Live-streaming is everywhere at the moment. You only have to pick up your smartphone and you can watch livestreams on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, YouTube Live, Google Hangouts and Instagram. There’s also Blab and specialist live stream services such as Ustream, Twitch and YouNow. There’s a lot of choice and varying levels of content quality but it seems that live-streaming is here to stay. What does this mean for the business webinar? Has live-streaming killed the webinar? Has it been left behind like VHS Cassettes and record players? Please note, I am aware that there has been a Hipster-led revival of the record player but let’s leave that discussion for another time.
Has Live-Streaming killed the Webinar?
The Advantages of Live- Streaming
One of the clearest benefits of broadcasting a live-stream from a brand or company’s perspective is that it is immediately accessible to your followers and supporters. Within a couple of clicks they can be participating in your live-stream and you can react to their comments and questions in real-time. Traditionally webinars needed to be pre-promoted beforehand and then attendees needed to access a webinar link at a given time. Pre- recorded webinars are also used by many companies and are available on demand. Some live- streams are pre-promoted but it is clear that a lot are broadcast at relatively short notice.
From a video creators point of view live-streams are easy to produce. There’s no requirement for hours of editing or time consuming studio setups because you can simply record from your smartphone or laptop. So has the widespread adoption of live-streaming brought only benefits? Not exactly…
The Disadvantages of Live- Streaming
When compared to a well-structured and or well-edited video from your favourite vlogger or company the average live-stream is a much poorer audiovisual experience. The lighting is not as good and the sound quality is not as good. In most cases sound and video quality do not match the levels achieved by pre-produced videos. The live connection with your audience is extremely valuable but for those watching a recording of the live-stream later the experience is not as satisfactory.
Many live-streams last around 60 minutes which means a significant part of your day could be taken up watching talking heads.
Is the Webinar Dead?
No. For B2B companies there is still a a place for webinars within their marketing arsenal. Content quality is important. A perfectly scripted and focused webinar with a mix of presentation materials, live action and audience interaction has proven to be particularly effective with a targeted audience. The webinar remains an excellent method of selling B2B products and services. Many successful B2B companies including Salesforce still make extensive use of webinars and I’m sure they will continue to do so.
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This is blog post post number 394.