Have you read our post on video marketing? If you have, you are aware of the advantages video has over other channels when you want to reach your target audience. In the article, we’ve discussed the ways you can use webinars in your video marketing activities. However, you’ve heard there are other online video formats, such as webcasts, and you’d like to know the difference between the two. From this post, you will learn how they differ and which of them offers you more possibilities.
What is a webcast?
A webcast is a bit like a TV broadcast but on the Internet. It may be live or pre-recorded. Even when it is live there is no way you and your audience could interact. It’s one-way communication. At the same time, you can reach really wide audiences, which in practice means thousands of people.
What is a webinar?
A webinar is also an online audio-video broadcast but the idea behind it is a bit different. A webinar is a kind of a meeting, with people connecting online at the same time from various locations. Thanks to the tools available in webinar platforms such as clickmeeting.com, attendees and presenters can interact with each other. The chat and the Q&A mode let you listen to your audience and answer their questions in real time. You can also share your screen, write and draw on a virtual whiteboard, run polls and use other handy tools.
Depending on the plan you select, you can host an engaging webinar for up to several thousand participants.
When should I go for a webcast?
A webcast will be an ideal solution whenever the primary goal of your broadcast is to reach as many people as possible and you don’t need your attendees to contribute to it – to comment, ask questions or do surveys.
Let’s say your CEO has been invited to deliver a speech at TED. It’s a huge honour and an important event, worth showing to your clients worldwide. There will be no time for interaction with the speaker, that’s for sure. Let your audience know about the CEO’s speech early enough for them to save the date and watch a webcast you will do.
Need another example? Okay, let’s assume a colleague of yours is an expert in her niche. She is going to lecture at an industry event. Topics she is going to cover are of great interest for your audience. Many of them would like to be at the event but they can’t. Broadcast your colleague’s presentation live to let as many people as possible benefit from the knowledge she will be sharing.
When should I go for a webinar?
Host a webinar instead of a webcast whenever you want to meet your audience online and interact with them in real time.
Let’s consider the colleague’s lecture case once again. Instead of broadcasting her presentation from the conference host an online event with her. Run a webinar for everyone willing to learn from her. Attendees get an opportunity to chat with her and ask questions. The presenter can answer immediately and clear their doubts if there are any.
A product presentation webinar is also a great idea. Let’s say you are in the prototype stage and need some feedback from future end users of your product. Run a webinar, present two slightly different variants of your solution and run a poll to learn which option they prefer.
You can also invite your audience to a tutorial webinar to teach them how to use e.g. an app. Let’s take Canva, a smart online solution to create simple but stunning graphic designs. If you are an expert and can show others how to use it, host a webinar and use the screen sharing tool to take attendees step by step through the process of creating a Facebook cover photo or a poster. And then answer any questions they may have.
Both webcasts and webinars let you broadcast live. The difference lies in the possibility of interaction. If you don’t need it, go for a webcast. But if you want to talk to your audience, ask and answer questions and get instant feedback, run a webinar.
If you are ready to run your first webinar, check what tools to interact with your audience ClickMeeting offers.