Webinars are marketers’ top channel for ROI—how to plan yours

by | Mar 27, 2019 | Marketing, Public Relations

With more than 66 percent of buyers saying they prefer webinars to other content formats, there’s no better time to invest in this channel, according to new research from digital engagement firm ON24. The firm released its Webinar Benchmarks Report 2019 to provide marketers with key learnings and best practices.

The industry study provides a comprehensive look at how webinars are transforming digital marketing and how they have evolved into an essential channel for businesses to engage prospects and convert them to lifetime customers. The study is also informed by the Webinar Assessment Tool, a survey that helps marketers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their webinar programs.

“Great marketing is about creating digital experiences that are both engaging and actionable,” said Joe Hyland, CMO at ON24, in a news release. “The ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2019 illustrates that webinars are providing marketers with the data they need and consumers with the content they want—creating a rare win-win in today’s noisy, spam-ridden landscape.”

Webinars are marketers' top channel for ROI—how to plan yours

The user survey found that:

Engagement is a two-way street

Sixty-nine percent of webinars in 2018 offered resources for attendees to download or engage with.

Data is key

Fifty-three percent of respondents say it’s “extremely important” to have access to engagement insights.

Webinars amplify marketing campaigns

Sixty-nine percent of respondents say that webinars enable them to scale their marketing efforts.

Webinars impact the funnel

Seventy-six percent of respondents say that webinars enable them to drive more leads.

The report illustrates that:

Webinars reach unprecedented heights

Webinars continue to see an upward trend in viewing time, with the report finding the average viewing time to be at 58 minutes. This is the highest in the 7 years ON24 has conducted the report, and two minutes higher than 2018.

Video is becoming a must-have

Thirty-eight percent of webinars featured some type of video, a 72 percent increase year-over-year.

Always-on viewing times increase

The average on-demand viewing time increased to 47 minutes in 2019, the highest ON24 has ever found, and 3 minutes higher than 2018.

Midweek webinars are ideal

Webinars that take place on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are best for driving engagement and registration. The report found that that the majority of attendees watch webinars on either Thursdays (28 percent), Wednesdays (27 percent) or Tuesdays (24 percent). The best time to run a webinar is 11 am PST (2 pm EST) as it avoids most conflicts on both coasts; this time slot accounted for 18 percent of all webinar minutes watched.

Longer promotional campaigns build greater audiences

The best way to drive registrants to webinars is by engaging with them early and often—54 percent of registrants signed up more than 8 days before a webinar.

Webinars are marketers' top channel for ROI—how to plan yours

ON24 now sees more than 40,000 hours of webinar content being watched every day. The report measured nearly 23,000 webinars that took place in 2018 and surveyed 200+ ON24 users. Of the 22,922 webinars in 2018 that ON24 analyzed, all had at least 100 attendees. The presenting companies range in size from SMB to international corporations.

Download the full report here.

Webinars are marketers' top channel for ROI—how to plan yours

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter