How to Measure Your Webinar Program
Savvy marketers are developing webinar programs to engage their target audience on their website and generate qualified leads that turn into revenue for their businesses. You can repurpose content from whitepapers or blog articles into rich media formats or produce webinars and videos from scratch that can extend your reach and build your thought leadership in your industry.
Webinars and videos have the added benefit of generating insight about who is engaging with your content and how they are engaging to give you insight into both who might be the most interested in hearing from your sales team and how you can improve your program to continue working towards achieving your goals.
Although the metrics on which you focus depend on your goals, here are three ways to measure the success of your webinar program:
1. Number of registrations
After you’ve produced content, you want it to be heard by your audience. Number of attendees gives you an idea of the reach of your message, but looking at the number of registrations should also give you an idea of those interested in that piece of content. Those who register but don’t attend could be the most interesting for you to follow up with as they have expressed interest in learning more, but may have been too busy to attend, which suggests they are a decision maker in their organization.
You can also look at the reach of your marketing materials promoting the content because these impressions generate awareness for your program and expertise. If you promote your webinars with email, look at deliverability rates, open rates and click rates as well as registration rates for each webinar in comparison to each other. If you promote your webinars with social media, look at the number of followers and fans that had the opportunity to see the promotion, number of clicks and number of registrations. With paid advertising, look at impressions, clicks and registrations. Compare your promotional tools in terms of number of impressions and number of registrations versus cost in both time and payment to make educated decisions about allocating resources and to better understand how different pieces of content perform with your audience.
The demographics of your registrants are another way to measure the performance of your programs. Look at the percent breakdown of your audience in terms of company size, industry, region and level, for example. Look at the demographics of your current customers to identify who your target audience is and consider how the audience of your overall webinar program or of a specific webinar compares to other marketing programs you are running. Create more content similar to the assets that deliver the audience closest to your target to optimize your efforts. You can also create content for different stages of the buying cycle and segment by industry to increase relevancy and provide a customized experience to your audience.
2. Level of engagement
One of the biggest differentiators of webinars and videos in comparison to the other tools in a marketer’s toolkit is the level of engagement data that they capture. This data can help you identify who is the most interested in what you do. Looking at how long someone viewed or how many times they viewed is a great place to start. Look at the data in aggregate or on average per attendee by asset to compare the performance of these assets. Perhaps more indicative of interest and engagement is number of questions asked, number of votes participated in and number of pieces of feedback provided. You can also take a qualitative approach and determine whether the questions asked were related to the topic of the webinar, the products or services your company offers or the technology you are using to run the webinar.
Another important piece of data to look at is how many viewers are attending live at any given minute during the live presentation. Look for how your audience builds at the beginning of the event. Analyze the amount of time it takes for the bulk of your audience to join your presentation and make your most important points after most of your audience is present. Oftentimes presentations include a short housekeeping section at the beginning that provides information about how to use the platform on which the webinar is hosted. Avoid programming your audience to expect a long housekeeping section or late start as you want them to join you on time and receive a consistent stream of quality information to help you build a quality relationship with them.
Understand how engaging your content is by looking at when attendees drop off. You can expect there to be a significant drop off when a presentation shifts to a question and answer section at the end of an event as well as slight drops when there is a change in the speaker during the presentation. If you see a large drop off in any other places, go back to that part of the webinar and evaluate what could have encouraged the audience members to leave or at least not been compelling enough for them to stay. Apply what you learn to your next presentation.
3. Revenue attribution
There is no better way for marketing to demonstrate its value to the business than attributing revenue to a particular lead sourced by a particular marketing program. Webinars make the lead generation process able to be tracked, especially when integrated with a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
After each webinar – or in real time if you’re using an API – evaluate who is the most likely to be receptive to a call from your sales team. The criteria will be different for every organization, but think through the characteristics of your ideal lead and how they interact with your webinars. Create a lead scoring system by assigning a point value to every characteristic and activity that is relevant to the profile of your ideal lead. You may focus on leads from the United States, for example, but also sell your product or service in Western Europe; however, only a few of the leads you’ve obtained from China have closed, so you may assign 10 points to all leads from the United States, 8 points to everyone from Western Europe and 2 points to everyone from China. Follow a similar methodology for other demographics information like company size, industry and level as well as engagement data including number of presentations viewed and then determine a minimum number of points that a person needs to obtain in order warrant a call from sales.
Pass the information of all of the attendees who meet the threshold into your CRM system. Use your system to assign a sales person to follow up with each lead and then track how each lead moves through the sales cycle, eventually to closed business.
Your CRM system should also capture the interactions of these leads with other marketing campaigns to accurately reflect the contributions of other marketing activities to driving sales. It can become very complicated to assign an exact amount of revenue to a particular marketing program, but metrics like number of dollars sold or number of deals closed that were influenced by a program offer a simpler way to accurately report on the value generated by these activities.
Marketing should be able to know how many of the leads they have generated or nurtured through their webinar program have converted to sales and present that number proudly to their management team.
No matter what your goals are, these metrics give you concrete ways to communicate the value you are providing to the business. It is crucial to figure out what metrics matter the most to the different members of the organization and to use data to show your progress and continue to improve your programs.