Today there are a seemingly unlimited number of different ways to connect with others online. The screen has replaced our need to see each other when speaking, but not the demand to connect face-to-face.
Every day millions of people choose to speak together over video. From conversations with grandma to webinars about climate change, people tune in every day, from all corners of the world, to connect person-to-person.
Live video communication has become an essential part of any business communication. But with so many ways to chat over video, what makes one video connection different from the other? And why would you choose a webinar over a video call - or vice versa?
In this article, we’ll give you the rundown on the differences, similarities and best uses of webinars and video calls for your business. We’ll also help clear the air about if a webinar is like Zoom (spoiler, it’s not) and explain why webinars are key to your marketing strategy.
By the end of this article, you won't have to wonder if that invite you're sending is to a webinar vs a meeting, you’ll only have to focus on making sure whatever you’re creating is great!
But first, let's begin with the basics. What is a webinar?
A webinar, as the name suggests, is a web - seminar. Merriam-Webster defines webinars as “a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments.” Webinars can be events, video presentations, workshops, product demonstrations, business pitches and so much more. The key element of any webinar is the flexibility and ease of two-way communication between the host and their attendees.
Video calls, in contrast, are “an act or instance of communicating with one or more people using a smartphone, mobile device, webcam, etc., to transmit and receive both audio and video, “ according to Dictionary.com. This means video calls are a type of communication that utilises video and audio.
But let's be honest, we probably don’t have to explain what a video call is to you - millions of video calls happen every day between friends, family and colleagues.
Now that we’re familiar with the definitions of both a webinar and a video call, we can start to break down how they differ, how they are similar and how to utilise them best.
Webinars engineered to engage and grow your business.
Let's get into more detail about how and why webinars are used. Webinars often involve video presentations, workshops, seminars or lectures with a large(er) amount of people. Webinars are created with a specific focus in mind and usually have a host that leads the conversation between the audience and presenters. While both video calls and webinars engage in two-way communication, webinars are formal events where presenters speak the most.
One key identification of a webinar versus a video call is that webinars schedule in audience engagement. Audience engagement is part of a webinar with Q&A sessions at the end of the event to allow for attendees to ask questions and engage with hosts or chat boxes to drive conversation.
Other engagement tools like CTAs create continued engagement by attendees and hosts after the webinar. In this way webinars are not only built to engage with the audiences, but also to build better audience and customer relationships.
This brings us to a signature element of webinars, the platform they are hosted on. Most webinars happen on a specific webinar platform made and are customised for specific business needs. Since webinars are so focused on audience and host engagement, the best kind of webinar platforms have content integration, CTA and Q&A sessions built into the platform.
Webinars can also be live or on-demand, meaning that people can have access to the webinar after its live showing by watching a video. The ability to watch and replay the webinar gives flexibility for attendees and creates organic marketing content. Infact, pre-recorded webinars are some of the most popular types of webinars, which is likely why 94% of webinars are available on-demand.
Webinars go beyond communication, or video calling, and work as powerful lead generation growth tools. On-demand webinars or evergreen webinars are valuable lead magnets and enhance the brand experience for customers by giving them a holistic introduction to your brand or business as a whole.
Webinars are also huge marketing content creators since they organically create video content while also creating millions of different avenues to expand content creation. In this way, webinars can be a huge asset for marketing strategies.
Need some proof? For B2B business, webinars have been shown to turn a whopping 73% of their attendees into leads. And for webinars that include video content, it’s been shown that 7.8 out of 10 average attendees turn into qualified leads.
Video calls, created to connect you, eye-to-eye.
In contrast to video calls rarely go beyond your own personal or work bubble, they are a form of communication between smaller, inner groups of people. One survey found that 80% of employees use video calling for 1:1 meetings, making them perfect for intimate socialising. So while webinars are set up, scheduled and marketed to grab those potential leads, video calls are often used on a need basis.
Video calls are more informal and there are fewer tools to engage with. Even video calls used within the workplace often only offer screen sharing or chat boxes as interactive features. The communication is focused between the few people on the call, not on the visual or engagement aids.
Basically, webinars are there to engage and create seminar-style value, while video calls are used as a tool of communication. While both may use live video, webinars stream this video out to attendees while video calls have both participants sharing their video with each other.
Businesses may also rely on video calls, for example to connect two teams for a last-minute change in scheduling. But webinars will be used to pitch new products or show product demos to stakeholders and reach new customer bases online. As you can see webians are a super star marketing tool, while video calls serve as one cog to keep the company running.
The power of a branded webinar platform and why video calls are just not the same.
Webinars are an extension of a brand or company. Webinars are promoted, created and customised on branded webinar platforms, to not just share their business but they brand story before, after and during the event.
One huge difference between webinars and video calls is the type of platforms used. Many of you may be familiar with Zoom, a video calling platform. Because video calling is much more informal, when you meet on Zoom it looks and feels like… well Zoom. However, with webinars every meeting and every video is able to like your brand, to look like you.
Webinar platforms can be personalised and customised to create a story about your brand. There are many different ways to brand a webinar, from landing pages to promotional content, brand colours, backgrounds and even email templates. Personal touches make clients and customers feel connected to the business as a whole - not just the fraction they are being introduced to on the webinar.
Branding is so important to increasing ROI that it has been shown that consistent branding across a business’s communication channels can increase revenue by up to 23%. And with webinars often being used on top of the funnel marketing strategies, brand consistency and customer engagement are key to generating leads.
To break it down, webinars are created with a specific purpose and marketing strategy in mind, while video calls are used as a tool of communication. As you can see webinars are a valuable marketing strategy, and while you may need to make a few video calls to create a webinar, no video call can create the same value as a webinar.
With webinars being a brand-enhancing, customer engagement and lead-generating multi-marketing tool, you are probably wondering why you’re not already hosting your own.
When you’re ready to get started, we’ve got your back. Here at Tame, we offer free demos tailored to your webinar needs and personalised support so you won’t have to dive into this alone. Reach out to us and we’ll help you every step of the way.
- Tame: “What is a webinar? Understand the basics of a webinar”
- Merriam-Webster: “webinar”
- Dictionary.com: “video call”
- Live Webinar: “Webinar statistics 2021: 70+ webinar stats you need to know”
- Tame: “Lead generation and webinars: how webinars serve as the ultimate lead engine”
- Tame: “Recording your webinars | Evergreen and on-demand webinars”
- Tame: “How to grow your content strategy with webinars”
- Tame: “Why webinars are essential in your marketing strategy”
- Webinar Care: “39 Webinar Statistics 2022 – Effectiveness, Attendance and All”
- Get Voip: “The State of Video Conferencing in 2022”
- Tame: “The importance of branding your webinars”
- Smallbiz Genius: “50+ Eye-Opening Branding Statistics - 2022 Edition”