This summer, we held a webinar with Sarah Skerik (@sarahskerik), VP of Content Marketing at PR Newswire, and our very own PR & Marcomm Manager, Bo Bandy (@bo_knows_ ) on maximizing the impact of your lead gen webinars. Typically, “impact” is about the effect of something that has already occurred– as in “What impact did that webinar have on my prospects?”
While it’s important for your webinar to have an impact, the need for impact really starts with promotional activities that are impactful. Small ripples don’t garner a lot of attention or create much impact. So how do you create a promotional wave? Well, let’s take a quick look at science and see if we can’t apply it to our promotional schedule (just go with it).
How is a wave formed? Wind is responsible for creating waves. It runs along the surface of water and causes friction, which forms ripples. The stronger the wind the bigger the ripples. Ripples become faster and larger and create waves. Waves are strong. Waves leave lasting impressions - just ask a surfer or someone who’s lived through a tsunami. Three additional factors to how strong a wave will be are:
- Wind speed: the faster the wind is traveling the larger the wave will be.
- Time (duration, timing) of wind: the wave gets larger the longer the wind strikes it.
- Distance of the wind: the farther the wind travels against the wave (also called the fetch), the bigger it will be.
Now, let’s apply wave science to webinars.
If you take the concept of applying one force to another force, it begins to create friction - stickiness if you will. Take two promotional mediums – email and video. Separately, they work and create small ripples. But think of the possibilities of stacking one on top of the other, applying more friction by embedding a video or webinar recording in an email., and how that could capture someone’s attention.
We can’t forget about the other three factors that determine the strength of that wave – speed (we’ll relate this to frequency), time (timing or duration) and distance (consistent, sustained energy).
Speed/Frequency: The more frequently your message is placed in front of your targeted audience, the more it begins to resonate. This is not to say you ought to bombard your list with 37 emails leading up to your webinar, but consistent, relevant messaging resonates. The closer you get to your live event, increase the frequency of your messaging.
Timing: Timing is everything, especially when it comes to promotion via social media. The better you time posts the much larger the potential audience is. You must be mindful of when you’re sending out your message to capture your best audience. Think about the time span leading up to your event and timing in between each posts so you’re creating more friction. Remember, the longer the wind strikes the wave, the larger it becomes.
Distance: We’re relating distance to consistent, sustained energy. Consistency is important in building a repeatable and successful promotion process as well as in the details of the messaging itself. Don’t confuse your audience. Whether it’s email, the event abstract, a social post, a website banner – tell them what you’re going to solve an then DO THAT in your webinar. Consistency builds strength. Strength in your promotions, strength in your events, strength in your relationships with prospects. Consistency builds a bigger wave.
Just look at some of those that do it best (HubSpot, MarketingProfs, Marketo). You hear from them on a regular basis (speed). You keep listening because the messages are delivered at the right time. You get hooked because the communication is frequent and relevant (distance). By the time a prospects moves through a single campaign, the ripples have turned into waves leave a lasting impression on those in its path.