With employees now distributed thanks to the pandemic, on-demand webinars are proving a powerful way for companies to not only communicate at scale – but to digitally transform their businesses. Whether face-to-face events, relationship building for prospects and customers, or in-house communications, there’s a use-case for on-demand webinars… With the power to revolutionise your business. Read on to learn how.
What are on-demand webinars?
On-demand webinars are informative long-form, pre-recorded videos that audiences can watch whenever they like. Because these videos are recorded live, edited, uploaded to a hosting platform and then published online, accessing them is often a simple, automated process: people can sign up via landing pages and are emailed the link to access content. These videos often end with a next-step call to action, like getting in touch with a company.
On-demand webinars have many and varied benefits. They are ‘on demand’ and accessible any time, any place (with internet). This means that unlike live webinars, they’re convenient and not dependent on timezone scheduling; you also skip the live event complexity e.g. technical issues like internet lag. And being pre-recorded, you have the luxury of perfecting your content and delivery – you can cut and retake. But the biggest benefit? You can promote on-demand webinars again and again, making them ‘evergreen’ content, useful 365 days a year.
Types of webinars
Webcasts recorded on a webcam are the easiest type of webinars to record: broadcast presentations that cut between a speaker and their slides. They don’t include live audience participation, which can be an engagement point, but it does make them a relatively painless way to start creating webinars – especially for talent, as there are no live hosting / facilitation aspects. Although, if you do want to up the value of your webcasts, you can add a second (or third) presenter – even remotely – or pre-recorded video clips from industry experts. Webcasts can even be professionally recorded on your phone, then spliced with your deck by an editor for a polished final product.
Hybrid / simulive / pre-recorded webinar
‘Simulated live’ webinars seem in-real-time, as the name suggests, but are actually pre-recorded webinars. Some brands opt to ‘go live’ and publish on a schedule then release on-demand later; however, many simply add these videos to their on-demand catalogue of content straight away. Pre-recorded webinars are a great way to leverage the advantages of live webinars – like a hosted conversation with a special guest, and polls or questions / answers facilitated by a moderator – but without the potential for live mishaps. So why simulive when you can webcast? Engagement – webinars with ‘live’ segments offer a better experience, and are generally more fun and entertaining than your token video presentation. So while they are slightly more complex, the payoff in audience engagement, and relationship building, is worth it.
While not technically ‘on demand’, it’s worth covering live webinars as once you’re practised with pre-recorded webinars, you may want to experiment with going live; content can then be offered on-demand once the webinar is over. Live hosted webinars have a slightly different feel, almost like podcasts, in that live banter between multiple presenters / guests (and the audience!) is what makes live webinars feel so dynamic and fun, as well as help viewers feel like they’re a part of the show, driving better engagement. They’re also a bit more raw in that you can’t use text overlays for lower thirds, questions etc. You will need to plan ahead for the things that may derail live streaming though, like internet connection speeds, talent experience, and technical issues around video, audio (think microphones) and gear e.g. batteries and cables.
How on-demand webinars can revolutionise your business
They digitally transform face-to-face events
In times like these, when digital is the only recourse for human connection, digital transformation is priority one for many businesses. So it should come as no surprise that businesses reliant on face-to-face events, even training (see point #3 below), are scrambling to pivot. Webinars on-demand are a real, high-quality solution.
On-demand webinars can revolutionise your global accessibility – and therefore reach – in ways that in-person events can’t match; they’re cross-boundary, independent of timezones, and generally operate at a fraction of the cost of live activations. Audience participation is also doable via digital, often leveraging the same apps and technologies you’d employ for live events. And you have the added benefit of a higher degree of control over your audience’s experience, as opposed to just running video conferencing e.g webinar tools and tricks like snappy introductions, real-time polls and audience questions. You can also measure real-time engagement, like when people left the webinar – even when they were most engaged. If you haven’t tried webinars in place of face-to-face events, it’s definitely worth the exercise.
Watch our video below to make sense of video analytics!
They forge and foster real relationships
Particularly in the B2B space, on-demand webinars have been a core marketing tool for brands’ inbound strategies for a while now. As lead magnets, they drive lead generation and nurturing via email registrations, as well as forming part of sales and account managers’ knowledge libraries for helping prospects and clients. They’re also a prime example of evergreen content, always on and always relevant.
However, one of the biggest benefits of these automated webinars is how they enable engagement across the sales and marketing funnel. A webinar on-demand can be created to convert each stage of the funnel, starting with top-of-the-funnel introductory videos that audiences view after signing up to your email list, all the way to middle-of-the-funnel deep-dives and bottom-of-the-funnel product / service content. Better yet, on-demand webinars capitalise on people’s engagement at the time they show the most interest – when signing up. No weeks to wait before it goes live, and forgetting or clashing with a meeting; they can instantly enjoy your content, along with a more convenient user experience. You can also add value with an email summary, PDF of any slides, and support materials, plus the chance to give feedback, after they’ve watched the automated webinar – cementing your position as a brand that goes the extra mile for service.
They scale internal communication like never before
For internal communications, learning and development, and human resources, disrupted processes for sharing information during these challenging times are likely causing headaches. So it’s comforting to know that similar to face-to-face events, on-demand webinars can help cascade communications and training throughout your organisation.
With employees in information overload, text-based communication is at its peak (who else is pining for ‘inbox zero’?). But for company seminars or announcements like product launches, gaining and maintaining attention is critical – and in a timely fashion. This is where on-demand webinars come in. These long-form videos offer enhanced context and nuanced understanding, unlike text. Here’s an example: your company is announcing a new product, and you need to disseminate key messages to your sales team. Now, you could do this via a document, even a call; or you could do it with a webinar, role-playing customer conversations so people can see best practice tone, body language etc. Staff could even submit real-world questions based on scenarios they’ve experienced, and get the answers they need to excel.
These are just a few of the benefits of on-demand webinars, however as you can see, they’re pretty big benefits! To learn more about how on-demand webinars can revolutionise your business, get in touch with us at Shootsta – we’re here to help.