What are the benefits and challenges of both podcasts and webinars?
Businesses everywhere are constantly looking for the next best thing in marketing. The next best trend to jump on, the next best strategy to utilise, and the next best way to promote their products and services. Well, podcasts and webinars may be the answer.
Of course, traditional marketing methods (social media, email marketing, blogs etc.) are still the leaders in marketing, but space is quickly opening up for more modern methods, and we think you should harness this.
In this blog, we’ll talk you through the benefits of podcasts and webinars, explaining the what and why along the way.
The forever growing popularity of podcasts
A podcast is an audio file posted on a website or streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts, for people to listen to (yes, that’s all – nothing fancy or complex). They usually consist of one or more people speaking on a specific topic, perhaps with guest speakers or professionals.
But why should businesses care about podcasts?
Well, 25% of people in the UK are regular podcast listeners, and 50% of people have listened to at least one podcast (according to Social Shepherd). That’s a rather large audience of people that businesses are missing out on by not utilising podcasts.
Benefits of podcasts
1. Your voice can be heard – literally
Every business has something to say. Whether it’s the benefits of the product or solution you’re selling, the values that drive your business, or the story of how and why you came to be. Traditionally, these things are told through social media, website pages, or emails, but podcasts enable you to shake it up a little and release something fresh.
2. Reveal the person behind the brand
It’s not often that customers will get the opportunity to hear the voice, thoughts and expertise of those behind the products/services they’re considering investing in, and by humanising your business, customers are more likely to feel a sense of authenticity, which is a huge positive when it comes to branding.
3. They’re convenient and accessible
Podcasts are typically accessible on most streaming platforms, meaning customers can listen to them when and where they like. There is no need to commit to a specific date or time.
4. They’re highly reusable and recyclable
Once recorded, a podcast can be snipped into shorter sound bites and used as more marketing material such as blogs and social posts. One podcast can generate recurring traffic and encourage subscribers and referrals.
Challenges of podcasts
1. Not very interactive
Podcasts are a one-way conversation with the listener, there is little opportunity for your customers to interact or engage with you, making it hard to measure the responses or actions of your listeners.
2. Minimal data and metrics to track
With only a small amount of data available – such as the number of listens or their geographical location – measuring the success of your podcast can be hard.
3. Popularity of podcast makes them competitive
Although podcast popularity is a benefit, it also means that the field is competitive. You’re likely to be up against other businesses doing similar things, which is why finding your own unique angle is so key.
The winning force of webinars
Usually involving speakers, slides, polls, Q&A sessions and images/videos, webinars are live (or pre-recorded) presentations. Typically, viewers will need to sign up in advance, then log on at the pre-arranged date and time to watch the webinar take place.
The purpose of a webinar is to educate and inform your audience on a relevant topic to do with your business. This could be a product, a launch, a success story, etc.
Webinars are very popular amongst businesses, with 61% of companies using webinars as a content marketing tactic (according to data from CMI).
Benefits of webinars
1. Interacting with customers
Live webinars allow for interactions to take place in real time. This interaction is key for building brand loyalty, as the experience feels personal and as though real attention has been given to customers.
2. Showcase products in action
What’s a better way to showcase the power of a product or solution than by simply displaying what it can do. In a webinar, this is possible. Businesses can get hands-on with their own products and show the benefits in real time.
For visual learners, this is particularly important.
3. Address any feedback or objections live
If a customer is confused or has an objection to something you are promoting, a webinar is the perfect time to de-tangle their query. In this environment, all other viewers can also see the feedback being dealt with, squashing their own concerns at the same time.
4. They feel exclusive
By having customers sign up in advance, and will therefore receive an invite to your webinar, there is a level of exclusivity involved. This is a great way of showing your customers that they are valued and that you care about their attendance.
5. Webinars provide valuable insights
From attendance rates and engagement levels to conversion rates and feedback scores, there is a lot to be learnt from the data gathered during a webinar. This data can then be leveraged for future webinars and marketing efforts, giving you informed insights into your customers and their behaviour.
Challenges of webinars
1. Marketing in advance
Unlike podcasts, you can’t just announce a webinar on the day and hope people will turn up. Marketing needs to be done beforehand in order to get people to sign up and hopefully log on on the day.
2. Technical errors
A strong internet connection and good streaming equipment is needed when hosting a webinar. Without this, things can go wrong on the day – glitches, interruptions, connection loss.
3. Time consuming for customers
If a potential customer is not available on the exact date and time of your webinar, they cannot join. Of course, they can watch it back afterwards, but many of the benefits mentioned above would not be possible.
Webinars with Octima
We also help many of our brilliant clients to market and stream their webinars. If this is something you’d be interested in, contact us today on 01202 022108.