Are Webinars Dead? An Honest View

Man sat at a desk attending a webinar

Webinars can be a powerful tool for brands in all industries and of all sizes. They can be the ideal way to promote your products and services, educate your community, build brand awareness, and even generate leads. Your consumers are looking for solutions and valuable information, and webinars can be perfect for just that.

The question is, are webinars as popular as they once were? Let’s dig into some key attendance statistics, how webinars are used in marketing and what you can do to make your webinar a success.

How the webinar landscape has changed

At first glance, webinars may seem a little outdated. However, they’ve proven to be absolutely invaluable in the past age of social distancing and the present remote working world. We’re in a “working from home economy” and webinars are now a crucial element of many brands’ marketing and sales strategies. In fact, 95% of businesses consider webinars as a critical part of their marketing strategy. Many businesses are actually turning to webinars to replace live events, but this does mean the market is a bit more competitive than it has been before and your webinar needs to stand out.

Research has found that people are watching more webinars now than ever before. The monthly usage of webinars has risen by 167% year over year, showing that more and more businesses are using webinars to engage with their audiences. They are undoubtedly viewed as a valuable marketing tool, with 92% of professionals thinking that a webinar is the best way to engage a large remote audience.

How people view webinars in 2024

The public’s perception of webinars has evolved in recent years. As previously discussed, studies show a real shift in engagement and appreciation for webinars. This suggests that audiences are actively seeking out webinars for learning opportunities. However, there are still some key challenges.

A study by WebinarCare found that only 2-5% of attendees actually acquire the host’s offers at the end of the webinar. Additionally, 42% of US and UK remote workers have experienced Zoom fatigue since the coronavirus outbreak. The move towards remote working and online learning definitely has both positives and negatives, as there is an undeniable convenience surrounding webinars and online learning. Many people see them as valuable marketing tools for businesses and fantastic learning tools for consumers, but there does seem to be a sense of digital burn-out for many workers. 

We carried out a survey on LinkedIn to get an idea of our audience’s views on webinars and found that only 27% of respondents attend webinars regularly. The more popular approach is to sign-up to receive the digital recording, and catch up with them after the webinar has been live. This makes it a lot easier to fit learning in around your schedule and makes it possible to view webinars from all over the world no matter what your timezone. 

40% of our 55 respondents said they don’t attend webinars regularly, which may be due to a few factors: Zoom-fatigue, lack of marketing surrounding webinars, busy schedules making it difficult, or maybe simply that many people don’t quite see the value in webinars anymore.

Poll asking if people regularly attend webinars with the majority of 40% voting no.

How to make a successful webinar

We’ve had a look at the current webinar landscape and some key stats, now it’s time to get stuck into planning your own webinar. It might seem like a daunting undertaking but if we break it down step-by-step, it’s more manageable than you may think. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Choose a topic and format

Before you can start making your webinar, you’ll have to decide on the topic. Your webinar should provide value to your audience, so have a think about the topics your brand has expertise in and can provide some real value on.  Your topic should aim to answer questions your audience often asks and you should try to be as specific as possible. For instance, if you’re wanting to host a webinar on social media marketing, try to nail it down to something more niche e.g. ‘Social media marketing tips for B2B brands.’

Next, pick your structure and format. You have quite a few options: including panel discussions, interviews, Q&As, and single-speaker presentations. Your chosen topic will inform this decision, so think about what would suit your brand, audience and chosen subject best. 

Step 2: Choose a date and time

Now, choose a date and time for your webinar. Consider where your audience lives (you can use Google Analytics to see where your audience is and what timezones they’re in) and pick a time that suits. Top tip: avoid typical commute times or busy work hours! 

Go To Webinar found that mid-week webinars produce the highest conversion and attendee rates, so a Wednesday or Thursday could be a great choice. When it comes to webinar length, 60 minute events tend to attract the most registrants, so it may be worth trying to stick to around an hour! 

Step 3: Promote the webinar

You’ve done the work behind the scenes, now it’s time to make sure you’ll have attendees. It’s time to promote your webinar! 

You can create a landing page where people can sign up, then promote that link on your various marketing channels. You may want to consider running paid ads for your webinar on social media and Search, as well as making the most of your brand’s social media presence and shouting about your webinar there. 

Use your follower base to get people interested and drive sign-ups. Go To Webinar found that 6 out of 10 webinar registrations are made the week leading up to the event and many webinar attendees show up at the last minute. In fact, 17% register the day of! Overall, research suggests registrations increase by 12% when the webinar is promoted at least 4 weeks in advance. 

Top tip: When people sign up, remind them leading up to the day of the webinar via email. Send them the webinar link again about an hour before the event so it’s at the top of their inbox. 

Step 4: Practice the webinar

Finally, practice your webinar. Practice makes perfect and you want to iron out any issues before you’re in front of an audience. Run-throughs can help you get acquainted with the webinar platform if you haven’t used it before and can help to ease your nerves. It may be worth creating a fake webinar on the platform and sending a link to another team member, then presenting it just like it was the real deal. Your colleague will be seeing the webinar like they were an attendee and can report back on how the presentation looks. 

Long Live The Webinar

Are webinars dead? We certainly don’t think so, as long as your webinar is engaging and well thought out, and not just a sales pitch! Webinars can be a super effective way to reach your target audience with educational content that leaves a lasting impression. It may seem like a daunting undertaking but, when you break it down step-by-step, you’ll be on your way to hosting a brilliant webinar in no time.

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