MediaRadar Blog

Advertising Overview: Webinar and Whitepaper Advertising in 2023

In today’s B2B advertising landscape, whitepapers and webinars continue to be pivotal tools for ad sales teams. These mediums offer an invaluable platform to showcase expertise and also act as a powerful lead-generation tool – serving as a catalyst for meaningful conversations with prospective clients. MediaRadar observed B2B advertisers at nearly 4.3k companies spent more than $146mm on B2B webinar and whitepaper (W/W) advertising through July 2023. 

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This blog provides a clear, data-driven snapshot of 2023’s trends in B2B W/W advertising while offering the actionable insights and knowledge ad sales teams need to succeed in this evolving landscape.

Technology Advertisers Take the Lead

Technology companies thrive on innovation, and their marketing teams typically follow suit. 17k technology advertisers invested 46% ($67.6mm) of the overall  W/W ad spend through July, with more than half of that investment (51% or $34.6mm) coming in March and April. 

Over half of the spending (58% or $39mm+) from technology advertisers came from those promoting business, healthcare, and security software. Advertisers for cloud computing companies such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Mission Cloud Services also invested big in B2B W/W advertising ($8.2mm or 12% of spending from the technology sector).

Webinar ad captured on EEWeb July 2023 for AWS (Amazon Web Services) and its Dev Day partner.

Tech advertisers aren’t the only ones investing in webinar and whitepaper advertising

Nearly all the spending on B2B W/W advertising through July (82% or more than $120mm) came from advertisers in four categories. In addition to technology advertisers, advertisers in industrial, professional services, and medical & pharmaceutical also allocated a sizable portion of their budgets. 

Top categories advertising webinars and whitepapers chart

Industry and Manufacturing

More than 22.5k industrial advertisers spent nearly $26mm on W/W advertising, with 43% of that investment from advertisers promoting the electronic industry and industrial machinery.

A level deeper, advertisers promoting the electronic industry, such as ADI Group, Behrman Capital, and Rohde & Schwarz, collectively spent more than $2mm in March. For advertisers for Rohde & Schwarz, the investment comes in tandem with the launch of its drone-based analyzer and demo of a test solution at MWC, North America’s largest connectivity event.

Professional Services

More than 20k professional services advertisers, namely, those in consulting, medical & dental, and professional associations, spent $16.5mm to promote their services in B2B webinars and whitepapers.

Specifically, advertisers for business consulting services spent more than $844k, with four providers spending more than $50k: CU Strategic Planning, ExlService Holdings, Oliver Wright International, and Slalom. At the same time, professional associations related to medical & nursing, science, and seniors spent more than $400k.

Medical & Pharma

Over 5k medical & pharma advertisers spent $10.8mm on W/W advertising, with Biotechnology advertisers (10X Genomics, Arxada, and LGC) leading the charge. Advertisers for medical devices and pharmaceutical companies also invested $5.7mm.

Webinar ad captured on BioTechniques, February 2023, for 10x Genomics.

What’s the common thread tying advertisers in these industries to the surge in W/W advertising? 

Webinars and whitepapers give B2B advertisers access to niche and engaged audiences navigating a complex purchase journey. According to more than three-quarters of the customers Gartner surveyed in their guide for CSOs, their purchases were “very complex” or “difficult.” 

For this reason, B2B buyers typically require a deeper understanding of the product or service, which whitepapers and webinars naturally deliver. The engaged nature of audiences consuming webinars and whitepapers can also generate a higher return on investment (ROI). In fact, 37% of B2B marketers listed webinars as a source of revenue, second only to whitepapers. These old-school yet impactful tactics will also help B2B advertisers maintain effective targeting strategies when Google officially sunsets third-party cookies next year. 

Multi-format Strategies Are Still King

While more than 400 companies invested exclusively in W/W advertising through July (10% of the data sample), most companies in our dataset embraced a multi-format strategy. Again, this diversification makes sense given the complex B2B buying journey that almost always takes buyers across many touchpoints.

Overall, advertisers for more than 3.9k companies (90%) that invested in W/W ads also invested in additional formats. 

Format integration for webinar/whitepaper advertisers graph

A level deeper, 700 advertisers who combined to spend more than $11mm on webinars and whitepapers (40% of this group’s B2B media spend of $27.8mm) invested in one other format (40% of these companies went with digital display ads). 

Meanwhile, more than 900 companies placing ads in webinars and whitepapers also promoted their products and services in 5 or more B2B media formats, and although they collectively spent $1.2b, they spent only 6% ($73mm) of that investment on webinars and whitepapers. 

Agilent Technologies, for example, placed ads with 44 B2B media outlets and 323 consumer outlets. 

Agilent Technologies Digital Insights from January to June 2023

A Powerful Pairing: Ad Sales Teams and MediaRadar

Webinars and whitepapers remain a cornerstone of B2B advertising best practices. The key to maximizing the impact of these mediums lies in harnessing precise, real-time data and actionable insights—something that MediaRadar’s ad intelligence tracking offers as an industry leader. 

Our platform empowers ad sales teams to grasp not just the ‘what’ but the ‘why’ behind the strategies of successful companies across diverse sectors, from technology to healthcare and beyond. 

With MediaRadar, ad sales teams have access to a single solution that instantly breaks down advertising data into actionable insights they can use to power their prospecting strategy, review target accounts, and craft meaningful pitches that showcase impactful advertising opportunities. 

Reach out today to learn how MediaRadar can help.

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