Report: Interactivity, Video Growing in Webinars

An analysis of nearly 10,000 webinars conducted by more than 500 companies in 2014 reveals that webinar audiences are increasing in both size and engagement, according to webinar marketing platform ON24, which today published the 2015 edition of its annual "Webinar Benchmarks Report."

The report revealed four key trends:

• Growing interactivity: Thirty-five percent of webinars integrated social media applications, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and 24 percent used polling as a way to directly engage audience members, according to ON24, which said Q&A remains the most popular interactivity tool at 82 percent.

• Increasing video use: The use of video in webinars nearly doubled from 9 percent in 2013 to 16.5 percent in 2014, according to ON24, which cites the evolution of video technology, reduced costs, and the ability to reliably push video without bandwidth constraints.

• Larger audiences: There has been a marked increase in large webinars, according to ON24, which said only 1 percent of webinars drew more than 1,000 attendees in 2013; in 2014, 9 percent of webinars passed the 1,000 mark.

• High viewing duration: Average webinar viewing times defy the industry trend around "snackable" content that appeals to limited attention spans, according to ON24, which said average live webinar viewing grew from an average of 38 minutes in 2010 to an average of 56 minutes in 2014.

Other interesting facts revealed by the survey include:

• Webinars held on Wednesdays and Thursdays have the highest attendance, followed closely by Tuesdays.
• In North America, webinars held at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET have the highest attendance.
• On average, between 35 and 45 percent of registrants for marketing webinars attend the live event.

"Increased content availability and growing audience engagement and size are indicative of how essential webinars are to marketers," said ON24 Chief Product Officer and CTO Jayesh Sahasi. "Previously, webinars were used primarily for top-of-funnel lead generation. Now webinars take a much more prominent role in the marketing and sales process, nurturing prospects through each stage of the buyer's journey."

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