Friday, August 17, 2012

Top 20 webinar promotion tactics

Webinars are a highly effective tool for B2B marketing. At Zend we used to run over 100 webinars a year. We mapped webinar content to the sales funnel - some webinars were purely educational, nothing to do with our products; some were delivered by customers, partners and community members; a small portion of our webinars were Zend product-centric.

Webinar Promotion Checklist
Webinar Promotion Checklist
Running the program was a huge undertaking. It involved many hours of planning, promoting, building content, securing presenters, rehearsing, delivering, recording and editing (luckily we had people like Andrea, Nili and Lydia on the team to make all of this happen). But, it was worth it. We usually managed to get great numbers of live attendees, especially for educational webinars targeted at the very top of the sales funnel. And we got 10x or more views of the recordings in the months following the live events. We also re-purposed webinar content and shared it on SlideShare, YouTube and more.

If you put so much effort into your B2B webinar production, you better make sure you're doing the most to promote your webinars.

I recently compiled a list of 20 things you should consider doing to promote your next webinar - here's a summary (the full information is in the beautifully designed Webinar Promotion Checklist, which you can download from the Leadspace web site):
  1. Create a title that stands out and attracts just your target audience
  2. Write a compelling, search optimized abstract
  3. Post the webinar on your website
  4. Write a news release about the webinar
  5. Tweet about the event several times with the right hashtags
  6. Write a blog post about the webinar and any associated offers
  7. Work the relevant social networks with a focus on LinkedIn
  8. Create a LinkedIn event
  9. Create a Facebook event
  10. Post in member-only business community sites
  11. Promote the webinar in event listings
  12. Share a webinar trailer on YouTube
  13. Post several slides as teaser
  14. Run a telemarketing or inside sales call campaign
  15. Add a webinar registration link to company's standard email signature
  16. Email your house list
  17. Run an online ad campaign
  18. Use your current webinar to promote your next one
  19. Use local event services
  20. Leverage your guest speakers for promotion
The details and some useful links are all in the checklist document which you can download here (or drop me a note and I'll gladly email it to you, if you hate filling out forms).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The comeback of offline marketing. Yes, offline.

Online marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, social media marketing - unless you spent the last 10 years in a cave, you are probably dancing the marketing 2.0 dance yourself.

Problem is, online marketing has become a crowded, noisy party. It's open to all, and it's virtually free.

We all understand the importance of building value adding content, of connecting with our tribe through social media, of sending drip email campaigns, of creating dazzling infographics and running virtual events. We do all of the above and more at the company I work at now, Leadspace, too.

As head of Marketing at a tech startup, I'm a prime target to hundreds of software vendors, numerous agencies and herds of freelancers. On an average day I get north of 200 emails, hundreds of tweets, dozens of webinar invites, e-book download offers, e-newsletters, content shares... you get the drift.

Take LinkedIn as an example. When was the last time you took part in a genuine, valuable, educational discussion on any LinkedIn group? Post a question and a dozen vendors are hitting you. Social networks have become a hunting ground for salespeople 2.0.

Perhaps it's just me, but are we beginning to experience social media fatigue? Is content marketing past the peak of inflated expectations?

Is it time for a comeback of the "old" way of marketing? Of "look 'em in the eyes" type of of marketing? Of the trade show, the seminar, the in-person meeting?

Ok, online marketing isn't going anywhere. Nor is social media marketing, or content marketing. But it seems that people are clamoring for a little more personal touch.

Something to think about as you build your 2013 marketing budget.