Ready to jump in with a content marketing plan, but not sure where to start? Map out a calendar of high quality webinars and everything else falls out from there.
At DNN, we use webinars as the building blocks for our content marketing. In short, I map out our webinar schedule (2–3 quarters ahead) with my colleagues. Once that’s set, I build my content marketing calendar around the schedule. That’s not to say that 100% of our content calendar comes from webinars, though the bulk of it does.
Why Webinars are Effective Building Blocks for Content Marketing
1. Webinars Necessitate High Quality Content
You need to aim high with your webinar content, especially if the webinar is delivered live. Consider the eBook vs. the live webinar. While both live behind a registration form, eBooks get steady amounts of downloads over time.
With a webinar, you speak to a live audience who provides real-time feedback via comments, poll results and tweets. The webinar puts you “under the gun” to deliver a compelling show. Of course, you still need to spend the time and effort to create high quality eBooks. But because you need to deliver something extra-special for your live viewing audience, webinars serve as great anchors to your content marketing.
2. Webinars Facilitate a Content Calendar
When deciding the day and time of your live webinar, you put a stake in the ground. If you do 1–2 live webinars per quarter (I know, some of you do much more), you’ve established a date and time for each one.
Besides their own calendars (e.g. scheduled promotions, speaker training, rehearsal, etc.), webinars give you “big events” to plan content around. Once I’ve mapped out DNN’s webinar dates, I develop additional dates for pre-webinar blog posts (and perhaps an infographic), along with post-webinar blog posts and related content. I’ll then figure out content campaigns that fall outside of the scheduled webinars.
3. Webinars Can Easily Be Repurposed
A good content marketer produces high quality content. A great content marketer produces high quality content at scale. To create a large volume of high quality content, you either need to hire an army or you need to be efficient with existing resources.
Let repurposing be your friend. Break down the component parts of a webinar to efficiently create new variations of the underlying content:
The video of the presentation
The audio of the presentation
The audio transcript
The presenter notes
The questions from the audience (and the answers!)
The poll results
Ideas and Tips for Using Webinars as Content Marketing Building Blocks
1. Build a Library on SlideShare
At DNN, it started with a simple idea a few years back: let’s create a SlideShare account, then upload the presentation from every single webinar going forward. In its first year of existence, the DNN SlideShare channel was in the Top 1% of all accounts on SlideShare (per an email that SlideShare sent out at the end of that year).
Our account was created in the second half of the year, so we achieved that elite status in less than six months. While we found success creating presentations originally for SlideShare, webinar presentations served as the bulk of our content.
2. Hyperlink Liberally in Post-Webinar Content
As you create content after the webinar, be sure to hyperlink to the related content. If someone read your post-webinar blog post, it’s likely they’re interested in the on-demand replay or the slides, too. So add links to both of them. Be sure to share all of the related content across your social media channels: post-webinar blog post, on-demand replay and the SlideShare presentation.
3. Ask Third Party Presenters for Permission to Publish Slides
It’s a good idea to invite experts and thought leaders to present some of your webinars. Part of our marketing budget at DNN is allocated to webinar speaker fees. When you do book an expert to speak on a webinar, ask permission to publish their slides to your SlideShare channel (hint: some speakers, such as industry analysts, may say “no”).
For non-paid engagements, record the permission in an email. In paid engagements, write it into the contract. Third party content draws well on a vendor’s SlideShare channel.
4. Create eBooks from Well-Attended Webinars
If you had high attendance or engagement rates on a webinar, chances are the topic struck a chord. So cherry pick your best webinars and have an eBook created from it. Ride the momentum of that successful webinar and generate even more ROI.
One tactic that works well for me: hire a freelance writer to view the on-demand replay, then author the eBook. I ask the writer not to simply regurgitate the webinar. The writer is encouraged to “riff” on the webinar content and build upon it.
Often, it’s useful to find professional writers who work outside of your industry. They’ll bring a fresh perspective and are less inclined to include over-used industry jargon. You’ll find the resulting work more readable.
Note: This post was originally published on the DNN Software blog under the title “How Webinars Can Be the Building Blocks for Your Content Marketing.”