It takes a lot of hard work to turn a small product idea into a sprawling SaaS business. But even then, the work is not over. You have to constantly find new ways to promote your product and keep it top-of-mind for your target audience.
Thinking of compelling digital ways to engage your SaaS audience, the usual blog posts, social media, paid ads, and newsletters come to mind. They sure give high returns when done right. However, there’s another super-effective way to drive engagement and conversions — webinars.
The modern-day SaaS growth hacking tool
Webinars are a great way to promote your company over a digital platform. The pandemic has made us realize how valuable these events are for marketing and lead generation. The key to a successful webinar is promoting it well and providing informative content to prospects.
Webinars are becoming an integral part of marketing strategy as businesses realize their effectiveness and affordability. For instance, Jeff Molander, a Conversation Enablement Coach, found that his webinars had 94% of attendees stay connected until the end, and his best webinar had a 29% close rate.
The numbers demonstrate that webinars are a great way to engage an audience to your brand while providing them with valuable information on a topic of their interest.
What are the benefits of a webinar?
Engaging one-on-one with vendors as well as with existing and potential customers can do wonders for the growth of your SaaS business. Webinars help you reap various benefits, from cost and time savings to uplifting brand value and an enhanced online presence. Here is a quick list of benefits of hosting a webinar:
1. Grow your leads list
Build a hub of potential customers using the data collected during the event. You can add all registered attendees as contacts in your database as these people have already expressed an interest in your offering and are more likely to buy from you.
2. Amplify your brand credibility
Webinars are an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. They allow you the opportunity to personally provide solutions for any problems people might have with your SaaS product. It helps build trust as you clear up all doubts around your offering that they intend to purchase.
3. Tailored content for different platforms
Your webinar content can also be reused to create content for your social media platforms, blog, and website. This can bring more engagement and, ultimately, more conversions regardless of where your audience is.
4. Build greater trust to buy
People who register for your webinar demonstrate an interest in your business. You can nurture and convert them into customers. Webinars help build brand awareness by creating an engaging experience for attendees.
Webinars can also help train new employees. It is a more engaging and fun way to connect with your new hires than text-based guidelines and rule books.
5. Wider reach
You can also bank on webinars when you wish to expand your business. These are better than physical conferences as they allow you to reach a global audience. Webinars can help you engage potential customers more directly.
Things to do before the webinar
As a SaaS business, you should be focused on getting as many eyes on your product as possible. If you work in a niche suited to the webinar format and deal heavily in informational and instructional content, such as finance or tech, you must go ahead with it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning for a webinar:
1. Identify a suitable topic
Obviously, the first step is to choose an interesting topic so that your audience would want to sign up and tune in to you. This is a good chance for you to show off your expertise in the industry and share insights into how your SaaS product can help you.
You can introduce a new product feature or explain how your SaaS product can resolve a particular pain point. There are too many things to talk about in a webinar. So, pick a topic that is the need of the hour.
One of the best ways to finalize one is to directly ask your target audience through a social media poll or via a newsletter or monitor the FAQs you receive on social media and create your content accordingly.
You can also speak to the sales team to determine what specific questions they encounter by interacting with prospects and new customers. Use your existing data and spend some time on research to understand your customers’ pain points. Find knowledge gaps and try to address them while selecting the topic for your webinar.
You have an SEO product and have received several questions about SEO and keywords; prepare a webinar to give tips, explain top trends, and conclude with how your SaaS product can help. Your webinar should provide value to your audience.
2. Choose your webinar speakers
Webinars are an excellent opportunity to get your message in front of an audience who have already shown interest in your products or services. It is advisable to have convincing speakers on the panel to maximize the impact of your webinar.
You can invite in-house experts, business owners, or industry leaders as guests to your webinar. Use tools like Awario, Upfluence, and Klear to identify influential bloggers based on their engagement, influence, reach, and authority on social media.
Twitter is also a good place to start. Once you have identified the top people, check the availability of all your speakers before announcing the date of your webinar. Make sure they are comfortable with the topic and context of the event.
Plan an engaging question-answer session to make the webinar interactive. Also, ask them if they are comfortable doing other stuff like drafting a script, having a practice session, and so on.
3. Prep your content
This is an exciting step as you get down to actually working on the webinar content. The copy of your event must be insightful to keep your audience engaged throughout.
You must prepare scripts and decks that genuinely add value and provide your audience with actionable takeaways, establishing you as an expert in the domain. The following guidelines will help craft your content:
- Write a script based on the time duration
Most webinars last 30 to 45 minutes, so set your word count accordingly. The number of words in your webinar content will depend on whether speakers will read the script throughout or carry out a discussion on their own. You may need to list down the main pointers only for expert speakers.
- Pull out interesting points for the slide deck
Prepare a slide deck depending upon the topic’s requirement or stick to the thumb rule of a minimum of one slide every two minutes. Ensure your presentation is paced out to keep it from being too fast or too boring. Your slide deck and verbal content are the keys to the success of your event.
- Think of the webinar introduction and conclusion
The event must be well planned to make sure you are engaging with your audience at all times. You can start by welcoming everyone and introducing the speakers. Share details about them to establish them as experts in the field. In the end, summarize the event to make the audience familiar with the topic. Conclude strongly.
- Inform about the Q&A beforehand
Provide the guidelines for the event and tell your audience about the question-answer session so that they can prepare with any questions they might have.
- Do not forget the visuals
Prepare an engaging deck with limited content but simple visuals. Design a deck specifically for the event embellished with your logo and tagline. It builds their trust in your brand and increases their likeliness of buying from you.
4. Pick the right webinar software
You need to have the proper tech support for hosting webinars. The best webinar tool can help you meet your goals, from marketing product launches to interacting with your audience. Therefore, plan your webinar on the right kind of platform.
Ensure you have the required subscription plan accommodating both attendees and speakers. Check if the platform you use is easily accessible for your audience. In case of a global event, choose a tool that is available across all geographic locations.
You must also take care of the security of the event to avoid technical glitches. Livestorm, LiveWebinar, and GoToWebinar are some of the popular webinar platforms in the market. Recording the event is equally important as it can be shared with your audience later.
You can use clips from the webinar for your social media marketing and even allow access to interested viewers. You can even use the recordings to conduct similar sessions again using advanced webinar tools.
5. Market your webinar aggressively
You must promote your event across different channels and get people to sign up for your webinar by using a landing or a registration page. Prominent channels for promoting your event are press releases, banners on websites, and landing pages along with:
- Social media
Be visual in your promotions. Design attractive creatives to target your audience more effectively across all platforms, from original graphics to teasers. Be sure to add a compelling CTA in the caption to direct the audience to the landing page.
If the budget permits, enhance the impact of your marketing efforts by paid ads. Depending on your industry niche and target audience, run campaigns on a suitable social media channel like Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Email marketing
When it comes to email marketing, please include the basic information that your subscribers need to know about the webinar, including the date and time, title/topic, and link to the registration/landing page. Do not make them read through half a dozen paras to know the date.
Make sure the content is easily digestible. The Mailjet by Pathwire email is an excellent example of including the details right away:
Create a webinar series on your blog, covering a variety of sub-topics and pain points in those blog posts. You can also do a Q&A with the speakers or influencers speaking at your webinar.
Also, do some research on potential bloggers who can promote your webinar. Find out their interests, reviews that they do, and all the high-authority blogs they contribute to. This can help you send specific emails to them with an invitation to promote your webinar.
6. Review your content critically
Run all your content such as script, the deck, your landing page copy, speaker biographies, and your promo copy through a spell checker and grammar review tool. You can also get the content proofread by a professional. Verify all facts and figures for accuracy.
Cross-check the spellings and pronunciation of the names of all your speakers. Verify their contact information and biographies. Avoid any goof-ups by properly reviewing your content.
7. Do your rehearsals
You should have a complete event run-through with all speakers and presenters. It is advisable to discuss the presentation and critical pointers of the discussion with them as it will help you check your script and time the slides.
You must test audios and check if the event recording is smooth. Fix any issues you may encounter and schedule another rehearsal to ensure everything is perfect on the final day.
Things to do during the webinar
Here is a checklist to follow at the webinar for a smoother experience:
Things to do after the webinar
Your job does not end with hosting a stellar webinar. There are still things to be done when the webinar is over.
1. Hand out helpful material
You can hand over goodies and marketing material to your audience during physical events, but in the webinar, you can do it digitally only. You can send your value-generating information to your attendees. It could be anything — from downloadable documents to discount coupons or recording the webinar session itself. Send an email encapsulating everything.
2. Gather feedback
You can share the recording and any other links you promised to your attendees. The event recording can be converted into a view-on-demand copy and made available only to those who express interest. You can include a quick follow-up survey about the webinar in your email. Keep track of any post-event queries and answer them promptly to boost conversions.
3. Review analytics
You need a plan and enough data to understand your audience to optimize your webinar marketing. One of the important ways to collect the data is when your event is happening and even after that.
From the number of registrations to attendee attention span, review the data to find the opportunities for improvement in your conversion rates. Post the event, you can study analytics to get valuable information about your audience.
Access the details of the number of attendees and track the registration channels. Calculate the average viewing time and evaluate queries of attendees to identify the challenges they must be facing. You can evaluate the number of leads you received after the event.
Over to you
Webinars can prove to be highly beneficial for your SaaS content strategy and can even generate high sales volumes. You will have to put in the time to plan your event, but it is worth the effort. It helps you get closer to your audience and convince them with your expertise.
The data you collected during the webinar will help you improve your marketing strategy and be valuable for your next event. Like everything else, the more events you create, the more effortless the process will become. Putting in regular efforts, you can grow your audience and customer base in the long run with the help of webinars.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Growfusely, a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO.