Webinars: 2021’s Marketing MVP

By Jesse Sherman

Perhaps it’s no surprise that demand for webinars exploded in 2020. Platforms like ON24 saw viewers consuming 295% more webinar content per day than in 2019, with a 167% increase in the number of webinars hosted. Webinar platforms grew at a breakneck pace, and companies like TwentyThree experienced roughly seven years’ worth of maturity in just seven weeks.


By these forces of nature, the webinar format has evolved beyond the 90s-era “talking head report.” Audience engagement is not just essential now –  it’s expected. Sixty percent of webinars today use a live chat, 52% host viewer polls, and Q&A sessions are a must-have. Virtual game apps like Kahoot or Jackbox offer even more options to gamify the webinar experience,and all those at-home scavenger hunts and quizzes can lead to longer view times.

The Live Element

The isolation of quarantine makes us crave live connection more than ever, and webinar stats prove that. In 2020, 45% of webinar registrants attended live, while 10% chose to watch later on-demand. Within the webinars themselves, 93% contained live video and audio, and 91% were hosted live with audience participation. As a result, 52% of companies reported webinar attendance greater than or equal to their in-person events.

KPIs and Success Factors

In just the past six months, Matter ran 12 live events for nine different clients, hosted on a variety of platforms. We saw some clear patterns in device use: 80.9% of viewers watched via desktop computers, with 17.1% on mobile phones, 1.8% on tablets, and 0.2% on connected TVs. 

Our peers saw some interesting success factors appear as well:

  • 84% of companies reported virtual events cost less than in-person events.
  • Successful revenue generators were 46% more likely to promote a donation page throughout their virtual event.
  • 87% of marketers consider the opportunities generated by virtual events as a success factor.
  • 85% of marketers consider attendee satisfaction a success factor.

Challenges and Tips

The webinar wave has its challenges to be sure. A recent survey reveals that 38% of audience members are tired of virtual events and online calls. Live engagement apps can help curtail “Zoom fatigue,” and timely content is as important as ever. In fact, 80% of viewers attend virtual events for educational purposes. Attendees also still crave brand experiences, and even the smallest embellishments help. Branded clothing, props or virtual backgrounds can elevate a plain-old PowerPoint presentation into a brand experience.

Another challenge is the learning curve that comes with Webinar tech. Thirty-seven percent of surveyed companies say their presenters aren’t tech-savvy enough to pull off a webinar, and 23% of brands are concerned webinars will not provide the same standard of quality as their usual brand events. While live-streaming from a webcam is definitely not the same as a studio production, there are workarounds. Like many of our peers, the Matter video team has improved remote video production quality by shipping iPhones and mini tripods to clients, as well as sending industry-grade, remotely-operated cameras – all while maintaining social distance.


In 2021, content is still king. Videos and live-streaming content now account for 75% of internet traffic, and it’s projected to keep growing. The opportunity to make impressions is immense, and with a plethora of new webinar technology and support, there’s never been a better time to jump on the webinar wave.

If you’d like to find out how webinars can work for you, let’s talk! Fill out the form below or contact us at video@matternow.com.