Since we are in the midst of the Major League Baseball Draft, I thought the use of some baseball analogies would be a fun way to share NewsGator's webinar best practices!
Over the last few years, NewsGator has moved its webinar marketing from the minor leagues to the major leagues - growing our webinar attendance from 100 people per webinar to 850+ people per webinar. We now find that webinars drive the highest amount of 'won business' and they are also our most cost effective marketing method.
With practice, you too can drive these types of results. So to 'fill the most seats in your webinar stadium', consider these tips...
- Select The Right Topic - don't give a product pitch, instead tell a story or educate your audience. NewsGator strives to make every webinar educational. Our most attended webinars feature customer guest speakers or industry analysts and cover topics critical to our target audience such as ROI, implementation best practices, industry data and trends.
- Write Effective Copy - make sure that your webinar invitations compel people to register and attend. Focus on business problems that your target audience can relate to and explain how the webinar will help them to solve those problems. Also be sure to include a webinar agenda and a list of key lessons that attendees can expect to learn during the webinar.
- Build A House Database - constantly work to expand the number of people that you can market to. NewsGator has quarterly goals for building out our house database and we have grown the database 10-fold over the last two years. This provides us with a rich set of targets for webinar marketing.
- Market To Current Customers - be sure to inform your existing customers about the webinar. Your customers will benefit from industry education. And by continuing to communicate with your existing customers, you are top of mind when they need additional products and services. We have several customers that are 'serial attendees' - they attend every webinar. We have also seen the amount of revenue we earn from existing customers grow over the last 2 years.
- Tweet About It - use your corporate Twitter IDs to publicize the webinar. Also encourage every employee to tweet about the webinar.
- Use LinkedIn - join relevant LinkedIn groups and market the webinar to those groups. NewsGator has joined over 20 groups specific to our industry and we always let those groups know about our webinars using a news post or discussion post.
- Talk About It On Facebook - post status updates or group messages about your webinar. NewsGator employees are active on Facebook and have connected too many of our partners and customers via Facebook. Therefore we have found Facebook to be an effective method for informing our target audience about upcoming events.
- Write A Blog Post - publicize your event on your corporate blog and any relevant industry or partner blogs. NewsGator has an active blog and drives about 10% of our webinar registrations from the blog. We also encourage partners to publicize our webinars when relevant. In fact, Microsoft blogs have been every effective in driving additional registrations for us.
- Include Details On Your Website - market the webinar on your home page and relevant secondary pages.
- Utilize SEM - feature webinar ads on search engines such as Bing.
- Use Sponsorships - investigate the purchase of email blasts or banner ads with associations and websites that are relevant to your industry or target market.
- Leverage The Recording - don't stop marketing after the webinar ends. Record the webinar and leverage it for future marketing. NewsGator generates 100s of leads from a recorded webinar - simply by making the recordings available on our website.
While some of these tactics may seem obvious, the important thing to remember is that a single marketing tactic will not make your webinar successful. NewsGator has found that a full lineup of marketing tactics is required to generate the most leads and revenue from our webinars.
I hope these proven best practices will help you 'pitch a perfect webinar game'. (As a Detroit native I would be remiss not to mention a 'perfect game' in light of the recent Tigers saga. BTW, Galarraga pitched a perfect game in my book. )
Jun 14 2010, 02:48 PM
Laura is responsible for managing NewsGator's Microsoft partnership including co-marketing efforts, field engagement, product management activities, and partner program requirements. Laura has held senior level marketing and product management positions for over 10 years. Previously, Laura held the role of Vice President of Marketing at First Advantage SafeRent - a SaaS based provider of risk management tools. Prior to that she served as Vice President of Marketing at Gold Systems - a leading provider of speech recognition applications. Laura has a B.S. in Engineering from Michigan Technological University, a M.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.