The way organisations use webinars in their marketing and education programs is changing, our latest research on webinar marketing shows, with more organisations filming their webinar content in advance and then screening it at the designated time to simulate a live webcast.
Three in four webinars (76%) are still shown live, but this figure has dropped significantly from 84% a year ago, according to data from the State of Webinar Marketing research, conducted by Redback in March in conjunction with webinar platform ON24.
Simulated live webinars jumped to 17% from 10% a year ago, reflecting the increased interest in pre-recording sessions, and two in five webinar users (41%) now pre-record video, up from 34% last year.
Three in four webinar users also always make their webinars available on-demand, the research shows — with that figure set to rise to 82%. That makes a lot of sense: webinar audience research typically shows live viewing rates for webinars are steady at around 35%, while on-demand viewing is almost twice that at 65%.
Redback conducted the State of Webinar Marketing research in conjunction with webinar platform ON24 in March to find out how organisations are using webinars, and to benchmark industry standards so we can identify and share best-practice when it comes to webinar marketing.
From what we see amongst our own customers, webinar users are pre-filming more virtual events to reduce the risks associated with hosting live events conducted over sometimes congested household broadband infrastructure now that most people are working from home to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pre-filming webinars also allows organisations to film at a time that suits speakers — who may be presenting from different locations around the world — as well as catering for speakers who may not be used to presenting on video.
While there’s a trade-off when it comes to interactivity — with live Q&A not possible in a simu-live situation — you can still ask people to post their questions and respond in an FAQ sent out to all participants after the event.
Looking at the global reach of webinars, more than half of the respondents to the study (58%) are leveraging webinars to target international markets in 2020, up from 34% last year — an increase of 59%.
And the proportion of webinar users targeting both international and local prospects and customers has almost doubled from 30% to 54%.
In other key stats, the study showed the vast majority of webinar organisers have committed to a consistent program of webinars, with more than one in three (38%) running at least one a fortnight. A slightly smaller proportion (28%) are running between 6 and 10 webinars a year (up from 22% last year).
But one in four users (24%) are now running between 21 and 50 webinars a year, or one every week to two weeks!
We know webinars are uniquely positioned in the current environment to reach and engage distributed audiences at scale — it’s a fact that’s not lost on webinar users.
“I love that you can generate engagement and deliver your message without the need for people to gather in the same location,” said one respondent to the survey.
“They’re easy to use, both for us and our customers, low-cost and virtual in a COVID-19 world,” said another.
Download our State of Webinar Marketing 2020 research to learn more.
And to find out how Redback can help you run a webinar program, get in touch with one of our sales representatives.