Expert: How to make the most of webinars
“Companies are increasing pipeline, conversion rates, and deal sizes when they adopt digital-first strategies. It’s not just a new way, it’s a better way. There is no going back. That’s what customers are telling us. In fact, a supplementary survey to our benchmarks report shows that 89% of respondents believe webinars outperform other channels in creating qualified leads and nearly everyone sees them as a critical element of their marketing plan now and in the future,” said Steve Daheb, CMO, ON24. “While in-person events will come back in some form post-pandemic, now they’ll be used to complement a digital-first strategy.”
According to ON24 numbers about 60 million people engaged with 61 billion hours of webinar content throughout the pandemic. There was a 162% increase in the number of webinars and an increase of attendance of about 251%. Most of these utilized some for of Q&A as the basis for their content stream, but more than half (66%) also utilize some kind of video. As to the attendee, most are looking for educational – but also engaging – content.
“Audiences want relevant information and engaging content that is personalized to their needs and worthwhile. They want an opportunity to learn about the product or service, but also network with the company’s team and their peers through things like Q&As and breakout rooms,” said Daheb. “Companies looking to dig deeper into viewers’ needs should look towards engagement data. On average, a single digital experience reaches more than 200 attendees and can deliver over 20 data points of engagement for each attendee. The buying signals and data stemming from audience behaviors can help companies better understand their viewers. Then, these interests can be run through an AI-driven personalization engine to determine the next best interactions with each individual.”
To make the most of a webinar environment, Daheb says businesses must put the audience first – create interactive features like Q&As, polls, and chat options so that attendees can communicate with one another and the presenters throughout the presentation.
“Successful brands are delivering more approachable and entertaining webinar content, often using more conversational formats, including interviews, news style formats, discussion formats, and branded events to engage and educate prospects through their journey,” said Daheb.