lepewSo you did it.  You hosted a webinar.  Good for you. What happened?  Did you get the massive leads and ROI you dreamed of or did you leave the webinar scratching your head and asking yourself “why did I have so few attendees?” or “Why are my online lead generation efforts failing?” Is sales asking “Where are my leads?!” or condemning your leads as “crap”?

Webinars are easy, right?  Wrong.  They take a lot of pre-planning and work. They take a lot of forethought.  They take a budget – YES, you have to spend money to get people to come to your event.

Ever seen that FedEx commercial where a group of people are crowded around a computer as their e-commerce site launches? The first order comes in with a “ding!”, slowly the next, then the next, all of a sudden the website is “ding! ding! ding! ding! ding! ding! ding! ding…..”.  Everyone around the computer looks at one another — as their wildest business dream has been fulfilled – and says “now what?”. Funny commercial.

And this is exactly what everyone who hosts a webinar thinks will happen. Buy online meeting tools, throw up a registration page, decided to present on something boring, and wallah! 500 registrants for your webinar.  All whom will show and all who will buy from you! Online lead generation

I can tell you right now, that a webinar customer with this expectation is going to be a very unhappy customer and probably an ex-customer in short order.

So how do you get a great turn out at your next webinar? There truly are so many components to executing a full webinar strategy. Content, technology, target marketing, types of marketing campaigns, incentives, tactical tips on webinar set up, etc. I can’t cover them all here so I’m going to focus on Promotion.

What are you doing to PROMOTE your online event?

1. Leverage your best asset. Put the Webinar description and registration on your website. Keep people on your site as long as possible before crossing over to the webinar hosting site.   Obvious, yes but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t do this.  Try to include as much information and text on your own domain. This will help drive people to your website and improve your SEO and page rank.

a: Speaking of SEO make sure your webinar description is full of the appropriate SEO keywords and tags.  Is an awesome SEO description going to bump you to #1 on Google? No.  But this whole effort is about the sum of the parts not one big action.

2. Create a MARCOM plan. Whether the webinar is a part of a larger campaign or it is your entire campaign build a marketing plan. We like to use Google docs and create a schedule that contains every communication, dates, deliverables, desired results/metrics, responsible party,  and any notes to be added.

**You can learn more about webinar MARCOM Plans HERE and even download a sample.

3. Diversify! We’ve already established this isn’t the internet gold rush of early 2000’s.  There is no “nitro button” or one singular way to promote your event. Here are the ones we’ve found to work best:
a: Promote on your own website (see #1).
b: Send 1-2 email blasts to your opt-in and customer list.
c: Press Releases. This one is gold. You’ll get picked up all over the place. Make sure to put the press release on your site and optimize those pages with meta tags and keywords.
**Super Secret Gold Nugget – don’t go with the cheap press release. Go with the big package . Might cost $200-300 but it’s worth it!

d: Send scheduled and planned tweets, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn announcements about your webinar.
e: Segment your LinkedIn contacts and send personal notes to those contacts that match your ideal attendee profile.
f: Paid tweets, LinkedIn ads, and Facebook ads.
g: Blog post – Always kick off each webinar with a somewhat related blog post. Don’t be selling. Give info on your industry or business. Then mention at the bottom you’re hosting a webinar and all readers are invited.
h: Invite any prospect that has ever shown interest in webinars.  You do have this all segmented out in your CRM, right? Then it should be easy. If not – well there’s another action item for you to fix.

**Gold nugget #2 – a little note on all this SEO and social stuff.  If you don’t know what you’re doing around this HIRE SOMEONE.

Admitting that you don’t know something and hiring the right people to win at important tasks makes you a GENIUS. Not admitting your shortcomings makes you look foolish.  I’m assuming that if you’re reading this post you prefer GENIUS.  If you can’t afford someone and you can’t manage to be very good at SEO don’t waste your time.

4. Budget.  Look, I have one mentor in my life who sums it up nicely – “There are no free sales. Someone always has to get paid.”  Whether it’s your SEO person, email marketing, sales reps, I don’t care what business you’re in there’s no such thing as a free sale. Some cost less than others but that’s a different topic altogether.  Get ready to pay for press-releases, paid tweets, targeted email blasts, etc.  Lose the notion that webinars are super cheap and only cost the monthly subscription fee you pay to your conference calling service or webinar provider.  There are webinars like that – the stinky ones!

Take these tips and  you’ll be turning webinars that stink into events that attract your ideal prospect and drive your online lead generation success!

We recently hosted a webinar on this very topic. If you’d like to learn more,  please fill out the form below and we’ll send you a link to the webinar archive 3 Secrets to a Successful Lead Generation Webinar:

About Marc Gutman

Marc Gutman is the Chief Events Officer at Lighthouse Conferencing. He has over ten years of experience in Conferencing and Collaboration services and is dedicated to Lighthouse's mission of being a different kind of conferencing company. When not sharing his passion for remote meetings and collaboration you can find Marc enjoying time with his wife and three small children, cycling, snowboarding, kiteboarding, playing golf and generally enjoying the outdoors of Colorado. Find Marc on and LinkedIn.

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Marc Gutman is the Chief Events Officer at Lighthouse Conferencing. He has over ten years of experience in Conferencing and Collaboration services and is dedicated to Lighthouse's mission of being a different kind of conferencing company. When not sharing his passion for remote meetings and collaboration you can find Marc enjoying time with his wife and three small children, cycling, snowboarding, kiteboarding, playing golf and generally enjoying the outdoors of Colorado. Find Marc on and LinkedIn.

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