7 Ways to Attract More Online Meeting Participants
“If you build it, he will come” is listed in the top 100 most memorable American movie quotations. I wonder why, since every marketer understands that just because you “build it”, does not mean the people will come.
While I’m in quote mode, Walt Disney said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
Granted, you may not be planning to build another Disney World, but just because you decide to host an online meeting doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get participants.
People first have to know about your event, and it has to come across as compelling enough for them to commit to spending a portion of their precious time with you. They’ll only do that if they clearly see the benefits of attending.
This post is all about ways to attract more participants to your online meeting or webinar. Before that can happen, though there needs to be some planning:
Plan your online meeting content
The success of your meeting depends on whether it adds value to your participants or not.
You don’t want to attract a lot of participants and then fail them due to a lack of planning. Be clear on your goal, and provide an entertaining, engaging event that adds real value to your attendees.
Make sure to pick a great topic and create an irresistible title for it. This could make all the difference to its success or failure.
Plan the sign-up process
An example of an online meeting sign-up process looks like this:
You can see that to make the process above work well; some planning is involved. You may need to use 3rd party integrations where necessary.
Using online meeting and webinar software like ClickMeeting will make planning a lot easier.
Don’t assume your participants have the technical skill of knowing what they need to do to attend; make the process easy and uncomplicated.
Create an awesome landing page
Your landing page is where you’ll send people you want to excite about your online meeting so that they’ll register to attend.
An example of a great landing page for a webinar is one by Hubspot:
Image Credit: Hubspot
On this landing page, prospective participants have all the information they need to make the decision to attend – Hubspot has made it easy for them.
Sujan Patel, digital marketing guru, provides reasons why landing pages are not effective.
Now that the planning is done, we can go on to marketing your event:
#1: Advertise on your website and blog
Create a button for your online meeting and add it to a sidebar on your website or blog and in your blog posts.
A webinar blog post ad example by Moz and Sproutsocial
#2: Notify by email
Send notification of your event to your email lists, remembering to make it easy for people to sign up.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking participants will remember to attend, so be sure to send follow-up emails.
Include a “tell a friend” link in emails.
#3: Broadcast over social media
Broadcast the event over all your social media channels. Design a few different ads to see what gets the best result.
Example of a paid Facebook ad for a webinar by Wishpond
You can advertise on social media for just about next to nothing, so it’s a great way to let people know about it.
#4: Promote on forums
If you’re a member of any forums, you can use them to promote your online meeting via a landing page. Be aware, though that you need to promote the link naturally (if the forum allows links) or it may be removed by the administrators. Here’s an example of link promotion on Quora:
You can see this writer has inserted the links in a natural way while answering a question; it is not obvious that they are being promoted, they are in the context of the subject and provide value.
If your links come across as spam, they will be deleted.
#5: Back to basics
Promote your online meeting offline by using:
- Newspaper/magazine ads
- Word of mouth
- Direct mail
#6: Pay Per Click advertising
If you’re not getting much organic traffic to your website, or you don’t have many followers on social media yet, PPC advertising is a great method to promote your webinar.
John Rampton explains why it works. PPC advertising will require a bit of know-how to work well, so do your homework first.
#7: Presenter’s networks
Make it easy for the presenters of your online meeting to promote it to their network. This is an especially excellent way to market something when your business is in the start-up phase, and you don’t have much traffic yet. If you partner with reputable or well-known people who are already established, you can be sure your event will be as well attended as possible.
Putting together a successful online meeting takes a lot of planning and promotion. To be effective, the content needs to add real value and the meeting needs to entertain and inform.
It’s essential to map out and plan the sign-up process so that everything works together, and then finally, market it through:
- Your blog or website
- Email lists
- Social media
- Offline avenues
- Utilizing the presenter’s networks