It’s no secret that the use of webinars has accelerated in the past year, as many businesses had to adapt to a new virtual approach, in order to communicate with potential customers.

With nearly 70% of B2B buyers preferring to research online on their own, and an expected 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers to occur through digital channels by 2025, it’s never been more important to ensure your digital tactics and communications such as webinars, are optimised for success.

We recently attended a webinar by ON24, the digital experience platform, which delved into the results of a recent study they had undertaken to understand the best practices and current benchmarks for hosting webinars. Analysing 100,482 webinars held by companies between January-December 2020 across Europe and the US, the study aimed to discover webinar best practices and benchmarks for success.

In this blog, I’ll explore the top five things we learnt from the webinar and best practices to consider in the future.

A Webinar is an Experience

With the capabilities of digital platforms continually expanding, companies now have the option to provide more than just a traditional PowerPoint webinar. Webinars can be anything we make of them, and although the primary focus is to generate leads, it can offer many more additional opportunities.

Over the last year, webinars have become more approachable, with content that is interactive and provides a multi-touch experience. Webinars are no longer a tactic that can just be used for top of the funnel activities. Instead, they now have the capabilities to provide your potential customers with a positive experience throughout each stage of the sales funnel. They can be used as a top of the funnel tactic, but also as a bottom of the funnel tactic, by providing content such as product demos.

Long Term Promotion isn’t as Important as it Seems

ON24’s study revealed that there is a change in the notice needed to attend a webinar. Instead of long term promotion, it seems there is the immediacy of ‘now’, with 45% of companies finding that when promotion takes place 1-7 days before the event, they achieved more registrations, compared to the 20% of companies that promoted more than 15 days before the webinar, resulting in fewer registration sign-ups.

As a 12% increase from 2019, this was an interesting finding, offering companies the option to be more flexible with the promotion plans they put in place, and in fact, suggesting the tactic to do a ‘big push’ of promotion closer to the date of the webinar.

Tuesday and Wednesdays were revealed to be the best days to send promotional emails, sitting at 22% and 21% respectively, followed closely by Thursday at 20% and surprisingly Monday, with 18% of companies voting for this as the best day.

There’s Flexibility to the ‘Right’ Day to Hold a Webinar

The study revealed some interesting results for when best to hold a webinar. Although Wednesday and Thursday were revealed to be the clear winners of when to host webinars, there was also a surprising increase in people wanting to watch webinars on Monday and Friday. This can almost directly be related to the shift of working from home we’ve all undergone the last year, especially Friday, which previously never would have been a feasible option.

Reassuringly attention spans for webinars have also increased since last year, with 57 minutes being the average viewing time in 2020.

Steady Increase of Engagement Tools and Videos

With the expectation for a webinar to be engaging and interactive, it was not surprising to see that there has been a steady increase in the use of engagement tools and videos. 86% of companies used Q&A throughout their webinar, (remember to encourage engagement you can do Q&A in the middle and end) with 70% uploading resources within the platform for listeners to download while watching the webinar.

There are several opportunities for customers to use engagement tools to their advantage. 43% of companies used surveys to generate content for their presentation, whilst only 22% used polling as a tactic to integrate their audience and start conversations throughout the webinar.

Several companies also missed the trick to include links to their socials within the webinars, with only 22% ensuring they did this. Unsurprisingly, video has become a key tactic, with 66% of all webinars in 2020 featuring some type of video.

On-Demand is the Future

Although encouraging registrations for a ‘live’ webinar is extremely important, it’s also vital that an on-demand version is made available.

The study revealed that an average of 53% of registrations watched the webinars live, with 43% of registrations watching the same webinars on-demand. The stats show that the gap between live and on-demand is close, proving that your content can still be significantly valuable once the live webinar is over.

On-demand webinars can be used to link to similar content by personas type or industry, or to create snackable content that can be used on social media channels. Surprisingly a low 29% of respondents shared that they integrate their webinars into personalized landing pages, while only 43% are currently using on-demand webinar hubs to promote webinars after the live event is over.


With 89% of respondents believing that webinars outperform other channels in creating qualified leads, and 66% of respondents sayings their sales teams prioritise leads that come from webinars, it’s clear to see the impact webinars can have on the sales funnel. In fact, 72% of respondents said that webinars directly impacted their revenue and pipeline!

At Napier, we run our own webinar series, and we’ve taken note of where we can improve to ensure we are optimizing our webinars for success. If you have any questions regarding tactics you can implement to make your own webinars successful, why not get in touch with us? We have extensive experience in helping our clients generate high-quality leads via webinars.