2018 Webinar Benchmarks: 6 Highlights

April 10, 2019

Webinars have been proven to be a highly valuable content format, especially with B2B buyers. But how do webinars perform? Once again this year ON24 has released its webinar benchmarks, based on an analysis of more than 22,000 webinars (with a minimum of 100 attendees) conducted on its platform in 2018. Here are some highlights from the report [download page].

1. Mid-Week Webinars Are Best For Sign-Ups and Attendance

Around two-thirds (65%) of marketers say they provide up to five marketing touches per webinar session, according to a survey of ON24 members included as part of the report. Of those touches, emails are the most effective in driving registration. Tuesdays through Thursday are the best days to send out those emails, with Wednesdays having the highest share (23%) of sign-ups, followed closely by Tuesdays and Thursdays (22% each).

Mid-week is also the best time of the week for attendance, with Thursday (28% share) being the top day for webinar attendance, followed by Wednesday (27%) and Tuesday (24%). The best time of day on average for holding a webinar is 11AM PST  / 2 PM EST.

2. Average Viewing Time Clocks In At Just Under An Hour

The average viewing time for webinars has gone up slightly, from 56 minutes in 2017 to 58 minutes in 2018. While the average viewing time for webinar attendees has remained somewhat consistent since 2013, the figures for 2018 represent the longest viewing time thus far.

The 58-minute average viewing time is for all webinars, but viewing times vary for the type of webinar. While the majority of (72%) of those respondents that offer training programs said their lessons were about an hour long, 17% held half-hour sessions.

3. Close to Half of Registrants Convert to Attendees

In 2018 an average of 43% of registrants converted to attendees for webinars with more than 100 attendees, slightly down from an average conversion rate of 44% the year before. However, the conversion rate overall (including smaller webinars) was 56%.

This average was boosted by a very strong conversion rate for communications webinars (67%), such as sales communications webinars for organizations with offices in multiple locations.

Marketing webinars actually saw their conversion rate dip ever so slightly, to 39%, compared to the 40% from the year before.

4. Q&A’s The Top Engagement Tool

As engagement is a key component and benefit of webinars, it is beneficial to offer various forms of engagement through a webinar. The top engagement tool, used in 81% of webinars, was Q&A.

Other popular engagement tools used for the webinars run by ON24’s clients included resources for download (69% of webinars), surveys (36%), social (25%) and polling (22%).

5. Video Integration On the Rise

Video content has been found to convert better than other types of content. So it’s notable to see that the use of some type of video rose to 38% of webinars, up 16 percentage points from 2017. Video is most often used for product demos (61%), live events (41%) and panel discussions (31%), according to survey respondents.

That being said, high-production video isn’t the only type of content being presented. While videos used consisted of a mix between studio-produced, integrated video clips, streaming and screen sharing, more than half (51%) simply use webcam presentations.

6. More than One-Third Use On-Demand Only

Nearly 3 in 5 webinar attendees (59%) watch only the live broadcast of a webinar. While this is best for two-way engagement, 36% of attendees opt to only watch the on-demand webinar. The majority of these attendees register a week after a live event.

Those respondents using webinars for marketing purposes recognize the benefit of making their content available to be consumed at the viewer’s convenience, with a full 98% making their webinars available both live and on-demand.

Always-on viewers do seem engaged – with their average viewing time of 47 minutes being up from 44 minutes the year prior and just 29 minutes a few years ago.

To read more about webinar benchmarks, download the report here.

About the Data: Data is based on analysis of 22,922 webinars (all webinars had at least 100 attendees) held on ON24’s platform in 2018. A survey of 200 ON24 users was also conducted as part of the report.

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