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The definitive guide to B2B SaaS webinars [2021]

Liz Fieno
Sep 3, 2021

Webinars are an increasingly popular format of content marketing to engage with prospects and current customers for B2B and B2C organizations. 

According to research, 73% of B2B marketers consider webinars the best way to generate quality leads, and 61% of marketers use webinars as part of their content marketing strategy.

Still, many of you probably find yourselves in an environment where SaaS webinars aren’t deemed necessary to invest in. If you’re on a marketing department or team that doesn’t understand the ‘why’ behind webinars, there are many reasons you should advocate for one. 

Let’s explore the functions and benefits of webinars in the B2B SaaS buyer’s journey, then how to execute a webinar (or many) that directly impacts your bottom line. 

Fueling your marketing flywheel with SaaS webinars

At its core, a webinar is content marketing—delivered virtually and in real-time—to attract, engage or delight your audience.

SaaS CEOs and CMOs are familiar with the importance of content marketing, and webinars are a great way to engage with your audience at each stage of the funnel. 

Your SaaS company can use webinars to meet a variety of goals, which may include: 

  • Spread awareness around a topic, solution, or company
  • Educate your current prospects about industry trends, pain points, and solutions 
  • Connect the dots between current industry trends and pain points to your SaaS offerings 
  • Teach your existing customers and users to optimize software usage
  • Discuss best practices, use cases, and business models

Each webinar should target one stage of the buyer’s journey with pre-determined ways to measure their results in the grand scheme of things. Lining up your webinars with these goals will yield the best results: 

Awareness

  • Gaining XX new blog subscribers 
  • Capturing XX new contacts

Consideration

  • Converting XX contacts into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
  • Scheduling XX demo calls

Decision and post-purchase

  • Turning XX discovery calls into paying customers 
  • Upselling or cross-selling XX current customers 

Hubspot uses the Flywheel Model to describe the momentum of your marketing function as you deliver a remarkable customer experience. 

Once built up, the momentum fueled by your happy customers will drive more sales, referrals, and dedicated advocates of your solution. There are three phases of the marketing flywheel: Attract, Engage, and Delight. 

saas webinars - buyer's journey and marketing flywheel

Webinars are hugely impactful and come with a significant time commitment/cost, so take the time you need to plan and prepare. No amount of promotion or incentives will drive positive results if the content you’re sharing doesn’t add value to your audiences. 

Five elements of a high-performing SaaS webinar

The impact of your webinars is directly tied to the value of your content and offerings. To plan your SaaS webinar, consider the following elements:

  • Webinar topic 
  • Slide deck and structure 
  • Persona 
  • Time and date 
  • Promotion strategy 

Let’s cover this in more depth. 

1. Topic and content

Your webinar topics should directly align with the outcomes you want to drive. Are you trying to book more sales calls? Attract MQLs? Establish yourself as a thought leader in the space? 

Ideating a topic that speaks to your selected persona and selected buyer’s stage is the first part of determining what to discuss. Research shows that lists are the highest rated form of a webinar title, followed by ‘How to..’ topics. 

If you’re unsure of what funnel to target or persona to address, audit where prospects feel friction in your marketing funnel or target the area of the funnel you’re trying to move. You can determine what stage of the buyers’ journey prospects are in by asking yourself: 

  • What does my persona need to be successful? 
  • What problems can I help my personas solve? 
  • Who is my content directed to? 
  • Have I asked them if this is how they prefer to receive information? 

After answering those questions, brainstorm around topics that fit one of the Flywheel model phases and then bundle the content so that you’re able to create a series with context and additional resources. 

If you’re not sure what to start with, your webinar could cover: 

  • Product demos 
  • New features
  • Educational resources
  • Thought leadership
  • Case studies
  • Best practices 
  • Product onboarding 

When designing your SaaS webinar content, you can tackle multiple goals at once. Educate, engage and excite your audience to either pick you as their SaaS provider or keep picking you (for current customers). 

WIIFM: What’s in it for me? 

Always ask yourself: What can you give to your audience? What’s in it for them? For my clients, I like to share value in the form of: 

  • Free downloadables, such as templates and checklists
  • Ebooks, whitepapers, and manuals
  • Training resources, guides, and videos

Pro tip: Create a Quarterly Agenda so you can prepare topics ahead of time. Make sure to include webinars that target the different buyer personas in your journey, in addition to funnel stages. To learn more about creating content for each step of the buyer’s journey, download our free SaaS content calendar template. 

Repurpose your webinar content across the buyer’s journey

The content of your webinar can be repurposed for different educational content, from introducing new product features to best practices and use cases. Whatever your topic is, make sure it’s of actual value to your audience. 

I recommend using a branded slide deck that leverages white space, visual aids, meaningful statistics, and highlights you want to discuss. In addition, make sure you have a script (especially if you’re discussing with multiple people in your webinar). 

Now that we’ve covered potential topics, let’s talk about what your slide deck should look like. 

Pro Tip: Coordinate your blog and webinar content to support and create interest before and after your webinar. If you can provide your prospects with content you already have around the topic, this lets them know you’re a trusted authority in the space. 

2. Webinar structure 

Structure your webinar in a way that is easy for attendees to understand the information and see the value of what you’re sharing. 

At a high level, your SaaS webinar deck should include the following sections:

Introduction (5 minutes)

At the beginning of your SaaS webinar, include three things into your slide deck or script:

  • Answer the question, “What am I getting out of this?”
  • Introduce your company and speakers (if applicable) 
  • Validate your expertise through meaningful metrics, partnerships, or social proof

Use your company’s positioning statement and value proposition here to introduce your company to new attendees and remind returning attendees of what you bring to the table. 

Body (20-25 minutes)

Once you’ve introduced your speakers, company, and established expectations for the upcoming webinar, it’s time to dive into the ‘meat’ of your content. 

Explain how this webinar will take your clients or prospects from point A to point B and teach them something—a new skill, a better way of doing things—or show some of your pain, gain, claim aspects. This should be the majority of your speaking time and cover the main learning points and takeaways from 

Q&A portion (10-15 minutes)

B2B market research shows that 92% of attendees like live Q&As at the end. Always leave space to interact and engage with your audience after you’ve delivered your content. 

Call to action (2-3 minutes)

All great content has a direct and compelling CTA. After all, driving desired behaviors are the purpose behind content! 

If you’re unsure what CTA to make, ask yourself: what do you want from your audience? This could include subscribing to the blog, booking a demo, signing up for a trial, writing a testimonial, or posting a review. Make sure this is tied into your funnel stage and audience, and list clear next steps for your audience at the end of the webinar.

When in doubt, look to others

If you’re still stuck and don’t know where to start, I recommend watching webinars from your competitors or fellow SaaS companies like HubSpot. 

The more you engage with other webinar content, the more you’ll understand how to improve their methodology and find the right strategy for your goals. 

Don’t forget to monitor your progress and capitalize on your newfound relationships -- nurture and retain new and current funnel prospects with more helpful content, one-on-one communications, and help them achieve what they’re searching for. 

3. Persona

As you pick your webinar topic, keep in mind the persona and funnel stage you want to target. Don’t be generic—you can’t be everything to everyone all of the time. More than ever, data shows that segmentation and personalization are critical to successful marketing strategies. 

Picking one audience or vertical helps you narrow in on one set of pain points, dreams, and use cases to maximize the relevance.  

Pro tip: Triple-check your contacts. Make sure that the list of contacts you’ll be communicating with aren’t already enrolled in an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaign or outbound list. If so, they might feel overwhelmed by your content and put you on spam or black list.

4. Time and date

What time zones are the majority of your contacts in? This can significantly impact how many people register vs. attend. Research has shown that 10-11 AM is the best time to hold a webinar, and webinars held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays see the highest attendance rates.

Make sure you’re selecting a time that works for people across many time zones. If most of your SaaS buyers and contacts are in Europe, don’t host a webinar at 5 PM Eastern Time (ET). Unfortunately, they won’t get up in the middle of the night just to watch you talk. 

Pro tip: For webinars targeting your prospects, give yourself three weeks to promote the event. This means that you can do one webinar a month and provide enough time for your prospects to get excited about joining and registering for it. Don’t rush or put together a lot of low-quality webinars-—less is often more in the world of content. 

5. Promotion and campaigns

I like to use a specific blend of email, social media, and organic inbound promotions for my clients. You can also include the webinar promotions in our ABM campaigns, depending on the situation.

Pro tip: research shows that over ⅓ (36%) of webinar registrations occur between 8 AM and 10 AM. Aim for sending promotional emails out between this timeframe and use your email marketing platform to send according to each contact’s timezone. 

Here’s the SaaS webinar promotion sequence I like best: 

Email outreach for prospects

  1. Three weeks before
  2. Two weeks before
  3. One week before
  4. Two days before
  5. Day of 
  6. Hour before

Email outreach for current customers

  1. One week before
  2. Three days before
  3. One day before
  4. Day of - this is typically a reminder with a call-to-action (CTA) directly to the webinar meeting. 

Email outreach for current customers

  1. One week before
  2. Three days before
  3. One day before
  4. Day of - this is typically a reminder with a call-to-action (CTA) directly to the webinar meeting. 

Registration Landing Page

Each webinar (and all marketing campaigns in general) need a place to submit contact information. For SaaS companies, this should be a webinar-focused landing page hosted under your site’s domain. 

Simply put, landing pages are a low-friction way for consumers and prospects to access the relevant information and make an easy decision to sign up (or skip it). 

The right landing page should excite your audience about this opportunity, make them feel like they’re receiving something they’d pay for free, and clearly understand the key takeaways that will be covered. Your landing page is also a great way to communicate the webinar value props and incentivize attendees to sign up.

There’s no right or wrong number of webinar registrants—this number depends on your list size, addressable market(s), and internal company goals. We aim for around 30 to 60 webinar registrants, but B2C SaaS webinars often receive thousands of sign-ups. 

At a minimum, effective webinar registration landing pages should incorporate: 

  • Date and time
  • Topic title 
  • What your attendees will learn
  • A registration form (limit to five fields)

In addition, you can include: 

  • Speaker information. If you’re inviting outside or internal thought leaders, include their headshots, a short biography, and a CTA to learn more. Including speaker information helps create excitement and drive conversions (if done correctly).  
  • Promotions. You can include pricing discounts, bundles, and other gifts to incentivize and drive registration. If you choose to do this, make sure the promotion is relevant for your target audience. Don’t incentivize your current paying customers with a top-of-funnel free consultation and vice versa. If you include promotions, make sure to have a Terms & Conditions statement outlining the relevant conditions. 
  • Social proof. Using their social proof can add significant authority and credibility to your prospects if you have a bank of testimonials or quotes from current customers. If done correctly, you should see higher conversion rates through this external validation. 
  • Brand boilerplate. At the bottom of your landing page, include a brief overview of your company’s positioning and talk directly to your targeted persona. Personalize this to speak to what verticals or markets you support, your SaaS product(s) and benefits, and a well-positioned CTA to learn more about your company. 

A high-performing SaaS webinar landing page

Here’s a great example of a high-converting SaaS webinar landing page from one AP SaaS organization: 

b2b saas webinars - landing page registration form examplesaas webinar landing page - example with social proof and qestionsb2b saas webinar guide - include speaker information if possible

Ascend Software properly utilizes the page’s content to direct registrants to a form while including relevant information, social proof, talking points, and other important information that will hook viewers in. 

Doing this will help you set the stage for a successful virtual event your potential customers and current ones will get value from. 

During the webinar itself, we recommend using a slide deck and notes to guide your prospects. You’ve spent the time and resources promoting your virtual event, now blow your attendees out of the water with the content and delivery. 

Once the webinar is over, you still have work to do! Don’t let these newly formed relationships and positive experiences go to waste. 

Follow these steps to ensure that you’re fully capitalizing on your webinars. 

After the webinar: nurturing your newfound relationships 

You’ll need two core elements of a post-webinar plan: your email drip campaign and your landing page or webinar recording. 

1. Email drip 

Attendees

  1. Day of - say ‘thank you for attending,’ ask for feedback via quick surveys or NPS, then include a CTA to the on-demand webinar. 
  2. Day three - ask them for feedback or thoughts. Include a CTA aligned with the stage of their buyer's journey. 
  3. Day six - ask them if they’ve made any progress or decisions, including the same relevant CTA. 

Non-attendees

  1. Day of - share the webinar recording.
  2. Day three - ask them if they watched the webinar and for their thoughts/feedback via the NPS survey. 
  3. Day six - ask them about their webinar thoughts, and include other resources tailored for their persona and buyers stage. 
  4. Day nine - include a CTA to the desired action and ask for their thoughts/feedback. 

 

2. On-demand webinars

Research shows that when you offer on-demand webinars for registration, 28% of registrants sign up to watch a recording. But other than increasing the number of registrants, keeping an accessible online repository with past webinars is a great way to get the most value from your content marketing investments. 

On-demand libraries and landing pages with recordings make it easy for registrants who couldn’t attend to catch up while also repurposing content for any inbound prospects exploring your website and resources. 

You can repurpose your SaaS webinars in many ways—from Sales Demos and Case Studies to introducing and training users on features. 

Measuring the effectiveness of SaaS webinars

Your SaaS webinars should be tied back to your initial goals and analyzed to measure effectiveness. 

If you don’t establish desired outcomes or goals, you’ll reduce measuring success to vanity metrics like total registrants, attendees, etc. 

Instead, make sure that your conversion is clearly defined. Use your content management system (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) data to understand how many webinar attendees submitted a ‘contact us’ form, subscribed to the newsletter, booked a demo, and more.

Throughout your webinars, track this data and make optimizations from what you learn. Don’t expect your first (few) webinars to go perfectly—make sure you practice and perform run-throughs with your internal team members. 

If you don’t see the results you expected, there may be a problem with your content’s value, your messaging and promotions, the time and date, or you may be overshooting entirely. 

Use the first few webinars to benchmark your conversions and then monitor from there. The more you host, the more you can optimize your marketing efforts and deliver results.

Get started with SaaS webinars [TLDR]

You've done the research, now it's time to get started.

Include the following elements into your SaaS webinar campaign and content, and build upon what you learn: 

  • Pre-webinar 
    • Identify your topic, persona, and funnel stage
    • Conduct email outreach to target your ideal attendees 
    • Build a landing page to convert potential attendees into registrants 
  • During the webinar 
    • Build a slide deck and script that includes an intro, body, Q&A time, and your CTA
    • Give your attendees something valuable (templates, how-to guides, or product discounts)
  • After the webinar 
    • Send thank-you follow-ups to attendees
    • Send the webinar recording to non-attendees 
    • Gather feedback via NPS or another survey to pinpoint areas of improvement 
    • Nurture your attendees and non-attendees via email or retargeting to drive conversions 
    • Measure the effectiveness of your webinar by benchmarking and collecting data

To learn more about SaaS content marketing, subscribe to our blog below and check out our B2B SaaS Marketing podcast. 

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