How many of us have been hearing these terms rather interchangeably – Webinars, Webcasts, Virtual Events. Although these products have been marketed for over two decades, it’s only recently that these platforms have assimilated into mainstream dialogue to serve their value, both for creators as well as consumers.
Does it mean that we’ll see one or all of them start to fade away, or can they co-exist while still creating a USP, or will it give way to new technologies and perhaps even a new ‘buzzword’?
Let’s dive deeper to understand these products, and what differentiates their Online presence, one from the other.
Webinars, simply put, are Seminars run on the Web. Seminars are held for focusing on topics between a small group of people. Similar to a physical Seminar, Webinar allows live interaction between participants and speakers through networking, Q&A, polls, sharing documents and other forms of collaboration.
Webcast, on the other hand, is a Broadcast run on the Web. Broadcasts are one-way flow of information disseminated to large groups of people. Broadcasts are not necessarily live, and cater to a larger audience reach.
Virtual Events ties together features of Webinars and Webcasts, to facilitate multi-session online interactive events.
What is a webinar essentially?
A webinar is currently the most essential piece of artillery in the warfare of content marketing. Or if you like to think of it as a game of chess – it may be considered as an all-powerful piece on the board that has got all the right moves. You just need to use it strategically. And to do so, you need to have a better understanding of this term.
Going by the Oxford Dictionary, a webinar is simply “a seminar conducted online”. However, by the way of explanation it can also be defined as an online event where a speaker or group of speakers give a presentation to the audience and engage via polls, surveys, questions etc.
People new to the game of webinars often confuse it with online meetings. But, it is not the same. In an online meeting platform, a small group comes together to discuss and collaborate on projects real-time. Thus, not requiring many features. On the other hand, webinar events are arranged mostly for training, learning and skilling purposes with the average audience size ranging from 50-5000.
Now that we have understood the common thread between these platforms as being “Online”, how can we ensure a similar WOW factor is extended and rendered by both the host and the attendee, as experienced in a physical seminar.
If you are looking forward to hosting a Webinar, here are some prerequisites to consider that will help maximize reach, value, and an engaged audience.
- Audio/Video Quality – This could easily be a make or break for your Webinar. Without a strong internet connection, the effort of delivering meaningful content will be in vain if your attendees are struggling to comprehend the speaker, and will slowly drop off, leaving with a poor experience.
- Transformative Content – Content is King, but there’s only so much that we can consume, retain and react to. It’s imperative to devise content with a lasting impact that leaves the audience engaged, excited and enthused!
- Commit to Memory (CTM) – Another way to maximize benefit for your audience is by delivering a memorable Webinar that not only stays with them during the session, but, the key-takeaways tend to apply themselves with high recall and repeat value in their lives, long after the ‘engagement’ has ended.
- Promote and Advertise – A Webinar is as good as its promotion. Without an audience, it’s as good as not having one at all. Promoting your Webinar at the right time on the right channels will have a focused outreach to your targeted audience.
- Recorded vs Live – While both options are available to you as a Speaker, attending a live Webinar will give the attendee a ‘first mover advantage’ with real-time insights to be an early adopter. The recordings will serve the purpose just as well, with higher accessibility, however, with a very short window to gain competitive edge, the attendee may be at a Fear of Missing Out.
6 reasons as to why you should conduct a webinar
There is a whole range of reasons and benefits that can persuade any brand into giving their best whilst conducting a successful online event. We only list here a few out of those.
Here are the main reasons why you should host a webinar:
- A new webinar means inviting a whole new database of people interested in your content, and indirectly in your brand.
- These webinars are the perfect way of establishing yourself as an industry expert. Your target audience will see you as a reliable information source that can take up their doubts and give right answers.
- The people who register for the webinar are your qualified leads. After the event, you can concentrate your efforts completely on converting them into a client/customer.
- The recordings of your all webinars help you back your expertise.
- Through them, you get to set your brand voice, raise brand awareness and explore new branding opportunities with them.
- Such webinars are also a great way to onboard new hires, a face-to-face interaction without having to travel miles.
Workings of a successful webinar
A webinar works only if it has been thoroughly worked upon. The three human roles essential in making a webinar as engaging as possible are – at least one presenter, organizer and attendees. The presenter delivers the content, whereas the organizer works behind-the-scenes to regulate the flow of the event.
For your advantage, we have given here a checklist of six tasks you need to complete before proceeding with the webinar.
- Set objective – Understand the objectives you want to accomplish out of the aforementioned webinar. It helps you outline your plan more effectively too and measure the event’s success in quantifiable terms.
- Keep the audience in mind – Choose the subject of your webinar according to the pain points of your primary audience. Think hard on which topic resonates most with them.
- Schedule it – Find out the best time to hold your webinar. 11 am to 2 pm is said to be the most optimal time for this purpose.
- Promote it – Create the needed buzz for the event. Use personal network, email and social media to talk about it.
- Make a presentation – Prepare the bite-sized learning content for your audience to consume. Best, do not keep it text-heavy.
- Rehearse – Test technical setup and your content delivery beforehand.
Choosing the right webinar interface
In the middle of all the above-mentioned points, you would also need to zero on an all-in-one webinar interface that will enable you to broadcast, engage and network seamlessly throughout the time span of your event. The selection of the right platform would not just produce the most effective results for your webinar but also give the attendees the best event
experience possible. A feature-rich intuitive webinar platform would help them get the full picture more clearly. Both literally and figuratively, as the platforms today come with a zero-delay HD LIVE stream broadcast.
Make sure to go through the entire list of its features. A platform with the option of –
- Unlimited hosts and parallel session with almost 1 million attendees,
- event customizing options, advanced analytics,
- more interactive tools,
- integrated registration & ticketing,
- zero-delay HD live stream broadcast, and
- no need to download the software that will help you achieve increased participation and engagement with your audience.
With the ease of features in the selected webinar software, you would also be able to fully focus on generating awareness, making sales and building rapport rather than killing time in the operational aspects of the event.
And, at last a few tips…
Try to keep your webinar precise and concise. Always keep its duration under an hour and makes sure all your equipment (like a camera and microphone) are of high-quality and in the right working condition.
Lastly, do not forget to engage with your audience as much as possible. After all, it is for their advantage that you are conducting the webinar.
Online platforms are here to stay, and Webinars play a mutual interdependence role between Speaker and Attendees, both participating for mutual gain to not only survive but thrive!