What is a webinar?
A webinar is a live seminar, usually online, generally for educational purposes, in which viewers can actively participate in it, asking questions, making comments, and sharing related information.
The word webinar was created from the combination of the words web and seminar, so it is easily deducible that it is a web seminar.
In general, these are live events, scheduled for a specific date and time. They are generally recorded so that those who could not attend live can view it, but in this case there will be no interaction between the user and the speaker.
1. Difference between webinar and webcast
These two terms are often confused, since webinar and webcast have similarities, but they present a key differentiating element.
In a webcast, communication is unidirectional, that is, interaction between the presenter and the attendees is not possible.
On the other hand, a webinar is a more interactive format where attendees can ask the presenter questions and the presenter can pose them to viewers, establishing a two-way communication.
2. Advantages of webinars
Incorporating webinars into any correct content strategy brings a series of advantages, among which the following stand out:
- Interaction with the audience. An webinar allows you to interact in real time with the attendees and exchange information with the online public.
- It’s easy to place CTAs at multiple times. The flexibility offered by webinars is so amazing that it allows us to include a call to action (CTA) at any time during the event, even to create live commercial promotions.
- It allows you to capture the attention of the target audience. It is an excellent setting where we can establish a link with the target audience and position ourselves as an authority on the topic.
- You can work with remarketing strategies. To access the webinar, users will have to enter their contact details. Therefore, you will be able to use this data for subsequent remarketing actions.
- Live or recorded. The content is broadcast live, but it is recorded to facilitate access to it on a deferred basis. It is also possible to use this recorded event as a lead magnet.
- Help improve authority for the presenter and the organizer. For this reason, the popularity and branding of both actors are notably reinforced, if the content offered is of quality.
- They help to boost conversions. The audience attending a webinar will be more willing to act and buy your products or services.
- Low cost. Compared to the costs of holding a seminar in a physical space, webinars are a much cheaper option: it is not necessary for speakers and attendees to travel, or rent a large physical space, etc.
- Capacity “without limitations”. A standard (physical) seminar has the number of places available in the room where it takes place, on the other hand a webinar has practically unlimited capacity, it depends on the tool you are using for the live event.
3. Disadvantages of webinars
As a webinar is streamed online through external tools, you will never be 100% in control of the process to prevent technical errors. Therefore, you will find some disadvantages, such as:
- Participation can be anonymous. Although at least one email is requested for registration, many attendees choose to create a temporary emails (or create them specifically for the webinar) to maintain their anonymity and therefore you can’t use their data for remarketing strategy, as the email address won’t be used after the webinar.
- Total dependence on the internet connection. Any error in the connection from which the event is broadcasted can prevent the webinar from taking place. Also, viewers will need a good quality and stable connection to watch the webinar.
- less relevance. While you can reach a much larger audience with a webinar, the impact of the message you want to reinforce will usually be reduced, especially since many viewers will likely be doing other tasks while watching the event.
4. Tools to create a webinar
There are a large number of applications, both free and paid, for creating webinars. The premise is that any self-respecting webinar platform must allow interaction between the presenter and the attendees. Among the most popular tools for creating a webinar, we can find:
- Demio, paid tool and very easy to use.
- Discord, initially designed for online game users to interact, also allows you to create webinars for free.
- GoToWebinar. This is one of the most known paid options for creating webinars.
- Livestorm, paid platform with many integrations, such as Slack, Google Analytics, Stripe, etc.
- Meet Google, free tool with very limited features.
- Webex Meetings. Cisco Systems software with free and paid versions.
- Webinar Ninja, a very easy to use paid system; it is very popular.
- WebinarJam, paid tool with advanced options.
- Youtube Direct, is free, but doesn’t offer many features for creating webinars.
- Zoom, integrates with Facebook Live and YouTube, but it is not free.