Will Live Streaming Replace the Webinar?


By: Lisa Wozniak

There has been so much excitement within the last year or so about Live Streaming. The big question seems to be, will Live Streaming replace the webinar? With so much buzz about the ease and reach of live streaming, it would seem that this would be a natural transition. It seems that everyone is getting on the band wagon with live streaming. With applications like, Periscope, Blab, Meerkat, Twitch, Google Hangouts and more, it’s become effortless to reach new and existing customers via desktop, laptop or smartphone. However, let’s take a moment to look at what is offered or not offered by each tool.

Pros and Cons of Live Streaming

With live streaming there can certainly be less time and planning involved. That is, while you’ll want to ensure that you are delivering thought provoking content, there is not the work of developing countless eye catching slides. I’ve seen some folks deliver great live streaming with great content while they’re sitting outside on a park bench and it’s been great. The other great thing about live streaming is that it doesn’t matter how large your follower base is when you get started because you audience will be made up of approximately half of your existing customers/followers and the other half will come from people who just happen upon your live stream and stay because they’re interested in your topic, making it a great way to build a strong follower base.At first glance this makes live streaming an enticing tool. And it certainly is!

Pros and Cons of a Webinar

When we consider some of the cons associated with the average webinar it seems to be an easy alternative. When we think about the average webinar, we conjure up images of the technology hiccups that are often associated with doing a webinar. The planning and development of a webinar certainly takes longer. Thinking of all of the slides, videos, registration pages and emails that go along with planning a webinar can make the strongest of us exhausted just thinking about it. They also have a tendency not to be as interactive as live streaming. When you’re in live streaming, you feel so connected with the presenter, it’s almost as though you are right there and the two of you are chatting. With webinars you often don’t get a clear vision of who the presenter really is as a person. It can often feel as though it is not very transparent. You see the presenter sitting in what appears to be a posh office with an expensive suite and lots of money talking about how you can be living the dream too; when in reality many of us, in the back of our minds wonder if that person, underneath the top half of the suit have their pajamas on and the backdrop of the posh office is taped to the back wall of their basement.

However, you can’t deny the power of doing webinars. They give you the ability to deliver sound structured content in a way that will poise you to be an expert in your industry in a very tangible way. You have an audience of enthusiastic listeners who have carved time out of their schedule to be there to listen to you, they can be automated, and a webinar requires that customers sign up to be present giving you the best way possible to collect the leads you need for your marketing funnel. There are no sign ups to do live streaming.

Perhaps the best approach is to embrace live streaming as a means of delivering the best webinar possible rather than replacing the webinar all together. Some of the best webinars I’ve attended have utilized a component of live streaming in their webinar making it very interactive. An even better approach might be to utilize live streaming to build excitement for your upcoming webinar. It can be a great tool for redirecting traffic to your registration page.

So, I guess at the end of the day whether you decide to do webinars or live streaming really depends on what the goals of your business are, at the point you decide which tool you want to use. If your goal is to build and strengthen your marketing funnel giving you a significant lead base to market from, then webinars are still your best bet. If you want to establish yourself as a credible authority in your industry then delivering a powerful and structured webinar utilizing live streaming will pack a powerful punch. If you want to grow a fan base and interact with customers and direct them to revenue building areas of your business, you can’t get a more powerful tool than live streaming. But rest assured live streaming and webinars both have a significant place in your business.

We’d love to hear from you. Do you feel that live streaming can replace webinars in business? How do you use the power of live streaming in your business?

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