Webinars and other virtual events saw a boost in popularity as COVID-related regulations kept event-goers at home. More than seven months later, they continue to be a top choice for brands looking to build connections and educate an audience.
In the B2B sphere, webinar advertisements experienced a short-lived drop in August. By September, the number of brands running webinar ads began to increase again as brands sought to draw audiences despite webinar fatigue.
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From Stages and Showcases to Screens at Home
When the US declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, most states enacted some level of stay-at-home orders. Events, one of the most powerful tools in the B2B marketing arsenal, were canceled. Many of these events were consolidated or transformed into webinars and virtual events.
Webinars and virtual events addressed the need for professional connection when traditional networking opportunities were wiped out.
Right from the beginning, virtual events made sense for those looking for this connection while out of the office. By the end of May—just over two months since COVID was classified as a state of emergency—the number of webinars was up by 1000%.
As B2B marketers executed more virtual events, they picked up on practices that made events more effective. Improved practices allowed brands to: capture attention, drive demand, and create differentiated experiences for their audiences. However, with the multitude of events and webinars online, attending professionals began to feel burnt out.
During the summer, leaders started experiencing webinar fatigue, or disinterest in attending online presentations due to event overload. Even though webinar attendance was necessary, many leaders became exhausted after attending online presentations one after another.
Webinars won’t disappear though. After all, 73% of B2B marketers and sales leaders believe that webinars are the best way to generate high-quality leads, according to ZoomInfo. It just requires that webinar planners need to be more creative, intentional, and flexible when planning their next event.
Changing between pre-recorded and live content, offering succinct content, and engaging audience members can all help combat webinar fatigue and keep attendees interested. This way, webinars stand a chance against Slack community meme threads or a nap in the home office.
With webinars becoming so popular, there’s been a significant increase in the number of ads for webinars as the year’s gone on.
Webinar ads hit their highest peak in July, a 185% increase in the number of brands running ads since the beginning of the year.
The number of brands running webinar ads dropped significantly in August, which could be due to brands reflecting on how to best respond to webinar fatigue.
However, the drop didn’t last long. Brands running webinar ads started rising again the following month. The numbers didn’t return to July levels immediately—but the number of brands running webinar ads in September was up 148% compared to January.
While the business world may make slow steps towards returning to normal, webinars and virtual events are here to stay until live events are safe again.
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