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Don’t Fear the Webinar!

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Marketers are constantly told to break everything into “snackable” content – short, attention-grabbing tidbits of information. We even published an article recently declaring the average attention span of a human as eight seconds. You’re probably thinking of three other things even while you finish this paragraph – it’s ok, I won’t take it personally.

These facts are why it’s so astounding that the Content Marketing Institute reported the average viewing time of an hour-long webinar being 56 minutes. That’s 420 times our supposed attention span. So why is it that we can tune in for almost the entirety of a webinar, but drop out half-way through a commercial?

Far from snackable, webinars are the full meal of information sharing, and are recorded as the highest-volume lead generator in content marketing. Usually they involve several speakers trying to pack as much of their two cents into one hour as they can. Which may be why people pay more attention – knowledgeable speakers with valuable industry input are worth listening to.

42% of registered attendees actually show up for the webinar. This may be another reason attention rates are longer: Uninterested participants have already let the webinar drift from their mind. Webinar attendees with a purpose are more likely to stay until the end to ensure they don’t miss any important facts.

21% of attendees watch the webinar, if it’s available, after the initial live broadcast – including people who watch it again. This clearly indicates that if you’re not recording your webinars and offering them on your website or through follow-up emails, you’re missing a big opportunity for viewer engagement.

The biggest point you can take from this is: Don’t fear the webinar. An hour seems long, but as anyone who’s ever hosted one knows, the time flies by. As long as you have valuable information and a well-spoken host, you are in a place to share your wealth of knowledge with as many interested listeners as you can gather – and further yourself as a thought leader in your industry!

A word of caution though: If you have 10 minutes worth of information, do not try to turn it into an hour-long webinar. People don’t respond well to boredom or wasted time, and drawing out a long speech or presentation from a snippet of facts falls into both categories. Shorter webinars are also effective, so choose the length of your presentation wisely and use it to your advantage.

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