Make sure your imagery and message fits into the social media vibe, and schedule regular updates on all social media platforms so that visitors are constantly reminded.
- Encourage social sharing by adding easy social share buttons. Using your audience to promote your webinar is a great way to diversify attendance. An easy way to nudge them to advertise the webinar is by adding social share buttons on the webinar registration page. This way, attendees can show that they are attending and help the spread the word to other colleagues or friends who might likewise be interested in attending. In a similar vein, when you email webinar confirmations or reminders, provide an easy option for those who have signed up to share the details of the webinar with a simple click or two. Embedding social share buttons is now commonplace in email communications, and easy to execute.
- Create event pages on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all allow brands to easily host a virtual event. These event pages encourage people to engage with other fellow attendees, both in advance of and post-event, serve as a means to spread updates and share other information related to the webinar. In addition to leveraging your existing network, you can benefit from paid ads about your event page itself. Both LinkedIn and Facebook offer PPC (Pay Per-Click) and CPM (Cost Per impression) advertisement, allowing you to pay only in the event of someone engaging with (and actually clicking on) your social media ads.
- Offer prepared tweets for your audience to share with their audience. Before the webinar, consider developing a body of pre-prepared tweets for your audience to share. Rather than leaving them to craft and tweet their own messages on the fly, giving them an “easy button,” something that’s on point and ready to post will go a long way toward motivating them to actually share content during the webinar. This will help create buzz about the webinar during the event and, since you’re also tapping into the social networks of your attendees when they share your content, it’ll give your webinar extra “legs.”
You could even take this idea a step further by offering prepared tweets for you audience to share early on in the process—like when they are signing up for the webinar, provided on the confirmation or thank-you page. Offering an incentive tied to the sharing of a pre-event promotional tweet that could lead to an entry into a drawing for a cool giveaway or a special bonus could be just the trick to get your audience excited about sharing pre-event social content.
- Use images in your social posts. Even though video has made a huge impact as the most compelling form of content on social platforms, pictures and illustrations still prove to be extremely effective. On Instagram especially, image engagement still dominates. Images should evoke interest and be relevant to your webinar, leading people to the sign-up page with a link under the image or in your bio (if you’re using Instagram). Using Instagram ads is another way to target interested audiences using the same images, but leveraging Instagram’s targeting features.
- Pin updates to the top of your social channels. This is a pretty easy step and definitely an important one. When you share a post on Facebook or Twitter you can “pin” the updates to the top of your social feed. So when you post an update or when anyone browses your feed, this will be the first thing they come across. Pinning a post works well to publicize an event and also remind people about the fact that it’s coming up soon.
- Live-tweet during the webinar. Just because the webinar has started doesn’t mean your job is over. Social media has a number of benefits even during the webinar; the platforms making it easy for your audience to share feedback, ask questions, and interact with you as your webinar progresses. Have a team member live-tweet little bits of information during the course of the event and ask poll questions along the way to further engage your audience and give them information of value. Use a unique hashtag that your audience can also use as they interact with you. This hashtag will not only boost engagement during the webinar, but promote your company as a whole on social media even once the webinar is over.
As you can see, social media allows for an abundance of opportunities in terms of increasing your webinar engagement. Even with a basic knowledge of social media, using these tips will surely help you boost attendance for your next webinar.
This post was first published on The Marketing Scope.