It’s no secret that the attention span of the average person has diminished significantly over the last several years. The good news, however, is that people still love signing up for free classes. In fact, if you want to promote your next webinar, you’ll be happy to know that more than half of marketers are still using them, and a third of marketers believe they are critical to success.
While all that sounds great, the question is how to promote webinars and generate healthy registration rates? Let’s face it, paid ads on different social networks aren’t cheap, and marketers are always going to be looking for the best way to promote whatever they’re selling as inexpensively as possible, including upcoming webinars. If you can relate, you’re in luck because this post is jam-packed with 14 free ways to promote your webinar.
After all, we can have the greatest webinar on the planet but if no one is there to attend it, it’s all for naught! And while free is not necessarily better than paid, sometimes free is all we have available to us. With that in mind, check out this list and then choose a few webinar promotion tools that you think might appeal to your target audience.
You don’t have to use all of them to have a hit. In fact, you will be far better off choosing a few of them to reach as many people as you possibly can instead of spreading yourself too thin. Without further ado, here are 14 free ways of promoting your webinar successfully. (Just read from the top down for all of them or click a link below to get started!) Don’t forget to create an optimized landing page with all the essentials before promoting your webinar.
Using Facebook is a great way to promote your upcoming webinars because odds are people that already know, like, and trust you are already fans of your page, and will therefore be more likely to see what you’re up to. However, there is another effective way to promote on Facebook that not all marketers are taking advantage of – it’s private Facebook groups.
The steps to getting the word out via these private groups is as easy as 1… 2…3!
1. Search for a group related to your webinar.
Enter keywords into the search box to bring up groups in your niche. Let’s say you have a product or service related to publishing a book on Amazon. Select a group.
To become a member of the group, just click the “Like” button, and you’re in!
3. Promote webinars on days you have permission to.
In the beginning days of Facebook groups, it was easy to join groups, post promotions, and bounce. These days, groups are significantly more saturated, and group administrators are equally strict with what they will allow to be posted in their groups.
You’ll need to read the rules of any group you join, and follow them to the letter. Not doing so will get you flagged as a spammer, and could get you removed from the group.
Some groups allow you to promote whatever you are up to upon joining their collective. Others have designated days for self promotion. For example, you may see days in your group like Freebie Friday, Follow Friday, or Marketing Monday. These allotted days will have a thread where you can add your webinar’s registration link to share your free class with the group. Be sure to add a sentence summarizing your webinar content.
In some cases, you may need to ask your group’s moderator for permission to share your webinar’s landing page link. Remember, this is their audience that they have brought together, so don’t step on their toes and assume you can share anything you want, including your upcoming webinar.
Should the moderator desire, feel free to give them a percentage of sales.
When promoting on your business’s fan page, you’ll want to post at least three times a week, starting roughly three weeks before your webinar event. The three most important times for webinar promotion are:
- A week prior
- The day before and
- The day of
You might even want to consider creating an event page that is linked to your fan page and invite all your personal connections to it, as well. However, use caution with this free promotion idea as you don’t want to annoy your friends and family.
Don’t forget to tag the companies and people involved with your webinar!
That click-through to your registration page is the ultimate goal of your individual tweet.
Your overall goal on Twitter is to get your webinar promotional tweet liked and retweeted as much as possible, and to get as many click-throughs to your webinar landing page as you can.
One of the best ways to stir up a social buzz on Twitter for your upcoming webinar is to simply put it out there in a well-designed Tweet.
2. Schedule your tweets with Buffer (You can use this automation step by step with Twitter too!). You should send out a tweet every other day for the first two weeks prior to your online events, then publish a tweet 1-3 times per day for the week your webinar goes live.
3. For each individual tweet, add a shortened link (use Bitly) to your webinar’s landing page, alongside the time and date, the webinar title, and your webinar’s relevant hashtags.
An alternative to a bit.ly link is to use a WordPress Plugin like Pretty Link. This is great for establishing brand awareness because Pretty Links enables you to shorten links using your business’s own domain name. For example, bizdomain.com/webinar. This address will cloak the long registration link, and keep your links posted to social media on brand!
4. Stay active on Twitter for at least three weeks prior to your webinar, and make sure that you create a buzz by starting and joining the conversation.
Among the different social media platforms, Instagram is the best place to show the personality of your brand.
1. Capture the behind the scenes shots of your webinar.
- Document before, during, and after your webinar, and make sure to include pictures of you and your guest speakers.
4. Take advantage of Instagram stories and IGTV as well
Your Instagram stories can feature short snippets from your webinar, and IGTV segments can include longer snippets with shoutouts, and teasers that will intrigue more registrants to go to your registration form link and sign up. Be sure to add a link to your Instagram bio that redirects people to your webinar landing page.
LinkedIn has grown by leaps and bounds.
To promote your webinar, post the webinar announcement on your LinkedIn company page, and to all relevant groups — once a week for three weeks before the webinar starts.
If your target audience uses LinkedIn a lot, follow these steps to entice people to attend your webinar.
1. Join LinkedIn groups similar to your webinar niche.
ASAP. Sometimes you’ll need approval to join a group, and that takes time.
2. Write relevant content for your LinkedIn blog post about your webinar’s topic.
That’ll give you a solid SEO boost on top of direct exposure to your LinkedIn following. Writing a valuable blog post with relevant content gives you a solid content marketing strategy to share your webinar without seeming salesy, and the readers who want to learn more will sign up for your webinar.
3. Share links to useful resources.
Unfortunately, lots of people join LinkedIn groups just to promote and run.
Don’t be that guy.
Before promoting webinars, you should share links that are valuable to your group, and answer some of their questions too. Value first, then promote.
Again, just like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups have grown significantly in popularity over the past few years. As a result, so have the number of rules moderators are enforcing. Be sure to check and see if the moderators of the group have rules about what you can share so you don’t get flagged and removed for spam.
This powerhouse of a search engine is second only to Google.
You can upload a sample of your webinar’s content, a video ad, or past webinars to get people interested in the next. Youtube is great for webinar promotion because people can just jump onto your channel, and click through to the link to your webinar immediately via your video description. This area is prime real estate to share your upcoming webinar, and what it’s about for anyone who might find the video through organic search.
Here’s how you can put together a YouTube teaser.
2. Add your call to action with the URL to your registration page.
3. 3. Use the video’s embed code to insert the video into your landing pages, registrations page, blog posts, and all of your social networks.
Pinterest is a superb channel to significantly increase your webinar attendance rates.
And it’s easy.
1. Just head over to Pinterest.
2. Pin a promotional image of your webinar and link it directly to the landing page.
#7 SEO and Blogging
Don’t underestimate the power of SEO in promoting your webinar. A well-written blog post with relevant keywords can easily be as effective as a dedicated landing page, and often more so thanks to the relevant information and value your reader gets out of it.
Write and schedule one blog post each week for the three weeks prior to your webinar, on the same point as your webinar topic.
Every 400-500 words, insert a link to your webinar’s registration page (a 1500 word article should have two links in the body and one at the end) .
CoSchedule reported on several studies that were done into the ideal blog post length. They found that the best blog posts range from 1,600 to about 2,500 words. These lengths seem to perform best in organic search when keywords used in the posts were used in the title, at least one subhead, and sprinkled naturally throughout the post.
Use Buffer to schedule your blog posts to go out on social media, and send it to your email list too.
► Keep in mind that some forums won’t let you promote your webinar, and some forums have threads dedicated to paid ads and promotions.
► Breaking the rules will get you banned quickly, so read the forum rules before posting.
► If no promotions are allowed, you can get past that by creating a forum signature with a link to your registration page.
Every time you answer a question or simply comment on the forum, they’ll see your subtle but valuable signature webinar promotion. You can also directly embed the form to drive more registrations to your webinar.
#9Your Email Signature
Update your email signature with your webinar registration link, and a simple call to action.
#10 Appear on TV or Radio
There’s plenty of community programs and Cable TV programs that can get you in front of thousands of people for free.
First, create your news story.
TV stories usually run for 3 to 5 minutes, so you’ll need enough content to cover that timeframe.
Get a Spokesperson.
For both radio and TV, you’ll need a spokesperson, ideally you. You can outsource that to an associate, however, or hire someone to take your place.
Who do you send your press release to?
If you’re taking the radio route, find a contact in the newsroom. For a TV program, you’ll need to talk to the program Producer. For television news, find the Chief of Staff or a reporter.
1. Find contact information online and call them.
2. Ask the receptionist for which person you should send your media release to.
Always follow up with a phone call, one the morning before the event, and one more the morning you go live.
With TV news, you probably won’t know until the last minute whether they will be able to have a crew available, so shoot for a holiday and big-event free day.
Before we move on, I want to cover free press releases online. A lot of people turn their noses up when they hear it, and with good reason — only 5% of these press releases actually make it on Google News.
So let’s focus on that 5%:
► PR Fire
► PR Zoom
For the runner-ups in this research, read the Vitis PR report.
#11 Guest Posting and Guest Podcasting
Guest posting and guest podcasting are two fabulous free ways to promote your webinar because they allow you to leverage other people’s audiences for your own benefit. The way guest posting works, is you find blogs that are in your niche, and you write a post for it. You’ll reach out to the web admin or business owner with a story pitch, and they will either accept it or they won’t.
The fastest way to find websites that allow contributors to submit guest posts is to type into Google your niche and the words “write for us.” For example, if you’re a nutritionist, your search might be nutritionist and “write for us.”
The search results should yield at least a few potential blogs looking for contributors. If not, try typing your niche along with phrases like “contribute,” “guest post,” “submit a post,” “work with us,” and “guest writer” into the search box.
Once you have a list of potential blogs to work with, you’ll want to send them a personalized email with your story idea. Be sure to check their blog to see if they have already covered a similar topic. You want to offer something unique, that also is relevant to their target audience.
Hopefully, you’ll get more people to bite on your request to write for their blog. If you do, ask for their contributor guidelines so you can write it in the style they prefer. Typically, you will be given a bio section with your guest post as well as one link to whatever you’re trying to promote. This area is perfect for webinar promotion.
To pitch yourself as a guest speaker in a podcast, the process is very similar to pitching for guest posting. You’ll again search for podcasts in your niche. Then, once you have a list of potentials, you’ll send a personalized pitch as to why you would make a great guest.
Do yourself a favor and don’t mention your webinar in this phase. This is not the best time for webinar promotion. Everyone hosting podcasts already knows you’re trying to sell something. So focus on delivering value first. What can you contribute to their podcast audience?
At the end of your episode is likely when the podcast host will ask you where their listeners can find you online. That’s when you’ll share your special URL including your relevant pages to increase your website visitors. Many podcast hosts will then add this link to their show notes that they put online for their listeners to check out later. But, this is why having a unique and memorable link is such a good idea, instead of a bit.ly link.
There are tons of associations related to your industry that you can leverage for webinar promotion.
The key is to let them get the word out about your webinar.
Plenty of associations offer webinars for free to members to boost the value of membership, so keep that in mind as you plan your webinar topic and structure.
Most people charge $50 to $300 for a 60-minute webinar, but don’t forget about sponsorship! You can offer your webinar for free and still make money, by selling ad space to people who want to promote a product or service.
One of the easiest ways to find an association match for your webinar is at the Career One Stop association search.
#13 Joint Ventures
This is the fastest and easiest way to get started. Just reach out to more people in the same niche as you, and have them share the news about your webinar!
It’s an easy win, because you’re bringing them a massive payload of valuable content to share with their followers, and you’re able to sell your core offer to their marketing list.
Here’s how it’s done.
Find your Joint Venture Partner
The first step into your JV journey is to make a list of the people you want to work with.
You can find them by searching Facebook for JV groups.
Next, build a strong business relationship with them by adding value in some way — comment on their blog, talk with them and their followers on social media, or leave them a positive review on their book, podcast or LinkedIn.
Reach out to Your Joint Venture Partner
Cookie-cutter template emails won’t do. Write a personalized email to each potential partner:
► You’re already on their radar, but be sure to formally introduce yourself.
► Compliment them on their work. This should be easy and 100% truthful because their work is the reason you chose them in the first place.
► Capture their interest by mentioning your sales and marketing strategy, but don’t pitch right away.
► Wait until you get an email back, then schedule a time to talk on the phone or in-person if you’re near each other.
Once you’ve landed the partnership, you can start working together to promote your webinar.
► Leverage their email list by sending out the full webinar campaign in the next section.
► Ask for them to embed your teaser video on their website or blog.
► Have them send out promotional posts to their social media platforms.
► Ask them to introduce you during the webinar, and if possible, do it together.
#14 Your Email List
If you don’t have an email list yet, no worries.
As you use the methods above for webinar promotion, you’re building your email list.
Your webinar email campaign may very well be the most vital part of your sales and marketing strategy. That’s why I want to give you this entire webinar email campaign, to make sure you’re as successful as possible.
Email #1 The Teaser
Add your YouTube video teaser to your newsletter, three weeks to a month in advance. No dates or times needed, just the teaser.
Email #2 Save the Date
Next, give them the date and time of your webinar, with a subtle link to your landing page, beneath the teaser video.
Email #3 Formal Invitation
Make sure to send your official registration invitation a week prior to the webinar.
Email #4 Last Chance Reminder
This is their last chance and your’s too.
Segment your email list to hand tailor this email to specific groups and get the most bang for your buck:
► Segment A: People who opened Email 1 and 2 but didn’t click through to the registration. Ask them what’s keeping them.
► Segment B: People who opened Email 3 but didn’t click through to the registration link. For this email, make it as simple as possible to sign up for your webinar. Immediately give them the link to register, and add another call to action at the bottom, with objection-counters in between.
► Segment C: These are past webinar attendees (or buyers) who didn’t open your last 2 emails. Give them a refresher on the webinar content and prompt them to register so they can view the “post-live” recording, if nothing else. Level with them on a personal and emotional level.
Email #5: We’re Live!
Send this email to everybody as soon as you go live to let them know that they can still attend your webinar.
Email #6: Post-Live Last Chance Reminder
Some people allow viewers to watch their recording for up to a week after the official webinar release, while others shut it down within 24 hours. Whatever you choose, make sure you give them a reminder of how long they have to download or view the recording before it goes away.
Whether you’re bootstrapping with the best of them or simply adding to your list of frugal sales and marketing strategy, we’ve covered 14 proven ways to promote your webinar like a champ without spending your hard-earned money.
From social media promotion to joint ventures and email marketing, you now have the best practices for a solid marketing plan that’ll make your next webinar shine.
Good luck to you, and don’t forget to grab my free webinar promotion tools on the way out!
*This article was originally published August 2, 2016 and was updated October 8th, 2019.