Marketing and selling to B2B buyers has never been more complex. In fact, Forrester’s latest research on B2B buying behavior reports that, over the past three years, the total number of interactions buyers need to make a purchase decision has increased by 59% and more than 40% of buying decisions have more than six members involved.
So, how are marketers adapting to this new reality of longer buying cycles and larger buying committees?
Digital engagement strategies provide the answer. With digital engagement, marketers can use a mix of experiences, from webinars and content hubs to personalized landing pages and virtual summits, to deepen prospect interactions and grow pipeline in a scalable and repeatable way.
To help you understand how marketers are using digital experiences to engage audiences, the trends fueling those experiences, and how you can apply these insights to your own marketing efforts, we’ve compiled the “2023 Digital Engagement Benchmarks” report.
Read on to discover the nine key takeaways from this year’s report.
Dispelling the myth of digital fatigue
Are there too many webinars? Are audiences tired of digital experiences overall? Well, no, not according to this year’s report. In fact, instead of digital fatigue, there is a larger appetite for webinars and digital experiences than ever before.
How do we know this? Simple. According to our report:
- Interactions per webinar attendee increased by 25% between 2021 and 2022
- Attendees spent 55 minutes engaging with live webinars, up 4% over 2021
- 50% of registrants register at least two weeks in advance
Audiences today are more engaged with webinars, stay engaged for longer and register for digital experiences earlier in the promotional cycle. They don’t want fewer experiences — they want better experiences that allow them to interact, engage and self-select through a variety of content options.
Longer promotional cycles gives marketers a unique opportunity to deliver integrated promotional mixes over a three-week (or longer) timeframe. These longer timeframes give marketers more opportunity to build interactions pre-webinar and empower sales teams to connect and engage prospects before the event.
New types of digital engagement
In the past, digital experiences had one primary purpose: to capture as many net-new leads as possible, as fast as possible. Today, though, audiences expect experiences to be personalized to their unique needs.
And marketers are delivering. In fact, according to our report:
- The number of personalized experiences grew by 29%
- Attendance to digital breakout rooms grew by 110%
- And 43% of attendees watched webinars either on-demand or simulive
What does this mean for you? Audiences are craving new and different types of digital engagement. Meaning you have the opportunity to experiment with new virtual formats, like discussion-based experiences through virtual breakout rooms and digital forums, that drive more effective conversations.
And we do know that late-stage buyers are accelerated through digital engagement. In fact, according to our report, demo requests have jumped by 77% through engagement tools like digital demo requests and “book a meeting” CTAs.
Your digital experiences need to be “always-on”
When it comes to discovering and consuming your content, audiences love on-demand experiences. It’s not hard to understand why. On-demand content is easily accessible and lets audiences engage with your brand on their own terms.
In fact, according to our report, we found that:
- 43% of audiences prefer on-demand webinars and content hubs
- Marketers offering both live and on-demand webinars see a 53% registrant-to-attendee conversion rate
- On-demand content engages more, with a massive 419% jump in CTA engagements
By having an on-demand strategy, you can improve audience satisfaction and get more out of your programs by repurposing existing content.
Just providing a static webinar recording is a missed opportunity to drive audience engagement. By engaging on-demand attendees in the same way you do with live audiences, you open up more opportunities to interact with hard-to-reach prospects and capture the first-party data you need to drive pipeline.
Rethinking the fundamentals of audience engagement
Data on digital experiences from 2022 proves that there has been a permanent shift in how audiences interact with brands — in short, they now expect more. Audiences want experiences that are engaging and interactive, available anytime and anywhere, and ultimately provide an opportunity to take the next step in their journey.
Check out the digital engagement benchmarks webinar to learn more about how you can boost your webinar and digital engagement strategy.
Want to establish your own benchmarks? Check out the “Engagement Measurement Workshop: Rethinking KPIs to Measure Your Marketing Impact” to learn how you can benchmark your own performance.