Are you hoping to get your product out to more people and grow your SaaS business? An effective way to do it is by hosting SaaS webinars and demos, a strategy we've been loving lately here at SureSwift. These sessions walk users through your product and let them see it in action, which helps them get a feel for what it does and how it can help them out. And with webinars creating an average of 500-1,000 leads that convert at about 55%, in a way, you can’t afford not to try out this effective marketing strategy. Keep reading to learn more about:
- What SaaS webinars and demos are
- Whether you should run a SaaS webinar, demo, or both
- How to run a SaaS webinar or demo
- What to include in your SaaS webinar or demo
- Using a SaaS webinar example to get started
- Tips for running SaaS webinars and demos that convert viewers to customers
What are SaaS Webinars and Demos?
SaaS webinars are remote, live sessions, typically recorded, that discuss a topic relevant to the audience or showcase and present information about a company’s product and how to use it. Demos are similar but offered individually, in one-on-one sessions.
Both webinars and demos shine a light on the product’s key features and the value that specific product delivers to the customer. They’re also opportunities to understand customers’ needs better and answer their questions. For existing users, these educational sessions can be helpful in demonstrating product updates and showing that the product is continuously being worked on and improved to meet users’ needs.
Should You Run a SaaS Webinar, SaaS Demo, or Both?
Different situations call for a webinar over a demo, and vice versa. When deciding, think about your goal in sharing information and what you see as an ideal outcome, along with your users' needs and preferences.
For example, if you’re trying to get your product out to as many new users as possible, you’ll want to run a webinar and discuss a topic related to your product's industry that will be valuable to attendees. You could even share an incentive or discount at the end of your presentation to entice people to try your product out. Or, maybe you’ve launched a new feature that is pretty straightforward. If most users will understand how it works without much guidance, you’ll get more value out of running group webinar sessions vs individual demos.
On the other hand, demos will have a greater impact on customers with very specific needs, including customizations. These personalized sessions can better show the value of the product through the customer’s perspective, walk through potential adjustments or customizations, and answer more specific questions on the spot. Larger companies and enterprise clients often benefit from demos.
Emilio Rivera, Customer Happiness Specialist at Ghost Inspector, has found a key part of their demos is asking the user what tool or process they're currently using and what they’re looking to solve or accomplish with the product. Their answer gives them insight into how users “see” or conceptualize the product, plus it provides ideas for marketing. And since they’re getting conversions around the 40% range, there’s no reason you can’t too – investment in 1:1 live interaction can definitely go a long way.
How to Run SaaS Demos and Webinars
Here are a few steps to get you started with your SaaS demo or webinar.
Know your tools
A little bit of extra preparation can significantly increase your impact on users. Use a design tool like Canva to create your slides and make your presentation stand out with your branding and logo. You’ll also need to refer to your notes and script throughout the session – a simple Google Doc is useful for this. You can use Zoom to deliver the webinar itself, as it has specific webinar plans offering the functionality you need. For 1:1 demos, Google Meet or the regular Zoom platform work well.
Engage your community and plan for them
Your product has lots of helpful functionality and features, so you won't be able to show everything off in a single session. The key is to pick one of your target audiences and plan your webinar around them. This engages the community, helps to create the idea that your product is an industry leader and expert, and makes people wonder what it can teach them and how it can help them.
The Marketing Growth Manager of MeetEdgar, notices that when people feel they’re a part of something, they want to keep the momentum going and invest in it. They say that webinars and other educational resources can help them see the value of a product beyond basic functionality and features.
Choose a topic that makes sense for your audience
Think about the things your audience needs to know or would like to know most. If you’re unsure, a great strategy is to have people complete an online form (use Jotform or a similar tool) to answer this very question. Kate found this really helped provide insight into preparing for her webinars on social media scheduling and helping to find leads.
Write a script
Your webinar script is your roadmap for the content you’ll share and can really make or break your session, so it’s worth spending the time to get it right. Your audience, what they want to know, and the problems they’re facing will inform your script.
Start with your objective and the details will flow from there. Keep this objective in mind as you craft your script, so you don’t go off topic and risk losing your audience’s attention. And be sure to optimize your script for SEO – using keywords you’d like to rank for on SERPs and converting your webinar into an article will help your rankings later on.
Invite people through a marketing funnel
There are different ways to funnel people into your webinar so their likelihood of attending is higher:
1. Send invitations via email marketing. Make these emails short and sweet, in your brand’s tone of voice, and include eye-catching imagery, a link to your webinar or demo, and a way to reach you with any questions. When you use an email marketing tool (like Mailchimp or Customer.io), you can track metrics like open and click-through rates.
2. Blog or use social media. Posting about your webinar or demo through social media or a blog post can help boost attendance and drive traffic to your site. Include a link to your webinar or demo, or post a video on YouTube or Facebook telling people all about it.
3. Gain exposure through partnerships. Try to develop relationships with other companies offering complementary products or services to your own. This works well since you’ll be exposed to a warm audience of people who are already interested, on some level, in the type of product you offer. You can create a win-win scenario by promoting their webinars or content on your site or social media accounts in exchange for them doing the same.
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What to Include in SaaS Demos and Webinars
Below are explanations of each section of your demo or webinar. Take a look, then download the example agenda provided as a guide – this is the tried and true way we’ve run successful, converting webinars here at SureSwift, so it’s a great starting point.
You’ll want to include a quick introduction at the beginning of your webinar or demo that addresses who you are and your role, and requests your audience to share a bit about themselves. In the case of a webinar, especially with a larger group, it's most efficient to ask folks to add their name and location to the chat. Greet them by name to welcome them.
Ask the group if the time allotted works for them and state the purpose of today’s session. Find out what problems they’re trying to solve with your product. Probe further by checking on how they currently solve the issue and why it isn’t working out. This should take about 5 minutes or so.
Talk about your company, including size, history, and vision, along with its typical customers, including their industries and roles. Be sure to mention the problem(s) you typically solve for these customers.
Then, get into the product walkthrough, which should take about 20-30 minutes. Begin by sharing your screen and asking where attendees are in the signup process. This gives you a sense of how much people may have already seen and if they need to learn how to set up their account, which you can walk through if needed. Spend some time demonstrating how your product solves their problem, and include a walkthrough of key functionality and popular features. Then, pause and ask if anyone has questions, which they can ask directly in a demo or via chat in a webinar.
It’s important to give participants a chance to come to their own realization (or “aha moment”) of how your product can help them. Guide them and engage in dialogue to see if this is possible in their minds. Ask if your product clearly solves their problem and if not, see if they can explain why. If so, ask if you can help them sign up right away and if not, what’s stopping them. This helps to seal the deal immediately and avoids the chance they’ll leave the session and forget or put off signing up. If there’s time after this, feel free to show any other features, resources, or support.
Take 5-10 minutes to wrap up by thanking participants for coming and taking any final questions. Ask about other tools they’re considering to help solve their problem, and let them know you will follow up by email. If you’d like, offer a discount valid for today only to entice people to sign up quickly.
As soon as possible after your call, send out a thank you email with an overview of the session. Be sure to update any lead tracking information you maintain and set a reminder to follow up with your prospects. As well, update your webinar or demo documents and notes with any learnings and/or new information you provided to participants.
SaaS Webinar Agenda Example
Here’s an example of the specific agenda or flow you can use to run your SaaS webinar (to edit, make yourself a copy).
Tips for Running SaaS Webinars and Demos That Convert
Follow these tips for success when creating your own SaaS demos and webinars.
Get signups through advertising
In the case of webinars, you can run targeted ads on sites like Google, Facebook, and Instagram to get your desired audience to sign up. Prospects will see the ads in their feeds and will hopefully click through, learn more, and sign up (Kate did this for a MeetEdgar webinar targeted to consultants and coaches and saw significantly more signups as a result). Then, if attendees like what they see in the session, they’ll hopefully convert into a customer.
During each demo or webinar section, pause regularly to break things up, ask questions, and get the conversation going. People will naturally need a regular breather and change of pace to remain energized and focused on you throughout the session.
Keep it short and sweet
Make each point short and concise with clear language. This will help to keep your audience’s attention and drive your message home. Your entire presentation should be about 30-35 minutes – anything more than that, and you've probably lost your audience.
Use features to encourage engagement
When people are engaged and involved, they’re more likely to feel energized and positive about your product and company and, therefore, more likely to sign up for your service. Here are some examples of how you can incorporate more engagement and involvement into your sessions.
Q&A. Leaving dedicated time at the end of your session for questions will not only help engage your audience but it will also help you get feedback on specifics and understand what resonated, any gaps in understanding, or needs that are still unmet.
Public chat. This gives attendees the chance to communicate with you and each other, which will help them feel connected. Here, they can share ideas, opinions, and questions and you can also deal with inquiries or technical issues as they come up. Turn the public chat on or off throughout the session to suit your agenda and session flow.
Polls. Surveying your audience can really help you get a read on where they’re at with a certain topic or subject. These can be simple “yes or no” questions, scaling questions from 1-5, or a rating, for example, ranging from definitely not, to somewhat or neutral, to absolutely yes. You can also encourage dialogue and interaction by surveying attendees using in-app polling functionality, which Kate likes to do during her webinars.
Practice, practice, practice
There’s a reason they say practice makes perfect. Go through your session at least 2-3 times, including in front of at least one team member who knows the product really well so they can give you tips to better position your messaging. Do this until the presentation feels and sounds natural.
With these SaaS webinar and demo tips and tricks and our very own proven process to host these events, you'll be on your way to more conversions before you know it.
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