My four-step plan for promoting webinars on LinkedIn
Everything you need to get maximum value from your webinar – including paid and organic promotion, quick video content and more
March 14, 2019
B2B marketers have been using webinars since the early 1990s, back when video conferencing was the coolest and shiniest of new marketing toys. Almost three decades later, they’re still one of the most valued, most engaging and most effective B2B marketing tactics out there.
It helps that webinars have evolved. Live video streaming has added to their potential reach while enabling marketers to build more excitement around them. Screen sharing, real-time polls and live surveys add new levels of interactivity. In Demand Gen Report’s most recent survey of B2B buyers’ content preferences, roughly half of buyers (48%) described webinars as the most valuable content format for the middle stages of the buyer journey. They spent more time engaging with webinars than any other type of content – and of all content experiences, it was webinars they were most willing to share contact details to access.
All of which means that webinars have a key role to play in generating demand, nurturing leads and supporting your existing customers. However, they can only fulfil their potential if you have a strategy for promoting them effectively. I’ve been hosting webinars for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions for the past three years – and I’ve learned that it’s vital to have a promotional plan that starts long before the webinar itself, and continues to leverage value from it afterwards.
My webinar promotion strategy is built on LinkedIn. B2B marketers in the Content Marketing Institute’s Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report consistently rate LinkedIn as the most important channel for content distribution, and my experience with webinar promotion backs that up. I’ve found that combining paid and organic distribution consistently increases attendance – and delivers impressive ROI, especially when you factor in the quality of leads that you generate when audiences have spent up to an hour learning about your solutions.
Here’s the four-stage promotion plan that I put into action whenever we have a webinar coming up in our content schedule.
Stage 1: Align with sales – and activate your organic distribution
As soon as your core webinar assets are ready (once you’ve got a landing page for people to register, confirmation emails to confirm when they have, and social creative ready to go) then it’s time to start promoting. The starting point should be your organic touchpoints on LinkedIn.
You’ll have greater scope for leveraging organic distribution on LinkedIn if you’ve aligned with your sales team on planning your webinar programme. Working with them to identify subjects that talk to the opportunities and barriers in the buying journey doesn’t just help to ensure that you’re delivering relevant content. It motivates sales reps to share your webinar promotion – and provides you with a powerful, personalised distribution channel. You’ll have a queue of eager presenters as well – and the chances are you’ll be generating informed, relevant leads that sales can convert faster. You can make it easier for sales to build buzz with their networks by equipping them with assets that are ready to go. Draft up a simple email with webinar details and a reminder of the audiences that the webinar is relevant for, and provide them with promotional creative and suggested copy to share with their networks.
Once you’ve set the sales team in motion, start promoting your webinar through organic, social touchpoints, including your LinkedIn Page. Through a LinkedIn Page, you can target content so that you’re promoting your webinar specifically to your most relevant audiences. If your audiences stretch across regions and languages, you can target your promotion by profile language as well. The Content Suggestions feature of the new LinkedIn Pages can be a useful input to the webinar planning process, identifying the subject areas that your key target audiences are engaging with.
The contribution of organic touchpoints often goes unnoticed when you’re running a campaign. Set yourself up for success and measure everything by adding tracking parameters to your url. You might be surprised to see how many registrations are driven by your unpaid efforts.
Stage 2: Use video to introduce your presenters – and give a taste of the topic
Video content can help to take your promotional campaign to the next level by introducing your presenters, giving them a chance to express their personality, and providing a taste of the webinar experience itself.
It’s incredibly easy to make quick and easy professional video. With this kit costing around $100, you can put together your own portable video studio. That’s everything you need to film short promotional videos, humanise your brand and build more collaboration between marketing and any sales team members taking part. Work with your presenters to plan out the structure of your video and prepare a compelling script. Give yourself 30 seconds or less to introduce the presenters, tell audiences why your topic matters, provide a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business, and give people an idea of what to expect.
As with other promotional assets for your webinar, aim to AB test everything about your videos: length, tone, content, and the different impact of a single video versus a series of shorter ones featuring different presenters. There’s so much to experiment with, and you’ll be building up insight and learnings for your future webinar campaigns.
Stage 3: Build in paid promotion – and don’t forget Dynamic and Text Ads
If you’re tracking the impact of your organic activity, then you’ll know which assets are worth sponsoring to reach a wider audience. Use Sponsored Content to scale the reach of your social creative and video content, and use Sponsored InMail for personalised invitations to high-value prospects. However, these aren’t the only options available for promoting your webinar through paid media on LinkedIn. Don’t overlook the impact of Dynamic Ads and Text Ads – particularly if you’re working with a shoestring budget.
Dynamic and Text Ads both give you the opportunity to get personal with your target audience, dynamically pulling in member-profile data to grab people’s attention and enhance engagement. They are intuitive, easy to create, and the only creative you need is some short text copy, which is ideal if you’ve got limited resources for the campaign. Both have performed really strongly for me when promoting webinars at LinkedIn.
Stage 4: Keep promoting your webinar OnDemand
Great! Your webinar went off without a hitch, your presenters were charismatic and knowledgeable and most importantly, your audience got exactly what they came for. And just because your webinar is over and you’ve sent out your follow up, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue leveraging value from it. OnDemand webinars work really well on LinkedIn. Just switch ‘Register Now’ CTAs to ‘Watch Now’ and timestamp key sections so that members who come across the recording can very quickly visit the section that is of interest to them.
If you’ve invested in some video production kit, consider enlisting your presenters for some quick, follow-up content as well. Video can be a great format for summarising key topics and pointing people towards the full, OnDemand webinar. How about producing a snappy video series with concise answers to the questions that came up in your webinar Q&A? A great webinar isn’t the end of your promotional campaign. There are plenty of imaginative ways to give the content legs – and keep your audience engaged.
This is how I use LinkedIn to promote our upcoming webinars. If you’re interested in learning more about our upcoming webinars or OnDemand recordings, check out our LinkedIn Marketing Solutions webinar hub.