We’ve recently decided to do an experiment to see whether an On-Demand webinar would attract more viewers than the typical approach of picking a date and broadcasting the webinar live.
We regularly hosts “live webinars” and we typically get thousands of participants, but only about half the viewers attend the live session, the rest view the webinar when we send out the recording. In a Netflix world, our hypothesis was that people would prefer to have the content right away and by offering immediate access to the webinar, we would get better results. So we decided to do a test.
During this tough time for everyone, we wanted to share our results as they might be helpful for you to engage with your audience by hosting webinars while most of us are working remotely and self-isolating. Now is probably the best time to create more digital content to reach out to your customers.
Evaluating Engagement Metrics
First and foremost with a test, you want to define how you measure success. We have two goals for webinars: 1) Generate new leads who might be interested in our digital marketing platform 2) Build our position as thought leaders in the market by presenting amazing content that delivers actionable suggestions for digital marketings.
With these two goals, the key metrics are registrants and attendees. Moving forwards, two more important metrics are “Audience Retention” and “Audience Engagement”. In order to really measure the success of our webinar, we firstly view how many people started watching our content and how many dropped off during the session. Finally, did the audience engage with us during the Q&A session?
The test methodology was straight forward, we split our audience randomly into two groups, half received a series of emails inviting the users to a live webinar approximately three weeks from the first email. The second group received the same emails, but the call to action was to view the webinar on-demand at their convenience.
Which One Wins?
We pulled out the results and here is what we’ve got:
So more registrations, more attendees and deeper engagement with the content for the live approach. We were shocked, clearly our hypothesis was wrong and people are more attracted to a live event. While the test was done in a pre-COVID-19 world, we would expect the results to hold up as people are looking for opportunities for social interaction to break up their solitary days at home.
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