Companies that closed their door for in-person business found new opportunities in digital events. According to The Manifest, webinars and webcasts increased in popularity in 2020, helping businesses remain connected with their customers amid the COVD-19 pandemic
About one in four people (39%) attended more webinars or webcasts in 2020 than in 2019, according to a new report from The Manifest, a how-to guide and research blog for small businesses.
In the business world, webinars consist of online events that mirror in-person seminars, presentations, workshops, or classes. Webinars allow for two way communication between presenters and attendees in real time.
Webcasts are similar, except the event is generally pre-recorded then shared online. This structure limits interaction between participants, but extends the shelf life of the content and information shared.
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Although webinars and webcasts have been around for years, they really found their moment in 2020 as the COVID pandemic spread across the globe.
Businesses leveraged webinars and webcasts to continue to connect, communicate, and engage with their users or customers.
More Than One-Third of People Attended a Live Webinar in 2020
Because most, if not all, in-person events were cancelled in 2020, businesses had to think of more creative ways to share information about their products and services.
Webinars were the answer for many companies. In fact, 36% of people attended a live digital event in 2020.
The ability to connect digitally is appealing for both businesses and their customers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit personal interactions.
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Webinars, however, offer benefits beyond filling the gap left by in-person events. In the future, small businesses can continue to use webinars to:
- Engage and interact with their audience in real time
- Connect with small groups
- Share niche, specialized content
- Generate leads
Small businesses should consider investing in webinars to access these benefits even as communities begin to open up for in-person events.
Nearly 1 in 4 People Attended a Pre-Recorded Webcast in 2020
Webcasts also experienced a boost in popularity amid the pandemic — 22% of people attended a pre-recorded digital event in the past year.
Like webcasts, webinars provided companies with a way to connect with their audience and share information about their products or services.
Traditionally, webcasts are easier to produce. Businesses only need to focus on using the right technology to efficiently record and share their content, rather than planning for managing and encouraging interactions with listeners.
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Webcasts can also be shared on social media and reach a wider audience. Small businesses planning for the future can use webcasts to:
- Provide long-term value for their audience
- Connect with larger groups and communities
- Share broad, informational content
- Reach new audiences
Small businesses should consider adding webcasts to their long-term strategy.
The Manifest’s 2021 Inbound Marketing Survey included 501 U.S. consumers that receive marketing emails.
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