Have you heard that webinars are a great tool to use when it comes to lead generation and business growth, but don’t know how to start measuring their impact?
According to the available statistics, webinars aren’t just a cost-effective way for businesses to create live events, they also carry the potential to significantly lower your ‘cost-per lead’ or potential customer acquisition.
(Image: Suttida Yang)
There are plenty of reasons why fundamentally webinars stand as one of the most effective ways to engage an audience. However, justifying ‘ROI’ or the return on the amount spent on creating a webinar can be somewhat trickier for marketers.
Despite webinars being widely recognized as a budget-friendly method of engaging your audience, it’s still important to justify the time and resources you’re putting into them by delivering tangible results.
Webinars can be a great way of demonstrating your expertise, but what do you want to get out of them? Do you want to sell your service to new customers? Are you looking to develop your mailing list? To achieve your webinar goals, you first need to determine a clear set of goals so you will get there.
Different marketers will have different ideas about what successful webinar marketing means. Although goals may be different, the ways of tracking the success of webinar content can be similar.
With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look into how marketers can successfully track the performance of their webinars alongside the conversions and sales that they’re creating:
Defining webinar marketing
In a nutshell, webinar marketing refers to using an online seminar to connect with a broader audience and promote your business. The term itself combines the words ‘web’ and ‘seminar.’
The majority of marketing webinars are used as lead generation tools providing free and expert-led information to draw participants in and prompt them to upgrade to premium memberships, services, or to buy products.
With this in mind, it’s worth noting that webinars are a different form of lead magnet, and they carry the potential to bring more value and a better quality of leads than other forms of free content, like ebooks or brochures.
There are no set rules as to how webinars can be crafted, but typically they consist of a presentation followed by an interactive Q&A round. Because they’re a visual form of content, webinars can help presenters to form a connection with their participants. It’s also possible for an audience to understand and take on board the information better than if it was written down.
Marketers can utilize webinar marketing in different ways, including:
Demonstrating new products or services
Expanding on content that’s been published in blog posts
Displaying their company’s industry expertise
Anatomy of the webinar sales funnel
Before we get into the tracking of webinar conversions, let’s take a look at its sales funnel and how it operates.
(Image: M3 Marketing)
Above, we can see an example of how marketers can create an entire week of engagement, signups, and conversions from a single webinar. Here, we can see that for a Thursday evening webinar, it’s important to work on optimizing signups and registrations, whereby marketers have a chance to leverage email mailing lists where they see fit.
The conversion optimization strategy supporting webinars doesn’t end once the webinar has concluded. In the days following a webinar, marketers have the opportunity to upload a replay to the business’ website, as well as added details like cliff notes and an element of added urgency for visitors who haven’t yet seen it.
Webinar sales funnels can be effective ways of leveraging new engagements. According to Olivia Milton, CMO at Demio, “With an average of 260 webinar registrations, you can expect around 117 people (about 45% of registrants) to attend the event, and get 47 qualified leads (up to 40% of the attendees) into your pipeline. Not bad at all, is it?”
However, Milton was less buoyant about the typical conversion rates surrounding webinars. “Some sources report that on average, between 2% and 5% of attendees will become paying customers. That’s only 6 sales out of 117 people attending your event,” she explained.
This gulf between webinar signups and conversions means that marketers are making a mistake if they believe that their job is complete once their webinar event has concluded. It’s imperative to track your progress, performance, and work on your content optimisation to compel more of your audience to snap out of their passivity and follow up on their interest by making a purchase.
How is this possible? Here are a few actionable steps to better track your conversions and sales and optimize your content offerings for more success in the future:
How to track webinar performance from the start
When it comes to tracking the performance of your webinar, the metrics that you need to tap into begin way before you even go live.
Whether you’re looking to utilize email, ads, or social media campaigns to promote your webinar, the leads you’re looking to reach will eventually come into contact with your sign-up page to confirm their attendance.
Here, it’s important to establish proper tracking on your webinar landing pages to appropriately monitor the number of views it earns. It’s also worth doing the same for your registration confirmation pages.
By taking this approach, you’ll be able to compare the number of people visiting your landing page to the number of users who convert—helping to better illustrate the metrics of your sales funnel.
If, for instance, you’re not seeing many page visits as you’d initially hoped, try revising your promotional tactics and ensure that there’s a level of consistency between what you’re promising from your advertising and what your target audience will look to gain from your webinar.
Conversely, if you’re seeing more page views but fewer signups, then it’s a reason to revisit your landing page and review the information you’re giving your audience. There are plenty of straightforward fixes that you can run to action this—for instance, the registration process could be too convoluted for some visitors to complete. Or it could involve the user giving up too much personal information for their comfort.
One of the most effective ways to monitor your page engagements and the flow of interested visitors arriving on your landing pages progressing through your signup pages is through the help of web analytics tools like Google Analytics and Finteza.
Here, you can accurately visualize the path of traffic through your pages as well as monitoring where visitors are coming from—providing you with ample opportunity to review the success of any cross-platform advertising campaigns for your webinar.
One actionable approach to test for this is to conduct split testing with different variations of landing pages. Here, you can utilize alternative forms as a means of seeing how much information your audience appears to be willing to give up.
It may also be worth revising your landing page copy to ensure that it aligns with your messaging and that you’re not inadvertently promoting a webinar that doesn’t quite match what your visitors were expecting in terms of content.
Ask your audience
The aim of the game in marketing is to get into the heads of your target audience, so it makes sense to ask them questions directly while they’re all together in one room.
By incorporating polls into your webinars, you can not only keep attendees engaged but also enable them to provide handy insights that you can use to segment your audience by their needs, levels of interest, industry, and various other metrics.
By polling your attendees, you can also use their thoughts and opinions to find out whether they’re interested in learning more about certain aspects of your company or by talking to a sales representative. However, it’s worth noting that this technique isn’t suited for top-of-the-funnel webinars that aren’t directly related to your products or services.
The best thing about polling attendees of a webinar is that you’re likely to receive a much higher response rate compared to post-webinar emails or social media polling. If attendees respond positively, pass them on to your sales team for a follow-up after the webinar has concluded.
GoToWebinar Content Marketing Manager, Amber Tiffany believes that polling has the potential to be a driving force for leveraging conversions as well as tracking attendee interest rates and purchase intent. “If you get a lot of positive poll responses, take time at the end of your webinar to demo your product or show your attendees how they can purchase it. Those who aren’t interested can hop off and those who are interested will appreciate the extra info,” she elaborated.
Accurately measuring webinar ROI
Measuring webinar ROI is the way that you can determine your level of success. Again, it’s worth highlighting that your ROI metrics can be interpreted differently depending on the individual goals of your webinar.
Fundamentally, the most straightforward way to calculate your return is to estimate it using the number of qualified leads your webinar generates and your overall lead-to-sales conversion rate. This approach is known as forecasting. If you know that 10% of your qualified leads convert to sales, you can take an educated guess as to how many of your webinar attendees will become customers. For instance, if you generate 150 qualified leads, and your conversion rate is 8%, your webinar has generated approximately 12 sales.
To gain further insight, multiply this number by your average Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to gain the actual dollar value of your webinar. From this fee, subtract your webinar costs to gain a clear picture of your ROI.
Although this is a relatively rudimentary approach, it can give you a raw understanding as to whether running webinars in their current form is worth the investment, if your approach to promotion is strong enough, and what types of webinars are creating the most value for your business.
Alternatively, you could follow each webinar registrant through the entirety of their journey—from gaining their interest to winning a sale. With this greater attribution, you can chart all the marketing touchpoints that influenced their decision to convert, helping you to accurately determine the value of your webinar.
Don’t forget that a good webinar can be repurposed such as making social media highlight heels or even posting it on YouTube with subtitles.
As a means of establishing brand-value through demonstrating expertise, the webinar is second-to-none. Webinar marketing could be the tool you need to give you an edge over your competitors, so get started!