Webcasting is one of the most exciting tools that has come along in terms of video in the past decade. While once upon a time you had to record presentations, upload video segments to hosting sites, or simply rely on telecommunication, today’s webcasting capabilities mean you can tap into a substantial viewership on the fly and for a reasonable cost. Webcast providers offer standard fare options, such as cloud-based data management solutions, troubleshooting assistance, and varying audience sizes. If you’re just on your first webcast, though, here are a few tips about how to make it a success.
- Do a Test Run
Webcasting is a common tool for many businesses, both SMBs and large corporations alike, and there are lots of options out there that allow for trial runs and tests. The easiest way to learn how to webcast effectively is to simply put yourself in the environment firsthand. When you’re shopping around for a webcast platform, look for a provider that offers this option. Not all providers do, and that should be your first indication that you’re not dealing with a high standard of business. Webcasting isn’t new technology, even though it’s revolutionary in terms of how video is presented and distributed to viewers. Look for a webcasting provider that freely offers trials and training in order to really get a feel for the technology. You shouldn’t have your first webcast also be the first time you’re actually in the system.
- Determine Audience Size
There are many different types of webcasting you can do, and audience size varies widely. While you can narrow an audience to a specific group, with BlueJeans video webcasting you can actually reach up to 5,000 viewers. Consider the type of presentation you’ll be making and to whom you’re trying to connect. If you’re dealing with an industry trade audience that’s familiar with the product or service you’re touting, or even introducing for the first time, cut the small talk and obvious explanations. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a more diverse crowd who may or may not know the lingo of your trade, then keep your explanations more general. In short, it’s all about tailoring your content to the audience that you’re trying to reach, and ensuring that your style of communication is properly matched.
- Know Your Purpose
It sounds obvious, but many people go into a webcast not really thinking about what the purpose of the actual segment is. There’s a huge range of reasons that companies and individuals alike use webcasts. For example, a newly developing trend in funeral homes is to use webcasting to allow relatives of the deceased to join services if they’re on the other side of the world. According to The New Zealand Herald, a Napier-based funeral home has reported that the webcasting service has become so popular, one in five families now request it. This demonstrates how widely webcasting is used, and for very specific purposes. Therefore, whether your business is a large sprawling retail company or you’re a single entrepreneur peddling a product to a narrow, specialized audience, you need to go into the webcast with an idea of why you’re using the platform. If the webcast you’re planning could just as easily be communicated via photos or another platform, then you’re not using webcasting appropriately. It’s important to know how, why, and to whom you’re webcasting, and make the content of your webcast valuable to your audience.
- Save Your Content
One of the biggest mistakes that many fledgling web broadcasters make is not retaining the content you produce. If you’re using the right type of provider and platform, you will always be able to save your webcast in perpetuity and use it for other purposes. Just like a regular video conference meeting, for example, anything you produce can be recorded, re-watched, and reused. If you decide you want to embark on a marketing campaign using some of the content or points you made in a webcast product launch, then having the data is essential. The bottom line is that you need to make sure you record your broadcast. The way this usually operates is through the cloud, so the amount of data you can store is nearly unlimited. When you want to retrieve information or video content for your own purposes, it’s easily downloadable. This can also be used for training purposes for new employees, or even as sales pitches if you’re trying to bring clients on board. One great thing about webcasting is that it’s also scaleable, so if you’re an SMB trying to break into the video webcasting scene, there are affordable options of which you should definitely be taking advantage.
Once you have saved content, you can also put it online as a series. For example, CottonGrower.com highlights a series of webcasts on cotton put online by the Plant Management Network and Cotton Incorporated, which provides an excellent example of a very specific industry putting content online to connect with a specialized audience.
Live webcasting is the perfect way to bring your product or service directly to a live audience. Whether you’re making a presentation to multiple people or demonstrating a new product to 5,000, webcasting brings your face and brand identity directly to the fore in real time, allowing viewers to make a more personal connection.
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