Are Your Webinars Successful? Tracking and Decoding Webinar Metrics
As you probably know, hosting a webinar can benefit your company in a number of ways. However, before you put time and money into these presentations, make sure you know about the following webinar metrics you can use to judge their effectiveness.
Of all the webinar metrics we’re about to list, this should be one of the most familiar. No matter what kind of business you’re in, everyone knows what ROI (Return on Investment) is and why it’s important.
While ROI can apply to all kinds of investments, we’re putting it on our list of webinar metrics as a reminder because it can be fairly easy to overlook. Depending on your setup, webinars are usually cheap to host. This is especially true if you already own some or all of the required hardware.
Nonetheless, just like anything to do with your business, you need to track what you’re spending to see whether or not you’re making a good investment. Don’t just keep the receipts from the hardware you had to buy, either.
You may also have to account for things like:
- Webinar software (the cost may be one-time; it may be monthly)
- The opportunity cost of you taking time out of your day to host or the amount you’re paying an employee
- Any platforms you used for landing pages, emails, etc.
- Any ads you used to bring in traffic
There may be all kinds of other costs involved. These should all be tracked and you should also put a system in place to take into consideration any others you add in the future.
Then, you’ll want to compare the amount of money you’ve spent on your webinars up to this point on how many conversions you’re seeing that produce actual customers.
Length of the Webinar
We touched on this to some degree, but the second recommendation on our list of webinar metrics is to track how long your webinar actually goes on for.
The reason we mentioned above was in terms of real or opportunity cost: if you’re taking time out of your day, what’s the cost of that because you’re not doing something else? On the other hand, if you’re paying an employee, what’s the cost to have them host?
However, those aren’t the only reasons to pay attention to how long your webinars are going on for.
Like all webinar metrics, the length of your webinars may influence how effective they are at converting customers.
While it’ll probably never come down to a minute-by-minute analysis, you may learn that a full hour is preferable to just a half hour. As time goes on and you do enough webinars, you might find that, for some topics, your guests are willing to stick around longer than they are for others.
At first, just get a feel for what their general preference is, but look to segment that down at some point, too, for even better insights.
No matter what you have in mind for your webinar in terms of the format, your goals for it, the information you’ll cover, how much you’re investing, etc. you need to make drop-off points one of the webinar metrics you pay attention to.
As the name suggests, this metric refers to when people drop off your webinar. It’s almost always going to happen and a lot of times, there’s little you can do about it.
Nevertheless, you want to keep the number as small as possible and looking back on drop-off points will help you do this.
For example, let’s say you found that people were leaving within the first 10 minutes while you were still doing your introduction and explaining the goal of your webinar. This would be hugely valuable information. Up until that moment, you may have thought your introduction was not just polished and engaging but helpful for the audience, as well.
Now, you would know otherwise and could make adjustments so more people stick around for the rest of the webinar.
Checking for drop-off points can help with everything from knowing which guests are good/bad to which topics your viewers like/hate to even the type of tone they prefer.
The Optimal Time to Host a Webinar
Depending on whom you speak to, the ideal time to put on a webinar is right around noon or sometime after five. Others will tell you that Saturday morning is usually the best.
It’s not that these people are lying. It’s that they most likely all have very different types of clientele.
If you’re hosting a webinar for freelancers, just about any time during the day probably works.
On the other hand, if you’re hoping for attendance from people who work traditional 9-to-5 jobs, you could host your sessions at noon and hope to catch them on their lunch breaks, or wait until after they get home.
The only way to know for sure is to use webinar metrics. Truth be told, you can also find out when your competitors put theirs on and assume they’ve already done their research, but looking into your webinar metrics is probably still best.
Feedback is extremely important to the success of your webinar for a few reasons.
The obvious one is that all the webinar metrics in the world may not help you with certain points that could use improvement. Maybe you’d be better off explaining certain terms in more detail or ditching a certain segment people are just sitting through to get to the good stuff.
However, feedback is also an important form of engagement. Your webinar metrics may show you a large percentage of your audience stays from the beginning to the end of your presentation. Well, that’s great, right?
Maybe, but maybe people aren’t really paying attention. They might just have it on in the background while they pull up another window and do something else. Or, people might be listening but actually have no idea what you’re talking about.
None of these would bode well for reaching your webinar goals. By keeping track of the amount of feedback you get during and after a webinar (and getting a sense for what these responses are about), you’ll have a much easier time understanding if you’re connecting with your audience or not.
Note: you do, of course, actually have to prompt your audience for feedback and enable that option in your webinars. Otherwise, your webinar metrics may be reporting depressing results simply because your viewers don’t know they can interrupt you.
Polls and Surveys
These webinar metrics are both versions of feedback, but they deserve their own space here because of the unique insights they can provide.
Recall that a few paragraphs back we mentioned that you’d want to get a sense for what kind of responses you were receiving from your audience.
This can be kind of tough, though. One really nice problem to have would simply be that so many people are attending your webinars that you can’t possibly make a fair assessment of their responses.
Fortunately, surveys and polls not only solve this problem but are two very effective webinar metrics for other reasons, too.
You can use polls and surveys during your webinar to quickly get answers from your audience in a way that will be easy to quickly understand.
Of course, you can also use them afterward to solicit critiques from your viewers.
The great thing about organizing information this way is how easy it then is to view it all from a macro-level. If you keep the same or similar questions going forward, it will be that much easier to compare responses.
Devices Used to Watch Your Webinar
This might seem like a minor piece of data hardly worth the use of webinar metrics, but there’s a lot you could do with this information.
The most obvious is that if you know your audience tends to use smartphones to watch your webinars, you’re going to need larger graphics so they can see them on their smaller screens. In fact, that insight would be worth knowing even if just 10% of your audience preferred smartphones. You don’t want to lose 10% of the audience you worked so hard to bring in, do you?
Arguably, one of the most important webinar metrics you need to concern yourself with is conversion rate.
There are three different versions. The first we already talked about at the beginning: it’s knowing how many people attend and then convert into customers.
Aside from knowing the ROI, though, you also want to get a feel for what percentage of the total attendees are converting. Even if your ROI is huge because of low overhead, that doesn’t mean your conversion rate is necessarily where you want it to be.
The second type of conversion rate you want to use webinar metrics to monitor is the number of people who actually attend your webinar after registering for it.
Depending on the industry you work in, that number could easily be as low as 20% and yet would still be considered really good for that field.
You’ll need to figure this out for yourself and then track your ability to lock in people who RSVP.
Of course, the conversion rate of people who come to your site and then go on to sign up for your webinar may be of particular interest, as well. This is the beginning of your marketing funnel, so if it’s not serving its purpose, the rest of your efforts are also going to come up short.
Again, don’t confuse these webinar metrics with ROI. The latter has to do with dollars and cents. These are all about ratios: how many of the whole were you able to get to take a desired action?
This is a pretty tough metric to monitor no matter what kind of tools you’re using to increase your company’s brand awareness.
Perhaps the most popular way for many businesses is to watch their social media profiles and look for significant increases following webinars. You’d have to know what a normal increase looks like, but, otherwise, gathering these webinar metrics from across your social media sites could prove very helpful.
The other way you can measure brand awareness is by tracking mentions of your company. You can set up Google Alerts for this or use software specific to social media sites. After all, some people may mention you or your webinar without actually speaking directly to your account.
Again, it can be tough to quantify these incidents in terms of brand awareness. People could be talking about your organization for any number of reasons.
Still, if you’re using webinars to increase your company’s mindshare and build its brand, it’s worth digging into these metrics.
Earlier, we mentioned conversions and the importance of making sure people are RSVPing and then actually showing up.
Our last example on our list of webinar metrics you should be using has to do with retention. Make sure you’re not just looking at raw numbers when it comes to people showing up to your webinars. You also want to see how many are returning. Not only will that kind of retention cost you less, but those people are probably more likely to become customers, something that may be a major goal of your webinar.
The above information should have made it clear that webinar metrics are vital to your success using this medium, but also that you’re not lacking for options. Someday, you may come up with your own metric unique to the type of industry you’re in or customer you’re after, but for now, the above list should more than suffice.
That being said, if you have any questions about webinar metrics or hosting successful webinars, feel free to get in touch. Also, if you need a powerful webinar platform to handle your webinar metrics and other webinar hosting endeavors, BigMarker fits the bill. Start your 14-day free trial today!
Read the full article on the BigMarker blog: http://blog.bigmarker.com/decoding-webinar-metrics/