By Brenda Timm, Vice President – Strategic Communication & Online Services

Today’s consumer is plugged into a variety of channels. She’s busy and wants the option to process content however and whenever it’s most convenient for her. An interactive, engaging format is a plus, too.

Enter the podcast and webinar. As more marketers get on board and implement these tactics, here are two stats that highlight their effectiveness:

  • 2/3 of B2B marketers are using webinars and 66% describe them as effective (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 65% of listeners say they have increased purchasing intent after hearing a podcast (Adweek)

While marketers often see the opportunity for live broadcasting as having big appeal, users actually like the fact that most webinars and podcasts provide “anytime access” after airing so they can choose when to watch and/or listen. In most instances, accessing the content is also free or low-cost – a definite plus for cost-conscious consumers who are looking to build their trust in brands and rely on multiple sources in the quest for useful info.

A closer look at the top advantages of webinars and podcasts:

The Webinar

  • An engaging method for informational, how-to, product demo or other storytelling in a visual format (people LOVE visuals!)
  • Gives marketers a way to reach larger, more global audiences and put a face (or a few) behind their business
  • Showcases a company’s knowledge or expertise in specific topic areas and can be used to incorporate relevant products/services

The Podcast

  • Relatively simple to create and ability to download is quite universal when saved in MP3 format
  • Smart solution for Q&A discussions, panels or other sessions with multiple speakers
  • Presents a larger story with more details in a format that’s easy-to-digest and designed for on-the-go listening

Technique is critical when creating webinars or podcasts for your business. Keep in mind that the consumer is in the driver’s seat and his hectic schedule and viewing/listening preferences will dictate whether or not he’ll play the content and how long he’ll stay tuned in. Too much of a sales push could be a deal breaker as could the lack of good, quality info that quickly gets to the point.

Marketers are definitely starting to see the value and effectiveness of developing webinars and podcasts. These can be two great tools to add to your marketing strategy if you use them right.