Webinars aren’t a new method of connecting with prospects and customers, though the shift to remote work has revitalized and reimagined the webinar experience.
But as everything these days seemingly has “remote” or “virtual” in the title, hosts are working in a highly competitive space. Statista reports, from February and March 2020, the number of brands offering webinars grew by 36%. Marketers shouldn’t silo themselves in creating world-class experiences; your PR team can help ensure your 2021 webinars are as impactful as possible.
Pre-webinar promotion and support
Getting PR involved doesn’t just mean pitching media contacts to attend. Unless the webinar’s topic is actually newsworthy, media contacts will likely pass. Reporters have a daily quota of stories to fill, so expecting the Wall Street Journal or trade media pubs to sign up is a lofty goal and requires a big story like new funding details, acquisition or merger updates, or widely anticipated product launches.
But that doesn’t mean the media won’t care. For example, if you’re hosting a panel discussion on marketing trends, your PR agency could help secure a media figure to participate rather than just listen in. Or, if you plan to share a product demo with a customer participating, media relations specialists can pitch the success story ahead of time and reference the webinar as additional material for a story.
Alternatively, your most relevant media coverage can bolster your webinar promotions. If you’re already emailing prospects and attendees with updates or confirmations, why not include a recent coverage win in your message? A third-party source can boost overall credibility, and you’re also offering meaningful content that continues a conversation or campaign.
How PR can support previous webinars
PR tactics won’t end once the webinar is complete. Providing recordings of past webinars to your PR team can help lengthen the overall shelf life. At BLAST, we “reversion” topics regularly. This means we take the material, whether it be an interview, piece of content or webinar, and give the angles or messaging a spin so they are fresh and unique while remaining true to the source.
Webinars take work, so don’t make this a one-and-done experience. PR reps can help fashion the discussion into a reversioned byline on key takeaways or pitch insights for more in-depth media interviews.
If your webinar spokesperson is also looking to become a thought leader with more event, podcast or live interview opportunities, webinars provide great examples of public speaking. This is especially helpful, as Grace Williams predicts the rise in virtual events means speaking slots will be even more difficult to secure. By providing a long list of quality examples highlighting industry acumen and personality, like hosting webinars, subject matter experts can stand out from the crowd.
2021 Resolution: Make Webinars that Matter
We’ve all felt screen fatigue, but as we take our first steps in 2021 I believe we’re more prepared for this remote environment than before. By understanding the real needs of your potential audience, your webinar can be more than a large-scale Zoom call. Tap your PR team for support — we’ll help you amplify the key messages, takeaways and spokespeople in a way that impacts the entire revenue team.