Last updated on January 13th, 2023
Webcasting is something a lot of new and small businesses are unaware of even though it has so many different benefits to offer. As a result, I often get questions asking what webcasting actually is, how can it benefit businesses, and how exactly can a business begin webcasting?
Here, I have pulled together an ultimate guide about webcasting. I have aimed to answer all the above questions while also providing my best recommendations for a good webcasting software.
Webcasting is something that relies heavily on technology so having the right kind of software to meet your needs is vital for its success.
If you want to learn what you should look for in a webcasting software or simply want a few recommendations to get started with, then please check out the article below!
All About Webcasting
First, let’s talk about webcasting – what exactly is it?
Webcasting is a relatively new type of medium that all kinds of businesses are starting to use for lots of different purposes. They are a type of virtual event or internet ‘broadcast’ attended by an online audience.
Webcasts are generally attended by large audiences reaching numbers in the thousands, and are typically formal and informative.
Webcasts work by recording or live-streaming real events.
They work like a presentation that can be accompanied by visual aids like slideshows or infographics, or they could just be a video of a single person speaking to a camera.
They are then streamed to a single content source available online so multiple people can view or listen to the webcast either as it’s happening or on demand after the webcast is over.
There are a lot of different ways webcasts are used today.
Some content creators use them to provide content to their audiences (kind of like a podcast, but live and with visuals), while online learning platforms use them as ‘virtual lectures’ to provide their students with informative lessons.
Some businesses even use webcasts to livestream in-person meetings to employees who could not attend, to host marketing presentations to potential clients or investors, or to provide training for employees.
In recent years, webcasts and other types of virtual events like webinars have grown in popularity.The industry is projected to reach $800 million by the end of 2023 (a 46.2% increase from its 2015 worth) – so why the sudden demand for webcasting?
The Rise Of Webcasts
In 2020, 39% of people attended more webinars and webcasts than they did in the previous year – and the reason why is clear.
The number of employees working from their own homes tripled between 2019 and 2021 due to the effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
Since then, more workers have begun to work remotely at home and one study even projected that by the end of 2025, 36.2 million people will be working virtually – a 16.8 million increase compared to pre-COVID19 numbers.
One study found that 64% of workers would consider quitting their current job if they were asked to return to the office full-time, and another survey found that the reason why 43% of its participants left their previous job was because there was no allowance for remote work.
So, offering options for remote working could actually help improve employee retention rates for businesses too!
However, remote working does come with its challenges. One survey found that one of the biggest challenges of remote working in 2020 (during the height of the COVID19 pandemic) was communicating with employees and co-workers.
35% of survey respondents said their biggest challenge was collaborating with both colleagues and clients, while another 35% reported that it was feelings of isolation and loneliness.
For businesses, this means that they need to look for new and effective ways to interact with their employees in order to overcome these challenges.
Just like how remote working looks like it’s here to stay, so do remote working tools and softwares. 60% of business executives plan on prioritizing their spending on tools to help with virtual collaboration – and one such tool is webcasting software.
The Benefits Of Webcasting
So, webcasting really took off thanks to the COVID19 pandemic but businesses are not only using webcasting to keep in touch with remote employees and colleagues. Like I mentioned earlier, there are lots of different ways businesses, teachers, and online content creators use webcasts.
This is because webcasting has a ton of different benefits.
Firstly, it’s an effective form of training to offer employees.
A 2021 survey found that 88% of employees have said that they prefer to remain with companies which offer good training and opportunities for development, and 96% said that it was very important for them to receive online training to improve or refresh their knowledge and skills.
As a result, on-demand online learning resources like videos, webcasts, and webinars, are incredibly popular with employees and students.
The same survey from 2021 found that 36% of employees found these materials the most effective form of training – even overtaking one-on-one training (25%), work-based learning (17%), and classroom-based learning (12%).
Also, 91% of B2B professionals claim that they prefer to use webinars and webcasts for information in their industries, so there’s also a demand for webcasting content out there outside of training.
As creating content for websites is also key to SEO, some businesses have taken to hosting webcasts and webinars to create content for their websites and to find potential leads for revenue generation.
As a result, webcasting is also an effective way to market products or services to potential customers and clients. It falls under the category of video marketing, which 92% of marketers value as an ‘important part’ of their overall marketing strategy.
However, some of the biggest challenges that come with video marketing for marketers is the time and effort it takes to create this kind of content. Luckily, webcasts are pretty easy to prepare for, create, and broadcast (especially if you are using a good software for technical support).
According to studies, hosting webcasts and webinars can help businesses attract an average of 30% cold traffic – these are visitors who are completely new to your business and so, webcasts are a great way to generate new leads.
Webcasts also have a customer conversion rate of 15% and other surveys have found that businesses who use webcast and webinars reached additional leads (76%), extended their brand (75%) and reached target audiences (45%).
So, it’s clear that webcasting is an effective marketing strategy businesses can benefit from.
Another huge advantage of webcasting is how flexible and accessible it is for your viewers.
I mentioned earlier how webcasting is a great way to connect with remote employees and clients (that’s why webcasting took off during the COVID19 pandemic in the first place) but there benefits go beyond just that.
A webcast can be accessed live or on demand, so those potential leads who cannot make it to the live virtual event don’t have to miss out.
They can also be viewed from any kind of location so you can extend your audience reach beyond borders, and they can be viewed on multiple devices such as desktop PCs, tablets, or even smartphones for ultimate accessibility.
So, there are a ton of reasons why businesses are opting to use webcasting – whether it’s to connect with employees, for training purposes, marketing, and more.
As a result, a lot of businesses also need access to a good quality webcasting software with the features and technical support they need.
Best Webcasting Softwares
After much research and many trials, here are my top recommendations for the best webcasting softwares. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages so some softwares will work better for different businesses depending on how you aim to use your webcasts.
Nonetheless, each one is great in quality and has some amazing features – I hope you agree!
ON24 is a versatile software that allows for more than just webcasting – you can introduce audience interactive features while also offering vital back-end data insights for your business analytics and reporting.
Businesses can either live stream or pre-record both audio and video webcasts, allowing audience members to view the webcast in their own time with the ability to pause, fast-forward, and rewind so they can have the best experience possible.
Although traditional webcasts do not feature audience engagement, businesses are given the opportunity to include features to encourage audience engagement and interaction.
Some examples include the ability to ask questions, complete surveys, and even react with emojis!
As for pricing, ON24 Webcast Elite does not publish its payment plans online but businesses can directly contact the company and negotiate so your business has all the features it needs while paying for what you actually use.
ClickMeeting is a webcasting platform that is usually recommended for online learning and education. A lot of its users are independent teachers, but I also find that it’s a useful webcasting software for company training, conferences, and general meetings.
You have the option to run on demand webcasts, live webcasts, or even automated webcasts so you never have to worry about working your webcasts around your busy schedule.
This kind of automation is great for lead generation and providing a regular, reliable webcasting service to your company and clients.
On top of that, ClickMeeting offers great scalability so you can easily increase your audience max count as your webcasts (and your business) grows in popularity.
As for price, ClickMeeting is actually pretty affordable with numerous plans (and a free trial) available from their website. This makes it a lot easier to fit this webcasting software into your budget no matter the size of your business.
As a webcasting software, ClickMeeting is incredibly versatile as you can use it to easily hold small meetings with your employees or hold large conferences with thousands of audience members.
GlobalMeet is another live webcasting software designed for businesses big and small. It’s cloud based so it can be accessed on a range of devices, with an easy to use interface that can help make creating webcasts a smooth experience.
At glance, it shares a lot of the same features with other webcasting softwares but what makes GlobalMeet stand out from the rest is its deeply comprehensive analytics and reporting features, and its great security.
A lot of webcasting competitors use different room IDs for business meetings, and this can cause a lot of confusion when it’s time to start letting people into your webcast. With GlobalMeet, login details and passwords are much easier to manage.
As for analytics and reporting, GlobalMeet dives deep so you can get a clear image of all of your webcasting data. This is incredibly useful for helping businesses track their webcasting successes and can even help with follow up communication outside of the webcasts.
GoTo offers a ton of softwares to help with different business solutions, but its webinar software also has a webcast mode to help host large scale webcasts with live audio and video, alongside additional audience engagement features if you want to use them.
It aims to increase accessibility by offering up to 3,000 audience spaces and allowing attendees to join from browser apps to mobile apps.
The software also offers integration with other applications like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Outlook, so you can collaborate with others to create some truly amazing webcasts.
If you don’t want to create live webcasts then GoToWebinar also offers the ability to create, pre-record, and schedule webcasts so you never fall behind.
Another great feature are the private registration links which help businesses control who can access their webcasts and webinars, so this additional security feature is a big benefit to a lot of businesses.
The final webcasting software I will be recommending is Cisco WebEX.
Cisco WebEX is a webcasting software with features to benefit before, during and after your webcasting events. This includes a great support team with registrations and reminder features to help communicate with your collaborators and audience.
There are plenty of engagement features on offer during the streaming and no limits on the length of broadcast time. You also have the ability to host up to 100,000 live viewers – although this can be adjusted with your payment plan.
There’s also the option for surveys to help provide you with key statistics and data so your business can better understand the impact of your webcasting.
Throughout all this, Cisco WebEX offers great customizability so you have full control over the layout and appearance of your business’s webcasting, all while delivering a high quality webcast.
Webcasting Software Buyer’s Guide
So, those were my top recommendations for the best webcasting software.
Of course, each software has its own advantages and disadvantages, which means that each business will prefer a different webcasting software.
There is no ‘one fits all’ with softwares for your business, so you need to consider a lot of different factors to help you choose the right one.
Here are some factors I think businesses should keep in mind when searching for the best webcasting software.
I used this same criteria to choose my recommendations above, so check them out below and I hope you find this buyer’s guide for webcasting software useful!
First up is stream quality.
Your webcasts can either be streamed live or recorded for later uploading, but either way you want the quality of your visuals and audio to be clear and as perfect as possible.
These webcasts will be reflecting your brand and it’s important for your business to appear professional and competent in order to inspire your clients and employees.
After all, if your webcasts are glitchy, laggy, with crackling audio, how are you supposed to convey important information to your viewers?
So, stream quality is a big factor for choosing the right webcasting software. Every business should aim for the best quality possible to ensure your information comes across clearly and your business is represented in the best way possible.
You also need to consider how large you estimate your webcast audience to be. Most webcasting softwares will charge more to allow more audience members for your webcasts so to save on costs, you will want to avoid paying to empty virtual seats.
The average webinar attendance is roughly only 40% to 50% the number of people who registered which means that a lot of spaces you pay for can also go to waste!
Trying to find an average audience number for webcasts can be difficult. It’s easy to find the right software when using webcasts for business announcements and meetings with your employees because you know how many employees you have.
However, if you plan on using webcasts for marketing purposes, then the number of audience members you can expect depends on how successful your marketing campaigns were.
As a result, it’s important to be prepared for a large number of webcast attendees but don’t go overboard – or you may end up paying more than you should!
Analytics And Reporting Features
Analytics and reporting are an important part of running a business as it provides business owners and marketers with valuable insights to help make their decisions more impactful.
32% of companies say that their long-term strategies have been changed as a direct response to data from analytics.
It involves a lot of research tasks, handling a lot of data but the end results are usually worth it – marketers can have a better understanding of their target market, business owners can make informed decisions regarding their products and services, financial advisors can give more effective advice, etc.
As a result, you may want to opt for a webcasting software that offers analytics and reporting features. These can provide you with data regarding how many visitors your webcast had, how many views, how often those viewers stuck around, and more.
This can help you measure the success of your webcasts to see if they are a valuable feature to keep around – or if they are relatively unsuccessful.
Some softwares even offer survey features to ask visitors and viewers what they thought about the webcast. This can provide your company with incredible feedback to make important changes to your webcasts to help them be more successful.
Finally, we come to the final but arguably most important factor for deciding on the best webcasting software for your business – price.
Costs are a big concern for all kinds of businesses, with 38% of businesses failing because they fail to generate new revenue and end up running out of cash.
This means that a lot of businesses try to cut back on spending and expenses as much as possible to help them widen those profit margins.
So, the cost of your webcasting software is a very big deciding factor. Some softwares are available for free but has seriously limited features which can affect your branding and stream quality.
Others offer a ton of features including analytics, reporting, bonus webinar options, and more – but for an incredibly high price that is far beyond a lot of small business’s budgets.
Ultimately, you need to decide how much you can afford to spend on your webcasting software and if it’s really worth it.
I would recommend trying out a free software at first to see the kind of reaction and benefits you get from your webcasts before upscaling to a better software to really improve their quality.
This way, if webcasting doesn’t work for you and your business, you won’t have wasted so much money on a software you will barely use in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Webcasting And Webinar?
This is a mistake I often see people make but there’s actually a distinct difference between webinars and webcasting.
The difference is easy to remember as long as you know the difference between a seminar and a broadcast.
A webinar is a ‘web-based seminar’ and seminars are used in education to give students a chance to interact with their lecturers by asking questions, asking for feedback on their projects, and basically gaining personal support to help with their studies.
They are usually a lot less informal than a lecture, are presented to relatively small groups of people, and webinars give students the opportunity to talk directly to the lecturer during real time.
Webcasting does not have this kind of personal interaction. Webcasting takes its name from ‘web broadcasting’ and broadcasts involve almost no kind of interaction at all between the ‘lecturer’ and the viewers.
This is because webcasting is usually performed to thousands of viewers, making interactions much harder to do outside the infrequent questions and answer sessions.
The lecturer lectures, and the viewers sit and learn until they are given the opportunity to ask questions without interrupting the broadcast in any way.
So, if you are looking for a way to include audience engagement throughout your webcasts and you are only livestreaming to a very small amount of people, then you are actually looking to start webinars rather than webcasts.
What Are The Two Types Of Webcasting?
There are actually many ‘types’ of webcasting that fall into different categories.
For example, webcasts can vary when it comes to purpose (online television programming, radio content, investor presentations, e-learning, content creation, etc.) or how they are presented (audio webcasts which use no visual aids like graphs or diagrams, or video webcasts which do use visual aids throughout).
Webcasts also fall into ‘types’ depending on how they are made available, such as on demand webcasts or live streamed webcasts.
So, there are no ‘two’ types of webcasts. There are actually many due to the various ways webcasts can be made, for what purpose, and how they are published.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Webcasting?
I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of webcasting but it’s only fair that I also make you aware of the downsides to this medium.
The most obvious disadvantage is the reliance on a steady internet connection for a reliable live stream.
The internet is prone to disruptions and no matter how much you prepare, your webcast could still suffer from lag, glitches, or cut out entirely due to a drop in connectivity. This is more likely to happen the more viewers you have on your webcast.
Not only is this disadvantage really frustrating, but it can also reflect badly on your business.
Investors may think you’re incompetent for continually facing disruptions with your webcasts, or casual viewers you hope to turn into customers may drop out because they’ve become bored or disinterested after disruptions.
Another disadvantage is that webcasting very rarely has any opportunity for two-way interactions between the audience and the broadcaster (your business).
The limited interactions make it difficult for audiences to feel engaged and for businesses to clarify questions – especially if the webcast is recorded and not performed live.
Despite this, webcasts still have plenty of advantages too which you can read about further up the article.
Webcasting is not something that will suit every business but if you have a lot of remote employees to communicate with, want to include engaging content for your business’s website, or try a new and exciting marketing strategy to generate new leads and conversions, then webcasting could be a huge benefit to your business.
However, webcasting also relies heavily on technology and I strongly recommend that you find a good quality webcasting software that meets all of your wants and needs.
I have included my recommendations above along with a handy buyer’s guide to help you find your own ideal webcasting software.
I whole you have found this guide to be insightful and helpful and remember – my inbox is always open for more questions and queries! Good luck with your future webcasting endeavors!