How to Select a Webcasting Solution
Today, more and more businesses are webcasting. In fact, the vast majority of businesses in one survey used a webcasting solution regularly. For example, B2B companies hold almost 61% of the total webinars held in a year.
On a related note, businesses today have a global clientele. And they need to reach this audience instantly, on the devices they use every day. That means utilizing digital tools to reach people instantly. Live streaming is the best way to do this, and webcasting is a subset of live streaming. In a business setting, the most common uses of live streaming are:
- Internal meetings
- Conference keynotes
- As a product (events)
- Marketing, and
- Internal updates or announcements
Webinars are a great way to boost your business. And in this blog, we’ll look at webcasting. Specifically, we’re going to look at how to select a webcasting solution.
What Businesses Need in a Webcasting Solution
Next, let’s talk about what features businesses may need in a webcasting solution. To understand this, we should understand why businesses use webcasting. The top reasons that businesses organize webcasts are:
- To educate existing and potential customers (88%)
- Generate leads (77%)
- Building a strong market position (60%)
- Convert new contacts (54%)
- Make new contacts (31%)
- For the purpose of recording (30%)
Based on these uses, we can identify 3 key features for a professional webcasting solution. Let’s look at these now.
1. Live Streaming and VOD Hosting with Automatic Recording
84% of B2B customers opt to watch replays over live webinars. But live brings a key element of authenticity and builds “FOMO” that’s key for video marketing. Therefore, a business webcasting platform should be capable of both live streaming and VOD (video-on-demand) hosting.
Plus, it should offer automatic recording so you can make your live webinar available for later viewing. Automatic recording means that your webinars can be available for viewing instantly after they finish, without any extra input from you.
This functionality is built into a lot of webcasting programs. But not all of them. Some platforms only support VOD. Others only offer live streaming functionality. And some include both, but not automatic recording.
2. Scalable from Small to Large AudiencesWebcasting is a global phenomenon. The average webinar contains participants from at least 2 countries, and sometimes more than a dozen. A successful webinar may include as few as a half-dozen participants (quality is often more important than quantity).
However, sometimes you’re operating at the other end of the spectrum. A highly successful webinar could have hundreds, thousands, or even more viewers. And occasionally, a major product launch or event could attract millions of viewers. When this happens, you don’t want to leave people hanging by having streaming failures that leave thousands of viewers hanging.
The best way to host a scalable live stream at maximum quality is to use a webcasting solution with CDN delivery. This is actually uncommon among webcasting solutions. Most use internal server networks for delivery.
In contrast, using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) means your webinars will be delivered by a network of thousands of servers located around the world. These servers use sophisticated load-balancing algorithms to automatically route viewers to fast, nearby servers. Using a webinar solution with CDN delivery is the best way to increase the scalability of your webinars.
3. Webinar Monetization and Analytics
The third essential feature for a modern, professional webcasting solution is tools for monetization and analytics. Webinars are increasingly used as a direct means of revenue. People can register for paid webinars and must pay a registration fee in order to watch the content. Usually, this fee will give them access to both the live streaming webinar, and the VOD recording.
Built-in monetization tools are, unfortunately, rare among webcasting solutions. But a functional tool for professionals should include some monetization tools. This includes the ability to monetize via transactional (pay per video) and subscriptions (pay for ongoing access to a library of content). Both options are great.
Whether or not you are monetizing your webinars, video analytics are very valuable. Tracking statistics about your live streaming webinars allow you to know which programs are successful, and which are not. Streaming analytics also allows you to track where your audience is watching from, which devices they are using, how long they watch, and much more. All of this data is incredibly useful as you refine your webinar strategy over time.