Webinars and events are trusted as an essential part of a healthy marketing-mix. They are used to build new contact lists, engage with leads, and cement relationships with existing customers. Yet a webinar might be something you only do a couple of times a year. Here are some tips on using marketing automation and email to ensure your event is packed.
Getting your audience and life cycle stage well-defined
In marketing automation we often talk about delivering value and following up with behavioural messaging. But none of that matters if we attract the wrong audience.
So let’s start with “the” attendee. What is their profile and interests? If you are applying Marketing Automatbion tactics, make sure you are appealing to the intended persona(s) and in the stage of the buyers journey / sales funnel.
Of course you might already have an idea of what your webinar should be about, but it is never a bad idea to see if the type of topic is synchronized with the type of audience you are trying to attract and the descision making stage they are in.
Then create a selection or list with customers and leads you would like to visit your event. Based on your “must attend” list you can personally invite them or automated using a personalised email flow.
If there are external speakers or sponsors, ask them to also invite attendants. That way you can drastically increase your reach. Let them possibly give something to their audience, like for instance a discount on tickets or a book giveaway.
Of course your own goals are important – we will get to that later – but the value to your intended audience should be the starting point for everything from initial planning, content, delivery style all the way to the follow-through after the event.
With that in mind:
1. Pick the perfect topic and make it a must-attend title
Real life events might be paid or not, but they certainly take a chunk of time to attend. Webinars are typically free to attend, so there is no purchase barrier there, but you are competing with a lot of them. So get ready to show value up front.
It is impossible to get people to attend your event if your topic sucks. Try to select a topic that’s broad enough to appeal a large enough audience, yet targeted enough it doesn’t end up being too ‘high level’. The more specific it is, the more value and actionable advice your attendees can take with them.
It is a big plus if the topic is directly related to your product, the problem you are solving or a niche you are targeting. Mainly because this allows you to follow up more simply and can easily measure interest from registration and attendance.
Your event title (and sub title) is crucial. It needs to be crafted to get the audience’s attention and to also ensure it clearly communicates what the value is for the attendee. An ideal event title should spell out ‘I MUST know this’. You can hook potential attendees with that title and then lead into copy or a landing page and provide more detail.
Your ideal webinar topic and title:
- Appeals to a large enough audience
- Targeted enough to measure intent
- Directly related to audience, niche or product
- Communicates WIIFM (what’s in it for me)
You can get inspiration from youtube to find similar event titles or browse through per category what presentations there have been on bright talk.
A case for choosing a narrow topic
Just like choosing your products or blog, you have to choose your topic to match your audience. Pick a topic too broad won’t get the kind of traction and interest that you really need. Niel Patel shares some insights into the virtue of finding the right level of specificity in his “guide to creating a successful blog”. Here is the example he uses to illustrate:
A (too) wide topic: Carpentry
Narrower topic(s): trim carpentry, log carpentry, construction carpentry, cabinetry, ship building, furniture carpentry, restoration carpentry or Japanese carpentry.
But even Japanese carpentry could be too wide, why not Miyadaiku carpentry. Now we are getting specific, which is the key to getting noticed (inside the audience that matters). Within that topic, there is enough depth that resonates with the audience. You can talk about the tools used, techniques used, wood, trying to sell this carpentry, mixing it up, show examples, interviews, etc, etc. The combination of specific and shallow is quaranteed to not fare well.