Video marketing has developed into event marketing and now encompasses a much broader scope of content formats. From live Q&As to webinars and multi-day virtual summits, you can get as creative with your video format as you want.
I interviewed 10 SaaS companies asking them:
- Why they use event marketing in their strategy;
- What events they have organized;
- What the organizational process looks like;
- What results they have seen from their efforts.
See below 10 answers from CEOs, founders, marketing managers who share their event marketing best practices, real-life experiences, and results with you.
10 SaaS online event marketing examples
It doesn’t matter what niche your SaaS company is in. Virtual summits can work even in a complex industry such as compliance and regulations.
#1 Claire Milazzo, VP of Marketing at PerformLine (Regulatory and brand compliance monitoring) says:
“We launched the COMPLY virtual summit (The Compliance, Risk, and RegTech Conference) seven years ago.
Initially conceived as a client-only event for our users, we quickly learned that there was a real need for this type of content and connections in the regulatory industry. People needed to network, discuss and learn from each other.
Our goal for the conference was and still remains to empower compliance leaders with the most up-to-date knowledge to help their companies grow safely. By creating content and events that speak to our audience’s need for information, we attract the right people with a need for our technology.
Like everyone, with the shut-down of in-person events for 2020 and into 2021 we pivoted to an online summit. We made the events free, digestible, and easy to fit into daily schedules by creating 3 shorter events (instead of one overwhelming, day-long commitment).
By doing this, our registrations increased 200% from previous (in-person) years. While the in-person events lend themselves to impromptu discussions and demos that ultimately convert at least 15% of prospects to sales, it remains to be seen with online events”.
Why be dependent on third-party events if they can be cancelled or postponed anytime? Host your own virtual event and set your own rules.
#2 Dave Bennett, CEO at Mirus (Restaurant solutions) says:
“When all the face-to-face conferences we usually attend shut down last year, we started hosting our own events. And we recently hosted an event titled How to Analyze Restaurant Data in 2021.
During the event we
- shared the trends we were seeing in our client data during the pandemic,
- introduced some of the out-of-the-box ways our clients were using their data to make informed decisions during this unprecedented time to regain profits,
- discussed the changes companies need to make in their reporting to compensate for the anomaly of 2020.
Our goals for the event were to introduce multi-unit restaurants to Mirus, become a trusted resource and teach different ways to use data to make informed decisions. The event helped us gain new leads that have been really responsive to our follow up nurturing campaign”.
As I already mentioned, sessions with different expert guests enjoy popularity these days. The co-hosts of Coffee and Content run their webinars in this format.
#3 Timothy Ludwig, Copywriter at Jorsek, makers of easyDITA (Collaborative authoring, managing, and publishing solution) says:
“Last year, my company started an online talk show that airs every other week. It’s called Coffee and Content and is hosted by my organization’s CEO & Co-Founder Patrick Bosek alongside Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler.
We wanted to have short-ish talks with experts across the content industry over a cup of coffee. The goal? Take some of the formality away from typical webinars in the B2B SaaS space and have more engaging discussions with professional substance and applicable takeaways.
The purpose was education, expanding our brand, and adopting a different format to do so. Since starting in May 2020 we’ve seen a lot of engagement, too.
On average, we have ~70 attendees watching Coffee and Content live. When we post the recordings to The Content Wrangler’s channel on BrightTALK, we are able to double and triple the size of our audience. This has gained us an additional viewership of ~140 people per episode after a 2-month period. Of course, we continue to use these recordings for social media assets, further discussion, etc.
All in all, Coffee and Content has been successful, informative, and a joy to make”.
Putting your emphasis on educational content and featuring your software in a natural way is a perfect formula for success. Here is a comment from a company implementing this tacic.
#4 Phillip Livingston, Marketing Manager at Condo Control (Property management solution) says:
“Our marketing team hosts live and on-demand webinars to generate qualified leads. We select a topic that will appeal to most property managers and board members. Usually, it’s around an issue that impacts their productivity, growth, or both.
We advertise the event through email and digital ads and strive to keep the webinar as educational as possible. However, we also organically tie in our product but try to position ourselves as experts in the industry rather than hard sell. If in the end, the audience is interested in our solution, they can easily contact us.
The results have been positive in that we have had an opportunity to strengthen brand recognition through these webinars, connect with qualified leads, and reach about 100 live viewers on average.“
When influencers and well-known experts perform at your virtual event, that takes your brand and authority to a whole new level. Here’s a quote from a company that partnered with the big names in the industry.
#5 Emmie Hotwagner, Senior Manager of Events and Community at Betterworks (Performance management and OKR platform) says:
“In December, Betterworks hosted Betterworks Goal Summit to help CEOs and HR leaders learn proven methods to create, align and achieve Goals.
We used our heavy influence to line up tech legends including Chambers, Doerr, Bersin, and others to lend their knowledge. The full day virtual conference was designed for senior leaders looking to transform their organization through results-driven goals.
Goal Summit brought together hundreds of executives across business organization and human capital roles to bridge the gap between performance and strategy. Also, Jimmy Blackmon, author of Pale Horse delivered an inspiring keynote fueling the responsibility as a leader to cast the vision and shape the organizational culture within business.
Attendees learned how to identify the proper tools and methods to execute on strategy, how to create and align goals that feed into executive results and how CEO’s and HR leaders can work in tandem to change the game and come out on top.”
A quality, successful webinar requires proper planning and preparation. Organizing your regular online events even every other month is totally doable if you allocate enough time for topic/guest research and selection, plus related planning tasks.
#6 Josh Marsden, Co-founder and Wellbeing Director at Active & Thriving (Workplace wellbeing platform) says:
“We use virtual webinars as lead generation magnets for potential clients and run Zoom webinars roughly once every two months. Each webinar focuses on a different pain point HR professionals struggle with, such as securing funding for wellbeing programs, and tips for early prevention and intervention of mental health issues in the workplace.
We usually have anywhere between 60-120 attendees to these webinars, and end up with some strong leads as a result of them.”
Here is another quote about the benefits of virtual events, the reasons why people join virtual events, and how companies can help attendees achieve their goals.
#7 Harriet Chan, Co-founder at CocoFinder (People search and public information search engine) says:
“Virtual events are economical to host, and the right technology can expedite an immersive and unique experience for all stakeholders.
We as a SaaS company leverage these events to generate high-quality leads and form a relationship with clients through every stage of their buying journey.
Besides networking, education is the most significant benefit attendees anticipate from these events. A virtual event lets us showcase our product to a broad audience and utilize cool features such as share-screen, and give a live demo of the product. We can answer any client queries immediately and keep the audiences’ interest going”.
If your webinar doesn’t bring any new points of view and is simply the summary of a blog post published somewhere, your audience will probably feel disappointed. Here’s a quote about the importance of bringing a new dimension.
#8 Anatolii Ulitovskyi, Founder and Digital marketer at SEOTools (Marketing tools) says:
“People want to learn new directions of marketing to sell their products. The SaaS niche is overwhelmed. Generic methods don’t provide any results.
I am hosting an online event called Top Marketing Experts Share Their Secrets and most of my speakers cover topics about digital marketing, SEO, and advertising SaaS products.
We agree with our speakers to share something new and unique that others probably don’t know. The main goal is to lead the attendees in the right direction. And then I have plenty of time to extend the audience that has already counted over 12,000 attendees.”
Our next author again talks about the benefits of online event marketing and brings examples from her company’s experience.
#9 Eden Cheng, Founder and Marketing Director at WeInvoice (Account and invoicing task automation) says:
“We have multiple benefits from hosting virtual summits. First, it promoted lead generation. This is because we often end up hosting dozens of experts and influencers in the industry. This usually ends up being a great incentive to attract new leads and increase traffic.
Second, virtual summits are a great source of revenue generation. Once you build enough buzz and interest in the event, it allows you to market some of the sessions and virtual meetings with experts. You can simply sell the recordings as well as PDFs/notes of the meetings to those who were unable to attend the virtual summit live.
Third, they help scale your authority and brand reach. In our case, we partnered with a number of influencers and experts in the industry. And the marketing power that each of these people had on their own was effective in putting us on the map with other audiences. This led to a massive surge in our user base even before the virtual summit took place.
Fourth, building relationships. For instance, the relationships we built off our first virtual summit allowed us to expand our reach and improved our credibility significantly, which made it easier to reach out to other professionals in the industry later on.
Fifth, finding sponsors. As there were a number of well-known influencers and experts attending the virtual summit, this led a number of companies to become interested in partnering with us to sponsor the event. In fact, some of the sponsors from our previous events ended up collaborating with us on other projects as well. This made it an excellent long-term growth hack!”
Knowing your event marketing goals is another great point you shouldn’t neglect. In case, it’s the very first thing you should do even before researching the guests or choosing a virtual events platform.
Below is an example from a company who has set clear goals and has clear expectations from their efforts.
#10 Miranda Yan, Founder at VinPit (VIN lookup and check) says:
“Most of the time, we interact with our clients through online means, and our relationship is primarily virtual. We recently hosted an online event that was appreciated by our clients and attended by various C-suite executives.
The main focus of the event was to educate the participants about our service and recent developments. Similarly, we also organize many online webinars and interactive sessions to create a community, know our clients’ expectations, clear their doubts, and help our service gain visibility. Virtual events make our relationship-building process too convenient and cost-free. We also live-stream these sessions to engage as many people as possible.”
You may be wondering, everything sounds perfect, event marketing is great and it definitely works. But how to host a virtual summit and how to find a blueprint where to start? If growing your authority, partnerships, and revenue is in your long-term goals, start planning your virtual event with me today.