Creating Webcasts for The Win: A Step-by-Step Guide

Regardless of the industry that you’re in, there’s more than just products and services that you have to deliver to your customers. These days, they expect to be fed high-quality content in various forms. Think about the biggest brands out there. What they have in common is, among others, great content. Spotless social media profiles, blog posts, interviews, videos – a supply that would keep you busy for days if you’d decide to binge on it. The fact that it’s not all product-related and takes up many forms is what makes it interesting. What I’d like to focus on in this post is how creating webcasts can help your business grow. Tune in!

Basically, a webcast is a live or on-demand broadcast over the Internet. Usually, they’re regular events and appear at weekly or monthly rates. I won’t go into details describing them because most likely you’re already familiar with the term. You might, however, not yet thought about creating webcasts on your own.

The whole process isn’t that difficult and I’ll have some tips for you later on. For now, I’d like you to realize how powerful online video is – just think how big has YouTube become. Moreover, creating webcasts is rather low-cost and it proves to be a very effective method of delivering content to your clients.

Initially, live broadcasts online were reserved for big events like concerts but now, with all that the modern technology has to offer, literally anyone can do it. People are creating webcasts for both, personal and professional purposes, delivering information to targeted audiences worldwide. Despite the relative ease with which you can broadcast online, thorough planning is crucial. Below, you’ll find a fundamental and logical guideline to creating webcasts, so stay with me!

Best platforms for creating webcasts

First things first. If you’re fairly new to the business of broadcasting online, you might want to look at the Top Live Streaming Services for Webcasts and Live Events before you go any further. The number of available platforms is quite considerable, so everyone should be able to find something that fits their needs.

Now, one crucial thing I’d like you to remember when it comes to creating webcasts is to make sure that the service you’re using offers code to embed the player on your website. It makes a lot more sense for a business to direct traffic to its site instead of to that of the streaming service.

When selecting the platform for creating webcasts, pay attention to its reputation and reliability, the embedding option I just mentioned, the option to go live, as well as any viewer attendance limitations there might be. Other than that, a sensible thing to do would be to test out the streaming service before you go live for the first time. You don’t want to fumble and mess up once you on air.

What is the purpose of your webcast?

This is the most basic question that you need to ask yourself. You shouldn’t jump at the available technology just because it’s there. Don’t let the easy access to it distort your vision. Focus on each video, starting from the first one.

What is it that you want to achieve by streaming live videos online? Another important question would be how are you going to measure your performance? Let’s see if I can give you some examples.

Starting with goals: do you want to generate more leads? Move the viewers closer to purchase? Increase your brand awareness by reaching more people in a cheaper and more effective manner? Introduce new products and services to the market? Create stronger relationships with your clients and prospects? Maybe even reduce the support costs by educating customers? In terms of measuring the effectiveness you can look at: your website visits, the number of webcast viewers, the activity in your live chat.

When creating webcasts, make sure you know not only the road that you’re going to take but also the destination that you want to arrive at. Having clearly set goals is crucial for the next point I’m going to discuss, which is…

Designing the content of your webcast

Ok, so here’s the meaty part. I’ve already discussed how you should set goals for your online broadcast, and another aspect you need to consider in advance is your audience. Think about who are your viewers and what’s the most convenient time for them to watch you if you’re streaming live?

As with any piece of content, when creating webcasts, you have to think from your viewers’ perspective. What are they going to get from investing time in watching your broadcast? What problems are you solving? What answers are you providing? What’s there to learn?

In order to make yourself stand out, try to come up with a compelling title and a good description. Try to be as informative as possible, while going for something catchy but not wacky. The title of your webcast is like the email topic and often it’s the only thing people will read before making a decision to dig any deeper.

Once you start, introduce all the hosts. They have to remember about things like energy, the tone of voice and first person language. When creating webcasts, you should definitely keep your viewers’ engagement in mind. To facilitate interaction, consider installing live social chat on your website. It will allow you to stay in touch with the audience by providing them with a tool to ask questions, voice their opinions, interact with each other and even conduct a poll.

You can encourage the use of live chat by not refraining from a little provocative statements and discussing controversial topics with the guests of your webcast. Also, make use of storytelling. Provide people with concrete examples and analogies so that they can relate better and are more willing to participate in a discussion.

Promoting your webcast

Yet another key part of this guide. What’s the point of creating webcasts if you don’t attract viewers? If you’re only getting started with your webcast series, it would be best to begin its promotion a couple of weeks in advance.

Putting your social media channels to work is a great start. If you have followers on Facebook and Twitter, then posts and tweets informing about the event is the least you can do. Make sure you don’t litter your wall with reminders and instead create a Facebook event, which you can update more frequently, as well as find relevant LinkedIn and Facebook groups to post information about your planned live broadcast.

When letting your social network know about the fact that you’re creating webcasts, include not only the date and time of the broadcast but also information on the topic to be discussed or the fact that there will be live social chat available, which will allow viewers to interact in a number of ways.

To encourage and build viewership, tell people they will be able to easily join the conversation by logging in to live chat using their social media profiles. You should also consider organizing a live contest during the broadcast and inform people about it in advance. Also, why not ask your business partners for help? You don’t have to be too persistent but if you’ll be discussing something truly interesting their clients could benefit from tuning in to your webcast as well.

Closing and call to action

Right, so you’ve managed to successfully go through all the previous stages. Now it’s time to close out strong and put a call to action. Remember the goals you set earlier? Make sure you reinforce your assumptions in this final stage of creating webcasts.

What do you want people to do once they’ve watched your video? What is the desired action for them to take? Whether you want them to buy products, contact you for more information, download something, watch more of your webcasts in the future – include a direct call to action.

You may also consider providing your viewers with a handout, for example, in the form of a PDF summary to download. Aim to continue and drive the discussion with and among the fans on a forum or in chat room and think about following up your webcast with a survey, especially if you’re only getting started.

Summary

There you go, a handy guide to creating webcasts, following 5 basic steps. In order to be able to create great online broadcasts you need to remember to, first, select a platform that fits your needs best, establish goals that you want to achieve with your video, design and deliver amazing content, promote your event in advance and be able to close it out with a strong call to action.

All this, while enabling your viewers to contact you and interact between each other in real-time using live chat software. The installation is a piece of cake and you will surely find more applications for it, outside of facilitating communication with your webcast audiences. Try Chatwee for free now, with no strings attached whatsoever, and let me know what you think.