Let’s look at the webcast. This can be a very powerful communication tool for some businesses but it is surprising how many do not even consider using them. Like many tools it’s not suitable for every kind of business but for some it is significant so let’s take a look at it in closer detail.
So firstly, what is a webcast? In simple terms it is the broadcasting of an event where your audience is watching and listening to something; just like watching an event on television, except that it is over the internet and onto a PC. A webcast uses live streaming technology to enable viewers to watch the event in real time but it can also be watched ‘on-demand’, that is in effect a recording can watched too and this can help significantly with your marketing efforts. Typically there is no audience interaction, a webcast tends to be a watch and listen affair, though there are signs this is changing.
These types of events commonly will fall into two categories. The first type is where a person, one or more, is teaching, training, educating on whatever the subject happens to be. The second type is where a webcast is done from a seminar, conference, exhibition or other type of event. For many businesses the former will be produced within your business using equipment that you have bought whilst the latter will often involve using a third party company to produce it. I will look at this in detail separately when I come to look at webcasting services.
If you don’t want to search through I have picked three examples that highlight the kind of thing that can be done with webcasting.
Firstly, if you click on this link you will see a webcast by Samsung to launch their Bada platform. This is a classic example of the kind of event where webcasting comes into its own. I cannot think of a better way of communicating this launch to its worldwide customer and supplier base than through this.
Next onto Operation Best Wishes. This is a project where families of U.S. service people serving abroad can do a webcast sending their messages out to loved ones overseas. You can learn more about at the Operation Best Wishes website, or just take a look at the video below.
If you live in the U.K. you may be interested to learn that, according to research by Mintel, one in five weddings now take place abroad. I have seen this trend developing myself with friends and associates and, though, it sounds a great idea, I have always thought it must be very sad for those who want to go but cannot, for whatever reason. Enter cancunliveweddings.com/! Yes, they webcast your wedding; what a brilliant idea and I’m sure there is a great demand for their services. This is a great example of a business exploring and utilising technological solutions. The video below shows Fox News talking about this growing use of webcasting, or as someone has unimaginatively named it, wedcasting!
So now you should have an understanding of what webcasting is. Unless you have a ‘Eureka’ moment I would advise you to check out posts that I have written concerning podcasting and webinars too. There is crossover potential and similarities between these different formats and businesses often forget that one, two or all three of these can be used in the same campaign. An example of this would be webcasting a speaking event and releasing parts of the audio as a podcast.
As with all digital communication tools you can get fantastic reach using webcasting. People can watch from wherever they are in the world and so, inevitably, you can get through to people who simply would not otherwise be able to see the event. This means their costs are massively reduced, as commonly will yours too as a business. No hotel and travel costs for your staff to travel to some distant place. You can also use your webcast in many different ways after the event to continue marketing.
Lastly, take a look at this excellent article. It is quite comprehensive covering measuring ROI for webcasting, before, during and after tips, along with best practices for webcasting. Well worth a read, you’ll find it here.