Webcast Service Solutions for Your Business
Wouldn't it be great to be able to deliver a powerful sales message or demonstrate a new product to a worldwide audience without having to leave your office? For years, businesses and entrepreneurs have been relying on web broadcasts, i.e. webcasts, for this very purpose. By using the Internet to deliver video and audio, webcasts can save money on travel and provide a level of convenience that a live presentation can't match.
Webcasts, webinars, and web conferencing
When it comes to online marketing and presentation, it's easy to confuse the purpose of a webcast, a webinar, and a web conference. Here are the basic differences between each broadcast method:
- Webcast. An on-demand or live presentation streamed over the Internet via video or audio. May be broadcast as a planned presentation, or presenters can take questions beforehand or even conduct real-time polling. To view a webcast, visitors simply need a media player - typically Windows Media Player or RealPlayer - and a link provided on a website or in an email.
- Webinar. A seminar broadcast over the Internet, often used for interactive training since viewers can submit questions to a guest speaker or participate in online polls (similar to a webcast format).
- Web conferencing. An online meeting conducted through a combination of telephone and Internet collaboration. Meeting audio will be transmitted via VoIP; meeting video may be streamed via PC WebCam through a web conferencing program.
Although the terms listed above are often used interchangeably, they serve different purposes in business-to-business and business-to-customer communication. Nonetheless, many webcast providers now offer features in webinar broadcasting and web conferencing within one service package.
How can a webcast service benefit your business?
All you need to deliver a webcast is a computer and input devices - a sound card and microphone, plus a video card or camera. You'll also need encoding software to convert your presentation to a streaming media format and a high-speed Internet connection.
Of course, not everyone can view a webcast as it happens. That's where the power of archiving comes in. You can record your webcast/webinar and allow visitors to your website to view the program whenever they want. Since it's no longer live, viewers can jump ahead in the presentation to view only the material of interest to them.
Given its versatility and accessibility, a business may use a webinar or webcast for the purpose of:
- Product demonstration
- Online presentation
- Document collaboration
- Large client meetings
- Sales pitches
Many webcast and webinar services are equipped with registration tools that allow a business to invite specific attendees to a presentation. An even greater advantage is the fact that each attendee must fill out a registration form and provide their personal information before attending an online event. A business can use this simple tactic for long-term marketing and lead generation.
Using a webcast service: Your recipe for success
Here are some helpful tips to get the most of your webcast service:
- Know before you go. Before you even plan your first webcast, make sure you understand how it works, where to get support if you need help, and how to use the applications. Whether you are a novice or an expert, find a webcast service that is easy to use and that you'll be comfortable with.
- Get it right the first time. You don't have a lot of time to correct mistakes during a live webcast. Practice frequently before you go live and make sure you have support to iron out difficulties.
- Promote it. What good is a webcast if nobody knows you're running one? Be sure to clearly present when the webcast will take place and how it can be viewed later.
- Record to backup. Even if you don't intend to archive your webcasts, make sure you're recording the presentation anyway. This way, if anything goes wrong, the viewer can access the material later on.
- Get to the point. You certainly don't want to overwhelm viewers with information. Make sure to present webcasts in segments so users can pick and choose the topics they're interested in.
- Knock down the barriers. A network firewall or a pop-up blocker might not let viewers access the browser needed to view the webcast. Alert users to disable these features to experience the presentation.
- Pick the right connection. In order to avoid a slow or choppy connection, give visitors an option to select low or high quality video based on their Internet connection speed.
Before making a final decision on a webcast service provider, consider the features you will need to deliver a top-notch presentation, as well as technical support needs for ease of use. A service provider that can offer the best of both worlds will help you to make a remarkable impression on clients and customers. Plus, bonus features like phone, email, and live chat support and tutorials will ensure that you use your service to the fullest.
With that in mind, two of the most popular services are:
In business for more than 20 years, TelSpan provides global platforms for connection, communication, and collaboration through simplified conferencing events that offer online registration, streaming media, conferencing, hosting and archiving. Audio plans range from $19.50 for 500 minutes per month to about $87.50 for 2,500 minutes. Web conferencing with video is $25/month for 10 seats or $45/month for 25 seats. They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Founded in 2001, GreenLight is focused on simplicity and affordability while providing intuitive audio, web, and video conferencing (with up to 12 cams) that allow for meetings on demand (launched instantly by you or a team member) and collaboration that includes presentations, drawings, and documents.
Based in Adobe Flash, it requires no additional software to run. Plans for participants range from 10 to 1,000 and cost $25 to $400 per month, per host, respectively.Ready to Compare Web Conferencing Services Price Quotes?