A webinar guide from BeaconLive – the most helpful resource on fully managed virtual events on the web.
Why have we recreated what Wikipedia has already done? Because Wikipedia doesn’t even begin to cover what webinars can truly accomplish. Thus, we have taken it upon ourselves to recreate what a Wikipedia page about webinars should include. Webinars are the fastest growing and most engaging way of delivering educational and marketing content.
A webinar is an online event involving a virtual audience receiving informative or educational content from a speaker (or panel of speakers). Webinars are often confused with ‘web-conferences’, which is a discussion or meeting between multiple people using conferencing software.
The biggest differentiator between webinars and webcasts is the flow of communication: webinar communication typically flows in one direction (the speaker does 90% of the talking, and the audience participates in surveys/polls and Q&A sessions), whereas web-conferences resemble a conversation (anyone can speak up during the call).
Search queries for “webinars” (using Google) have more than doubled since 2005 (see graph) and research shows this trend is not about to slow down.
Webinars are rapidly becoming the tactic of choice in various industries where keeping your knowledge up-to-date (via webinar courses) is required to sustain or renew your professional license. Such webinars are associated with the terms: E-Learning and Continuing Education and are often interchangeable.
More and more companies are turning to webinars as a cost-effective means of delivering educational content, corporate communications, and staff trainings to their employees, customers, and prospects. This allows people to access your content online versus investing time and money into traveling for the same information or training.
Read about the different types of webinars everyone is doing today here.
Webinars are known for having interactive elements, such as chat capabilities and live surveys/polls that allow the attendees to engage with the presenter in real time. Other webinar features might include (varies from provider):
- Live streaming audio and video
- Effortless control passing between presenters
- Recorded video playback
Find out how BeaconLive’s webinar features help boost engagement with your audience.
There is some controversy in the webinar world over whether DIY (Do-It-Yourself) or Fully Serviced webinars give you the most bang for your buck. DIY is perfect for small events while Fully Serviced takes the hard work off your desk. But when your company’s reputation is on the line, going with the full service professionals is often your safest option.
Another point of controversy is whether webinars should be delivered live or pre-recorded. One could argue that the whole point of a webinar is having live access to a presentation and a speaker, but live webinars are not the only way to go. Many companies use pre-recorded webinars to get information across to others at any point in the future, such as video trainings for new hires.
Just keep in mind that by delivering a recorded webinar, you risk loosing an audience seeking live interaction with the presenter –which you can address by inviting the presenter to answer live questions during the webinar (using the chat pod), and answering questions during a live Q&A session following the recording.
Noteworthy Webinar Facts
- A video (such as a recorded webinar) of your subject matter, product or service, can help you rank higher in search engines.
- You can derive up to 16 different pieces of content from just one webinar. [Learn How]
- Pre-recording webinars to be delivered as "virtual live" webinars are becoming more popular because it eliminates the stress of delivering a live event and they offer more control over the production quality.
- DigitalSherpa found that 80% of online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will completely read a piece of written content –meaning, webinars are not only more effective, but necessary.
- According to the Content Marketing Institute 61% of B2B Marketers believe webinars to be an effective way to deliver their content. [CMI Article]
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