From Webinars to Webcasts – Best Practices to make the Jump to Video

best practices to make the jump to videoVideo is everywhere in our world today. It’s an expected part of our interactions with friends, family and business. Companies today leverage video not only to tell their story, but to generate leads and interest in their product. Video drives discussions, and decision making. Video educates and informs. Given this wide adoption (and expectation) that consumers have to see video, it can be surprising to see how many webinars today still don’t incorporate video in some fashion. The reasons for this are probably many – but as video becomes more accepted as a communication tool, even the most reluctant of marketers would be wise to evaluate when and how to incorporate it into their online event marketing strategy. If you are assessing a leap to video, here’s a few items that may help to make the transition successful.

Don’t make the leap to video just for the sake of doing it. Don’t just require your presenters to turn their webcams on for their next event. It’s actually hard to demonstrate an increase in attendee retention, or engagement just by adding a webcam to a presentation. Talking head webcams do not automatically add a benefit to an event – and depending on the presenter and the content, web cam video can actually detract from the overall effectiveness of online material. Analyze your material to determine if video would provide a benefit to the message and structure of your content, and ask yourself if video would improve the overall quality of what you’re presenting. Then, incorporate video only when and where it makes sense to do so. If your existing content would not clearly benefit from the addition of video, then work to develop content that is designed to incorporate video from the start.

Video is more than just web cams- it doesn’t have to just be a live talking head of a presenter. Consider adding pre-recorded video content into your materials, as a way to edge into adoption. Client testimonials, product demonstrations, corporate and conference videos can all be great elements to add. Always be sure that the streaming bit rate of your video is within an acceptable limit for your target audience. Also make sure to not lose focus on the other elements of your events, just because you are incorporating video. At it’s best, video is just another tool that you can use to further engage your audience – but you will never want it to become the only tool that you keep in your toolkit.

If you want to do live webcasts, find a good proof of concept event to use as your first event. A great way to do that can be to incorporate a webcast onto an already existing event such as a town hall, company meeting or keynote at a conference. Live webcasts typically utilize professional Audio Visual and encoding equipment, and by piggybacking upon an already existing event you have a good chance that some of this needed gear will already be onsite. In most cases you will be hiring an outside production company to help produce your webcast, so ensure your vendor has the experience to successfully and professionally complete the job.

Lastly and as with most things, you will want to find ways to measure the impact that video has had on your campaigns – hopefully for the better. Working with platforms that can offer you detailed demographic and in-event data is always a great place to start. Consider surveys and other feedback options to help you get an unbiased view of how your audience has reacted to these changes.

Incorporating video into an existing event campaign can be a challenging step – but it can also be a spark that can breathe new life into your marketing channels. It’s important to remember that video is most effective when it is used in conjunction with traditional elements of an online event; it should not necessarily replace those elements.

V2 is a leading provider of webinar and webcasting services worldwide.
Written by guest author Aaron Cole, Director, Business Development at V2.