I was scrolling through Twitter and saw a tweet from a colleague, sharing it was getting colder and she was so happy to be snuggled up wearing her soft Glossier sweatshirt.
Her whole experience sounded amazing to me — so I went to the Glossier site to hunt down the same sweatshirt.
I know of Glossier because a lot of people around me on social media talk about it, but I hadn’t bought anything from them… yet.
The sweatshirt looked perfect, just my style. The price was right, it had amazing reviews, and someone I “know” on Twitter liked theirs.
So, I bought it. Without even trying out their makeup, I now own a piece of advertising for Glossier.
That is the power of social proof and customer experience.
While one tweet from a friend was enough for me to make a one-time $40 purchase — the lead generation process for a subscription-based business will look slightly different. But the overall elements that supported my decision to buy will be exactly the same.
Social proof and customer experience are the subtle concepts that can have a huge impact on customers. Combining each of these elements fosters an environment that brings customers back and begins to build a relationship between customer and company.
Every SaaS company should use social proof as well as create an amazing customer experience as a part of their lead generation strategy — and there are no greater tools to foster those traits than webinars and social proof.
In this piece, I’m going to explore how webinars and social proof can work together to create a lead generation process that is devoted to getting to know customers better and serving them with the attention they deserve.
Webinars are a form of social proof that can be used for lead generation
The Proof blog has gone into great detail explaining what social proof is, how you use it, and why it matters — so I won’t spend much time explaining the basics of social proof.
Some forms of social proof are subtle, such as star reviews or testimonies on a landing page. Or Proof’s cool little pop-up notification that shows you that someone like you just purchased the item you’re thinking of buying.
Other forms of social proof are more blatant — such as an influencer being paid to share a product with their audience or a celebrity appearing in a commercial.
Webinars provide a different kind of social proof. In one webinar event, your audience can experience multiple types of social proof at once without being bombarded by obvious tactics.
Here are the five categories of social proof you’ll commonly see at play in a webinar:
Expertise social proof can be thought of as, “People valuing the opinions of thought-leaders and industry experts on their respective domain. Think about how certifications and trust badges on websites make you trust a retailer a little bit more.”
Webinars do a great job of establishing expertise simply by being a webinar! The act of putting the event together adds a layer of credibility.
Plus, most webinars are formatted in such a way that the host or their guest has something of value that other people want to learn. The audience registers and then attend the webinar to hear that message.
By the time the webinar concludes, you and your guests have spent the last hour sharing valuable information and gaining the trust of the audience. You’ve established yourself as an expert and thereby created expertise social proof.
In a similar way, webinars do a great job of establishing celebrity social proof. Often, the host or guest is the “celebrity” that people want to see and learn from. The audience is drawn into the conversation by their attendance at the webinar.
On a webinar, these celebrities won’t likely be a sitcom or Youtube star, but a highly renowned person within a specific niche. In B2B SaaS growth, we call these people “thought leaders.” They include folks like Brian Balfour, Noah Kagan, Sujan Patel and others that run influential growth agencies.
What this boils down to is that their name draws a crowd on its own.
User social proof is where people who have previously purchased from you will share their responses and reactions about your product or service.
If you’re hosting an educational webinar with the purpose of teaching your audience about a topic or your product, it’s likely you’ll have a mix of current and potential customers in your crowd. If you give your current customers the opportunity to share their thoughts during the webinar, you will create user social proof!
They’ll speak of your value — and will do the hard work of promoting your product for you.
4. Wisdom of crowds, family, and friends
This type of social proof occurs when people notice others buying something or participating in some trend and think, “it must be good — because so many others are buying it.”
Educational webinars do this extremely well. The purpose of an educational webinar is to share information with an audience, without connecting it to an explicit pitch or sell.
These types of webinars can often be for current and potential customers looking to learn more about a topic important for them and their industry, such as SEO tactics or landing page optimization.
When potential customers experience the wisdom of the crowd while attending a webinar, it can reassure that making a purchase is a wise decision — because so many have already made that decision and are pleased with the product.
Social proof happens naturally in the webinar setting — you don’t have to force it or create it. If you host an event that is interesting and valuable to your audience, lead generation develops as a byproduct of that value and interest.
Each of these types of social proof can help to build trust and generate leads because according to Nielsen, 90% of North Americans trust recommendations from their friends and family.
If they can trust a recommendation, they’re much more likely to become a customer.
A great customer experience creates powerhouse lead generation
Studies show that 67% of customers will spend more money on better customer experience. So, how do you create a better customer experience?
By combining webinars and social proof, of course!
Webinars are one of the only marketing tactics that can take your prospects from completely unaware leads to paying customers in one single swoop.
And they often help create a better customer experience as well.
Harvard Business Review defines customer experience as “the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”
If you’re using a webinar platform such as Demio that allows your customers to engage with you, with each other, you’re able to create a consistent experience.
How to use webinars as a tool for a great customer experience
Webinars seamlessly provide a great and consistent customer experience for both the customer and company.
Here are a few tips on how you can use your webinars to provide a great customer experience:
Provide webinars on-demand: Give your customers the freedom to watch and learn from your webinar when it’s most convenient for them.
Engage with your audience: We’ve all sat in boring meetings where the entire hour is spent hearing one person speak. To give your customers a better webinar experience and a better overall customer experience, engage with them. Use the webinar chat window to answer their questions in real0time, thank them personally for their attendance, and learn how you can best serve them.
Keep branding consistent: When reaching new customers, it can be very confusing to change your logos, colors, and other brand assets on a webinar platform. Keep all your branding consistent with your product so there’s no confusion.
Address concerns immediately: With most forms of lead generation, you don’t know what concerns or objections that potential customers have until it’s way too late. With webinars, you can address those concerns in real-time.
Personalize your interactions with better segmentation: When your potential customer registers for a webinar, you have the opportunity to create a highly personalized campaign that can speak exactly to their pain points.
How to use social proof as a tool for a great customer experience
During the lead generation process, customers are looking at every aspect of a company to ensure it’s the right fit for their needs. Frequently, a customer’s first touchpoint with a company is through some form of social proof.
Whether they are looking at the reviews on a third party site or reading through testimonials on a company’s site — prospects are doing more research before they buy than ever before.
That’s why sharing the right kind of social proof at the right moment helps to create a better customer experience — you’re helping do all the research and work for your customers.
Rather than forcing prospects to hunt down testimonials and reviews, or asking people on social media their opinions, you can offer all that information to them throughout their buying journey.
Here are the top five ways you can use social proof to improve the customer experience:
Share recent purchases: When your customers are searching for a new product or service, it’s reassuring to let them know that others have made the same decision they’re considering.
Proof’s Hot Streak notification does a great job of letting prospects know when others have recently opted-in or purchased an interesting good or service.
Testimonies help prospects make sound decisions: Prospective customers want to know what your current customers think about your product or service. Reading the exact words of your current customers helps other prospective buyers imagine themselves using your product.
One of the best places you can add social proof to help your customers make a great decision is on your webinar registration page. The registration page is where your leads are evaluating if your webinar is going to cover their topic of interest and be a valuable use of their time.
By installing Proof on those pages, you can easily show them how valuable the webinar has been for others.
An example of social proof on a Clickfunnels landing page
It helps customers qualify themselves: Social proof does a great job of sharing the key differentiators of a product or service, which allows a customer to determine if your product is a good fit for their needs.
Often, a review or testimony will mention a very specific use case that is exactly what a prospect is looking for. Sharing reviews and testimonies throughout the buyer journey give your prospect unique information to help them make the right buying decision.
You’ve done the research for them: Like I stated previously, prospects are doing more research than ever before. When you make social proof readily available for prospects to see, you’ve eliminated the need for them to take that extra step.
Sharing social proof helps create a customer-first culture: When the words and actions of your customers have a prominent place on your website, it sends a clear message that customers are valued, which is important since 39% of customer experience professionals say that creating a customer-first culture is their number one struggle.
Use social proof to show potential customers how important your current customers are to your company.
Tie it all together!
Lead generation is the lifeline of any SaaS company. One of the best ways to generate quality leads is to create a great customer experience through social proof and webinars. These two tools allow the customer to explore a new product on their own with confidence and assurance that they are making the best choice for themselves or their company.
And, just like I couldn’t be happier with my cozy and soft Glossier sweatshirt, your customers will feel just as comfortable with their purchase when their customer experience is the key to your lead generation strategy.
If you’re interested in using webinars as a part of your lead generation strategy, please check out Demio. We’d love to help you create a better experience for your customers.
Adrienne is a passionate SaaS writer that loves customer research, kombucha, and the smell of an old book. With a curious and nosey nature, she’s constantly asking questions and wondering why. If she’s not reading, writing or researching, she’s wrangling three kids and planning their next adventure.