Including virtual events in your marketing strategy is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and guide the buying journey of your intended demographic. They should always bring something of value to your customers to keep their loyalty, so it’s crucial to analyze relevant key performance indicators (KPI) to determine the outcome of your virtual events’ return on investment (ROI).
KPIs measure event performance and can help you set improvement and achievement goals; you can’t rely on them completely to track the success of a virtual event. By using this event data to refine your goals and plans, your future webinars and virtual events will hone in on audience needs and behavior, thus improving ROI.
Understanding your target segment’s buying journey and planning future events around it is key to earning a high ROI, as it drives authentic loyalty to your brand and an end sale.
In this article, you’ll learn what these terms mean, how and where they’re applicable, and how they can spot components of your marketing strategy that need immediate improvement.
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What Are Virtual Event Metrics and KPIs?
Virtual event KPIs and metrics are performance indicators that tell you how successful your virtual events are. Common examples are the number of people who sign up for a webinar or how long attendees stay logged on to your event.
You may believe a full audience is a sign of success or a lack of event registration signals failure, but that’s not necessarily true, which is why you need to employ proper success metrics.
Several measurements determine how well your virtual events connect with and provide value to your attendees. Some of the most crucial KPIs to track are attendance, engagement, conversion rates, cost per lead, and satisfaction.
The Importance of Measuring Virtual Event Success
If an audience shows up and you make a few sales, that’s great! However, you’re doing your brand and your audience a disservice if you fail to address the needs of your buyers or set realistic goals for your company. Here are some effective ways to measure the efficacy of your virtual events and how well they serve your business and attendees
Return on investment is the final value of your virtual event after subtracting what you spent to create it. It can include the number of attendees you earned, sales you closed, cold leads converted to qualified leads, or some other predetermined metric.
Use the feedback from previous virtual events to better serve your attendees and meet their needs at each buying stage. Richer event engagement leads to higher audience retention. Anticipating their frustrations, objectives, and buying pathways will enable more strategic event planning for better, more relatable sessions that your audience finds worthwhile.
This is where you lay out what actively works in your event marketing strategies and audience reach and what needs a complete makeover. Determining your KPIs and restrategizing will keep your accountability strong.
Collaborate with your advertising and marketing teams to become an expert on your end consumer and set clearer, more relevant goals. Revisit these issues often to maintain accountability and eliminate areas of concern.
Benchmarking in business is crucial to ensure the quality of your virtual events continues to improve. It involves comparing your marketing strategies, ROI, and other measurable values to the industry standard. This practice gives your brand an unbiased review of how well it’s doing so you can hone in on areas in need of improvement.
Benchmark often as you change your goal structure and determine which KPIs are most critical to your success. Additionally, compare the outcomes from previous benchmarking efforts to achieve best results.
Define Virtual Event Goals and KPIs
Once you define what your problem areas are, be it audience engagement, audience feedback, or some other low-performing aspect, you can create achievable goals based on the KPIs you choose to track.
Types of Virtual Event Metrics
As previously discussed, the specific metrics you choose to track will depend on your virtual event goals. We’ve outlined the various types by category to aid your selection. By applying these measurements in real time, you can optimize your virtual events for greater brand awareness, customer loyalty, and, ultimately, a stronger ROI.
Attendance is the number of people who show up to your virtual events. Compare the number of attendees at your virtual events to the number of registrants. A large discrepancy between the two indicates a need for improvement, such as growing your email list, sending more frequent reminders, or another marketing strategy to increase attendance. Or, you could develop a stronger registration marketing strategy so your registrants feel a greater urgency to join your virtual events.
Email marketing campaigns continue to be a leading factor in acquiring registrants and attendees. So, if your your registration numbers are high but attendance is low, look to revamp your email marketing campaigns.
How much is your audience participating in your webinars or virtual events? Analyze their responses to polls, Q&As, private chats, and other interactive elements to quantify how well you hold their attention. Follow-up engagement also contains rich insights: Send post-event surveys to gauge attendee opinions about specific elements you employed and their efficacy.
Identify when the greatest number of attendees stop participating. Similarly, watch for how long your attendees stick with the event and when attendance starts to drop. That information pinpoints which engagement tactics work and which don’t so you can double-down on your virtual events’ strengths and remedy their weaknesses.
Social media engagement is important as well. Track how many comments or clicks your social media posts garner and your follower count. Do your pictures, videos, or text posts receive the most likes? These engagement metrics are important to keep both your virtual events and social media presence strong.
Lead Generation Metrics
How many of your virtual event leads are cold leads that you acquired through marketing, advertisements, and other means? How many of those prospects converted to warm leads and then to final purchases?
Tracking lead generation informs you which approach gains the most leads as well as where they come from. Depending on your targeted demographic, certain social media platforms may perform better than others. Knowing how you generate qualified leads will reveal how to improve your sales approach and help you create more authentic relationships with your end consumer.
Give your past attendees attention as well. They’re a reliable source of new prospects, as they can refer their friends and family to your brand. If you leverage past attendees correctly, you can acquire more leads with less effort, and, since they come from brand-loyal customers, conversion rates via this outlet can be higher and more authentic.
Revenue metrics cover a lot of ground, including cost per lead and conversion rates, among other critical measurements.
Are registrants turning into attendees, then buyers, and finally into subscribers? What strengthens your audience’s loyalty to your brand? Increasing conversion rates is vital to your brand’s success and a major reason why you run webinars and other virtual events in the first place.
Conversion rates and repeat visits are perhaps the most important KPIs to consider, especially as you grow your brand.
Cost Per Lead
Your cost per lead is the total amount of money you spend on lead generation divided by the number of leads you acquire. You want this to be very low, as that indicates you obtain many leads for every marketing effort. The way you achieve leads is also important; for example, if you generate leads organically via social media shares and audience input, then your cost per lead will be very low.
Meanwhile, if you pay for cold prospects and hope to turn them into warmer ones using marketing strategies, this may be more costly and lead to lower conversion rates due to inauthenticity on your part. Pay attention to which marketing tactics generate leads (and where you apply them) to keep your cost per lead low.
Feedback and Satisfaction
Feedback surveys gather opinions and satisfaction ratings directly from the audience you aim to please. That information is one of the clearest markers of the success of your virtual events, and it comes at no additional cost to you.
Attendee reviews reveal if your virtual events are the proper length, have enough audience interaction, and provide something of value. Take all feedback into consideration to improve your virtual events.
Pro tip: Your audience is your most valuable critic — use their input to improve every category of event metrics mentioned here.
Measuring Virtual Event ROI
In the end, the fruits of your labors are what matter most. You spend ample time and money on your virtual events, so, if you don’t see increased sales and positive leads, you need to rethink your marketing strategies to boost your return on investment.
How engaged your audience remains during your live events affects ROI: Is your audience sticking around for the featured actions presented to them and, if so, how many of your attendees turn into qualified leads as a result of these marketing efforts? Which interactive activities presented in your live events are doing well, and which ones are falling flat with audience members?
Are audiences receiving and responding positively to pre-event email reminders? How much has your webinar attendance improved since incorporating a stronger pre-event email campaign?
You’re not only looking at what could use improvement with your virtual event ROI — you’re also pinpointing what works well. If you see positive results in your marketing efforts, you’re on the right track!
Track specific elements such as click-through rate from your event registration page or open rates from your email marketing campaign to determine where you need to refine your marketing efforts. Effective ROI metrics for webinars and online events will help you boost your revenue in big ways.
Wrapping up — Virtual Event Metrics and KPIs
Periodically reexamining the marketing strategies that work well for your brand and which ones need work helps you resonate with your audience best and sets the tone for improvement for your virtual events. Setting goals, benchmarking success, and marketing appropriately will allow you to have a wider audience reach, higher conversion rates, and greater savings on your sales and marketing budget overall.
Expand the success of your virtual events and become the expert on your audience by tracking the right elements. A robust webinar platform can make it easy to analyze the ROI of your virtual events for more targeted optimization.
Our team at Banzai will work with you to take your virtual events to the next level through greater audience engagement, conversion rates, and more. Book a demo to get started.