Using Webinars as an Effective Marketing and PR Tool

While increasing numbers of “free” Webinars are being offered by HR suppliers, the registrations for these Webinars has begun to decrease. Reasons attributed to the decreased registrations include everything from an oversupply of available Webinars (market saturation) to skepticism on the part of HR professionals about the value of such events (poor content or too sales promotional).

The following tips will help you create, promote and deliver more successful Webinars. We’ll also tell you how to leverage the Webinars in your ongoing marketing and PR initiatives.

Creating and Delivering a Great Webinar – It’s all about the Content!

The purpose of a marketing Webinar is to (1) build brand awareness of your company, (2) position your company as a thought leader in your industry, and (3) generate sales leads. That said, the content of your Webinars should NOT include ANY marketing or sales content. It is a sure-fire way to ruin your credibility and turn away the potential customer. In our experience, a typical format of a good Webinar includes:

I. Moderator introduces and gives a brief background of the speakers with the purpose of establishing the speaker as credible to the audience of human resource professionals. Whenever possible, invite a subject matter expert (SME) who is a peer to the attendee. Think twice before using internal marketing or sales staff – they are trained to sell, not deliver educational Webinars.

II. The speaker gives a 20-45 minute presentation with minimal slides (15 – 20). As a general rule, one slide for every 2-3 minutes of talking. Avoid large text, do not use clip art or large images, and never include promotional content. The attendee wants to be educated, not sold to. We also recommend the presenter show an outline of what will be discussed and throughout the presentation, show people where you are with respect to the outline. Also consider using two speakers to break up the monotony and keep people alert.

III. Allow for a 15 minute Q&A discussion of questions from attendees. Consider asking attendees to submit questions prior to the event (as a part of registration) in order to (a) better target the Webinar content to the needs of the attendee and (b) help the speaker prep for the answers.

Note: A small percentage of attendees will experience technical issues that prevent them from seeing your slides. To combat this, make the slides available via a URL (in PDF or HTML format). You can also direct people to this URL for a copy of the slides, after the event.

Promoting your Webinar: Getting people to attend!
  1. Start promoting the Webinar 2-3 weeks before its scheduled delivery date.
  2. Advertise the Webinar on highly visible and visited parts of your website.
  3. Ask appropriate staff members (i.e., those who regularly communicate with HR professionals) to include an email footer that promotes the Webinar and links to the registration page.
  4. Distribute a press release announcing the Webinar, its value to HR professionals and registration instructions.
  5. Promote the Webinar to your company’s sales prospects via email or print self-mailers (self-mailers are best if you have a series of events to promote).
  6. Post the Webinar to HR sites that allow outside content providers to submit their events such as or
  7. If you publish an eNewsletter that targets HR professionals, be sure to promote the Webinar.
  8. A few days before the event, send out a reminder email to registered attendees and consider repeating step 5 above.
Increasing the Shelf-Life of your Webinars

Most companies fail to recycle or leverage their Webinar content for ongoing marketing and PR benefits. You put a lot of time and money into developing and delivering the Webinar, so be sure to get the most out of them. Here are some tips:
  1. Archive all your Webinars and place them on your public website. Be sure to include a single URL that lists all the Webinars and provides a short summary of each event. To encourage visits and repeat traffic, consider branding the page as an HR educational library and also include your white papers, eNewsletter archives, and other content that is of interest to your buyers.
  2. Submit this URL to major search engines for SEO.
  3. Promote the URL in all your marketing and sales collateral including your advertisements. Don’t forget the email footers as described above.
  4. At the conclusion of your Webinars, consider a post-event press release summarizing the event and providing some of the most interesting Q&A topics.
  5. Post the Webinar to HR sites that allow outside content providers to submit their events (described above).
Good luck to you!