Webcasting is the process of video broadcasting live over the internet. It promotes real time interaction through the use of an internet chat room as well as social media sites. If you’re looking for a fun, new way to engage with customers and prospects in 2015, give webcasting a try! These 8 tips are sure to help you get the most out of your webcast and ensure that it is an absolute success.
- Create a Marketing Strategy
First and foremost, you must create a marketing and promotions strategy for getting the word out about your webcast. Utilize both print and digital materials to spread the word. Press releases, social media promotions, and email newsletters are all great ways to notify your clients and the public about the event. You cannot expect people to stumble upon it; instead, you must bring it to their attention beforehand. Fliers, print newsletters, and personal emails are also cost-effective ways to get the word out.
- Invite a Live Audience
Live audiences are optional when it comes to webcasts; however, an audience makes it so much more interesting. We recommend that our clients invite a select group of audience members to attend and ask questions during the webcast. It is a good idea to choose people that are important to your organization, such as customers, donors, or volunteers. A hand-picked audience ensures that you are choosing people who truly support your organization and are willing to engage during the webcast.
- Enlist a Savvy Chat Room Moderator
In addition to a live audience asking questions, you will want a chat room moderator to monitor and pull in questions from the internet. This person will be responsible for reviewing all of the questions that come in through the chat room, removing anyone who is being disruptive, and bringing the questions to the attention of the webcast host. Because of these requirements, the moderator should be savvy when it comes to chat rooms and brave enough to raise their hand and repeat the question to the host. Make sure you find someone who meets this description!
- Create a Hashtag
The chat room moderator mentioned above should also be familiar with social media. We recommend creating a hashtag and encouraging conversation on Twitter in addition to the chat room. A hashtag is signified by the pound symbol (#) and used to create conversation around a specific topic. By identifying and creating a hashtag for your particular webcast, you can better monitor the conversation on Twitter. Come up with a unique hashtag and ask viewers to use it to ask questions on Twitter both before and during the webcast. If you have PowerPoint slides, include the hashtag in the bottom corner as a friendly reminder!
- Utilize Multimedia
An hour long webcast can get kind of boring if there is just a talking head. So, consider incorporating different types of multimedia including slides, video clips, and still images. A mix of all three is even better! For key points, keep a PowerPoint up on a TV in the background. If you have a skilled producer, he or she can switch back and forth between the PowerPoint and the speaker as well as mixing in short video clips (with or without audio) and still photographs. You have to remember that people will be dropping in and out of streaming your webcast and you want to do everything you can to maintain their attention.
- Conduct a Demonstration
During your webcast, consider conducting a live demonstration of the product or service you are talking about. For example, when we worked with Community Health Initiative (CHI) Haiti to produce their webcast, Dr. Chris Buresh brought in a water purifying system to demonstrate how it’s made. Props like these will help to further engage the audience and mix things up.
- Set up Google Analytics
If you do not already have Google Analytics or another stats package set up for your website, you will want to do so before your webcast. Through Google Analytics you will be able to monitor how many people visited the webcast (if it is being hosted on your site), how long they stayed, if they traveled to any other pages on your site, and where they came from. You can even set up goals to track how many viewers came from your Facebook post or which ones continued on to your contact page.
- Make a recording
Finally, you will want to make a recording of your webcast so that you can repurpose it in the future. This will allow you to send it to those who were unable to view it live, add it to your YouTube page, or cut it into several episodes and create a miniseries for your website. Most importantly, you will want to make sure you have an archive of your webcast in case the need to use it or review it should ever arise.
Remember these 8 tips when you begin planning for your next webcast. If you need assistance with producing a webcast, contact Informatics. We are experienced with producing, distributing, and marketing webcasts and would love to help you with your next project!