I received an email from a company today to sign up for a webinar they were running, and I had a quick look at their site to see how they were promoting and using webinar recordings. I’m not sure their strategy works well. Here is what I found.
Webinar Sign Up Pages
Webinar sign up pages are often provided by the webinar companies and there may not be much you can do about them.
- use their landing pages for organic traffic
- if they have a form for signups that you can embed then embed that on your site or blog
- do link back to your site
I’ve seen signup pages with the URL of the company site listed, but not clickable. I understand the need to avoid multiple call to actions, and on a landing page you want people to sign up to the webinar. And in the ‘signed up’ emails, you will have a link back to your web site.
But the landing page may not offer enough compelling evidence to sign up. At which point you need a link back to your site where your credibility can be established in more detail, and you will have a sign up link or form there anyway.
This company had a weak landing page, and an un-clickable url for their site. I don’t know if the email signup had a link, because I didn’t sign up.
Historic Webinars - signup wall, or not
There is a good argument for having webinars behind a sign up wall. An evergreen webinar that can be used for lead collation.
- sign up
- join the mailing list
- watch the webinar
Sending a direct link to your mailing list seems like a good idea so that they don’t have to sign up to the list again to watch the webinar, but growing the list through a sign up form with the webinar recording as a lead magnet seems useful.
What also works? Make the webinar free to view, but have a signup form on the page the webinar video is listed e.g. if you like this webinar, sign up to our list to be informed of future events. And some webinar replay tools have popups and calls to action configurable during the replay.
Make it public
If you make it public on YouTube then you can harness organic traffic.
If you do this then put in the extra effort to make it a ‘proper’ YouTube video - the pre-roll introduction and the post-roll CTA subscribe to our channel, visit our site for exclusive webinars, etc.
If you make it public then I would recommend embedding it on your blog/site. And… I probably wouldn’t use YouTube for the embedded video. I’d upload to a video hosting site, then you have control over any other videos that might get played after.
If you upload it to YouTube, make sure you add it to your company channel, not your private channel. I’ve seen too many people upload unlisted videos to their private channels - which also means you won’t even get the benefit of increasing YouTube subscribers from unlisted videos.
YouTube for organic. Vimeo/Wistia/etc. for embedded on site videos you want control over.
Having a mix of signup and non-sign seems like a good idea.
This company did a mix strategy which I don’t think works.
- upload video to YouTube as unlisted
Unlisted youtube videos offer no organic traffic benefits. They can be a cheap way to get video hosting, but is that really the impression you want to give out as a company?
- text link to the video from the blog
The ‘archive’ was a blog post with a tiny amount of text. “Our webinar on Topic X by Person Y held on Date D can be viewed by clicking this link”. and the link was the full youtube url, not a human friendly readable text, the actual YouTube URL.
There was no attempt to use this for lead generation or growing the mailing list.
This was a wasted opportunity.
At a minimal, even if they want to host on YouTube, they could have:
- improved the copy
- added a sign up form to be informed about new webinars
- embedded the video on their blog so the viewer stays on their site
When embedding videos, I usually try to make the page responsive so the video resizes when the page resizes. Rather than making it a fixed size.
Unfortunately a bit of a waste of a valuable resource. With the video only gathering 76 views in the 3 months since it was posted to YouTube, and the YouTube subscriber count on the channel down at “1” because it had been uploaded to a private channel.
One last thing.
I personally think it is advisable to edit replays. Remove the preamble of getting started, welcoming people joining etc.
For a replay - get to the point or experience drop off.
Edit out bad bits. I watched a replay recently where the sound cut out periodically. Edit these sections out, or edit in your emergency audio recording.
What emergency audio recording? Stuff goes wrong during a webinar. I recommend using your mobile phone or another computer or a digital voice recorder to capture your audio in parallel to the normal webinar recording. This way you can patch the final recording with a decent audio and the slides you were using at the time.
If you want the webinar to be an artifact that helps you sell, then put the effort in to make it work.
Webinar Replay Tips
sign up to watch
- give direct access to mailing list subscribers
- embed on your site
- make responsive
- have a sign up form near by
- host your embedded version on non-YouTube
- release to YouTube publicly for organic reach - editing in CTA and using YouTube end cards, info cards and links in description
- edit video to remove all the ‘live mess’ and fix any audio issues