As a regular webinar host, I understand the importance of webinars and webcasts from a business stand point. However, it’s easy to overlook many of the benefits that can come from running webinars in your business.
Webinar vs. Webcast what to choose?
A webinar is an online meeting or seminar with the express purpose of being interactive. Ordinarily educational or training-based, webinars can be used to train teams or share ideas. Compared to a webcast, the audience is relatively small, and members are expected to contribute to discussions via Q&A sessions, polling, etc.
A webcast is more of a lecture, a one-way interaction broadcast over the internet to a larger audience than that of a webinar. The audience isn’t expected to directly contribute to the discussion, and the content will work just as well watched on demand as it does live.
So now that we’ve clarified what the difference between the two is, how about the benefits of doing both?
When someone registers for a webinar or webcast, it shows that they have a strong interest either in the content of the webinar or the brands involved. By registering, customers are offering up their information to listen to someone who they consider an expert or a leading company in that field. This is leverage in of itself, and a great opportunity to convert the viewers into customers.
Unlike physical presentations, there are no geographical boundaries to webinars and webcasts. Webinars and webcasts give you the capability to connect with hundreds globally all from the ease of your own office or workspace. Crucially, this means they are significantly less difficult or time-consuming to set up, and can be put together regularly without taking staff away from the office for long.
Partnering with other companies for a webinar can be positive for both parties. For the party hosting the webinar or webcast, the value of the sponsorship can be great given the ease with which both can be set up. For the company sponsoring, they receive access to the host’s entire audience, a valuable opportunity to improve brand awareness and generate potential leads. Because webinars and webcasts have been proven to be more engaging that ordinary sales pitches, this time in front of a new audience can be a great opportunity.
Speed up sales process
In terms of generating ROI, webinars and webcasts are particularly effective. Companies live and die by cash flow, and many choose these because they condense different elements of the sales funnel down into the time it takes to run a webcast. A good webinar will build trust, it will kill objections, and it will deliver value - all important parts of the sales funnel that can otherwise take significant time.
Generate New Leads
What webinars and webcasts come down to for a lot of companies is the generation of new leads. What separates them from ordinary lead-building techniques is that they offer the company a chance to give value before the sale begins. If the first step of any sale is education, then both webinars and webcasts offer this right off the bat. More personal than an email blast or an ad campaign, the opportunity to offer an authoritative and valuable voice to the potential lead before pushing them down the sales funnel is something all businesses should consider.
Engage or re-engage your current audience
There is no doubt that webinars are more engaging than a sales pitch. Importantly, they are one-off events that happen live. Firstly, audiences won’t want to show up late or zone out; they might miss valuable information. Secondly, and particularly with webinars, the conversational style of the interaction gives the audience an opportunity to engage, allowing them to properly connect with the content. Also, uniquely, webinars allow for the company producing them to have a direct voice that traditional marketing techniques don’t allow for. This personal touch is engaging and invaluable when building connections with potential leads.