Why are they good marketing tools?
Both webinars and podcasts are perfect for long-format content, allowing you to dive a bit deeper into your product or offering. They also help you showcase your subject matter experts – and provide them with the perfect platform to convey excitement about your company in a way that won’t come across in a printed piece.
What is the difference?
Webinars – which are also known as a web seminars or webcasts – are hosted online and include both an audio and visual presentation. Typically the visual content is a PowerPoint presentation or product demo. Attendees can watch the live event and submit questions at the end, or they can download an on-demand version after the event. A typical webinar is a maximum of about 45 minutes in length with an additional 15 minutes or so for questions, although if you can tell the story in less time that’s even better. The mechanics of creating a webinar are fairly simple and there are several solutions, such as GoToWebinar and Webex, that make it very easy to invite attendees, host the live event, record the event and offer an on-demand version for ongoing marketing campaigns.
Podcasts are audio only and are always pre-recorded so attendees can listen at their leisure – even while driving home. These should be fairly short. I recommend 5-15 minutes in length. Instead of a conferencing tool, you only need a tool to record and edit the audio, such as Audacity. It can then be saved as an MP3 file and uploaded to your landing page or wherever you’d like to host it. Podcasts can be downloaded, paused and then picked back up again later, so the convenience is hard to beat.
Which one should I choose?
Deciding whether to create a podcast or webinar really depends on the message you are trying to convey. If you need to share complex information that is easier to understand with visuals or by showing your product, the webinar is the way to go. If your message is fairly simple and can be covered without the need for slide sharing, a podcast will work just fine. The more options you give prospects in terms of ways to consume your message, the better, so consider adding both to your marketing mix.
Whichever format you choose, content is king, so be sure to have a well thought out message and think carefully about how you want to present it. How well and how clearly you tell your story is going to be just as important as the vehicle you choose to share it. Consider using two or three presenters so you can make the presentation more engaging and conversational. There is a lot of competition out there when it comes to attracting and retaining an audience, so use whatever you have in your marketing bag of tricks to grab the listener’s attention.