I can remember the 90s when webinars were new. The company I worked for at the time jumped on the bandwagon, primarily because we bought in to the idea that hosting a webinar was a way to avoid travel costs. We would schedule webinars, prepare PowerPoint slides with white backgrounds, black text and no graphics or animation, and then deliver them in monotone. Then we’d wonder why people who bothered to attend didn’t seem terribly impressed. How far we’ve come!
Today it is easy to produce and deliver webinars professionally and effectively. They’re also a very influential type of content, capable of meeting multiple business objectives. Companies that have embraced webinars to help spread their message usually do so for one of these reasons:
1. To generate leads.
2. To establish or strengthen their perception as an industry thought leader.
3. To provide training to employees, customers or others.
Of course there are other reasons for doing webinars as well, but these are the most common. A company that begins a webinar initiative most often does so, at least initially, to generate leads.
Marketers know that the many things we do often defy simple measurement. We understand the value of establishing a set of objectives and measurements to track results, but linking revenue to the marketing spend is sometimes elusive. With webinars, however, this is easy! Let’s look at what I think are the three most important metrics to track for a webinar program designed to generate leads.
1. Webinar Registrations
There are at least three factors that affect webinar registration, and it’s important to constantly work on all three to drive webinar registrations:
- Marketing communications and promotion – it’s possible to have a great set of content and presenter for a webinar, but not promote it effectively, causing registrations to suffer. The reverse is also true. Producing great results from a webinar begins with effective promotion.
- Relevant topic – the target audience for any webinar must perceive that the topic is interesting and of potential value.
- Reputation – your reputation as a producer of webinar content can help or hurt you. When you have a great presenter or in general produce webinars well, word gets around and often people will attend just because they know you put on a good show.
Getting these three critical success factors right will drive webinar registration.
2. Webinar Attendance/Views
Webinar registrations are great, because each one is a captured lead we can nurture. No one, however, is content to just have someone register for a webinar – we want attendees we can influence. This measurement begins with just the raw number of attendees, but is then expressed as a percentage. In my experience, webinar turnout generally falls in a range of 40 to 60 percent of those who register. It’s a good idea to track this measurement for all webinars and develop an average. This way if attendance is higher or lower than average, you can assess a specific webinar and look for things to replicate or things to do differently next time.
While I love having an audience for the live webinars, there is a second metric that is sometimes more important than attendance: views. Most webinars are recorded and then used as part of a Content Marketing strategy. In this case, measuring views is far more meaningful than attendance.
3. Post Webinar Commitment
We produce webinars for specific reasons. While they are all designed to generate leads, most webinars will have some sort of call-to-action for the attendees. Webinars are excellent for creating and driving purchase consideration, even if we don’t ask for the order at the end of the session. Scheduling a free consult, starting a free trial and even making a purchase decision are all possible forms of commitment. Whatever the desired action is for people who attend your webinars, you need to measure it. Doing so will allow you to tie revenue directly back the webinar that helped create it.
The great thing about generating leads through webinars is that the first two metrics are captured for you as a byproduct of hosting one. The last metric is easily derived, particularly if you are using a Marketing Automation solution. Tracking these metrics will not only help you understand how much impact webinars are having, it will allow you to showcase that success to stakeholders in your organization.
Be sure to join us tomorrow to learn more.