Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In 2020, larger conferences and gatherings moved from being in person to being held on online forums like in the form of webinars. The popularity of webinars hasn’t slowed down since then — the number of webinars grew by 153.4% in 2020, and by 2025, the number of webinars will be 10x over the pre-pandemic level, according to Zoom.
Also by 2025, the number of virtual/hybrid events will grow to 52% of all physical and online events hosted, up from less than 5% pre-Covid-19, Zoom reported. Webinars and virtual events also present a sizable growth opportunity: Zoom predicts the market will nearly triple in size by 2025, reaching $4.4 billion, compared to $1.57 billion in 2020.
The benefit of being able to attend events half a world away at a fraction of the cost and without the hassle and exhaustion of travel is simply too appealing. For those running webinars, though, it can be difficult to gauge how effective their efforts really are. If you’re wondering how to measure attendee engagement, here are a few suggestions for measuring your webinar’s impact.
Related: Why Webinars Should Be a Key Part of Your Business‘s Online Strategy
1. Use pre-webinar metrics for a baseline
Before your webinar starts, you can review your registration numbers. This will offer insight into how well your audience received your concept before they experienced it live.
While your number of registered attendees doesn’t determine how many will actually attend, it does show how many people were interested in your topic. This gives you a good baseline number that reflects initial interest.
2. Use next-generation webinar software to track your live data
Real-time insights features can help companies understand how well their viewers are engaging with their content during the webinar.
Many data-driven webinar platforms are seeking to provide more insights into engagement through live webinar analysis and reporting to help give marketers the information they want. Out of the marketing managers polled about future webinar needs, webinar platform Hubilo found that 76% of respondents don’t feel like current webinar platforms facilitate engagement or conversions. Marketers want next-generation platforms that allow for more use of audience data and profiles.
As a marketer using webinars, pay attention to the analytics features of the platform you’re using. Look for live features and post-event reporting that can help you track engagement and gain insights that can be used later to build connections with your prospects and customers.
Related: 8 Ways To Attract a Large Webinar Audience
3. Measure revenue and leads
A pair of post-webinar metrics that are worth monitoring are revenue and leads. If you made a money-related call-to-action during the webinar — such as signing up for a course or buying a service — you can use the subsequent review to get an idea of how engaged and intrigued your audience was.
Leads are similar. If you are selling something but you didn’t try to close during the presentation, consider how many people follow up with questions, sign up on your email list or otherwise express interest afterward.
4. Pay attention to Q&A participation
Q&A sessions are important because they enable you to interact with your audience. You can clarify points and demonstrate expertise. It is also an opportunity for your audience to direct questions, clarifications, compliments and criticisms toward you, the presenter. This doesn’t just lead to fascinating and powerful interactions. It also allows you to gauge how well your audience is resonating with your message.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a hard, data-driven metric. Nevertheless, it can give you multiple takeaways.
For instance, if you get a lot of clarification questions, that shows the topic is engaging, but your delivery needs improvement. If you don’t get many questions at all, that can mean the presentation felt boring. If you get questions that dig deeper, that’s the best sign, as it shows your audience grasped your original idea and wants to know more.
5. Ask for feedback
Finally, one of the most direct forms of measuring engagement in a webinar is to ask for feedback. For instance, you can ask attendees for their honest feedback in a follow-up email survey. You can even give them your email during the live event and request that they send any constructive feedback or thoughts to you directly.
By doing this, you open the door to individual feedback from your audience. Don’t take any single criticism or compliment too seriously. However, enough feedback can show you trends and patterns, such as people saying it was too long or that you used overly complex words. Use this information to improve future engagement.
Improving engagement with your webinars
Webinars are a popular option right now. However, it’s difficult to understand how effective a webinar is.
Use the metrics above to begin getting a better idea of how each webinar resonates with your target audience. Use things like registration, feedback and live analytics to understand your audience and tailor your presentations to meet their needs and encourage their engagement.