How to Build Your Virtual Event Audience

With nearly 169,000 hours of webinar content viewed in April 2020 alone (just on the On24 platform), it’s clear that webinars are back and more engaging than ever before. And as we outlined in our latest post, webinars are here to stay. 

If you broadcast a webinar and no one watches it, did it even happen? More people are viewing webinars than ever before. Plus technology is making webinars easier to produce than ever before. So what key considerations do you need to make to build a successful webinar that people will actually attend? 

Just like an email campaign that no one opens or clicks, no one wants to spend time executing a poorly attended webinar. Here’s 5 tips to help you make sure you build a successful webinar.

Choose the right topic for your audience

This one might be a no brainer, but make sure you’re picking a topic that your audience actually wants to hear about! Of course you want to make sure that topic aligns with your business goals, but if everyone is hosting webinars on the same topic, how can you ensure your audience will pick yours to attend? Go to social media, google analytics, and pay attention to the topics and trends. Check out any recent surveys you’ve published, talk to your customers, inspiration is right at your fingertips!

Use the amplification tools in your kit

Don’t just send one email invite and expect the attendees to come flooding in. As with an in person event, amplification is key. Take advantage of all your channels: social media posts, website banners, advertising, blog posts, email newsletters, thank you pages, even other webinars can cross-promote each other! And don’t forget your best amplification channel, your employees. Make sure you’re communicating and offering them ways to easily share and extend your webinar to their networks.

Make sure you have the right speakers

One of the biggest draws to your virtual event, beyond the topic, will come down to your speakers. Obviously the right subject matter expert is going to tie directly into who is the expert on your topic. Before you jump straight to asking your trusty sales person to talk about your product/service they know inside and out, make sure you consider all your options. There’s a time and place for sales experts (like giving sales best practices!) but if you can present a webinar where a customer talks for you, or your CEO gives her perspective, you may give the webinar the credibility it needs to reach a wider audience. 

Don’t be afraid of the last minute registration

In On24’s latest report based on April 2020 data, 75% of registrants sign up in the week of the webinar. While long tail, multi-channel promotion strategies are key to building your audience, make sure you take your promotions all the way through to the webinar. Much of your audience may build in the last few days before the webinar begins.

Take advantage of marketing automation to pull it all together

The key to building seamless webinar promotion campaigns is often a marketing automation system running it all behind the scenes. As you’re building out your promotion strategy, circle back to how your marketing automation system can help it all scale. From tracking all your promotional channels, to running the webinar registration and follow up, marketing automation platforms like Marketo can make it all a simple process. 

With more and more marketers relying on virtual events for the foreseeable future, these best practices, and many more will help make sure those webinars are a success. If you’re looking for help building out your webinar strategies and linking to your marketing tech stack, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.