August 12, 2016 / by Marissa Jambrone

In a recent Content Marketing Institute study, more than half of marketers agreed that webinars/webcasts are one of the most effective channels in a marketing strategy. This same study also found that marketers struggle to create content that engages their target audience.

A webinar can open many doors for a company. If produced correctly, a webinar can help retain clients, generate leads, establish your brand as a thought leader within the industry and create content that will engage your audience by using an interactive, creative channel.  It seems so simple, but how can you be sure you’re doing it right?  

Learn how to unlock this door to create more engaging content with Cision’s best webinar practices.

Work backwards

Start by planning a webinar 60 days in advance. It’s important to have the time to plan out every aspect from topic to presenter to the Q&A of the webinar. Advance time will keep the marketing team organized and provide a chance to fully promote the webinar.

Pick the best day and time

ON24 has an extensive study into what day and time has shown to have the highest average of attendees. By analyzing 9,000 webinars, they’ve uncovered that most webinars typically occur on Wednesday or Thursday. The time that has the highest attendance rate is 11 A.M. PT/2 P.M. ET. Try out different days/times to see what works best for your audience.

Promote, promote, promote


There are a number of ways to properly promote a webinar. Webinars require teamwork and include media promotion, social promotion, personal invites from sales teams and invitations from the presenters themselves.  

As far as email promotion goes, there are four types of emails that need to be sent for a webinar.

Invite Email No.1: Start promoting the webinar at least two weeks in advance with an initial email invite to your database of contacts. Make sure to highlight the benefits of attending the webinar and include two locations within the email for contacts to register.

The ‘Thank you for registering’ Email: This should be a simple email that thanks the contact for registering and includes day-of details.

Invite Email No. 2: Make sure to use a different subject line for this email send. Why? This invite should go everyone that did not register through invite No. 1. This provides a second chance at getting your target audience to open that email, so be creative! The ideal send date for this would be one week prior to the webinar.

Reminder Email: Send this email the day before the webinar to remind registrants of the webinar date/time and include information on how to access the webinar.

Pro Tip:  Include a calendar icon enabling the contact to add the webinar information to their calendar automatically.

It’s important to A/B test your emails. Each promotion for a webinar can resonate differently with the contacts you invite, so test every aspect from subject line to time and day for email sends. Then, dig into the analytics to uncover what will help you hit your webinar KPIs.


Dress rehearsal time

Don’t be left with surprises on the go-live day. Schedule a dry-run of the actual presentation a week prior to the go-live date. Even if your presenters don’t want to have one – you need to. Make sure to include time in the meeting for a chance to discuss the technical aspect of the webinar. Every detail of the webinar should be taken care of before the event starts.

Pump up the engagement


The average human’s attention span is now less than a goldfish’s. This means that whatever content you produce needs to captivate your audience. Webinar attendees typically watch from their desk. This gives them the option to multi-task.

To keep their attention, test different webinar/webcast formats.

  • Hold a panel
  • Try a live webcast
  • Change the location
  • Think outside the box

For example, during his Cision webinar, Michael Smart kept his audience engaged by incorporating a contest for those who actively listened to his presentation. The engagement on Twitter spiked during those three instances of dropping random song lyrics into his presentation showing that the audience was listening intently in order to win that prize. Twenty five dollars is a small cost for an engaged and attentive audience.


Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3

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About Marissa Jambrone

Marissa Jambrone is an Events Manager with Cision. When not planning Cision's most recent webinar/event or keeping tabs on the latest marketing trend, you can find her exploring the Chicagoland area, reading anything she can get her hands on, and patiently waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. Follow her on Twitter @MarissaJambrone.