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If you’ve been watching online marketing gurus, you’ve probably seen the growth in webinars – especially during the last year or two. Since top marketers are using live broadcasts, they must perform well as part of an overall digital strategy, right?

You bet they do. If you’ve got a big-ticket item to sell, webinars are the way to go.

But what if you’re trying to sell something at a smaller price point? Are webinars still effective?

This is the question many SaaS companies are struggling to answer. With price points ranging between $5 and $250 per month, The good news is by deploying the right tactics, webinars can be especially effective in winning new customers and maintaining a low churn rate amongst your subscribers.

Need proof webinars work? DIY landing page platform Unbounce used webinars to increase trial starts by 35%, helping the company drive their best growth year ever.

They’re not alone. Conversion Rate Experts credit webinars for their highest sales ever, and KISSmetrics’ Growth Manager Lars Lofgren says webinars are one of the prime reasons the company was able to grow so quickly.

There’s more to holding successful webinars than simply showing up, however. Here are 5 tips you can use to increase the value of webinars in your marketing strategy and grow your SaaS company.

1. Establish Authority

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With so many websites, blogs, courses, coaches, and more to choose from, many of your prospective customers don’t care who you are – at least, not yet. With even a single well-produced webinar, however, you can prove your expertise and establish authority with your audience.

As Daniel Glickman writes for Duct Tape Marketing,

First, realize that the online community doesn’t care about you.

Like any other consumers, online audiences are seeking to consume relevant, valuable knowledge. Luckily, you have the power to give them exactly what they want. But first, you need to stop contributing only to benefit yourself. Creating content simply for your own marketing benefits will never get you the same results as contributing genuinely for the benefit of the community.

Since webinars engage more senses than written content, they provide higher levels of engagement. Tom Discipio explains:

The difference between reading a book written by an expert and attending a webinar is that you get to interact with, hear, and possibly even see the expert, establishing a stronger connection.

Before doing business with you company, prospects want to get to know the people behind the brand and webinars help make that more tangible in a digital world. The more you allow people to get to know you, the easier it is for them to trust you.

If your customers have the choice between two SaaS options at similar price points with similar features, they’ll choose the option they like more. Holding webinars engages your customers, grows your authority, and makes them like your brand.

2. Share Exclusive Information

2-star-iconLike your website content, the content of your webinars can signal value to your audience. If your webinars are actually filled with useful, relevant, and exclusive information, you’ll quickly gain a reputation for holding can’t-miss presentations.

This is especially valuable when using social proof to draw new attendees who will become eventual users for your SaaS.

Not all opportunities to share exclusive information will be planned. As attendees ask questions during broadcasts, you’ll find out exactly what your audience wants to know – and you’ll be the exclusive source for their answers.

Here are some ideas for exclusive information you could share in a webinar:

  • Behind-the-scenes looks at how your company uses tools
  • Live interviews with customers to show how they use (and profit) from your SaaS
  • Short but info-packed “how to” series that explain how to do a task related to your SaaS (such as “How to qualify leads in just 45 seconds” or “How to cut social media time to 1 hour per week”)
  • Discussions or roundtables with influential industry leaders
  • Introduce events your customers might be interested in attending (such as conferences)
  • Tutorials showing how your SaaS integrates with other popular services

3. Think Long-Term

3-calendar-iconA webinar isn’t over after the broadcast ends. Through replays, your webinar content can live on for a long time. (With Crowdcast, you can even embed replays right onto your site, making them even more valuable.)

This means you should focus on delivering content that has a long shelf life. Avoid webinar topics that are simply recaps of recent events; instead, content like “How to…” and “3 Tips to Avoid…” make great frameworks for evergreen replays.

Another idea to get more from your webinar replays is to plan your webinars in a series. This can form your brand’s cornerstone content – the content that defines who your SaaS and what you offer.

Here’s what Copyblogger’s Brian Clark says about cornerstone content:

When trying to rank well for the one or two topics that your entire site is built around, creating flagship content is your best bet. Whether it’s a tutorial about search engine optimization basics, blogging for beginners, or copywriting, a frequently asked questions page, or an inspirational mission statement, this content serves a vital function in creating a relevant, compelling, and useful cornerstone to build a site around.

A cornerstone is something that is basic, essential, indispensable, and the chief foundation upon which something is constructed or developed. It’s what people need to know to make use of your website and do business with you.

And when approached in a strategic fashion, this content can rank very well in the search engines. The key is creating compelling content that’s worth linking to, and then finding a way to get the word out.

Using your webinar series as cornerstone content doesn’t just deliver massive value to your customers. It also signals authority and trust to search engines, increasing your organic search traffic (and growing your company). WP Sites says cornerstone content is your best chance to rank a keyword on the first page of Google search results.

Creating cornerstone content that delivers long lifetime value is actually pretty simple through webinars, especially if writing isn’t your strength.

4. Double-Up on Your Content

4-optimize-iconThose slides you spent hours preparing for your broadcast? You can reuse those as a Slideshare presentation, craft a blog post from them, or share them in your next email newsletter.

Just like choosing to build long-term value with evergreen, “cornerstone” webinar topics, your Saas can enjoy significant long-term growth through reusing content.

Reusing content works both ways. You can repurpose popular blog posts, articles, and other website content as webinar topics. Or, you can take popular webinars and use them as outlines for in-depth articles.

You can even use the webinar replay in the article to add value and appeal to a broader type of audience. Different audiences like different kinds of content. Some users love getting lost reading in-depth articles. Others want to quickly digest “just the facts” and move on. Adding video content in the form of the replay gives your audiences the ability to self-select the kind of content they want.

Since 2016 is the year of 10x content, creating the best content possible means you can get thousands of potential SaaS users to your website (and in your marketing funnel). Save yourself some work by planning webinar topics ahead of time so you can reuse your hard work again and again.

5. Practice

5-person-iconThe more you give webinars, the better you’ll be at engaging your audience, delivering valuable information, and growing your SaaS users with each presentation. Make sure to practice beforehand.

Here are some tips to help improve your webinar presentations:

  • Watch other presentations, especially from top webinar broadcasters. Even if a top presenter isn’t in your vertical, it’s worth viewing and taking notes on how he or she presents.
  • Test your technology several times before a live broadcast. This means holding practice broadcasts with your team to catch any potential technical errors before going live.
  • Get “in the zone” before a broadcast. Some broadcasters dance around the room to get excited; others punch the air until they feel ready. No matter what you do, find some pre-broadcast ritual that gives you confidence.
  • Smile while you speak. It makes you feel confident and calm, and your audience can tell even if they can’t see you (such as during a slideshow).
  • Feeling nervous? Use that energy to be enthusiastic.
  • Record yourself speaking and take notes. Do you speak too fast? Too slow? Breath too heavily into the mic?
  • Don’t overdo it. It’s better to deliver deep information on a one or two topics than to try to cover too many topics.
  • Stay hydrated. A dry mouth during a presentation is distracting and can throw you off your balance. Get a glass of water or a water bottle to prevent cotton mouth.

Above all, holding live events regularly will give you great hands-on experience and improve your skills. As your skills improve, you’ll deliver a better experience to audiences, build loyalty, and grow your SaaS company.

Learn More

Want to keep learning how to use webinars to grow your SaaS company? Check out the following resources:

 

author-cy-hossain-crowdcast-founderCy Hossain is the founder and CEO of Crowdcast, a refreshing new platform for holding engaging webinars.