It’s been said every possible way over the past few months—money is tight. This goes for households as well as small and even large businesses. What are you going to do to save your company money in 2009? Are you conducting lead generating webinars? (We’d really like it if you did!) But, more importantly, will your webinars be well attended? How will you get the word out about webinars and how can you be sure people will attend? Here are a few ideas on how you can promote your webinar on a budget.
1. Promote to your customers. Your customers already think you’re great. They like you and they trust you. So go ahead and tell them about your webinars. You may find new contacts within your existing base of business. Chances are, if you’re providing good information, your customers will want to tell their customers about you, and so on. So, tell them! This can be done in a variety of ways:
- Newsletters – if you already do monthly or quarterly newsletters to update customers on product changes or promotions, include a small tout (with a link to register) about your webinars.
- Invoices – you have to send out invoices, either electronically or via snail mail. So, include information about your next webinar within the invoice. Customers may enjoy seeing the words “free webinar” instead of just “balance due”.
- Your web site – don’t forget to include information on your web site. You can also create an archive section with replays of past webinars.
- Email – if you have select customers who have chosen to receive promotional information from you, send them a quick invitation.
- Your sales people – make sure your sales force is promoting the webinar series when they go on visits to current customers or prospects. Giving your sales team an invitation template to use at will is a great tool.
2. Take advantage of social media. There are experts out there, like David Meerman Scott, Mari Smith and Jeremiah Owyang who can tell you a lot more. But here are just a few starter ideas that we’ve explored.
- Facebook – if you have a company page on Facebook, post a little tidbit (again, with a link to register) on your page. If you have an especially poignant webinar coming up, send a message to your fans letting them know about it.
- Twitter – if your Twitter following is a market that would be interested in your webinar topic, send out a link or ask a fellow Twitter user to do so for you.
- LinkedIn – every LinkedIn profile has the option to post a URL. It can be your company website or blog, etc. Choose your links wisely.
- Company blog – if your company is currently publishing a blog, create a post with a synopsis of the webinar.
- EventSpan – this is a web site that calls itself “the virtual event network”. You can publish a listing for your event and promote it here.
3. Invite a guest speaker. If you are having a guest speaker (someone outside of your employee base), ask for help in promoting the event. Here are a few ideas on how partners can help and make it a win-win for everyone:
- Partner promotions – if your guest speaker is an author with a new book, ask them to give one away during the web presentation. Or, if they are offering a training program, perhaps all attendees can receive a 15% discount.
- Guest speaker’s publications and business outlets – your guest speaker, if they choose, can promote their speaking engagement just like you promoted the webinar. They can do this through newsletters, email invitations, their social media outlets, etc.
There are always news ideas formulating out in the great big blogosphere. So please feel free to add what you are doing to promote your virtual events in 2009! Or, if you have questions on any of these tactics, list it in the comments below and one of our marketing gurus will get back to you!
Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger. Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services. She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.