In this article, Erkki Muuga, the creator of WebinarSoftware.org, will take a closer look at how to use webinars as a powerful and versatile tool to grow your SaaS product.
Yep, webinars are more than just a great lead generation channel. They are also an effective way to engage your new and existing users, teach them how to get the most value out of the product, reduce customer churn, as well as establish your brand’s credibility and thought leadership in your niche.
There’s more to good old webinars, than meets the eye. Let’s see.
Use webinars for targeted lead generation
As you probably know from your own experience, webinar topics usually focus around teaching new skills and solving industry-specific problems. The webinar host is usually an expert in the field and offers their expertise by telling or showing the audience how to achieve some type of goal or solve a problem.
People who sign up for these highly specific webinars are most likely experiencing the same type of problems in their field. Either they’re currently struggling with the same problem or they want to master a specific skill.
Either way, they’ve invested in the topic that the webinar covers. The fact that they’re willing to give out their email, show up at a specific time, and attend an hour-long webinar proves that they’ve invested. If they’re willing to invest their time, they might be willing to invest their money to solve that problem even faster and better.
The leads from webinars are targeted, but they still might not be ready to make a purchase right then and there during the webinar. That’s why it’s important to follow up with them and set up lead nurturing sequences.
Organize webinars for onboarding new customers and increasing customer activation
SaaS products are sometimes complex and require the user to go through a steep learning curve before they can get real value out of the product.
Many customers cancel their subscription before they even get a chance to use the product the way it was intended to. They’re often overwhelmed with all the features and they won’t stick around.
Sure, having a live chat software on your website can help, but sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes new customers need someone to actually show them the product use cases on live video. Sometimes they want to ask very specific questions and to make sure the product is right for them before making a long-term commitment.
That’s where onboarding webinars come in.
Get new users to attend a product onboarding webinar and present your product’s main use cases. Even better if you can show actual real-life examples of how other customers are using the product and how they’re getting value out of it.
It’s recommended to host live onboarding webinars at first, not automated ones. Live webinars are better because you can actually talk to your users and answer their questions live. The best webinar platforms have a Q&A feature that lets people upvote each other’s questions. This helps you map out which are the biggest roadblocks and hurdles for your new users.
Only good things come out of talking to your customers.
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Host product webinars to reduce customer churn
There’s nothing worse than losing a customer to your competitor because they had the same feature packaged in a prettier wrapper.
Sometimes your users don’t realize what they can achieve with your product. Sometimes obvious things are not so obvious. Especially for someone who’s not living and breathing the product, like you are. Your users might leave your product because it doesn’t integrate with their online marketing tools, or its lack of collaboration features or for some other reason you wouldn’t even imagine. Understanding your users’ struggles is the first step towards reducing your SaaS churn rate.
Users often need guidance and examples on how to use some advanced features and create more complex workflows in your product.
A solution to that could be hosting bi-weekly product webinars that show different advanced features, showcase studies on how other customers are using the product, and even some customer testimonials. It’s always a good idea to be more connected to your users. This might lead to some insightful ideas for you as well. And it definitely helps with feature prioritization.
Regular product webinars can also be a great opportunity for you to explore your customer problems even deeper. They can even be a source of new product ideas.
Use webinars to establish your brand as a thought leader
When you’re teaching new skills, sharing insights, and the latest industry trends, people are going to see you as a thought leader in that industry. This creates incredible trust and respect within your audience.
Respect and trust are some of the key prerequisites for successfully selling products and courses online.
A great webinar type for sharing knowledge and creating authority is Ask me Anything (AMA) webinars. Basically, you’d host a live webinar where attendees will ask you industry-specific questions for an hour. You’ll become the teacher and a maven.
Once they trust you enough and ask for recommendations for tools and products, you can recommend your SaaS product and explain its benefits. The trust and authenticity you’ve created will boost them through the sales funnel a lot faster.
Leverage webinars to create partnerships
A brilliant byproduct for having authority in your niche is that you’ll be invited to podcasts and other webinars as a guest speaker.
Co-hosting a webinar usually means that the webinar will be cross-promoted. That means the host and the co-host will advertise it and the webinar will be broadcasted to both audiences.
That’s a fantastic way to tap into new audiences. You’ll be greeted with a warm introduction and you can speak to like-minded listeners who are not yet your customers. It’s also much easier to generate content for a guest webinar because they’re usually done in an interview style. That means the host and the audience will ask you questions and you’ll just answer. In that case, minimal content preparation is required.
The same strategy can work in reverse as well. In case you feel like you’re not experienced enough to speak on a subject, invite an expert. For the aforementioned reasons, a lot of industry experts are happy to appear on your webinar as a guest. Just make sure to prepare the topic and the questions well.
Hosting industry-specific webinars is an excellent way to attract new leads. The fact that they’re willing to give out their email and invest their time to attend makes the webinar attendees qualified leads.
Once the lead becomes a customer, help them onboard to your product better by hosting onboarding webinars, where you introduce the main use cases and the features of your SaaS product. Show your new users how they’ll get value out of it.
Even after they became customers, it’s a good idea to still invite them to your product webinars and teach them something new about the product. Or ask about their struggles. For you, it’s a great source of product ideas and input for feature prioritization.
If you’re not entirely sure about the webinar topic, just host an AMA webinar or invite a guest speaker. It’s always easier to co-host a webinar than prepare it on your own.