ON24 has published an updated report on lead generation webcasting trends in the B2B publishing industry (one of their larger customer sectors). The last time they looked at this area, they covered statistics from the first six months of 2006 versus the first six months of 2005. The new report covers a 12-month cycle. You can read my coverage of the last report at this link.
The full annual view of their webcasting data gave ON24 the chance to look at larger trend information. There are a few statistics that have great significance for companies using webinars or webcasts for lead generation. I want to highlight those results here.
There is a commonly stated rule of thumb that says you shouldn't produce lead generation webinars in the dog-days of Summer or in December. In the Summer, too many people are gone on vacations. In December, they are too busy with end of year business activities or too distracted by the holiday season. But ON24 found the flip side of this argument. The best months for registration-to-attendance conversion percentages were December, June, and August! So while you may not get as many registrations during those months (and that belief has yet to be proven), the people that do take the time to register are more likely to attend your event.
Another commonly held belief is that you should promote and market your event four to six weeks before its date, to give people time to check ahead and block out the time on their calendars. I have always felt this to be a fallacy, as the sad truth is that a webinar will almost never win out in a conflict of appointments, no matter how long in advance your audience has scheduled it on their calendars. Now ON24 reports that 47% of all registrations occur in the 10 days before a scheduled webcast, with more than ten percent registering on the day of the webcast! Maybe you should hold off on that email blast until closer to the event date. I think people view the webcast as a short term interest. If it's too far in the future, they put off registering and then forget all about it.
Of no surprise is the fact that most registrations occur on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I'm sure this is due in large part to the fact that companies tend to drop their promotions on those days (press releases and email blasts).
They also found that more than 15% of all registrations occur in the thirty-day period AFTER the live webcast date! So get that recording archived and available as quickly as possible... Your promotional materials are still working for you after the event is over (I can easily verify this from personal experience. My "upcoming webinars" page always gets page views well after the event I was promoting has passed. Make sure to keep making use of your landing page/registration page with updated information after the event is over. It will continue to draw views.
ON24 also reports that audience members spent an average viewing time of 47 minutes for a live webcast, versus 32 minutes for on-demand material. Make your recordings shorter and more concise than your live events. Cut them into shorter, more focused segments if you can. This is a service that Webinar Success offers, by the way.
There is a lot more information in the full report and I don't want to violate their copyright by giving it all away. You can get a copy of the report for free by registering on their website.