Webcasting for the Enterprise – Part 2

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In this follow up post, I’ll go through the advantages and pitfalls of having an Enterprise create and maintain an internal webcasting service from scratch.

Does it make sense to have all Enterprises invest in building/supporting a streaming infrastructure, studios, application licenses, systems and people to support an internal multimedia department? Would that internal infrastructure be more flexible to leverage new tools in order to deliver cutting-edge solutions and services than external companies?

A few years ago, the answer would have been a resounding “yes”.  However, the technical barrier-to-entry and costs keep inching lower, while vast improvements and innovations are made in cost-effective and efficient webcast services, it is now much harder for me to answer that question. It also doesn’t help that you have various types of webcasts, based on your content and audience. All of which need to be supported. Remember, it’s not just about traditional video streaming. This includes webinars, multi-stream solutions (desktop capture + video capture), IP-based video broadcasting to your customer briefing centers, etc.

Some companies still like to build their webcast operations from scratch, but too often are trying to keep up with the rest of the industry, which turns into a McGyver Syndrome (short term patch across their entire digital workflow and infrastructure). This is where consistency of these webcast services negatively affect the viewers’ experience, actually hurting your Brand and convolution for troubleshooting/maintenance/improvements activities. The viewer expect your webcast to work, especially from an Enterprise. After all, they can do a live stream from their cell phone! You also have to take in mind the total cost of ownership for this set up, which can be highly prohibitive in these economic times.

On the other end, some companies rely solely on external vendors, but there again lies another problem: consistency in the media experience which again can hurt your Brand, not to mention costs.

The most effective way to look into setting up your webcast strategy is to look at it, not from a technology/cool factor (which we’re often drawn to), but from a business perspective. I know it’s the much more boring approach, but one that your management, shareholders and industry would appreciate. Every webcast needs to make money and/or generate qualified Leads. Here are a few options to think about:

  • Sponsoring your webcast
    There is always room on a computer screen to add static or revolving sponsor logos. If you’re doing a webcast about Storage, ask your storage partners to see if they would like to participate in sponsoring your event. This would offset some or all of your webcasting costs.
  • Capturing user behavior
    Leads aren’t the bogus email addresses you get from a registration form. Your Sales team will let you know. Instead, capture the information from that registration form and what they did within your webcast window. How long did they stay on and did they ask any questions? What questions did they ask? All of these answers will help you get the picture of where your Lead is at. Either nurture it into a qualified Lead over time, or if they are ready, give them a call to get them converted into customers.
  • Promotions/Ads
    Have product/services promotions incentives for your viewers for the day of the webcast only. Deals of the Day have to be better than what you currently offer on your site.
  • Trials
    The best way to show your product is to let users play with it. They will see the value of your product through their experience with it. Having links on your webcast landing page (or after the webcast) to try your products for free for 30 days will go a long way.

Now that you know what information you want to capture to prove ROI, take a look at the various offerings out there. Which ones would be the best fit for integration into your analytics, lead generation, marketing automation services? Quite a bit of external webcast services/solutions will drop from your list. With that short list, see what service/solution provides you with 80-90% of what your webcasts will consist of. From there, you should have a very short list for evaluation.

Most of the time, you’ll find out that setting up webcasting for the Enterprise is a little mix of in-house and external resources. In-house for overall webcast/digital strategy and the integration of these solutions with your systems, and external for delivering the polished webcast services. This formula will help you keep your TCO down, while proving the business results from these webcasting activities for the well-being of your Enterprise multimedia group and your company’s investment in this field.


~ by laurentbridenne on November 17, 2009.

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