It’s been a pretty good couple of years for the webinar industry. As offices and live events were forced to close, people all across the world turned to online events instead – and webinar attendance numbers surged.
But was this surge in popularity a ‘flash in the pan’ or are webinars here to stay? Will webinars continue to be an important marketing and content distribution channel in the future? And what trends and best practices do you need to know about?
You’ll find the answers to all of those questions and more in our roundup of the 25 latest webinar statistics and trends! Feel free to browse the whole list below or jump ahead to the section you’re most interested in.
Let’s get started!
Here are some general webinar statistics that show the size of the industry in 2022 and highlight how important it is to brands and marketers.
As this stat shows, webinars are no longer a niche marketing channel – it’s an important component in the marketing strategy of the vast majority of businesses.
Webinars provide a way for brands to speak directly to their audiences in a more personal way than standard marketing videos. They can help you to build up brand-customer relationships, boost awareness, educate your audience, and showcase your products.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents in a recent survey said they think webinars are the most effective way to generate high-quality B2B leads. If you’re in the B2B industry, this is a lead generation channel you can’t afford to ignore.
3. 76% of webinars focus on generating leads and sales…
Unsurprisingly given that webinars are seen as the best way to generate high-quality leads, the majority of businesses use them primarily to drive leads and sales.
For example, many marketers use their webinars as a lead magnet to help get more potential customers into their sales funnel
This requires you to think carefully about what kind of webinar content your target buyers want, then set up a killer landing page to promote your webinar (complete with a high-converting registration form) and promote it.
4… and 60% focus on nurturing loyal customers
In addition to generating leads, 60% of businesses use webinars as a tool to nurture existing leads and usher them further down their sales funnel.
For example, you might want to send out webinar invitations to leads already on your mailing list. You can then use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your product and answer all of their pre-purchase questions in order to get them ready to buy.
5. 61% of companies use webinars as a content marketing tactic
According to data from CMI, 61% of B2B businesses use webinars and webcasts as a content marketing tactic, making it the tenth most popular form of marketing content.
It ranked just behind infographics (62%) but above research reports (48%) and microsites (47%).
This stat shows that while webinars are becoming increasingly popular, they’re still not nearly as popular as traditional content tactics like social media content – which topped the chart at 92% – and blog content (80%).
Source: Content Marketing Institute
B2B webinars have one of the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rates, with almost three-quarters of webinar attendees converting to leads, on average.
Webinars seem to be much more effective in the B2B space, where attendees are usually highly-engaged. Business professionals who attend webinars are apparently much more likely to be interested in what you have to offer and convert to leads than traditional B2C audiences.
If you plan on hosting a webinar, you’ll want to budget somewhere between these two figures. There is a range of webinar hosting services out there, with packages designed for all budgets.
Free and low-cost webinar hosting packages typically limit the number of live attendees you can host to double figures. If you want to host a much larger webinar with hundreds of attendees, expect to pay more.
The stats below provide useful insights that can help you to maximize your webinar attendee numbers and boost engagement.
If you want to maximize attendance at your webinar, it’s important to think carefully about when you’re going to host it.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this and the best day and time will vary depending on your audience. However, as a general rule of thumb, midweek is usually a good option.
Based on research into thousands of webinars, those hosted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays produced the greatest attendance figures. Of the three, Thursday ranked top, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays coming just slightly behind.
Use this to guide your strategy but make sure you test different days of the week and compare attendance to find out what your specific audience responds best to.
Source: Live Webinar
11 AM seems to be the sweet spot as this is when webinars typically get the highest attendance rates (16.1% of total registrants). 2PM is a close runner-up, with the second-highest average attendance rate (14.6%) and 1 PM comes third (12.9%).
This all suggests that midday is the best time of day to host webinars, but the exception is 12PM. At noon, attendance dips substantially to just 9%, which is likely due to the fact that this is when most people take their lunch hour.
Source: GoTo 2
This is the ideal webinar length and a good benchmark to aim for when you’re planning your event. Typically, webinars are split up into around 45 minutes of programming followed by a short 5-10 minute Q&A and CTA.
If you don’t want to stick to the usual 45-minute structure and you’re determined to reinvent the wheel, it’s best to go for a shorter time frame than a longer one. 41% of attendees actually prefer webinars to run for just 30 minutes.
A Q&A provides an opportunity for direct interaction with your audience. It’s a chance for your attendees to ask any follow-up questions that might have cropped up while they were watching, and the vast majority of attendees feel they benefit from these Q&A sessions.
Aside from providing value to your guests, webinars can also help you to improve brand reputation/loyalty and drive more sales.
By taking the time to answer questions, customers will see your brand as one that provides solutions to their problems and is willing to engage with them one-to-one. By answering any questions they might have about your products or services, you’re also helping them get one step closer to purchase.
As such, it’s essential to allocate time for questions at the end and plan for this carefully. Don’t treat is an afterthought as it’s probably the most important part of the whole event and what distinguishes webinars from regular livestreams.
A good way to improve your Q&A sessions is to plant a team member in the room to ask the first question and get the ball rolling. This can help to break the ice and avoid the ‘awkward silence’ that sometimes crop up when you first invite your audience to ask questions.
Getting good attendance rates for your webinars is a numbers game. According to WebinarCare, just less than half of registered attendees actually attend webinar events on average, so be wary when limiting the number of registrations you allow.
When choosing how many people can attend your event, be sure to plan for a considerable amount of no-shows. As a general rule of thumb, double the number of attendees you would like to have at your event, and that’s how many registrations you should be looking for.
Even if the primary purpose of your webinar is sales and lead generation, attendees won’t appreciate an hour-long sales pitch. A good webinar should offer something to the viewer as well. For most people, the main draw of webinars is the educational aspect.
The most popular genre of webinars is education and attendees are keen to learn something of value by attending the event. So, when you’re planning your event, consider how you can add educational value to your presentation, and try to make this aspect link seamlessly to your sales and lead generation efforts.
Not everybody has the time to engage and attend the webinar at the time that you publish it, and that’s why on-demand viewing options are a great choice.
According to an article published by BrightTalk, consumers love webinars that offer on-demand viewing options, and most say that they are a valuable addition to a webinar. So, if you’re thinking about planning a webinar, consider offering on-demand functions to provide more options to your customers when it comes to their viewing experience.
Looking for data-driven insights to help you drive more registrations to your online events? Check out the webinar statistics below!
When hosting a webinar, be sure to make use of your email list in order to encourage the most registrations. According to WebinarCare, around 60% of people register for webinar events via email.
Giving people more ways to sign up for the webinar that makes registering easy and more convenient is a great way to encourage more people to attend. You can use emails to remind interested parties about the webinar in the lead-up to the event and give them the option to sign up quickly via email.
One of the biggest challenges marketers face when hosting webinars is driving registrations and drumming up interest in the event. It’s not always easy to publicize webinars, but one of the most popular ways is via your business website.
According to Statista, 80% of B2B marketers said that they drive registrations for virtual events via their business website. The second most popular method was email, with 76% of marketers using this to drive registrations. Other popular methods included social media and programmatic advertising.
If you think that your webinar doesn’t have enough registration before the event, don’t worry too much. It’s likely that you will get a surge of registrations on the day of the event itself.
According to statistics published by WebinarCare around 29% of webinar attendees wait until the day of the event to register. If your webinar is aimed at busy professionals, it can often be difficult for them to be sure that they will have time to attend the event, and this is why they leave it until the last minute to sign up.
Similarly, registering way in advance of a webinar is quite rare. According to WebinarCare, only around 15% of people register for webinars more than 15 days before an event. So don’t panic if you don’t receive a flood of registrations as soon as you announce it.
Announcing your event well in advance is a good idea, as many people will pencil it into their schedules or make a mental note of the date and time. However, most people will leave it closer to the time to decide whether or not to register for and attend the event.
If you’re planning a webinar, it’s a good idea to make the sign-up process as easy as possible to encourage more people to register. According to WebinarCare, the optimal length for a webinar sign-up form is 5-6 pages.
Although it may be tempting to use the registration form to gather as much information as possible from your leads, try to refrain from making the sign-up sheet too long, and wait until after the webinar to follow up with leads and gain more information about them.
Here are some stats that highlight interesting trends and reveal how the webinar industry is changing.
With businesses unable to host live marketing events, many marketers switched their focus to webinars. According to Wyzowl, the number of marketers using webinars increased by as much as 15% in 2020. The overall percentage of marketers distributing webinars increased from 46% to 62% between 2019 and 2020.
Not only that, but marketers were extremely impressed with the result of the webinars they hosted in 2020. Around 91% of marketers said that their pandemic webinars were a huge success. Now that marketers have unlocked the potential of webinars, it’s likely that many businesses will continue using them post-pandemic.
The webinar and digital communication industries are booming. According to the Google Trends data, search interest for the keyword ‘Zoom’ (one of the most popular webinar/virtual meeting software solutions) peaked in April 2020 at the height of the pandemic. At that point, it had over 50x greater search interest than the year before.
In 2021, as the world has largely reopened, search interest has dropped substantially but is still way above pre-pandemic levels (about 3x greater). We can see a similar pattern for many other search terms related to webinar software.
Source: Google Trends
Webinars aren’t only used for content marketing and lead generation tactics, they’re actually extremely useful when it comes to training and development within businesses.
According to Visionogy, internal training webinars are quite popular and have an attendance rate of around 65% on average. As a result of this popularity, more and more businesses are considering using webinars as a part of their training programs.
Webinar statistics sources
The pandemic undoubtedly accelerated the growth of the webinar industry. But while some of that initial momentum may have now worn off, it’s likely that webinars will continue to be an important marketing and distribution channel way into the future even after the world reopens.