Webinar Marketing Tactics: How we drove attendance to #Demand2013

Recently, my brother Paul produced #Demand 2013 — An onlineContent marketing
summit, hosted by the Funnelholic.

It was a pretty amazing adventure. Paul comes from the world of non-profit and I have been busy building TOPO so he had to go pull this off himself. I can’t give you the entire registration number but it was was between 500-1500.  Oh and by the way, we have no email list. So to top things off, so we were forced to test some new ideas and tactics.

That being said, as a consultant I will tell you time and time again — if you want leads/registrations to your online events, then you have to be able to email which means you need a list.  It is and continues to be the biggest “bang for one’s buck” when it comes to promotion.  Do email and do it often.

For the event we applied some other techniques to our traffic acquisition that you may want to try.  Here are list of things we did:

1.  Enlist third party, respected expert speakers –If you are still using your Product Manager on your webinars, you have got to get with the times here. Think of it like any form of entertainment, you need headliners.  People see speakers with great reputations like Matt Heinz and Koka Sexton, and they will be more apt to register.    Also, your speakers will promote their participation to their networks which opens your event up to lots of new potential viewers. For example, Koka has 50,000 Twitter followers and a great audience on Linkedin. We could see noticeable lifts in attendance when he publicized his piece.

2.  Choose hot topics and create arresting event titles — Follow me here people: First, figure out who you want to come to your event.  Then figure out what they will be willing to spend an hour of their time listening to.  When we were brainstorming event topics with one of our event partners Act-On Software,  they did not provide us a list of topics that would support their product.  Instead, the first thing they said was: “Here are the 3-4 topics that are top of mind to our prospects.”  That my friends, is content marketing – deliver what your buyer wants to listen to not what you want to tell them.  Once we had the topics, we create titles. We actually didn’t create overly provocative titles because we felt the content itself would generate interest. (it did)

Our titles:

  • Building the Ultimate Content Marketing Machines
  • Best Practices for Highly Effective Demand Generation
  • Social Marketing that Drives Real Demand
  • The Secrets to Successfully Using Video in Your Marketing

3.  Copy email templates and copy from people that are good at it — I mentioned that we didn’t have a list, but we did send emails.  Paul had to come up with copy and design that converts. He asked me: “What should I do?”. I gave him a very simple strategy: COPY SOMEONE.  I have an folder in my GMail where I save all the emails I receive from vendors I respect. Email copy is a BIG deal as you can imagine because email is the biggest lever in webinar marketing. We copied Marketo because we know that they have tested the template over and over until it converts so why not?

4. Build The “Content Snow Ball” — At some point during our promotions Paul said to me: “For content marketing to work, it’s like a snow ball. You have to continue build momentum by delivering frequent content for it to work.” Paul was constantly finding ways to build content and wanted something posted daily to drive attention. Here are some of things we did:

5.  Create Preview Videos — The video effort was a great idea and frankly, it wasn’t that hard. We used Google Hangouts to create 10-15 minute videos with speakers and the sponsors. Here is how we did it:

  • 3 questions related to their presentation at the event that were framed like blog post topics: “What are the two-three things marketers should know about video that they don’t?”
  • Told the speakers to be prepared and answer each questions in 2-3 minutes or less.
  • Used the “lower third” on the screen to advertise the event.
  • Post the full video and 3 2-3 minutes segments cut from each question. So 4 pieces of content

b2b video marketing

5.  Write Blog Posts (on your blog and guest posts on other blogs) — I wrote blog posts on the Funnelholic, on sponsor websites like GreenLeads and Radius Intelligence.  We were focused on the content snowball so between the videos and written content, for the weeks leading up to the event we wanted something posting every day.

6.  Set up a Google and Facebook Event — Set up your event in Google Plus.  There are some great features. For one you can send the event to your circles and it will show up in their Google calendar. Facebook is a good one too bc you can invite people in your Facebook. When they RSVP, it enters the feed which is always good. (quick side note: I used to love Linkedin events until they mercy killed it…)

7. Do as Much Linkedin Marketing You Can Think of–  We did a couple things on Linkedin that worked great:

  • Mass messages — You won’t have the numbers of your regular emails, but you will be able to send a personal message (the message comes from the sender’s LinkedIn profile which is good) and you won’t end up in the spam folder. When we messaged, we had an extremely high conversion rate.
  • My Linkedin Groups — We sent messages to our Linkedin Groups leading up the event such as Friends of the Funnel Group and Focus Sales and Marketing Group.  We had time everything out 4-5 weeks in advance because there are limits to the number of sends. (I believe it is one per week). Each week, we sent out a new message. We got great traction with these sends.
  • Other Linkedin Groups — We sent relevant content to specific Linkedin Groups. For example we found b2b video marketing groups where we promoted our webinar on video marketing which basically doubled the registration number to that event. Impressive but not easy as many group owners won’t let you promote your webinar. It’s worth trying or at least asking!

8.  Create once, publish manyRadius Intelligence mashed up the decks from the various webinar at the Summit and turned it into a piece of content.  Great call.  The hardest thing in the content marketing game is ideas.  Check out this awesome piece of content here:


Ok, there you have it. I hope you found some great ideas for you next online event.  (BTW, please make it noted here that the term “content snowball” was started by Paul Rosenberg of the Funnelholic!)

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter