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When your startup doesn’t have an audience yet, creating content can be frustrating. Many formats, like in-depth blog posts or YouTube videos, don’t get seen until promotion takes off – if it takes off.

Take a piece of “skyscraper content,” for example. You’ll need to put in hours and hours of effort to create the content. But no matter how good the result in, you still need to put in just as much time finding people to read it.

But what if you could gain an audience before your content is published?

It’s validating your content as you would a product. While that might mean creating a waiting list for your app, in marketing it can mean partnering with influencers for webinars.

Influencer webinars let you build an audience and validate your topic before the content is delivered, generate high quality leads, and quickly grow your audience by leveraging others in your niche.

To start successfully working them into your marketing strategy, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

It’s all about the right partners

First of all, partner webinars will get you nowhere with the wrong partners. When it comes to collaborating with influencers to get real growth and results, relevance and engagement always trumps audience size.

To start, look for existing customers and advocates of your products who have a platform for collaborations like webinars. If both they and their audience are your ideal customers, it’s a relevant enough fit that you don’t need to reach a million people to get results. This “microinfluencer marketing” works because the partner’s audience is engaged and interested in your product.

Andrea Vahl
Image source: https://twitter.com/AndreaVahl/status/999302939381559296

 

For example, ClickMeeting conducts webinars with influencers who reach other customers in their target audience: entrepreneurs, small businesses, etc. Their recent webinar with Andrea Vahl, an author, coach, and speaker, reached businesses and entrepreneurs with online courses they want to use webinars to promote. Every attendee is an ideal customer.

Trust converts like crazy

Because influencers have built a lot of trust with their audience, the simple fact that they’ve chosen to work with you puts you at an advantage from the start. Attendees show up to the webinar with residual trust for your brand already built based on your mutual relationship with the influencer.

As Thinkific VP Growth Sid Bharath recalls, “sometimes, all the influencer had to do was say, ‘Oh my gosh, you guys should get this’…and then they would.”

Steve Dotto Influencer
Image source: https://twitter.com/dottotech/status/1004723438194450434

 

But if you actually combine that immediate trust with a free webinar full of value, engagement, and building on that trust, you create an incredibly warm audience for marketing your product to. This can earn you the high conversion rates that make it possible to speak to smaller microinfluencer audiences and see so much success.

The best promo is all about them

Your webinar co-host is your biggest asset in pre-webinar promotion. Before someone sees your landing page or actual content to see the value you’re promising, the influencer’s name will be what people are most interested in.

Help attract an audience wider than your own by featuring recognizable guests most prominently in promotion, as opposed to talking more about the topic or your own company. In promotional graphics, blog post titles, social media copy, and more, make sure people can see a recognizable face and name.

For example, Quuu makes sure that all promotion for their influencer collaborations really appeals to the influencer’s audience. When they partner with someone who largely works with women, for example, they announce the collaboration on International Women’s Day.

Quu
Image source: https://twitter.com/quuu_co/status/971732445048528896

 

You can even work together to create better promo content: collaborate on a social media video, target their audience with paid ads, and more.

The easier marketing is, the more influencers will do it

In addition to optimizing your own promotion, you want to help the influencer promote it too. They’re busy, often working through multiple in-process collaborations at one time. The easier you make it for them to share it and talk about it to their own audience, the more they’ll be able to with their limited time.

Provide as many assets and resources for them as possible, so they can easily put together things like social media posts. You can provide swipe copy for different marketing channels, cite talking points, and provide promotional graphics for them to customize in their voice. You can even send them links to your own promotional posts so they can reshare easily.

Ashley Zeckman
Image source: https://twitter.com/azeckman/status/918227912687529985

 

As TopRank’s Ashley Zeckman recommends, “It doesn’t matter if your content is great, you still have to entice your influencers to amplify the content they co-created. Many experts (especially those that do this professionally) have very limited time. So, to make it easy, send along pre-written social messages and image bundles so that they simply need to copy and paste the messages you’ve written to their social networks.”

They’re great for breaking into new audiences

Finally, because of all the reasons listed above, influencer webinars are amazingly effective for breaking into new audiences. A successful partnership doesn’t require an existing audience in that niche – the influencer is connecting your content with their audience.

This makes it a perfect strategy if you’re breaking into new audiences or verticals. When you’re getting ready to launch something new or shift positioning, you need to find new leads. Marketing to a small, but relevant and engaged, audience lets you expand your reach while still keeping focused on your ideal customer.

For example, when ConvertKit was first growing their email marketing platform, they used influencer webinars to “stake a claim” in the blogging niche.

Find your first webinar partner

If you’ve been struggling to grow an audience through content marketing, seriously consider influencer webinars. You get to build an engaged audience and generate leads before you even deliver any content, and once you do conduct the webinar, that audience can become eager to buy.

Hira Saeed Hira Saeed
(@heerasaeed) Founder of Tech Geeks Pakistan and Digital Doers. Hira is also a public speaker and columnist who shares her views on Startups, AI, chatbots and Blockchain technology on VentureBeat, The Next Web and Tech In Asia.