It is no surprise that B2B buying, marketing and selling has never been more complex. We have been tracking this as a trend globally for the past 10 years. The pandemic accelerated a lot of these trends but marketers have stood up and met these challenges with a prioritization of digital engagement.
With a priority on digital engagement strategy, EMEA marketers have been able to leverage a mix of digital experiences, such as webinars, content hubs and personalized landing pages, to deepen audience interactions and grow pipeline in a scalable and repeatable way.
According to our latest benchmarks report, this approach proved successful for EMEA marketers in 2022. Audience digital engagement grew year-over-year with significant gains in buying intent and conversion rates. The correlation between the two is clear — the more engaging an experience, the more audiences interact and self-educate, the more ready they are for a sales conversation.
So how can EMEA marketers capitalize on these digital engagement trends? Here are five key lessons we’ve gleaned from the latest EMEA benchmarks report:
EMEA attendees want more engagement opportunities
Audience engagement was up across the board for live experiences and the number of interactions per webinar attendee increased by 25% globally between 2021 and 2022.
In addition to audience engagement intensifying, attendee duration remains significant. In 2022, the average time audiences spent engaging with a live webinar was 53 minutes for EMEA audiences. The volume of webinar attendees in 2022 remained consistent with the levels seen in 2021, at an average of 130 attendees per webinar.
On-demand experiences drive results
Consumption of on-demand content is at an all-time high, and B2B audiences expect professional buying experiences to be as convenient and seamless as it is in their personal lives.
Evaluating the composition of global webinar audiences in 2022 shows that 43% of audiences engaging with webinar experiences are now doing so in an on-demand format. And, similar to the lengthening of live webinar engagement, they are spending more time, increasing their duration of on-demand engagement by 12% year-over-year.
Variety is the spice of digital engagement
Traditionally, digital marketing was a way to generate a high volume of leads at the top of the sales funnel. Now, with a more sophisticated digital engagement strategy, marketers are leveraging webinar experiences across the entire buying journey and the types of experiences are growing more diverse.
To support this mix, global marketers are managing a portfolio of experience types, running 57% live webinars, 17% on-demand and 26% simulive webinars. Another shift in experience types was the use of breakout sessions to continue engaging audiences after the main live webinar event, doubling breakout room usage year-over-year.
Turn event promotions into ongoing, integrated campaigns
In 2021 and 2020, audiences were waiting until the last minute to register for webinars, with 20% of global registrations occurring the day of the live event, a noticeable change in behavior from previous years.
EMEA audience registration behavior in 2022 returned to pre-pandemic trends with 41% of audiences registering the day of and week before the event, giving marketers the ability to plan their promotions further in advance and build momentum through a balanced promotional mix over a three-week, or longer, timeframe.
This shift in registration behavior gives marketers a greater opportunity to build interactions ahead of the live experience, and empower sales teams to take advantage of the period between registration and the live experience to connect and engage prospects. Important for EMEA marketers is that their audiences require and prefer an even longer lead time before the event to register.
EMEA audiences demonstrate higher levels of buying intent
The final notable shift in B2B audience behavior in 2022 is the rise in buying intent. Across all digital experiences, engagement with high-intent calls-to-action, such as “get demo,” or “request pricing,” had the highest increase in comparison with 2021.
For webinars, specifically, 2022, marked a significant jump in chatbot engagement with a 143% increase year-over-year. In addition, webinar audiences are raising their hand for demo requests at a higher rate with a 77% improvement in conversion rate.
Analysis of EMEA digital engagement throughout 2022 shows that there has been a permanent shift in how B2B buyers expect to interact with brands – in short, they now expect more.
Audiences want engaging and interactive experiences, available anytime and anywhere, and ultimately provide an opportunity for a human conversation. Learn more about these trends by downloading the report now!