Webcasts That Work: The 4 E’s of Enhancing Your Webcasts
In today’s increasingly tech-savvy world, people’s attention spans seem to lower daily while the bar for online video continues to rise. As live streaming becomes a “must-do” for all your conferences, meetings, or shows, there are things you can incorporate to not only attract attention to your event but to drive ROI and get the most bang for your organization’s buck.
1. Elevate Your Sales & Marketing Efforts
Live webcasts are often part of an organization’s broader sales and marketing plan. If you are using your live event video to support sales/marketing initiatives, there are a few “extras” that can help you capture valuable leads and increase the impact of your brand.
Registration: Capturing leads is a challenge for every sales and marketing professional. Why not put your webcast to work for you by implementing a registration screen for lead generation purposes? Adding a form to capture the attendee data you need pre-webcast can give you valuable opt-in contact information. You can also use this information to email users reminders and event follow-up messages.
Customized branding: Monetize your event video by incorporating sponsor branding in whichever places within the video player you require, or simply maximize the impact of your own organization’s branding.
Contests: When you’d like to gather contact information but are concerned about making event registration mandatory, integrated contests can be a terrific way to collect user data in a more subtle way.
2. Engage Your Audience
Audience engagement should be a key part of your overall webcast plan. Just because some of the audience is tuning in from home doesn’t mean they can’t feel included in your event. Interactivity is the key to attracting and retaining viewers, and is one of the main reasons live streaming can be so exciting.
Social media integration: As the wild popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter continues to grow, integrating your webcast into these channels can only add to your message’s stickiness and visibility. By streaming your event directly to your social media profile pages, you can allow viewers to comment, share, “like,” and more. Alternately, add components of Facebook and Twitter to a webcast streaming from your own organization’s site to help drive traffic there.
Submit a question: As in any presentation, participation is key to learning and collaboration. Allow your viewers to direct questions online to event presenters before or during your event; questions can then be addressed during the live broadcast.
Polling: Like submitting a question, polling allows your audience to participate and feel included in your live webcast. Survey at-home viewers on topics relevant to your event, then share the results live to keep them engaged.
Presentation integration: As the saying goes, don’t just tell them, show them — and online video is no different. When a speaker needs to refer to charts, data, photos, or other visuals, a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation can help drive the point home for both on-site and remote viewers.
3. Expand Your Audience
You’ve invested a great deal of time and effort in your live broadcast, so it makes sense to make it accessible to the greatest number of viewers, which in turn makes your message exponentially more visible and viral.
Closed-captioning: For users with hearing disabilities, closed-captioning can provide an excellent way to stay connected to an important event. Displaying speaker or other key text immediately under the live event video means that none of your viewers misses even a second of what’s being said.
Multi-languages: Similar to the benefits reaped by closed-captioning, including multi-language support in your webcast allows you to reach viewers in the native language of their choice. You can present viewers with a selection of language, then play a real-time, “U.N.-style” audio translation of the event in conjunction with the live streaming video.
Mobile device streaming: With users watching more and more video on the go and away from their desks, optimizing your webcast for viewing on mobile devices is becoming increasingly important.
4. Extend the Life of Your Event
Although your webcast will end, the benefits receive don’t have to: Making a replay of the live event available online afterward is a great way to keep the event alive, both for viewers who would like to revisit some key points or for new viewers who missed the live broadcast.
Archiving: Maximize the impact of your event by making it available on demand after the live broadcast. For added value, incorporate links to other related media content into the on-demand video or into the page where the on-demand version will be hosted. Statistics show that archived video of events often receives substantially more traffic than the original live broadcasts do. This footage can be professionally edited into vignettes for a terrific long-term source of content for your website.
DVD authoring: Perhaps your webcast is not intended for a wide audience, but you’d still like to share copies of the video with a select group of people. Transferring the video to DVD allows you to preserve the event broadcast while controlling its distribution.