What Your Peers Value in Webinars

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An industry survey from BrightTALK of B2B decision-makers just confirmed that webinars still rule in the B2B space. Here is some analysis from the numbers in the survey:

Schedule webinars, sponsored or paid. Just over 90% of B2B professionals say webinars are their top learning format, far above their engagement with short videos (68%), industry articles (60%), online courses (54%), whitepapers (48%), conferences (46%) and blog posts (42%). Clive Riddle, president of MCOL who will be presenting a session at SIPA Annual 2019 next week titled Deploying Webinar Attendee Analytics to Drive Marketing and Strategic Decision Making, has said that by doing sponsor and paid webinars, MCOL can attract different audiences.

Keep them coming. Over 54% of the B2B participants surveyed for this study say they engage with webinars on a weekly or daily basis.

Give your audience anytime access to your webinars and encourage the live "ask-questions" function. When asked what they value in the live learning experience, respondents listed viewing on demand as number 1, "watch later" functionality as number 2, asking live questions number 3, and continuing education certificates number 4.

Offer actionable pieces of information and analysis. When asked what they value most in content of any kind, survey respondents said:

  • Tips, tricks and best practices – 70%
  • Industry trends and predictions – 62%
  • How-to/101 explanations – 61%
  • Expert interviews – 60%
  • Solution case studies – 59%
  • Data insights and original research – 55%

Come up with an engaging title. Asked what influences webinar registration and attendance, respondents said description, title and source of content. The most often cited reasons for not tuning in were timing, relevance, or the content seeming too commercial. It's okay to have a sponsored webinar as long as it doesn't affect the content—or as in a podcast, the sponsor part gets taken care of right away.

Don't promote too early but then build interest on social. Almost 40% of your audience will register between 8-21 days from the event. One-fifth will sign up even earlier, but those are also the highest percentage for not attending. "Asking audiences for questions in advance via social is a great way to create buzz and grow live attendance."

Schedule for Tuesday or Thursday (in the U.S.). "The ideal day for a live event was very consistent on weekdays across Europe and North America, with

slight edge given to Monday and Tuesday in Europe, Tuesday and Thursday in North America, and a strikingly different Friday in Asia/Pacific." Must be a different vibe there.

Promote the on-demand viewing as quickly afterwards as possible. Of the additional webinar viewings you'll see in the 100 days following your event, 48% will occur in the first 10 days following the live date, with another 26% in the next 10 days after that.

Think about replay with live Q&A. BrightTALK reports that an additional 35% more viewings can be gained by replaying a webinar live with a new Q&A period. Their webinars averaged 6.4 questions per event.

Promote on Tuesdays but don't forget the weekend. Conversion for promoting webinars is surprisingly consistent throughout the work week, with Tuesday being the best day. Not surprisingly, weekend email conversion was up 35% in 2018.

"As we continue to diversify and redefine webinars with innovative forms of interactive video content, online talks, and live events, it is exciting to see positive growth across all engagement metrics on our platform," said Paul Heald, CEO and co-founder of BrightTALK. "Year after year, we have seen that providing engaging, informative and helpful content is B2B marketers' most powerful weapon in building authentic connections with their prospects."

Download the full report here.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…