BrightTalk data suggests the majority of business won via webinar comes from non-attendees

BrightTalk 2019 webinar benchmarks
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Don’t worry about the steep drop-off: nearly 60 per cent of the business companies gain through a webinar comes from those who tune in on-demand, according to the latest research from BrightTalk.

In its 2019 benchmark report, which is based usage data across the San Francisco-based firm’s platform for hosting webinars and videos, also wove in specific survey questions to its customers for the first time. The study showed that in addition to business won, 57 per cent of pipeline opportunities was also attributed to non-attendees.

“It’s important to keep in mind that the number of registrants is higher than attended, so conversion rates may not follow this trend,” the report’s authors cautioned. “However more business was created and won through our outreach to those that initially raised their hand to attend a webinar but didn’t. So don’t let a strict MQL definition limit your pipeline.”

On average, BrightTalk said webinars achieved 162 registrations, which led in turn to 65 live attendees and 97 who tuned in afterwards on demand. The majority of those on-demand views come within the first three weeks of the live webinar, suggesting that the companies producing them are continuing to nurture interest in the content through e-mail, social media or other marketing channels.

While many B2B webinars consist of relatively low-production elements such as a slide presentation with audio discussion and some polling questions, the BrightTalk report suggested marketing departments continue to experiment.

“More interactive webinars, easier webcam talks and live video panels from in-person events are just some of the ways B2B marketers are scaling their content marketing efforts,” the authors wrote.

Some of the research findings stayed consistent with last year’s report, which showed the best time to run a webinar is at 8:00 a.m., despite the practice by many companies to run them around noon or 1 p.m. EST to capture those on their lunch breaks (and those just starting work on the west coast). Not surprisingly, the biggest determining factor in what drove attendance, according to those surveyed, was the title and abstract for the webinar.

“As a follow-up question to what influences registration and attendance, the most often sited reasons for not tuning in were timing, relevance, or the content seeming too commercial,” the authors noted. “With that in mind, make an effort to authentically share value with your audience, rather than transparently selling to them without valuable learnings.”

From a content perspective, the topics that were most on the rise across BrightTalk in the marketing category included revenue marketing, followed by those focused on the customer, digital experience and content analytics. Those on the decline included account-based marketing (ABM), data privacy, referral marketing and personalization.

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.