Live Streaming or Webinar: How to Determine Which To Use.
By Stacy Ketiku
If live streaming weren’t a great idea, do you think virtually all major social media platforms today will support the feature? But does that mean it’s us waving goodbye to webinars? And, how do you determine when to use live streaming or webinar sessions to disseminate content to your audience? Content helps you to nurture and walk your audience through the buyer journey. However, apart from creating outstanding video content, you must also put them on platforms where your target audience can seamlessly access them. With the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, most physical activities have been put on hold indefinitely while others have quickly embraced digital media to host events like seminars, training, conferences, and even social ceremonies. Before you organise your next virtual event, you must determine if social media live streaming or webinar is more suitable for you.
Understanding Both Concepts
Knowing the purpose or goal of the event you intend to organise could go a long way in helping you decide which of the two concepts will yield the most results.
Social media live streaming is most suitable for events or activities that are fun, entertaining and embraces a less formal presentation style. Your brand can apply this video marketing concept when launching a new product or demonstrating how to use your already existing products. You can also use it when you want to bring on a highly respected/knowledgeable individual to speak on a topic related to your industry which your audience is certainly interested in.
Almost all social media platforms now have a feature that allows social users to host Live events where the general social media community can watch and engage with. This is not a pre-recorded event. Instead, it happens in real-time without the need to sign-up, fill a form/register, or login via a unique URL. Let’s simply say the public can freely access your content whether they follow you or not. This makes it a great option for small scale businesses. As well as those who intend to give their customers a more personal feel of their brand.
Although, since social media is the host platform, there’s a lot of distraction and the attendee’s mind could drift away from your content. Regardless, the use of live streaming is advantageous for marketing purpose. As everything happens right on the platform, a lead who is inspired can easily visit your feed to learn more about your brand/product. In addition, if people enjoy your content, there’s a high chance of them inviting their network to attend the live event before it ends. With live streaming, all that a user needs is their mobile phone and social media platforms. There is no need for a third-party app before they can get access to your live event. Also, you can save events right on your feed for those who missed out. And you can go the extra mile by displaying the videos on your website with the use of an embedded link.
84% of marketers consider webinars to be a key part of their marketing efforts. With webinars, participants are invited into a virtual seminar room after registering which leads to a higher level of concentration as a result of the structure of most webinar platforms. Webinar sessions are more effective when you need to put out more professional, educational, or instructional content. Webinar sessions could last up to two hours and you can schedule it to run for several other days. This helps you make good use of your audience’s short attention span. Unlike live streaming, participants can get more interactive during the sessions. Most webinar software has features to raise up hands, wave, chat, take quizzes, poll, participate in Q&A sessions. With screen sharing, attendees can follow through slideshow presentations, reports, guides, and other written content the host shares.
As a host, it is preferable to organise and coordinate your webinar using a computer to enjoy all the features available; especially if you’ll love to record the session. Some software do not have a mobile version or have mobile versions with limited features. For participants to successful access your content, they’ll need to install the software that hosts the webinar. Getting the resources needed to enjoy a webinar could turn off a potential attendee who is looking for a simplified option. When you need to create private or exclusive premium content, the use of webinar sessions is your best bet.
However, it is not so great for marketing to a large audience. And due to the registration process involved in attending a webinar, participants hardly have the chance to invite others to join a particular webinar session. We must also add that getting leads to attend your webinar is a great sign that they have some interest in your brand and need some more motivation to get converted.
Before you go!
A lot of things serve as a burden to people, ensure that accessing your video content isn’t one of them. Give them the chance to participate in your online video activity without any hassle else they will flee. Bearing in mind the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, we believe that you will be able to make a more informed decision on whether to use live streaming or webinar sessions for your virtual events. As highlighted earlier, never forget to consider the purpose of the event, your target audience, and to what extent you intend to make such content accessible to people.