ON24 infographic webinar benchmarks report 2015 Webinars have never been a more important tool for marketers, and we’re pleased to announce that the 2015 edition of ON24’s annual Webinar Benchmarks Report is “hot off the presses.” The benchmarks report analyzes key trends that we’ve observed in ON24 customer webinars over the last year while pointing the way to our customers’ future use of our webinar marketing platform.

As the industry leader, we are justifiably proud of our track record – delivering more than 40,000 live webinars last year. This report draws on analysis of 9,375 webinars conducted during 2014 by more than 500 customers, and the data backs up the notion that webinars have become essential to marketers, as evidenced by, for example, growing audience size, greater engagement and longer average viewing times.

Here are the key data points that we uncovered:

• Interactivity (and engagement) are on the rise: Engagement is illustrated by growth in the use of interactivity tools. Some 35% of webinars integrated social media, like Twitter and LinkedIn, and 24% used polling for direct engagement. Q&A is most popular interactivity tool at 82%. By the way, we introduced the ON24 Engagement Score last year and are now tracking this metric. In future versions of the benchmarks report, we plan to use it to track how webinar interactivity grows over time.

• Video use has nearly doubled: As video technology evolves, with reduced costs and the ability to reliably push video without bandwidth constraints, the use of video has gone from 9% in 2013 to 16.5% in 2014. This is also great news from an engagement perspective, as video use in webinars increases audience engagement.

• Large audiences are growing: Businesses of all sizes are using webinars to engage larger audiences – in 2013 only 1% of webinars had 1,000+ attendees, while in 2014, 9 passed the 1,000 mark. This shows that webinars with 1,000+ attendees are no longer limited to events held by large enterprise brands; business of all sizes are now attracting large audiences with their webinars.

• Viewing duration stays high: At odds with the notion that “snackable,” short-attention-span content is the only way to go, average webinar viewing times are trending up. Compared to an average of 38 minutes in 2010, average live webinar viewing has steadily risen and is now holding steady at 56 minutes, indicating that webinars continue to grow in importance as buyers self-educate when working towards purchase decisions.

You’ll find lots of great nuggets in the report, which we’re sure you will find useful for your webinar planning, such as:

  • Webinars held on Wednesdays and Thursdays have the highest attendance, followed closely by Tuesdays.
  • In North America, webinars held at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET have the highest attendance.
  • On average, 35-45% of registrants for marketing webinars attend the live event. This conversion rate has held steady for several years.

Webinar platforms are delivering an incredible depth of functionality these days. We’re enjoying a real transformation from the era when webinars were primarily for top-of-funnel lead generation. The benchmarks report underscores the fact that webinars are central to the marketing and sales process, nurturing prospects through each stage of the buyer’s journey.