The first misconception is that if you have a 4-week promotional period, you can only run 12 webinars per year. In other words, you promote your first webinar for 4 weeks and when it has taken place you begin the next 4-week promotional period for the second webinar, and so on.
The above would only be true if you had one product, with one target audience speaking the same language, of which all audience members were at exactly the same level of knowledge about your product. The only realistic scenario for this is a fresh Start-up without any prior external promotion. And even this scenario would not last a full year before it likely ran out of money.
Instead, consider what you can do when you with webinar series, different webinar formats, content for different levels of audience maturity, content for different product lines, in different languages, and in different geographic regions.
Webinar series allow you to run multiple webinars in quick succession (easily within days of each other or even on the same day), aimed at the same target audience, and promoted on a single multi-event registration page and via the same promotional activity (eg email, social media etc).
Within these series, or even just within the webinar program, you can utilise different webinar formats (e.g. thought leadership interviews, product demos, customer testimonials, panel discussions, technical deep dives etc) to address the varying content requirements of audience members who have different levels of knowledge of your product or service offering. For example, an audience member who is interested but knows very little about your company or product will benefit from a different webinar content format (likely Thought Leadership) than a prospect who has already identified a specific need for your product, but would benefit from more detailed information (e.g. via a product demo or technical deep dive webinar).
Combine the above with audiences speaking different languages, who are based in different countries or geographic regions, and you can easily create a matrix of target audiences which can be served with different webinars every week. 12 webinars a year is not a limitation when you are planning your webinar program and schedule.
This approach is only VERY partly true. Instances where companies such as law firms or consultancies need to react to market developments could justify an ad hoc definition of your webinar content. However, even in this situation it should not limit your advance planning of webinar slots, overall themes or topic areas.
For these, and all other organisations, it is important to know your market (and marketing requirements) and plan ahead. Develop a content driven agenda that becomes the foundation for your webinar program schedule.
Work top-down, rather than bottom-up. Define strategic targets and requirements and work down to more tactical levels. Overall strategic messaging comes before definition of campaign strategy, which comes before definition of strategic marketing activity (eg large-scale strategic events), which comes before tactical and programmatic execution frameworks, which come before tactical content definition and delivery methods (e.g. webinars). This approach cannot be taken on an ad hoc basis.
With the longer-term view and approach, you can capitalise on longer promotional cycles (ad hoc webinars have shorter promo cycles) and a more varied promotional channel activity. The latter is often not possible due to time constraints of ad hoc execution. More promotional lead time and wider promotional reach lead to larger audiences and better engagement, both of which should be amongst your primary goals for a scale activity such as webinars.
Put simply: an ad hoc approach is a process killer. Without process you don’t have consistency. A lack of consistency leads to wasted time and wasted opportunities. This approach is ineffective at building audiences, and without an audience your webinars will underperform.