2020 was the breakthrough year for webinars and marketers are going all-in this year with plans to increase webinar budgets. According to the annual State of Webinars survey from TwentyThree, almost half of marketers are new to the webinar scene, creating new opportunities to share best practices and develop better webinar tools that make delivering engaging content to audiences even easier.
8 January 2021, LONDON, UK — The global pandemic is causing webinars to mature extremely quickly. Meetings, conferences and other physical events have been cancelled in its wake. As a result, webinars have become organisations’ answer to digitally bringing people together in a human way.
To get a comprehensive picture of how webinars are used by marketers the webinar software provider TwentyThree has conducted the annual international survey “State of Webinars,” which shows that 89% of marketers reported an increase in the number of webinars they’ve hosted compared to 2019. It’s most common for organisations to run between 20–49 webinars in a year.
The survey also finds that marketing teams are still leading the pack in terms of making webinars, with seven out of ten webinars run by marketing teams. This is probably why investing in a better webinar tool is on top of marketers’ 2021 budgets, after “marketing and promotion” plus “content creation.”
“Despite our survey revealing almost half of marketers are new to webinars, the data shows that marketing teams are gaining such great results with webinars, that more than half will spend more on their webinar programmes in 2021,” says Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, CEO and Co-founder of TwentyThree, a company providing premium webinar software. TwentyThree serves global brands including Carlsberg, Bandcamp and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from its offices in Copenhagen, London and San Francisco.
Only one out of four integrates webinar data into their marketing stack:
Of course, webinars can only drive business value when properly analysed. Looking at what metrics marketers are focusing on, vanity metrics like number of attendees (75%) and number of sign-ups (59%) are at the top of the list. More relevant metrics are left behind by three out of four marketers. Marketers are frequently missing valuable insights such as qualified lead generation, questions asked, chat activity, audience satisfaction survey and amount of sales generated — all metrics which can be more closely connected to attribution, engagement and lead scoring. This is an area where there is a lot of room for reflection and improvement as webinar programmes mature.
Only 27% of organisations have their webinar software integrated into their marketing stack:
“Even though marketing has become so data driven these days, there is a disconnect between webinar tools and martech tools. Only one out of four responded that they currently integrate their webinar data. This is a natural consequence of using sub-par webinar software. Many marketers are aware of this and are looking to upgrade from video meeting software or legacy webinar tools to more advanced webinar products,” explains Madsen-Mygdal.
Marketers are not confident in front of the camera:
The format of webinars has evolved from presenting boring PowerPoints to live productions, meaning that a dedicated manager is often needed within organisations to produce these webinars professionally. 91% of webinars today are live, video-based and participatory experiences. Education and lead generation are the major focus areas. 62% of respondents use webinars to educate customers, and 60% are using them for lead generation. Expanding branding comes in third with 50%.
“41% of organisations now have an internal Webinar Programme Manager or team responsible for producing webinars across the business. Customers are expecting an engaging experience when they sign up for a webinar, so everything has to run smoothly, but the human side of the experience is not to be overlooked,” Madsen-Mygdal explains.
When asked about the most challenging part of making webinars, more than half — 53% — of respondents reported that they feel hosting in an engaging way is the biggest barrier. Being confident and relatable on camera comes easy to some, but it’s a skill organisations should be nurturing with more training, better tools and efficient design so that they can feel more comfortable running webinars at scale.
The survey shows the webinar market has grown by at least 82% in 2020. With such staggering growth, organisations have had to quickly figure out how to enable themselves to make webinars. But moving into 2021, the process will shift from getting up and running to solidifying and streamlining new ways of working to engage audiences through webinars.
“The survey proves that organisations have been just getting started, which leaves a lot of room to grow the strategy and the execution side of webinars in 2021. When webinars are done right, the potential gains are huge,” says Thomas Madsen-Mygdal.
About the Survey
TwentyThree’s State of Webinars survey was conducted via an online survey between September and November 2020 among 338 webinar makers in the UK and Northern Europe. The full report State of Webinars Report can be downloaded from https://www.twentythree.net/stateofwebinars