December 17th, 2018

How to Create Customer Loyalty and Improve Retention with Webinars

As marketers we, often think about the sales funnel or buyers journey when planning out our activities. But the truth is, customers often get lost when the process ends (hopefully in a conversion). How do we promote continued engagement?

Your existing clients often represent your biggest revenue growth opportunity and boosting your retention rate by at 5% can increase your profits by 25%, or even 95%. If you’re not making efforts to engage your customers, you’re missing out on genuine opportunities.

When it comes to customers, you should think about a new paradigm - a closed-loop cycle where customers are given new ways to engage with a brand, products, and services to get motivated for new purchases and even become brand advocates.

It’s even reported that webinars help to increase customer retention and loyalty by 69%. It’s an easy way to elevate your long-term customers’ experience and help them stay engaged with your product. By optimizing customer experiences with webinars, you can cultivate a sense of “true loyalty,” creating a relationship which goes beyond just your product.

Let’s dive into tips, examples, and insight on using webinars for scaling your customer retention:

1. Produce The Right Content for Your Customers

            Most webinars are used to educate an audience about a specific topic. If you are planning to do or already doing webinars, make sure that through the content you produce is educational about the problems your product can help resolve. Remember that your audience will join not because they want to learn about the new features and your products, but because they want to learn something actionable.

            Here are some tips to follow, regarding webinar content, according to Petros Vaxevanakis of Peakon:

            • Use customer case stories. People care about people - they want to know how other companies are succeeding. Customers will hear the stories that they can relate to and hopefully start a conversation, as well.
              • Tip on finding advocates (case stories). If you want to do more customer stories through webinars, one of the ways you can find advocates is to look into who’s joining your webinars and then reach out to them and asking to do a case study together.
            • Do commercial breaks. If you prefer announcing the newest product features for your customers through the webinar - do commercial breaks. But remember to focus on utility: show them the new features and how they can utilize them today, but the main thing to highlight should be the value that they will receive.
            • Put the theory in the end. Since you want them to stay until the very end, put the theory your customers demand at the end of the webinar.

            Example: Webinars are helping Peakon to scale and allow customers to get access to their latest methodology and latest learnings, thus they focus on having all of it at the end.

            2. Invite Speakers with Valuable Insights

            Webinars are only truly effective when you have quality content and speakers that keep the attendees engaged. Guest speakers are a great way to draw new viewers into your webinar.

            When considering the speakers for your webinars in your own company or from the case customer, try to invite those that you know what your audience would care about.

            Additionally, try to find senior people that your clients wouldn’t have access to every day.

            3. Start a Monthly Webinar Series for Your Customers

            Another way to continuously engage your customers is by creating a recurring webinar series that helps build a community:

            • Invites. Don’t send an invite every time, send one invite for the whole series of webinars and add a calendar option to make sure that you will start building an audience. Petros says that “at Peakon we started with 50, now we have about 450 people. Not everybody joins, usually, there are about 50 people joining the webinar. But, I still have 400 people to send the recording to and the slides and ask if they want me to create another [piece of content] around different topics.”
            • Reminders. “One day, one hour or even one week sounds spammy, but nobody has complained,” Petros advised. They want to know when the webinar is coming. But remember to make it friendly, don’t use terms as “never miss another webinar,” try to write as if you would be sending an email to your colleague.
            • Speakers. Petros advises to try to have the same hosts, at least at the beginning, for about 6-7 episodes and then bring more people in. And of course, fewer slides - more face time, lets your customers engage with you on a more personal level.
            • Recurrence. “We never miss a webinar, we do it every month, it is super important. We deliver additional value, we are building an audience and a community and we are building another distribution channel of all the information. Most of all, we are building valuable content,” added Petros about the frequency and stability of a webinar series.
            • Follow-up. Don’t forget to always follow-up afterward. By sending them the recording you allow them to watch it on their own time and share it with their team members, as well.

            You can check out Peakon monthly webinar series here:

            4. Repurpose Your Webinar Content to Multiply the ROI

            You should focus on the continuous repurposing of your webinars if you want to get positive ROI from them, thus creating new pieces for your content marketing. But what content can you create after the webinar? Petros lists several things they do at Peakon:

            • Recordings. Remember now it is not a webinar anymore, it’s a video, allowing you to edit and make cuts.
            • Build a webinar library. “Your audience will love it - since you are providing them free content,” said Petros. You should include recordings of previous events, providing information for those that missed live webinar. Here you could also include other downloadable materials if they were shared during the webinar (i.e. White Papers, eBooks, Cheat Sheets, etc.).
            • Write a blog post. It is relatively easy to transcribe a webinar. There are a number of technologies out there that can do it for you. This allows you to write a strong blog post that you can optimize for SEO and later communicate through your newsletter, social media, and other distribution channels.

            Most importantly, try to build it in a consistent way, so that you also build brand awareness around this specific brand activation.

            5. Finally, If You Do a Webinar - Do It Properly

            You should always use the top technology and equipment to produce a webinar. You need your webinars to be as polished as possible to maximize your marketing impact. And the good news is that there are options to produce high-quality webinars. The ability to use your webinar content as repurposed content can exponentially increase their value.

            In regards to production, quality means that the audience can see and hear you perfectly. And as Petros adds, “no heroes are needed - anybody can run a webinar these days.”

            There are several things you should check off your list before running a webinar:

            • Choose a suitable webinar software. There are many options out there, but in the end, determine your feature requirements of a webinar platform and try it out. Check if the experience on the host and end-users side matches the experience you wish to deliver for your webinar production. (Or, if you want an all-in-one tool, check out our new webinar tool!)
            • Use a marketing automation platform. Ensure that you have a suitable marketing automation platform that features integrations with your webinar tool, ensuring that their engagement information is scored and followed up on.   
            • Use a fast internet connection. To avoid having frequent delays and connection issues throughout your live webinar, make sure you have a fast internet connection and a hard-wired option.
            • Check the quality of your camera. People prefer to see speakers on webcam which helps to deliver a more in-person feel.  Double check that your speakers won’t look grainy on screen. Additionally, if you plan to be on webcam, you should consider the backdrop and lighting to make a good impression.
            • Have a microphone. Even if your laptop already has an internal mic built-in, you might consider getting a standalone mic for superior sound quality.
            • Get a video editing tool. To repurpose your webinar afterward, you should get a video editing tool to cut out unnecessary parts or cut the video into several different parts, preparing social video snippets, etc (I also need to mention our video tools for this!).

            Overall, webinars, when done in the right way, can be beneficial for your customer retention and a great asset to your content library. Give them a chance and do them properly.

            You can watch the full talk from Petros on Scaling Customer Engagement below: