“On-demand” is a phrase that is typically music to the ears of consumers in their day-to-day lives. We’ve become accustomed to this brand of convenience, whether that’s streaming movies and TV shows from our favorite apps or ordering food to be delivered to our homes in mere minutes.
Convenience has become the norm for everyone, and that’s also true in the business world. Expectations are sky high, and for B2B marketers, that means taking this into consideration when evaluating your overall webinar management strategy.
Hence, the on-demand webinar. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits this “watch when you want” online event will have on your marketing efforts, and what tools you need in place to make it possible.
What is an On-Demand Webinar?
First, let’s start by answering the question, “what is a webinar?” Webinars are virtual events that are hosted online for a variety of purposes and executed in many ways. They can be used for internal purposes or programs (think HR, training, company updates) and used by marketing professionals to drive lead flow.
Webinars can be hosted by a single person, several people, or a panel of experts who share their knowledge on a particular topic. In essence, webinars are an effective channel to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn from experts in a convenient and cost-effective way.
In the past several years, webinar programs have progressed to exciting new levels of interactivity and engagement via technology advancements and new levels of production.
What is an on-demand webinar? An on-demand webinar is simply a recording of a live webinar or a pre-recorded webinar that was created to be distributed as on-demand. They offer the convenience of viewing when needed to busy professionals who may not be able to attend a live webinar for a variety of reasons. This is the main reason they’ve grown so much in popularity over the past several years.
What are the Benefits of On-Demand Webinars?
Webinars help drive demand and conversions in a cost-effective way. Ideally, marketers can have hundreds of attendees available at one time and in one place to view their presentations. But we know how valuable time is for busy attendees. Enter the on-demand webinar. Extending the life of your webinars can be a game-changer. Digital tools that make webinar automation possible, mean these online events don’t have to be one-and-done affairs that disappear into the vapor when the presenter closes their browser. Recorded webinars help keep the conversation going, can be shared among interested parties, and can, in effect, be working for you all on their own while you move on to your next project. And that means:
- More leads. With the ability to view whenever your potential prospects want to, your lead flow could increase exponentially. Recently, ReadyTalk identified that as many as 40% of your webinar attendees will become qualified leads. With the on-demand in the equation, the number could be even better.
- Your webinars will command the attention of your viewers. Your webinar topics are resonating! When they view them on-demand, they’re showing a great deal of interest in the subject matter you’re presenting. While about 40% of people who attend live webinars make it all the way to the end, viewers of on-demand webinars have made your presentation appointment viewing.
- Interest is high. Your webinar attendees sign up on their own. Sure, you may have marketed the heck out of your event (as you should), but it is their choice to attend. Whatever stage they are in the buyer’s journey, prospects who sign up for a recorded webinar are showing great interest. The show rate for live webinars is less than 50%--and they may be gone forever. For marketers and sales teams, pay close attention to those who choose to view on-demand.
Technology Needed for Your On-Demand Webinar
We touched on this earlier, but we’ll repeat it again. Your potential attendees are busier than ever, and their expectations have reached heightened levels. So, after all the marketing muscle you’ve put into attracting viewers to your webinars (live or recorded), you need to make a great impression when they eventually log in.
Webinars are typically higher in volume and need to be lower in effort to execute, relative to other event types. Still, you need the right webinar technology to bring these events to life.
You can expect tech providers to offer tiers like this:
- Free: a completely self-serve option
- Pro: a self-serve option with added features and support
- Pro Plus: a solution that includes a bundle of webinar software and other products, usually a registration tool
So, what’s the right webinar solution to fit your needs? After you review your current resources, and you start vetting possible platforms, here are a few questions to consider:
- What is your budget?
- What capabilities do you want/need (Chat, Quizzes, production help, etc.)?
- Is the webinar software user-friendly?
- Does the tool integrate with the software you already have?
- Can you have more than one presenter?
- Do you need to hold live webinars, on-demand webinars, or both?
- What data do you need and what data and analytics can the tool provide?
- Are there support resources available?
Choosing the Right Webinar Hosting Software
Webinar solutions have come a long way in the past three years, so there are likely many features you may not be familiar with that are skyrocketing in popularity. Here are a few of the popular features that are popular among marketers using webinar software right now.
- Embedded Video: The ability to Display embedded video live streams or recorded videos within the virtual session for a seamless virtual attendee experience, both live and on-demand.
- Live Polling/Q&A: Use your built-in engagement tools to foster communication and connections with your attendees. On-demand attendees will be able to view these interactions just as an attendee would at a live presentation.
- Web Analytics (Clicks & Views): Track the behavior of the Viewers of your recorded sessions with page-by-page web analytics with clicks and views to understand what content is being engaged with the most, so you can modify your webinar program.
- Engagement Scoring: A true test of the effectiveness of your topics and content. Engagement scoring gives your sales and marketing teams a simple, actionable view of attendee activity for faster and smarter follow-up.
- Virtual Attendance Tracking: Track attendance during sessions to understand trends, (ex. How long are people viewing your on-demand webinars, how many are dropping, etc.).
- Screen Sharing: Features like this allow you to share your screen with other webinar participants. Some solutions allow control of your screen, so they can navigate and interact with your content. Great for partner webinars.
How to Use Your Technology to Drive Business
Let’s dig a little deeper into some of those features and show you the benefits they will bring to your webinars and your business or organization.
Engaging and Retaining Your Audience With Broadcast-Quality Video
One way to fight webinar fatigue and keep your attendees engaged is with a professional-grade video production tool. This can help you:
- Customize your show with on-brand assets
- Easily pre-build each segment of your show
- Execute smooth transitions while streaming
- Invite virtual presenters with something as simple as a link
- Built-in recording allows for simu-live and on-demand content
Deepening and Extending Attendee Engagement
Webinar software tools can not only deepen event-day audience interactivity but also ensure your content lives on with a custom, on-demand content library.
- Foster greater interactions using built-in engagement tools
- Provide session attachments for your audience
- Allow attendees to connect in private video rooms
- Create an on-demand library for your content
- Show off products and services in your product showcase
Increasing Your ROI With Actionable Insights
You’ll be able to equip your sales and marketing teams with a deeper understanding of prospects' interests by sending attendee data directly to your organization's CRM (with a tool that integrates with your CRM, which should be a priority).
- Capture attendance, duration, feedback, and other activity data
- Merge engagement scores with current lead scoring systems
- Integration with Salesforce and other CRM platforms available
- Scale your webinar program with templates and program cloning
- Measure each webinar's success with benchmark analytics
Attract More Attendees With Seamless Registration
Easy registration only increases attendance rates. Deliver an on-brand registration experience that reduces friction.
- Create a unified experience across landing pages, reg forms, and emails
- Increase registrations and attendance with built-in marketing tools
- Monetize your webinars with payment processing
- Embed registration forms on external websites
With the right blend of technology, killer content, and a winning promotion strategy, your on-demand webinar program can help deliver strong leads to your organization, give you richer, deeper insights about your prospects, and keep your sales team pleased.