Guide to getting results from live online video webcasts

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It’s becoming increasingly apparent that video is an integral part of the future of marketing. In fact, as marketers shift to a model of discovery and engagement driven by content, they’re finding that video is no longer optional – it is fast becoming a compulsory channel to reach and engage your audience and deliver your message successfully.

If video is the high-octane fuel that drives content marketing, then live streaming or webcasting is rocket fuel – the most powerful, engaging, interactive communication medium you can get your hands on. Importantly, the barriers around production costs and technology are starting to fall away as marketers start to take the next step to embrace the potential of live video.

Capitalising on live video has never been easier or more cost-effective, but to ensure you get the most out of it here are five top tips to guarantee a successful webcast for you and a great user experience for your audience.


Like comedy, successful webcast delivery is all about the timing

If you are targeting a corporate audience, the optimal time is late morning or early afternoon. Avoid lunchtimes or anything too early or too late; 11am or 2pm are pretty much ideal for maximising viewer attendance and engagement.

Speaking of timing, don’t confuse the length of your webcast with value. Advertisers spend millions trying to keep our attention for a 30-second commercial, so don’t expect everybody to stay online for a 90 minute yawn-fest.

The good news is that live, interactive video webcasts have the highest audience retention rate, but keep it concise and respect the intelligence of your audience with a brisk, dynamic pace.

ALSO SEETo see a webcast in action, tune in to Marketing‘s regular one about B2B marketing, The B2B Lab.

A key advantage of live streaming is that you can extend the reach of your audience to anyone, anywhere so make sure you take into consideration your audience time-zone as well. How many of us have registered for a live webcast or webinar, only to discover that it’s being run out the US at about 4am in Australia? It’s not a good look, so don’t make your WA, Hong Kong or Singapore audience have to tune in during breakfast, because they most likely won’t.


Engage, engage, engage…

Great webcasts are not passive; they interact, stimulate and engage the audience on every level.

There are a multitude of engagement options available and you should use as many as you can to make it feel like you are really connecting with the audience through their screens.

Synchronised PowerPoint slides are a great start and provide a visual reference to your dialogue. However, to facilitate true two-way engagement, you should look to the online Q&A function, live chat or Twitter.

Q&A is a direct question to the presenter or moderator and is not seen by the rest of the audience. The questions can be reviewed and responded to during or after the presentation depending on relevance, giving you maximum control.

Live chat and Twitter are open – so everyone can see them in the live feed in the webcast interface. Moderation options are available if you are concerned about content but in general they facilitate open discussion during the event.

Real-time polls and surveys can be pushed out to the audience during the event, with instant results available for everybody.


Maximise the value from the re-play

Nothing beats a live webcast for registrations, attendance and viewer engagement. But the reality is not everyone is going to be able to watch at the scheduled time. But that’s OK, you also have a great opportunity to sweep up the rest of your potential audience by being switched-on about on-demand re-play.

First, plan your post-live communication before the event so it’s ready to go and doesn’t become an after-thought. By all means be timely in publishing the on-demand webcast on your website straight-away so people searching for it can find it. However wait a day or two before emailing the on-demand link to your audience so people are more receptive to hearing from you again.


Re-purpose your live webcast for effective content marketing

Engagement (average watch time) is significantly lower for on-demand video content than live so factor this in to your planning. For longer webcasts (30 mins plus) think about breaking up your on-demand content with bookmarks or editing into smaller segments so viewers can go straight for what interests them most. If it’s compelling they’ll end up watching more segments, but give them the choice.

Done effectively, the recording of a 30-minute live webcast can give you five x five-minute video segments of compelling multimedia to fuel your content marketing strategy.


So, you have their attention – now it’s time to get them to do what you want

One of the most compelling reasons for webcasting is that you have someone looking at your webcast interface for a long, long time. In the world of web tracking, getting eyeballs on a page for 30 minutes or more is just unheard of – so make the most of this golden opportunity.

Whether you want people to subscribe to your mailing list, download a whitepaper, make an appointment or straight out buy from you, this is your chance. You can easily convert your audience by adding links to your subscriber form, downloadable sales support material, or lead capture forms, you can clearly insert them right there in the webcast interface.

Simply by joining the dots properly and making the path to conversion front and centre, you can effectively turn viewers into results.



* Sponsored content is content that has been created by or on behalf of a partner of Marketing and published by Marketing as part of a commercial arrangement. As with all opinion articles, any views represent those of the author only.

Nick Whitehead
BY Nick Whitehead ON 30 April 2014
Nick Whitehead is head of sales at Viocorp.