The webinar has become a vital tool in business communications, especially in recent times, but if these live events don’t gel with your marketing plan, there is another way.
The pre-recorded webinar could be the unique approach you’re looking for that still connects you to the masses.
What is a pre-recorded webinar? A pre-recorded webinar is a seminar or presentation that can be shared online to an intended audience, with the video being recorded before it’s shared.
Compared to a webinar that streams live to attendees, the pre-recorded alternative could be a better fit for some businesses.
If you’ve been looking for more marketing platforms to harness, the pre-recorded webinar could be it. This guide will explain what they’re about, their pros and cons, and which platforms are worthy of creating your content on.
What is a Pre-Recorded Webinar?
The definition of a webinar is a web-based seminar, that is a video presentation that exists in the online world.
When webinars rose to popularity, it was commonplace for them to be conducted live so that the host presenting them could interact with the audience, but as business needs changed, it wasn’t always best to take this approach.
The pre-recorded webinar is designed to be a video presentation still, but it’s recorded beforehand and can be edited as needed.
Once complete, a link to the video can be sent out, it can be added to your social media platforms, or integrated onto your website so that it’s easily accessible.
As with a regular webinar, there are lots of features you can use in a pre-recorded presentation that lets you engage with your audience get the most out of them.
Live chats, polls, and other functions mean that people aren’t simply watching the video but interacting with the presentation as well.
To create a webinar, there are a number of platforms available that use either downloadable software or a browser-based client.
Within these programs, you can edit, market, and share your pre-recorded presentation (see also ‘How To Add Narration To Google Slides‘) with others, and they range from free services to paid plans, dependent on what your business needs.
Why Should You Make One?
A webinar can be a handy tool for any type of business to have, but if you’re still weighing up their worth, it’s a good idea to find out what they can offer. These are some of the benefits that the pre-recorded webinar brings your business:
A polished presentation
There’s a lot that can go wrong with a live presentation and when you’re online, there are plenty of people that will see it.
The beauty of recording your webinar before it goes live is that you can ensure the quality of the message you’re conveying is exactly in line with what your brand is about, and your presentation will be professional and polished.
Variety of uses
A recorded webinar is a great marketing tool to have because of the sheer number of ways that you can use it. Rather than being a one-off streamed event, the webinar becomes a piece of tangible content that you can share around.
It can be trimmed down for social media, imbedded into a weekly newsletter email, shared as evergreen content on your website, or used to entice people to click through on one of your ads.
The time and effort you put into recording the presentation will more than pay off when you see just how much versatility it has.
More confidence from the presenter
It’s natural to get nervous when you’re presenting in front of a crowd and it can be even more daunting when your audience is online.
Just knowing that you’re all alone with your webcam recording a presentation will get rid of these nerves and the confidence that you’re feeling will come across in your webinar, putting the audience at ease as well.
Most of the popular webinar and video creation platforms allow you to use a range of editing tools that will ensure your webinar is the best quality possible.
Calls to action, animated titles, importing other videos and images, trimming and dragging, and more are all available to get a final product you’re proud of sharing.
Use of webinar tools
A common misconception about pre-recorded webinars is that they can’t be interactive, but that’s simply not true.
If you’re using a good webinar platform, you’ll be able to employ all of the usual features that a live one has, including chat rooms, polls, surveys, and integrations with social media.
If you’re using a pre-recorded webinar, you can even have the comments and polls roll in at the same time they did in the live version for a more realistic effect.
Fewer technical issues
Whether it’s an interrupting child or an internet connection that just won’t remain stable, you won’t be impacted by the usual technical issues that occur on a live webinar when you pre-record it.
Even if you do experience problems, they won’t end up on the final cut, so it’ll appear as though the entire thing was easy and professional.
If you’re only interested in pre-recorded webinars, there are plans you can use that just offer this type of service, saving lots in ongoing subscription fees.
Some platforms even offer free use of their tools for recordings, so you might not have to spend anything to create yours.
The Drawbacks of Pre-Recorded Webinars
Pre-recorded webinars bring a lot of value to a marketing strategy but they’re not always the best approach. Some drawbacks come with this style of presentation, so consider whether these might hinder you before you jump in and start recording.
More time consuming
All webinars require a lot of planning and some element of script or notes written in advance so that you can be prepared.
However, with a recorded webinar, you’ll spend even more time on them as you re-record sections that weren’t perfect, watch over them multiple times, and spend time editing them during the post-production phase.
If you want to save time, setting up an automated recording function for your live webinars can reduce some of this effort spent.
Although there are some great tools you can employ in a pre-recorded webinar, it’s just not the same as doing it live.
When you’re speaking live to people you can interact with them, comment on the results of questions and polls, and even have people speak to you directly through the chat function.
This type of interaction can do wonders for how well your webinar is received by the audience.
Fewer emotional connections
When you watch a video that’s been recorded somewhere previously and shared en-masse, it can lose some of its emotional appeal.
Those watching a live stream are more likely to feel an emotional connection to the presenter and the message, as it seems more genuine than something that was recorded long before.
If your brand is striving to make this connection with its audience, it might be best to stick to the live-streamed webinar.
Live vs Pre-recorded: Which is Best?
There are pros and cons to both styles of webinars and it’s likely that a business will find the best success when they’re flexible with how they use them.
Most of the popular webinar platforms allow you to create recorded presentations and stream them live, so you don’t have to choose if it’ll be just one or the other.
The best way to use pre-recorded webinars while still getting the regular benefits of a live one is to integrate it with something else.
You might stick around to chat with people who are viewing it, incorporate it into a blog post where you generate discussion or place it into a paid ad to tempt people to click through and convert.
Some businesses find that a healthy mix of both live and pre-recorded webinars work best for them, and allow them to target exactly who they need to.
When you’re making a marketing plan around your planned presentations, think carefully about whether the messaging and intent would better suit a live or recorded session so you can be sure you’re doing it right.
The Best Platforms for Pre-Recorded Webinars
The easiest way to achieve success with your pre-recorded webinar is by using a platform designed specifically to create and share this type of content.
To ensure you work with the best, these are some of the most highly ranked options for webinar platforms out there today:
As one of the leading webinar platforms, WebinarJam has a lot to offer for businesses who want to pre-record them, and they’re especially regarded for their live webinar tools.
Their best feature is that you can set up automated recordings of webinars so they can be played later, with features like comments and polls happening in real-time to give that interactive experience to your audience.
This gives the best of both worlds with live and recorded presentations that can be created with ease.
With both free and paid plans on offer and no software to download, this is an easy option for all types of business owners.
LiveStorm gives you access to all of the usual features that a live webinar has including polls and questions, but lets you edit videos so that they’re impeccable.
As an all-in-one video engagement platform, it does everything including webinars, conferences (see also ‘Best Virtual Conference Platforms‘), and virtual events, for businesses that need more.
EverWebinar is an offshoot of WebinarJam and this platform is specifically dedicated to pre-recorded content. As such, they have a whole host of features you can use for this type of content.
Better still, it’s priced more fairly for people who have no interest in streaming events and webinars because there are no extra features that you don’t need.
Demio is the best-pre-recorded webinar platform if you’re looking to ramp up your marketing as well, and they’re highly regarded for their marketing tools.
If you want to be interactive with the audience during a pre-recorded event, you can show up in the room and chat with them as well, giving a more realistic feeling to the presentation.
They feature a 14-day free trial while you test them out as well, so there’s no need to lock anything in.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Webinars
A webinar can be a valuable marketing tool if you know how to work it, but there are lots of missed opportunities surrounding them as well.
Check out these tips you can employ alongside your pre-recorded webinar to ensure you’re making the most of them.
Engage in a follow-up
Have a way to capture who has been viewing your webinars and make sure you are engaging with them afterward.
This can be using a chat function during the replayed webinar, sending out a follow-up email, posting questions on social media, or using polls and surveys. If your event isn’t live, it’s especially important not to skip this step.
Use a pre-registration page
Registration pages are essential in webinars as they can help you gauge how many attendees to expect and capture their contact details as well.
These aren’t just useful if you’re doing a live webinar either as they can be used when you’re planning to release new content that’s been pre-recorded.
Create evergreen and current content
To get the most out of this type of content, your webinars shouldn’t just be stock standard themes. Think about some topics that these presentations could cover that would work as evergreen content or content that is always going to be relevant.
Use them alongside up-to-date presentations about things that are happening within the industry or your organization specifically so it’s clear that your webinars are relevant.
Think about the goal
While the ultimate goal of any business is to be successful, you need to have a specific goal in mind any time you create a webinar. Do you hope to asset yourself as an authority in the industry or is it that you want to create more sales?
Think about what you’re ultimately trying to achieve with each webinar and make sure it meets that goal.
Run through the presentation on a test audience
No matter how perfect you present your webinar or how many times you’ve edited the script, nothing beats a live audience to give you feedback.
Before you reach the recording stage, get a small group of people and test the presentation on them to see what they think.
Use work colleagues, friends, and family members, giving you a good mixture that can replicate the potential audience that might watch the real deal.
Don’t try to trick the audience
One of the worst things a business can do is present a pre-recorded presentation as if it were live, so don’t attempt to do it yourself.
Most people can tell immediately if they’re being shown something that’s already been recorded and it’ll leave a bad taste in their mouth about your brand if you’re trying to pretend it’s a live event.
A Key Content Sharing Tool
A good business employs a range of marketing tools to reach its intended audience, and a pre-recorded seminar is a useful one for sharing your content.
Weigh up the pros and cons to see if this tool can help you engage better and enjoy less of the pressure that a live session comes with.
Using a webinar in your marketing plan is a smart way to reach a targeted audience, but it’s not the only way. To find out more about other online communications platforms that businesses use, read on for a few FAQs that can help you out.
Does My Business Need a LinkedIn?
As the leading business-related social media platform, it’s a good idea to have a LinkedIn page to help you represent your business.
Using LinkedIn (see also ‘How Much Does It Cost To Post A Job On LinkedIn?‘) can make it easier to network with others, build a list of contacts, hire employees, and share original content related to your industry.
Is Google Meet or Zoom Better for Video Calls?
Google Meet and Zoom are both popular platforms for video conferencing known for user-friendliness, and each with something to offer.
Google Meet is best for businesses already using Google Workspace who want to hold small to medium meetings online, whereas Zoom allows for more attendees at webinars and meetings.
Why Do Companies Use Slack?
Companies that wish to communicate with employers remotely, as well as other external businesses, can use Slack as a platform to do so.
Slack allows you to document communication, collaborate with others, and it integrates with many other apps and programs so you can do it all in one place.