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Shireen Qudosi

Small Business Marketing Tools: Webinars vs. Webcasts

Sep 06 2011, 07:38 PM by

Webinars and webcasts have often been a sore spot for novice marketers because the two sound very similar. However, there’s a lot more to them than just streaming digital data. Webinars are usually intended for a target audience and a select number of people. In the corporate world, webinars reach out. We’ll keep webinars short simply because I’ve written two other blog posts on webinars, which I invite you to read.

With webcasts, let’s first change the term. Let’s switch out webcast for broadcast. A webcast is any digital audio or video streaming information over the internet. It is an online broadcast and calling it such makes it a lot easier to distinguish it from a webinar.

Unlike webinars, webcasts offer more broad-reaching content with no audience limit. They can be launched in real time or can be pre-recorded to air at a later date. Webcasts are great for businesses that have a message but don’t have the time or funding for hosting webinars.

Wondering which you should use? You’ll hear that webinars are used more in training, with corporate messages, and webinars with education, investor relations, etc. But don’t listen to any of that. To be a top marketer, you have to think of how each communicates a message. For example, you can’t have a live audience or a Q&A session with a webcast, and likewise you can’t really sell or collect an audience with a webinar. So think of what each medium delivers and how each tool can be best adapted to suit your business needs. 

If you’re truly a small business owner, much like myself, chances are you’re going to run into problems with your preliminary webinars, especially if you have yet to create an overall marketing plan or simply lack a marketing background. And if you’re a business owner with several balls to juggle, you certainly don’t have time for learning new tricks. Therefore, I recommend that any small business owner with limited funding and limited staff should consider webcasts over webinars.

If you’re thinking about webcasting, check out Thomas Reuters Webcasting, which over 5,000 companies rely on for multimedia communication. This service allows you to:

Expand your reach across your target audience. And with Thomas Reuters Webcasting you can access their unique distribution network.
Easily engage viewers with compelling multimedia content from Retuters’ interactive, easy-to-use platforms.
Measure the impact your digital content has…And of course with their service, you can take advantage of their user analytics and reporting.

What I love about Thomas Reuters is that they realize the potential of a good webcast, recognizing that a great webcast does wonders in marketing, investor relations, public relations and internal communications.

But simply, a webcast – as I always tell my clients – caters to an audience that has limited patience in an instant-satisfaction world. People want information, they want to digest content quickly and easily…they also don’t like reading. A webcast delivers content in an engaging medium that’s easy to digest, easy on the eyes and it adds warmth to your company or message.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Online Tools and Applications, Online Branding

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Comments

Thomas Carr

Mar 27 2012, 03:48 PM

Interesting take on webcasting vs webinars from a marketing point of view. The two terms are often confused, as there is no strict definition to separate them.