Yesterday I attended an ON24 webcast covering statistics and best practices gleaned from the webinars they hosted during 2011. It was an interesting webinar from several angles. I’m going to write two posts about it. This one covers the factual content and the next post covers my subjective impressions of the event. ON24 was kind enough to give me permission to recap some of their findings here.
They decided to concentrate on marketing-oriented webinars for their topic. They started with some quotes from other sources confirming that webinars are an important factor in modern marketing strategies. You can go back to their presentation for the sources, but I liked these figures: “93% of companies include webinars as part of their marketing mix” – “Over 80% of marketers rate webinars as one of their top 3 marketing tactics for lead generation” – “60% of decision-makers attended a webinar in the last month.”
In a live audience poll, the top webinar priority/frustration/concern for attendees was how to drive registration. ON24 said their research showed that the most effective promotion vehicle was your own in-house prospect list. Down in the less effective categories were direct mail, print advertising, and – surprise! – social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Is this because it simply doesn’t result in registration click-throughs or is it because most businesses don’t have a large enough social reach and following to get their social media listings seen by a wide audience?
ON24 said that their studies showed only 62% of webcasts incorporated polls and surveys (c’mon folks… we need to drive that number WAY higher!). 89% incorporate Q&A, but I’ll bet that’s mostly “10 minutes at the end” rather than actively soliciting and responding to comments and questions throughout the presentation.
In a head-scratching statistic, one of their slides proclaimed that “webcasts with video have 24% higher attendance rate and higher lead conversion.” I just don’t understand how the fact that you have video in your content can affect attendance rate. Unless it is related through factors that are not cause-and-effect. For instance, huge corporations are more likely to get higher attendance rates simply because they have a larger audience to draw from and larger marketing budgets. They are also more likely to include video because they are set up for it. So the two would be seen as corresponding, but the fact of the video does not drive the attendance.
I was intrigued to see a slide title saying simply “Good Content + Bad Speaker = Bad Webinar.” The quote on the slide was that 70% of all companies who conduct webinars ranked dynamic and recognizable speakers as the number one determinant for a successful webinar. This would be the perfect place for me to introduce a side note about my presenter training program and all the tips and best practices available in this blog for improving your presentation skills. But that would be wrong, so I certainly won’t do it.
The overall summary benchmarks slide for 2011 said that in their sample set of marketing webinars ON24 saw an average registration count of 441 (this is probably useless to you… I am sure the range varies widely from company to company and event to event). Average time spent in session by an attendee was 38 minutes (maybe you should shorten your 60-minute events?). Companies typically reported a 15-30 percent rate on getting qualified leads. And the stat that really threw me: Average attendance rate of 58%. Huh??!? I know for sure this is too high.
Then it became clear on the next slide. Their 58% attendance rate included attendees at the live event (34% rate) and on-demand viewers (24% rate). Ah yes, exactly what I have seen and reported in the past. Whew!
There was definitely more good content, and you should check the ON24 site to see when the recording is posted for review. I don’t have a link yet, but I’ll update this if they send it out.