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 Audiences
Webcasting 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.
Comparison of Webcasting Solutions
Now let’s switch gears and talk about some of the webcasting solutions on the market. Some of the most popular webcasting solutions include platforms like GoToMeeting and Zoom. However, these platforms have some serious limitations. GoToMeeting, for example, limits webinars to 2,000-5,000 participants. Other platforms include webcasting services like ON24. They offer a variety of services, but pricing is opaque and depends on the exact services you need.
I want to argue that today’s best webinar solution is an online video platform such as Dacast. Dacast includes live streaming and VOD hosting services for professionals. A wide variety of features are included, such as monetization and analytics, CDN delivery via Akamai, automatic recording, and much more. Dacast live streams allow you to
In addition, Dacast offers some additional tools that are very useful for webcasting. For example, this includes email capture and other CTAs (Calls to Action) included in your video. Dacast also offers some unique features like native delivery inside China, a range of video security options, and a video API. Plus, Dacast has some of the most affordable pricing on the market, and offers 24/7 technical support to every single user!
Quick Tips on Webcasting Solutions
- Use a catchy title to build maximum interest.
- Use signups as an opportunity for email capture by requiring users to register before the webcast.
- Tuesday is the best day to run a webcast. Schedule for Tuesday to maximize attendance.
- Prepare for your webinars ahead of time. Have a script prepared. Create a visually engaging presentation.
- When you start, tell viewers what you plan to cover.
- Once you begin, keep the pace up so viewers don’t get bored.
- The ideal length for a webcast is 30 minutes or less.
- Be ready to take questions at the end of the webinar. Twitter is a great way to get questions from viewers.
- Don’t forget about VOD viewers! Up to 40% or more of total webcast views come after the event has ended, so keep promoting your content after the day-of.
Webcasting can help your business promote products, build relationships, finish sales, reach a bigger audience, train people, and save money. To webcast effectively, however, you need a webcasting solution built for professionals. Dacast is a great tool for this purpose, and we hope you’ll check it out.
If you’re looking for a secure online video platform for your webinars, you should consider Dacast. We offer all the features discussed in this article and more. In addition, we offer a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required. By clicking below, you can set up an account and start streaming live webinars in a matter of minutes!