Podcasts Vs Webinars – Which one is better?
This question has been a subject of debate for years. Yet, there is no conclusive answer.
Advocates of podcasts vouch for its reach and production value whereas supporters of webinars favor the engagement that it offers as also the ease of using it as a pre-sell channel.
Marketers like Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas found their reckoning with Podcasts and they have done extremely well with their shows.
In fact John’s entire business was build on his Podcast – Entrepreneurs on Fire.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that every podcast or, podcaster will find the kind of response that these marketers got.
Similar is the case with Webinars. While there are a lot of marketers out there who run both live webinars and pre-recorded webinars and use them to promote their products and services, it might just not be the kind of medium that everybody prefers.
I for one, am a little averse to webinars primarily because I feel that more than it being a knowledge transfer session, it is a soft sales pitch with very little of value being shared.
So for me, a podcasts vs webinars comparison has a straightforward winner – Podcasts.
But can a decision be made only on the comparison based on a couple of factors?
Is it that straightforward?
Both these channels have their own positives and the choice of which one to use could entirely be a decision based on your business strategy. Yet it is important to also understand the negatives for both of them, just so that you do not pick the wrong one.
Today, we will evaluate the two broadcasting methods and let you arrive at the answer yourself.
What Are Webinars?
Webinars are like online seminars where you can deliver audio-visual content.
Typically, a webinar includes a live presentation or video, followed by a Q&A session. They also have options for conducting polls and screen sharing. Attendees need to pre-register and can interact with the hosts in real-time.
Pros of Webinars
- Webinars offer a multi-sensory experience to audiences since they combine audio and visual content.
- By making the admission chargeable, webinars can be monetized.
- While most webinars are live, sophisticated webinar-hosting platforms allow you to load webinar content in advance. You can queue content blocks and set screen controls before the actual event. You can duplicate recurring webinars using automation.
- Participants are more engaged since the entire event is live and video-captured.
- Webinars attract quality audiences since they require people to sign up and sometimes pay for participation.
- You have the privilege to connect with audiences in real-time. You can modulate your content to match the audience’s body language and response.
Cons of Webinars
- Webinar content can’t be polished post-production.
- Viewers can’t scroll through a webinar since it’s live.
- The viewership is restricted to registered attendees.
What Are Podcasts?
Podcasts are like radio broadcasts but over the web. They are mostly pre-recorded and freely downloadable.
Pros of Podcasts
- People find podcasts easy to consume since they can be listened to on the move.
- Podcasts are more widely-used than webinars. Most Americans are familiar with them.
- You can build a consistent viewership by creating a series of podcasts.
- As podcasts are pre-recorded, their content can be edited after production.
- Due to their free model, podcasts draw larger audiences.
Cons of Podcasts
- The audience quality of podcasts is not as good as in webinars.
- Engagement is also lower since listeners may be distracted owing to the non-visual nature of podcasts.
- There is no real-time interaction between hosts and listeners.
- In the absence of visual elements, the scope of podcasts is limited. They can’t be used for practical teaching-learning.
Wrapping Up – Podcasts vs Webinars
As you can see, both webinars and podcasts come with their own set of challenges and opportunities. The winner of the podcasts vs webinars can be decided by assessing your requirements.
What you want to accomplish by broadcasting will determine which mode you should use.
If you need more information on this topic, check out this concise infographic by FLOW.
About the author
This post is written by Belal Atiyyah, CEO – Omnovia Technologies Inc
Belal has had a 30-year international business career spanning energy and technology. He has a BEng in Electronic Systems and a Masters in Business. His passion is strategic problem solving through technology.