Award-winning Webinar Marketing Shows Benefits of In- and Out-of-Box Thinking

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Do we try enough new ways of doing things? I was just reading about a 2016 SIPAward-winning marketing campaign by Cynopsis Media, a division of Access Intelligence, for a webinar titled, How to Use Snapchat to Reach & Deepen Your Audience. One of their four panelists was a 15-year-old social influencer named Alexis G. Zall.

That led to some interesting marketing. "By bringing on a teenager who has over 300,000 social media followers, we were able to provide our community with a unique experience and insight into their target market," wrote Jenn Ocampo, senior marketing manager. "The attendees enjoyed asking questions to the executives, but more so the social media influencer. Knowing Alexis would be a unique point-of-view, we leveraged her social media influence to help promote our webinar."

Here are eight takeaways from that campaign and from a company called Webinar Ninja:

1. Go midweek and midday. Cynopsis held their webinar on a Thursday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. That goes with Webinar Ninja's findings that Tuesday and Thursday are the best days to get those you've signed up to attend, and 11 am to 2 pm is the best time. Monday and Friday are the toughest days. If you're trying to include people on the west coast, later is better; for Europe, move to earlier. "You've got to know who you're dealing with," writes Omar Zenhom. A foreign audience may have a different timetable.

2. Your marketing does not have to be extensive, but it does have to be varied and engaging. Cynopis sent five email messages to their database over a three-week period, using clear, yet interesting subject lines such as:

  • A powerful tool/app that you need to know how to use.
  • Join us on 6/25 & become a Snapchat expert!
  • How to use Snapchat to reach and deepen your audience.

On average, the emails were sent to 60,000 recipients and received a 20% open rate and 400 clicks per message. Promotions also reached around 7,500 Cynopsis followers on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Their webpage received 4,500 pageviews..

3. Put time into finding the right topic. Cynopsis created the webinar after "discovering that the television and media industry could use a deep dive into this elusive new app." They were right. They had 83 paid participants and surpassed budget by $17,000. "This was our most successful production from an attendee, revenue and feedback standpoint," Ocampo wrote.

4. Try different speakers and/or a creative mix. In addition to the 15 year-old Gall, Cynopsis had high-level executives from agencies such as OMD World, McBeard, and fullbottle. Anyone who has stayed up to watch the The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS has noticed that he brings his two or three guests out together for the conversations. In the few episodes I've seen, it has made for better banter than the single-guest-at-a-time format. Denis Leary and Salma Hayek last week were particularly fun—and even more informative perhaps—playing off each other and the host.

5. Engage participants right away in the webinar. Zenhom likes to start every webinar by "quickly sharing with my attendees where I am from and a fun fact about myself." He then asks attendees to do the same in the chat box. This "sets the tone of the webinar, it says to the crowd, 'This webinar is different. In this webinar, you're not just going to watch me blab on. You're going to get involved.'"

6. Keep them guessing. "Don't just reveal your info to your attendees, ask them what they think the answer is before you give it to them," Zenhom writes. "For example, you might have a slide that says, "THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF PHOTOGRAPHY." Instead of revealing the next slide with what that rule is, ask your attendees to pop their guesses in the chat."

7. Check in with your audience now and then. We're in the era of multi-tasking, and it's easy to lose people. "One of the most common mistakes webinar hosts make is steamrolling through their workshops without stopping to check if their attendees are on board," writes Zenhom. "...Take a few breaks to check comprehension. A simple question or request... can really make a huge difference." He wants companies to make better use of the chat box.

8. And make available on demand.

Doing something a certain way for a while can be comfortable, but trying something new in your webinar marketing or on the webinar itself can pay dividends.  

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…