There’s a debate among marketing experts about the best way to increase sales — podcasts or webinars. Podcasts are on the rage right now — with over a billion subscribers. And that number is expected to triple in the next few years. And yet, webinars have been the gold standard for web marketers for years. Which is right for your business? Let’s tackle them one at a time, starting with podcasts.
What is a podcast?
Simply put, a podcast is an audio file posted on a website that people can download and listen to. Businesses use them to establish themselves as experts in their field or to share information about their product or service.
Why are podcasts so popular for businesses?
1. Podcasts are readily available.
Your audience can search iTunes for podcasts on a particular subject and have access to podcasts on those topics in seconds. So, podcasts are an easy way for businesses to find new audiences.
2. Your audience can listen to them anywhere.
Podcasts are great for when people are in the car, walking the dog, making dinner or on the treadmill. This means that people can listen to you whenever they want.
3. You get to share your expertise.
When you create a podcast, you do so because you have expertise in your subject area. When people listen to your podcast they see you as the expert and are more likely to be interested in your product or service.
What are the advantages of webinars?
Webinars are an increasingly popular way to build relationships with current and potential clients. They are multi-media meetings, seminars or classes held over the Internet and done in real time.
1. Webinars allow you to interact with your audience.
Because webinars are “face-to-face,” you get to talk to and not just at your audience. And you can allow them to talk back to you as well as get feedback from them.
You can enable a live Q&A session, which allows your audience to ask questions and get their answer on the spot!
In Question Mode people can ask questions during your presentation. Whenever you’re ready, you can publish the question and answer it when the timing is right.
The Chat feature even provides for simultaneous translation into multiple languages so that you can answer questions from people all over the globe!
You can conduct Polls and Surveys. These allow you to get feedback from your audience in real time. This is particularly helpful in making sure there are no misunderstandings about what you are trying to communicate. You can make sure that students understand the material you are presenting or find out how your clients are feeling about your product demonstration and how they likely they are to buy it.
2. Webinars have engaging multi-media features
A podcast only has one form of media: audio. Webinars, on the other hand, have audio and video. This allows you to show your audience rather than just tell them. Unlike a podcast, you can also allow your audience to be seen and heard at your discretion. Your webinar can be listen-only, discussion, Q&A or private depending on your goals for the webinar.
With the Presentation feature, you can share documents, provide visuals, and even draw or make notes on your presentation to help clarify your point.
The Whiteboard also allows you to make notes, draw pictures, show your audience how you arrived at key figures and so much more!
You can use Screen Sharing to demonstrate how to use your software or share other information. Share infographics, charts and other data quickly and easily.
3. Webinars allow you to earn money on the spot.
Paid Webinars allow you to monetize your expertise. You can now make money by having people pay to attend your webinar. They pay and receive an access key, which will allow them to log in when your webinar begins. Use this feature for your very best webinars, those that provide the best material and are value added to your audience.
The Call to Action feature allows you to provide a customized call to action button during your webinar that will take your audience directly to a place where they can buy your product or service.
Still wondering which is best for your business?
Here’s the simplest way to decide.
1. Do you want to cast a wide net to find new audiences?
If so, podcasts are a great way to do that. Your audience has easy access to you and they can listen anywhere to learn more about you and your expertise in your field.
2. Are you looking to go deeper and turn contacts into clients?
Then webinars are for you. They allow you to build relationships through thoughtful interaction.
And here’s the real power move.
One great technique is to use podcasts to collect new prospects and then offer a follow-up webinar to find out who is really interested in you and what you offer.
The great thing about webinars is people can’t just join them anywhere – which means that when they do tune in, it’s because they are interested in what you have to say and in learning more about your product or service.
Are you ready to start building deeper relationships? Find out more about using webinars to build relationships and turn contacts into customers.