How Do You Make Webinars Fit?

by Shelley Ryan on July 29, 2010 · 5 comments

Do Webinars Fit?

Today a new client asked me a great question. “How have you seen webinars fitting into a general marketing plan?”

I poured myself a cocktail and carefully pondered my answer.  (Hey, it was late here! I’m allowed.)  Here’s what I said.

  • You develop content that will attract the right audience. Make it relevant, informative, interesting, and entertaining. You may have oodles of research or a just a gut instinct about the problems your target market wants to solve, but I’ve always gotten my best ideas simply from talking to those people.
  • You tailor the content to match your goals with a specific audience.  To paraphrase my Irish buddy Gerry McGovern, “If you are speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one.”   That means you’ll want to modify your webinar to generate leads from different industry segments (i.e., travel, healthcare, IT wonks) even if you’re selling them all the same thing.  And, of course, you’ll put away the firehose and promote each webinar directly to each segment.
  • You execute a detailed communications plan. Email is the most effective means to promote webinars — expect it to deliver 85% of your registrations.  People already get too much inbox crap, so don’t be lazy and send them more.  Sweat blood over every word in the announcement, the sign-up confirmation message, instructions for participating, the reminder, the “thanks for coming” and “sorry you missed it” messages, and any follow-up emails to your strongest leads.  Naturally, the copy for the registration landing page is also critical.
  • You find and test other opportunities for promotion – your e-newsletter, banner ads on your site, social media mentions, listings on public webinar sites, industry blogs, journalists you might know, etc. (Press releases?  Meh.) Whatever you use, ideally your registration landing page will be able to detect an adref code that you embed in the links from all those venues.  Then you’ll know which are producing the best results.
  • You have a method/system for tracking the leads you generate, and you know exactly what you’re going to do with them after the webinar (and when).  That’s the biggest point of failure – no one is assigned to follow up.  And 72 hours after the ball, Cinderella doesn’t care about your glass slipper.  She’s back in flip-flops.
  • You repurpose the content… lots of ways to do that, which I’ll get into later.  I’d say THAT’S the most wide-open opportunity to integrate webinars with your other marketing efforts.

Do any of these ring true for you?  What have I missed?

I’d love to get your feedback.  And if you found this useful, please share it with someone!  Thanks.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John Voris August 4, 2010 at 8:13 am

“You repurpose the content… lots of ways to do that . . . ”
I would like to read more about that.
What I have been looking for is a framework where you can build Blog entries, but also repurpose them within a builder into full-length articles, after some simple re-arranging. But I have yet to find anything that does that.


John Voris August 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

And of course, we want to repurpose the material we load into PowerPoint. But there is little chance that there will be easy migrations of information in and out of Powerpoint.

Some of the freebie XML-based and HTML-based presentation software may be more useful than Powerpoint when it comes to repurposing.


Shelley Ryan August 4, 2010 at 11:55 am

Hi, John! I will write more about repurposing webinars, I promise… but I’m not really thinking about automating that practice. I haven’t looked for any tools such as what you’ve described. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there!


Jen August 23, 2010 at 5:55 am

I’m also interested in finding out more about repurposing content.
Very useful list. I think “setting your goals” should be the a bullet in itself, it’s easy to lose oneself in planning and execution and forget about where you want to go.


Shelley Ryan August 23, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Interesting that you brought up goal-setting, Jen! I found a useful tip about that recently, and I’ll be blogging about it soon. (Repurposing, too!)


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