You defined the subject, invited the best professionals, prepared the camera and the set, and spread the word on your social networks. Now, the only thing missing on your webinar is the audience.
How to increase webinar attendance is one of the most common questions among those who organize these events.
The year 2020 brought a boom of webinars, lives, and other virtual events. So, fighting for the public’s attention is more intense than ever.
We know how frustrating it can be when you dedicate time and put effort into something that doesn’t reach as many people as possible.
However, you can use a few tricks and techniques to attract a broader audience to your webinar. Just be prepared for all the subscriptions you are going to have in your next event!
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1. Define your public
“Niche” is the key concept here. Sources of information abound online, and people choose carefully to whom they will give some minutes of their attention.
So, to make something captivating, you must define a specific public. Avoid broad definitions such as “women from 29 to 45 years old”.
After all, this doesn’t say much about those to whom you are trying to communicate.
Instead, go for a more detailed profile, preferably focusing on lifestyle aspects.
For example, you may choose to speak to “mothers of children under five years old who live in smaller cities.”
2. Choose a relevant topic
Now that you know who you want to communicate with, you must discover what is relevant for them. Create an empathy map to find out what pains your target audience has and how you can help it solve that.
If you still don’t know how to work with an empathy map, here’s a simple video that explains just that:
Remember to be specific in this step too. There are millions of articles, videos, and tutorials about any theme you may think across the internet.
A person will only get interested in your webinar if it answers a question to what they still haven’t found a satisfactory answer.
3. Take advantage of the broader scenario
Moments of change can be great allies to those who want to assert themselves as a reference in a field.
Changes cause uncertainty, and most people need guidance to know how to behave and what to do.
Therefore, take up the leader-role and be the one to show people the path, and they will follow it.
Promote a webinar that explains what is going on, what are the possible future scenarios, and how people — and especially companies — should act.
If you are in a disruptive industry, such as healthcare, life sciences, technology, among others, you can explain to your audience the most recent news of the field.
Also, you can analyze an event that has been on the media.
4. Choose speakers wisely
If you want to increase your webinar attendance, you should consider inviting an expert that is not affiliated with your company to speak.
After all, when you only have internal sources, people may see your virtual event just like a sales pitch.
In contrast, when you invite external partners, you increase your webinar’s credibility and attract more people to watch it.
Thought leaders of the market, researchers in the field, well-known consultants, and other specialists may have a unique perspective on the topic you will approach.
They can contribute by talking about real-life cases, new methodologies, and theories, as well as giving your public some food for thought.
Of course, you can — and should — also have professionals from your company. They can either act as mediators of the debate or even as speakers.
Such a strategy will only make your event more relevant, besides granting your company authority on the chosen topic.
5. Pick the best day and time for your audience
If your goal is to attract as many people as possible, it’s only logical you should host your webinar at a time when your audience is available, right?
You should also consider hosting it between 10 am to 11 am, or 1 pm to 2 pm — those are the most popular hours among viewers.
You can even analyze your social networks’ reports to see when your audience is usually online. Of course, this decision should also consider what makes sense to your business.
Another way to define the best moment for the webinar is by asking your audience.
Make a poll to see what would be the most suitable day and time for the event. It’s also going to be a good thermometer of their interest in your webinar.
You could release some teasers, create expectations about what will happen, and involve them in the decision-making process.
All these are positive actions that will stimulate people to participate when the day comes.
6. Work on your communication
Once you have all the formal aspects of your webinar figured out, it’s time to spread the word about it.
Of course, if you are hosting an online event, it makes sense to advertise it online.
Use all the tools you have at hand: ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram, posts on LinkedIn, and your Content Marketing strategy. Wherever your audience is, that is where you should advertise your webinar.
But beware: timing is essential here. You don’t want to start advertising your webinar too much in advance.
It would only make people lose a sense of urgency. Also, the topic could no longer be relevant for them, or something else could just come up and get in the way of your event.
7. Make it personal
Only posts and ads won’t attract all those attendees you are expecting. For that, you need to take a much more personal approach.
With all the activities people have in their lives, it’s natural for them to forget about your webinar. That’s why it’s your job to remind them.
You could send your audience an email one week before your event, a second on the day before, and, finally, a third one hour ahead of the webinar.
This way, you will remain in people’s minds, and they will reserve a slot in their calendars for you.
8. Offer something to your attendees
People love to feel they are getting an advantage or a great deal. That’s why offering an exclusive gift to your attendees is a good idea.
Select an ebook, a template, a workbook, or any other material relevant to your audience. Also, it must relate to the topic of your webinar.
If you have an external partner as a speaker, you can also have the person offering something of theirs, maybe holding a draw of some copies of their book.
Make it clear you will give the item as a freebie to all of those attending the webinar live. And remember to mention that both on your invitation emails and the event’s landing page.
9. Give access to the speaker
A webinar can be a unique opportunity for people to access very prominent players of a specific industry. In fact, the chance to speak to that person may be a decision-making factor.
That may be the exact thing that will make your public watch your webinar live, rather than just the recording at the time of their convenience.
So, include a live Q&A section at the end of the webinar and let your audience interact with the speaker.
That will contribute to your brand image, as it is an act of generosity that will make the experience even more relevant and memorable.
Also, remember to include this information on your promotional material. Make sure it’s clear that attendees will have the chance to interact with the speaker live at your event.
As you might have noticed in this article, the hints, and techniques we mentioned focus on the audience.
The reason for this is simple: if you want to increase webinar attendance, the public is an essential piece in this equation.
So, put your public in the center of your decision-making process. Also, think about what will interest it. That is how you are going to attract a broad audience to your event.
Are you ready to start planning your next webinar? Download our webinar checklist to make it a huge success!