2020 was the year that proved that webinars can be effective in your marketing strategy. Digital events such as webinars, online conferences and other virtual events have really come into their own.
Like every other marketing campaign, you will need to make sure to plan how you are going to measure your success. Otherwise, it’s difficult to know what’s working for you and how well it works.
Many webinar organisers simple look at registrations or attendance as a metric – but if you are only looking at these stats, you are going to miss a lot of other more insightful data.
The best way to make sure your measurement plan is in place, is to think about how you are going to measure long before you start sending your webinar invitations.
Think about the goal of your webinar, do you want to increase your lead generation efforts, do you want to work on your brand awareness, do you want to educate attendees and members, do you want more conversions, or do you want to nurture existing customers?
Webinars are able to achieve all of these goals, but each goal has different key performance indicators and they are all measured differently.
If you want to measure your lead generation efforts, you need to measure how many people land on your registration page and how many conversions you get. If you have the tools to do it, try to save the registration’s and attendees’ list in order to track these people in the sales funnel afterwards. In doing that, you can link registration/attendance to actual conversions
If you want to measure how strong your brand is, you want to measure how many of the people registered actually attended the event, how many marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) it generated as well as engagement statistics during your webinar. Measuring the experience, content and brand ratings after the event can also help to measure this.
If you want to track conversions, you need to be able to track registrants/attendees to actual sales. You can achieve that by tracking the proportion of MQLs that converted to sales-accepted leads from your webinar viewers compared to non-webinar viewers.
Digital marketing is particularly helpful if you want to have actionable metrics. There is a huge diversity in the metrics you can use. That also explains why its important to choose what you want to measure before the beginning of the event because afterwards you can be overwhelmed by the number of stats coming at you.
Here’s 8 standard metrics that you can use to measure your performance.
CTR is a KPI that measures how your marketing content is working on the audience.
By using CTR you are tracking the clicks coming from your different channels to a specific page for instance. You can measure clicks from your website, email newsletter, social profiles, online advertisements and others.
Low CTR’s can show that the content you are putting out there is not perfectly matching with what the audience wants. It can also show a lack of balance in the channels you are using to deliver your content. Finally, it can also mean that your content is useful but not engaging enough for your audience.
Our own research in 2020 shows that marketers use email as the most effective channel in their mix (34%). Email is followed by the website (20%) and the sales team outreach (18%) as the most effective channel to promote webinars.
Unpaid social media promotion is also used to promote webinars but is fighting a surge in paid social media promotion that almost double between 2019 and 2020.
This is a basic KPI that almost all webinar organisers are using. This metric is useful to see how your registration page is doing because you are tracking how many people fill out the form on your event landing page and register to the event.
This metric is very useful to test different registration page design and compare them to one another. It gives you the power to test different landing page designs like event information placement, key topic placement or title design on the page.
Stats on registration numbers can also give you an answer on the when. You can test different dates and time in a day on when to send out communication about the event. By doing that you can finetune when it is best to communicate with your audience for maximum registration.
Our study in 2020 has revealed that 22% of webinar organisers are considering registration numbers as an important metric.
You can have a lot of registrations without people actually attending. That’s why marketers are also tracking the number of attendees they get on a webinar. This is the most important metric for webinar organiser with 31% of them considering it important.
The majority of people will only attend an event 50% of the time, and average attendance rates overall are about two in five (38.5%) according to our 2020 survey on webinar attendees.
The webinar format you might choose will have an influence on your attendance rate with live event attendance being lower than on-demand ones. This is easily explained with the trend towards on-demand content that is easier to consume.
Making your content available on-demand will boost your post event attendance number and you will be able to reach more people by doing that.
High live attendance rates can also be a great indicator of the best times to run an event.
In terms of time in the week to stream your webinar, our research has shown that Thursdays were the most popular days. Fridays were becoming more popular in 2020. In terms of time in the day, our respondents said that mid-morning and mid-afternoon were the best for organising webinars.
The average viewing time for your webinar is also a good indicator of the quality of your content as well as the engagement from your audience for the topic. You can also measure the quality of the speakers involved in the webinar, the preferred length as well as formats for your webinar.
By analysing drop offs during the event, you can work on your overall content quality and work with speakers to improve your content. These stats can also show issues in terms of connectivity because they usually cause massive drop offs in event attendance.
There can be a lot of reasons behind drop off peaks and you can use data from your webinar to catch problems and improve on them. This can help you get actionable insights on your digital event programs.
Metrics about duration can also help you catch top performing content in your program. You can also capture your top attendees by discovering those who view events more than once.
Engagement is a metric you can use to get a sense of how good the quality of your event and content is. Especially if you are investing in interactive features you want to be able to measure how engagement your attendees are.
If you are using polling during your webinar, make sure to track how many attendees used the polling feature in order to measure engagement with your content.
When streaming educational or training material in your webinar, you can also use polls to see how your audience learns the material and get a sense of how well they learned during the event. This can help you to get certification programs off the ground.
Engagement can also be measured by tracking how many attendees are using features such as chats. If webinar attendees are using these features to get in touch with you and get their questions across, this means that your topic is interesting and that your audience is involved with it.
After the event, you can download chat transcripts and get the data on which attendees were the most involved during the webinar.
This KPI is used across all industries to get an idea on emotions when using a service or product. At the end of each webinar attendees should be able to rate the event and communicate their level of satisfaction. Give them the possibility to tell you what they think about your content and your brand.
Satisfaction should also be measured when it comes to presenters and webinar format. These stats can help you optimise for feature events.
During-event polls or surveys are the best tools to capture webinar satisfaction. You can link those polls in your webinar resource kit or communicate about the survey during the webinar. After-event surveys are usually less effective because your audience has already moved on from your event.
Try to be consistent in the questions you ask because it makes it easier to compare event after event.
Open-ended questions should be used in order to capture emotions and thoughts linked to your event.
If you are planning on doing a full webinar series, we would advise you to measure consistently across the series in order to evaluate properly what works and what doesn’t. By working on a series you get a better sense of which presenters and what topic works better.
Webinars and digital events can be great conversion magnets.
Especially for products and services with a long sales cycle, digital events can really help your conversion efforts. They can offer value to your prospects in the middle of the funnel and educate them about your product and services. They can also help building a relationship which will help you sell in the long run.
A lot of people make the mistake to not measure the impact of their digital event program on their conversion rate.
By focusing on conversion, you can track the length of time webinar viewers remain leads or MQLs before moving to become sales-accepted-leads, and then sales.
If you don’t have a CRM with lead scoring and pipeline measurement, we would advise to focus on email addresses as unique client identifier. This will help you ty the knot between webinar attendance and conversion.
Webinars are high quality content that demand time, effort and budget from your marketing team. Even though they are not as expensive as physical events, digital events can be expensive. That’s why it’s important to measure the effort your team puts in this compared to the actual results for your business. Return on investment can be measured by using your main success indicator compared to your main cost factor. You might want to track your webinar ROI overt time to see if you are getting better or worse on it.
Don’t forget that with on-demand content, ROI should be measured over time. A webinar shot at one point in time can have a good ROI when used in different marketing material for different campaigns. That’s when it becomes more complicated to measure clearly.
Webcasts.com.au delivers more than 200 high-quality digital events around Australia each month. Reach out to one of our sales consultants by calling 1800 733 416 if we can help you with your webinar or digital event program.