Webinars are a powerful marketing tool, and their popularity is growing at an unprecedented rate. They offer a wide range of benefits for marketers with their ability to reach customers on a large scale, build brand trust with educational webinars, showcase products/services and to generate and convert leads. While they provide an interactive experience unmatched by other marketing forms, measuring their success and ROI can be tricky. With multiple points of contact and the time it can take to close a sale, tracking ROI is of the utmost importance.

As a marketer, you need to be able to justify the time and money spent planning and executing your webinars. With top virtual event platforms, such as Quickchannel, there are multiple ways to measure the effectiveness and engagement of your live and on demand streams. So, let’s explore how to evaluate and measure webinar success. 

1. Webinar marketing: measuring promotional success

Tracking KPIs like registrations, attendance and conversions from your webinar landing page can improve ROI and help determine which marketing methods have been the most effective when promoting your webinar. If any of these webinar statistics are low, it’s a clear indicator that certain aspects of your promotional efforts aren’t performing well and as a marketer, it’s your job to diagnose what may be wrong. Some key aspects to focus on are:

  • What sources are the majority of your leads coming from?
  • Is your campaign to landing page journey easy?
  • Is registration simple for your users?

To put this theory into practice, say for example you set up a LinkedIn campaign to promote your webinar to prospective leads. Tracking the number of people who clicked on your campaign against the number of registrations you received is indicative of a misalignment between your advertising efforts and what you’re actually offering. It’s also important to track where the majority of your leads are coming from, so you can reallocate funds accordingly to sources that are attracting the most traffic to your landing page.

Ultimately, you need to be asking yourself what marketing efforts are driving leads to register for your event and direct your campaigns towards the most prolific platforms.

2. Lead Quality

Calculating the number of registrations you received and determining how many count as a qualified lead is key to effective webinars. Remember, not everyone who registers for your event is going to attend but this doesn’t mean they aren’t a valuable lead. All is not lost for non-attendees as you can retarget them to attend future events, or they may even watch the on demand version of your webinar at a time better suited to them. Their registration could still indicate a highly motivated buyer. To segregate these leads and determine which qualify it’s good to consider:

  • Average watch time
  • Minutes watched
  • Polling results

Higher engagement and an attendee who watches the majority of your webinar could indicate someone who’s ready to buy, or highly interested. A good idea is to work out your live webinar attendance rate:

No. of attendees attending/number of contacts registered x 100 = % attendance rate

If registrations are high but attendance is low, check email campaigns, social media spend and other promotional efforts. Without insights about who your leads are, where they came from, and where they heard about your event, you can’t properly understand what went right (or wrong) in your targeting. At this stage, it’s important to keep in mind that not all your registrants will watch your live stream but will instead opt to watch on demand. Taking registrants who watched your webinar on demand into account is paramount for building a complete picture and determining what targeting decisions you make. These details are vital to developing a webinar ROI formula that works.

 

Example: if you know that a majority of your converting customers came from a LinkedIn referral source, spend more effort marketing through LinkedIn. Or, for another example, if your Instagram ads brought in registrations, but the majority of those people didn’t convert, then stop focusing on Instagram.

 

3. Engagement scoring

 

As you probably know, webinars draw far higher engagement when you make use of your interactive tools. A webinar with a single speaker talking at their audience just isn’t going to breed engagement and will likely end up with multiple drop offs early in the webinar, wasting valuable leads. Afterall, no one likes to feel as though they’re being lectured.

Strong webinar platforms allow for engagement and tracking capabilities to help you gain insights into attendees and topics that resonated the most. A tracking capability such as receiving real time data analytics will give you important audience insights for example, at which point attendees dropped off during your webinar. Not only is this indicative of engagement levels as a whole, it’s a good metric for predicting:

  • Your audience’s interest in the topic
  • The demographic value of your content (was it something the target audience wanted to take the time to attend?)
  • Best practices for post-webinar follow-up

Interaction between host and participant is useful for refining your sales tactics and improving your product itself. If you find your audience repeatedly asking the same questions over several webinars, use this insight to help guide your virtual events going forward by pre-empting the needs of your audience.

 

When you engage your audience, you’re more likely convert your generated leads into prospects. Many marketers utilise webinars as part of their marketing strategy to generate leads and convert them into prospects. But, in order to do that you’ll need a strong webinar platform with all the tools you need to drive the best results for your business. To work out how successful your webinar was in converting leads to sales qualified leads, follow the equation below:

No of conversions from lead to SQL/total no of attendees = attendee to SQL conversion rate

Your attendee to SQL conversion rate is an important metric to know. If for example this percentage is low, it could be an indication that you need revisit your promotional strategy or that your attendees aren’t as engaged as they should be during your live stream. This will have a direct effect on your webinars ability to convert leads into prospects so tracking this metric and addressing it is important. You can only reach your revenue goals by delivering high quality MQLs to your sales team.

 4. Attribute sales and revenue back to your webinar

So, you’ve completed the planning and hosting of your webinar, now it’s time to determine if your hard work yielded a return on your investment. A common method for calculating return is to estimate it using the number of qualified prospects your webinar generated and your overall lead to sales conversion rate. When you forecast the percentage of qualified leads that converted to sales, you can estimate how many of your webinar attendees turn into customers.

Example: Let’s say that 5% of your qualified leads convert to sales, and you generated 160 qualified leads. With a conversion rate of 5%, your webinar generated 8 sales.

If you then multiply those 8 sales generated by your average customer lifetime value, you’ll be left with the monetary value for your webinar. Subtracting this from your overall expenditure will give you a clear picture of ROI. With this knowledge, you can ascertain if it was a worthwhile investment, what topics or webinar tactics drive value, and whether your promotional efforts are succeeding.

5. Track the overall effectiveness of your spending

Attributing sales and revenue back to your webinar is one thing, but it isn’t the overall picture. You’re likely going to be spending money at every stage of the webinar process. Funds will need to be allocated for:

  • Paid search and social campaigns
  • Webinar platform
  • Possible guest speakers

The first thing you need to do is keep track of the cost of these areas. Afterall if your webinar overheads over time outweigh the amount of revenue coming in from conversions or exceed customers lifetime value (CLV), then funds must be adjusted or reallocated. Another method to see the true value of your webinars ROI is to follow the entire journey of each registrant from the first point of contact to an eventual sale.

Top tip: Avoid overspending

It may seem obvious, but overspending will be at your own detriment. Common areas where money can be overspent are:

  • Google ads
  • Guest speakers
  • Social campaigns

Be sure to keep a close eye on these areas and adapt them accordingly.

To conclude 

Tracking the ROI of your webinar involves many metrics, which can ultimately seem like a tricky task. With that being said, there are many useful ways you can track and improve your webinar ROI. Making sure you’re using an advanced webinar platform, like Quickchannel, can make this somewhat daunting task far easier. The right virtual event platform will allow you to track participant engagement, run live polls, keep on top of important analytics and convert leads live and to run a truly effective webinar, tracking and quantifying these metrics can be the difference between success or failure of your efforts.

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