In the first year of the pandemic, more than 8 in 10 marketers increased their frequency of webinars. And yet, many marketers are not confident in their ability to effectively execute webinars. Despite this low confidence, a report [download] from Demand Gen Report and ON24 indicates that B2B marketers view webinars are one of the most successful tactics in generating leads at the top of the funnel.
The survey of more than 100 B2B marketing practitioners, almost half of whom work in the software and technology industry, reveals that 45% of respondents cited webinars as one of the most successful engagement tactics in 2021 when it came to generating qualified leads for the top of the funnel. Following webinars, virtual events or digital experiences were also identified as among the most successful top-of-funnel qualified lead generation tactics last year. Other research shows that together with webinars and online courses, virtual events were considered one of the best-performing B2B content assets by a majority of content marketers.
Fewer respondents cited videos (27%), lead nurturing campaigns (25%) and industry events or trade shows (20%) as the most effective top-of-funnel demand gen tactics. However, in the case of trade shows and industry events, the pandemic is the likely culprit for such responses, considering the impact it had on the B2B exhibition industry, and that, prior to the pandemic, in-person events topped the list of most successful top-of-funnel B2B demand gen tactics.
When looking at channels that are considered the most effective at driving leads into marketers’ pipeline, email (49%), websites (36%) and social media (34%) sit at the top of the list.
Successful Mid-to-Late Funnel Tactics
Webinars are also considered one of the most successful tactics in converting and accelerating leads at the middle and late stages of the funnel. Indeed, earlier research from Activate Marketing Services and MarketingCharts shows that a plurality of B2B marketers surveyed considered webinars to be the most effective mid-funnel.
Case studies (33%) and virtual events/digital experiences (28%) are also considered to be effective in moving leads through the funnel, while fewer than one-quarter cited videos (23%), personal field events (dinners, meetings, etc.; 22%) and account-based advertising (21%).
Again, email was named as the most effective channel for converting and accelerating leads later in the funnel. Email is followed by product demos, website and phone.
Where Budgets Are Expected to Increase
Close to 6 in 10 (58% of) respondents say their content marketing strategy will see increased budget prioritization this year, while about half (47%) expect the same for account-based marketing/experience strategies. Another 46% expect increased investment in sales enablement.
Finally, in terms of how much marketing-generated leads contribute to total revenue, about one-third (34%) of respondents say that marketing-generated leads account for 11-25% of total revenues, with another 22% attributing marketing-generated leads for 26-50% of total revenue.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 116 B2B marketing practitioners, almost half (47%) of whom work in the software/technology industry.