First things first. Webinars are not a new strategy that came about during the pandemic period. They have been used as a marketing and promotional tool by brands for a very long time. Yes, you can say that the pandemic helped give them a boost as live and physical events were restricted because of social distancing norms and COVID-19 guidelines. 

A webinar is also called an online or a web seminar or even a live conference. It consists of speakers (one or a panel) discussing an issue at hand (launches, promotions, news, etc.). The webinar is held with the help of a video streaming platform like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or one of the many streaming services like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. 

In this article, we discuss the better option for brands looking to make the most out of webinars- Live or Pre-Recorded. Also, we look at the pros and cons and help brands conclude as to what delivers the best results. 

How do Companies use Webinars for Marketing and Promotions?

According to experts, brands use webinars in the following ways- 

  • As a platform and medium to connect with their target audiences, both new and existing ones. 
  • To showcase their expertise on a subject concerning the user’s interest thereby building credibility. 
  • Brands also use live webinars, especially during the pandemic for announcing new products or launches. 
  • Webinars are a great lead generation tool that helps a brand when it comes to upselling, increasing email subscribers or offering extra value. 
  • Businesses create PPC landing pages to promote their products via conferences.

Most believe that B2B companies looking to seriously build on their marketing can opt to integrate webinars into their marketing and sales strategies. Most feel that B2C companies, especially E-commerce companies can succeed in webinars if they offer big-ticket prizes. 

Live Versus Pre-Recorded Webinars: What you need to know

  • Live Webinars

As the name suggests, live webinars take place in real-time. It consists of a speaker or a panel sharing their thoughts with participants of the webinar. The time frame can range from anywhere to thirty to sixty minutes. 

The Live Webinar can be help on platforms like Facebook Live or YouTube Live. Or, it can also work on communication platforms like Zoom, Teams, or Hangout through the help of a Participant Link. 

  • Pre-Recorded Webinars

Pre-Recorded Webinars is when a company records the session of the webinar and then shares them with an audience at a later date and time. Many businesses that do not want to take the risks of things going wrong on live sessions to opt for pre-recorded webinars.

Here is an article that explained the Pros and Cons of Pre Recorded Webinars

This also helps the company to prepare well for the webinar, create a script, practice, and record the same. Any errors that are done can also be edited by the video team. Like a Live Webinar, the same can be shared on social platforms or through communication mediums like Zoom and Teams. 

Points of Difference between Live and Pre-Recorded Webinars- 

1 – Real-Time Audience Interaction

On a Live Webinar, the audience interacts with the brand in real-time. In other words, the speaker or the panel can take questions through chats, messages, or even audio during the session itself. This is something that does not take place in a pre-recorded seminar. Yes, you can still request participants to send in questions. However, the same is not done in real-time online. 

2 – Editing and Post-Production

Pre-recorded seminars can be edited to ensure that mistakes do not come up in front of the audience. If you feel that a specific section of the webinar was too weak, you can always re-record the same and ask the video team to integrate it into the webinar. This is something that is not available to you during a live webinar. You have no room for going back and editing the mistakes that were made. 

3 – Audience Connect and Emotional Appeal

Live Webinars have been shown to build better brand credibility and loyalty. Even if mistakes are done in real-time, you can always use it as a goof-up to make the brand appear more humane. When it comes to pre-recorded webinars, there is certainly a lack of an emotional appeal that comes with it. Many people also will know if you are trying to pass off a pre-recorded webinar as a live one. 

4 – Cost Differences and Investments

Most experts agree that if you are looking to work on a tight budget, it is best to go for a Live Webinar. You can use completely free platforms like Facebook Live or YouTube Live and be open to as many audiences as possible. All this without spending a dime. On the other hand, if you are going for a pre-recorded webinar, you need to factor in the post-production costs. 

The Bottom Line

Webinars can be a great marketing tool for brands looking to generate leads, build loyalty and share their expertise with audiences. The pandemic has certainly given this marketing tool some much-needed exposure. What according to you works best? Live Webinars or Pre-Recorded ones? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments below. 

About The Author

Shahid Shahmiri is a digital marketer by profession. He helps online businesses to grow with smart marketing tactics to achieve better sales and leads. He is passionately focused and driven to grow businesses online and can manage the marketing and lead generation process with proven tactics and experiments. Shahid is accountable for analyzing marketing, SEO, growth and dealing with all promotional and media channels.