When it comes to building highly engaging digital experiences, the data offers us evidence of some very consistent trends, but it is also important to take advantage of new opportunities, says Tim Johnston, Director, Demand Generation, APAC and Japan for ON24.

Presenting during the second of a three-part series on getting the best ROI from webinars, Johnston revealed that the latest ON24 APAC Webinar Benchmark reporting once again proves remarkably consistent in some of the key data points.

For instance, on the question of how long a webinar typically runs, the average length in APAC has been up around 50 minutes for the last 7 years.

Tim Johnston, Director, Demand Generation, APAC and Japan

“And if you think about that, it’s a long time to engage,” says Johnston. “There are not many channels out there outside of maybe a physical event, where we get that amount of time [with a customer]. You don’t find people sitting on your blogs, or your social channels, for that long, so that is a very  powerful thing.”

If you are wondering what audience size represents a good result, the more nuanced answer is that it depends on the subject matter but the typical experience in Australia is about 100 to 200 guests.

“Roughly 55 per cent of us are running in managing audiences, all that sort of size,” says Johnston

He noted however that those figures can scale up significantly depending on the topic and the potential size of the audience.

Noting that demand for webinars went through the roof once COVID-19 struck, he said ON24 has seen some webinars reach 1000 plus attendees at a time.

Johnston also stressed the need to consider audience engagement, and the tools available to maximise this.

“It’ probably no surprise that question and answer sessions are a very popular tool of choice and they are so common that many marketers would consider them a hygiene factor today.”

He said another increasingly common approach is for brands to make additional resources available during and after the event.

Indeed when Which-50, which collaborated on the series asked its readers what actions they had taken as a result of attending a webinar, a clear majority indicated they downloaded a whitepaper or other asset afterward.

Johnston said it is also important in planning webinars to consider multiple content experiences rather than relying on a single touch – such as an audio-only webinar.

“You need to do more than just provide a slide presentation for download. Think of this as a real opportunity to accelerate the education process for your prospects.”

Polling and social media interactions are also becoming more popular, and like Q&A, polling should also be considered table stakes, he said.

“We always recommend between two or three polls in every webinar if you have the time because it’s a way to wake up the audience, get them involved, and because people like to hear from each other.”

On the issue of video, he said the result in this year’s survey was surprising and encouraging with a majority of webinars now including video.

And video should not simply be restricted to the presenter speaking down the camera. “Incorporating shorter videos with additional content into the package allows us to break through to the audience.”

“Marketers,” he said, are the new TV producers.

You can hear all of Tim’s insights into building engaging videos by watching the on-demand recording of the webinar online.


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