Live vs. Automated Webinar: Choose the Best For Your Business

Live vs. Automated Webinar

In this digital landscape, webinars have become one of the go-to mediums for sharing knowledge, conducting effective marketing, building a reliable brand, and increasing engagement. It offers vast opportunities for businesses across the globe to share relevant content, connect with their potential audience, and grow their sales. Generally, webinars are of two types: live & automated. 

In this blog; we will compare live vs. automated webinars. Here, we will explore the primary differences between the webinars, the pros & cons of live and automated webinars, and which one is suitable for your business. 

So, let’s get started!

What is the Difference Between Live vs Automated Webinar?

In a live webinar, everything is live, from the speaker to the content to the audience interaction, and even the engagement. Whereas in automated webinars, at least one webinar component is automatic. However, other elements of the webinars, such as polls, surveys, and quizzes, can also be automated. 

The primary purpose of live webinars is to deliver real-time engagement and help you make deeper connections with the audience. On the other hand, automated webinars help you reach a broader audience without much manual intervention.

Pros of Live Webinar

  • Real-time Engagement with Audience

Live webinars provide you with everything necessary to connect with the audience in real time. The audience can become familiar with things instantly, ask genuine questions, share comments, or express their emotions and opinions in the live chat directly. It leads to better engagement and helps in building a good relationship between the speaker and the audience.

As a speaker, you can get valuable insights into the audience’s reactions, and improve your webinar approach according to the requirements. Moreover, you can offer a personalized experience to attendees asking questions by calling out their names, thereby increasing engagement.

  • Focus on Increasing Interactivity

Live webinars provide you with ample opportunities for increasing interactivity. Polls & surveys are two of the most common ways to know the opinions and needs of the audience. You can also integrate various quizzes to help attendees test their knowledge about a topic, and encourage active participation.

Further, replying to the comments & any questions of the participants immediately helps you to foster two-way communication. Ultimately, it leads to better interactivity and engagement.

Also Read: 13 Useful Post Webinar Survey Questions

  • Build a Personal Connection and Boost Sales

In the case of live webinars, you get the freedom to build a personal connection with the audience. How? The best thing is attendees can listen, and view the speaker in real-time. Hence, they feel connected with the speaker. It increases the overall trust & credibility of attendees for a speaker, helping to turn first-time attendees into loyal customers.

You can even build a better connection with the audience by sharing your personal story, which ultimately leads to better sales & conversions.

Cons of Live Webinar

  • They aren’t Reproducible

The content of the live webinar is not reproducible. The overall experience of a live webinar happens only when it’s live. You can indeed copy elements that work in one webinar into the upcoming webinars; however, it’s challenging to produce a similar feeling by sharing the recording of the same with the audience.

  • Technical Interruptions can Occur

While conducting live webinars, you should ensure that everything is organized correctly. Despite this, there are chances that you might face interruptions. These could be background noise, internet connection, improper webinar software, or anything unexpected.

  • They are Time-Bound

Firstly, you invest a lot of time & effort in creating a webinar presentation. Secondly, you invest time in promoting the webinar. After this, you get only one chance to conduct a webinar at a specific time. Due to this, people living in different time zones, or having other commitments won’t be able to attend the webinar.

To get out of this, you need to host a webinar 4-5 times per week. Despite this, you won’t be able to reach the entire potential audience.

  • They will Test Your Confidence

While presenting any live webinar, you have to deal with various challenges. These include providing instant answers to questions, handling technical issues, and keeping your audience hooked; these things are hard for a person who has just started conducting webinars. 

If you stress too much, it will even affect the quality of the presentation. To avoid these things, you need to relax and sound confident, and hold the power to present your thoughts to the audience.

Pros of Automated Webinar

  • No Live-Presence Needed

You don’t require a live presence when providing an automated webinar. You only have to create a video presentation once, and you can run that anytime you want.

It gives you the chance to work on internal projects that are highly crucial for your business. So, you can deliver valuable webinar content without your presence, and focus on things that help you grow your business.

  • Watch Anytime

By creating an automated webinar, you provide better flexibility to the target audience to watch the webinar at a time convenient for them. All the potential users in different time zones or busy schedules can benefit from your webinar. Thus, a massive amount of audience would connect & engage with your webinar, leading to a higher number of conversions.

  • They are Editable

In the case of the live webinar, if you get stuck in any question or forget something in the presentation, you don’t get a chance to modify it. However, in the case of recorded webinars, you get the freedom of meticulous editing before hosting it online.  

There is room to make as many errors as you want. You can revamp the content, improve the rhythm, and timings, and polish the media to deliver a flawless webinar presentation with high production values.

Cons of Automated Webinar

  • Requires More Time for Preparation

In automated webinars, you need to spend a plethora of time in preparation. You need to invest time in planning & scripting the webinar. Ensure that every aspect, from the sliders to media to timing to the tone of the webinar, is synchronized to offer users a flawless experience. For the same, you need to conduct multiple edits in your webinar. Also, you need to look after technology & tools leveraged to avoid technical issues. 

The main reason to take care of these things in automated webinars is that you get few opportunities to interact with users. If you fail to do so, you won’t be able to keep the users hooked to the webinar until the end.

  • Less Real-time Interaction & Engagement

The main drawback of the automated webinar is limited interaction & engagement. Here, the entire webinar is recorded, so participants can’t ask questions or get instant answers. This lack of interaction causes detachment and passive consumption of the webinar among users. It further leads to decreased attention spans because attendees would multitask or draw users away from the webinar as it doesn’t offer engagement like a live webinar.

  • They are Not Suitable for Trend

Automated webinars are pre-recorded, and with time, the content becomes outdated. It decreases the credibility of the speaker and webinar. To cope with this, the speaker has to continuously update the webinar content with trending topics, which consume a lot of time & resources.

Live vs Automated Webinar: An Overview

 

Comparison between Live vs. Automated Webinars


When to Choose Live Webinar?

Here are some of the scenarios in which you should choose a live webinar:

  • Suppose you plan to create a direct connection with the audience, provide answers to their burning questions, and form an active environment where you interact with the audience on the spot. In that case, a live webinar is an excellent choice. Also, live webinars enhance engagement via tools like polls, quizzes, and surveys.
  • If you want to establish a solid personal connection with the audience by addressing them by their name, replying to queries quickly, etc., a live webinar should be your go-to choice.
  • Want instant feedback regarding the webinar presentation, content delivery, or anything else during the webinar? Then, live webinars are the best option.
  • Need to share essential announcements, product launches, and updates on other relevant things? Live webinars should be your go-to option.
  • Do you want to showcase your expertise and build better brand credibility among the audience? Live webinars should be your ultimate choice. 
  • If you want to create a strong community where participants can communicate and share their thoughts & learning experiences, a live webinar is the ultimate choice.

When to Choose Automated Webinar?

Here are some of the scenarios in which you should choose automated webinars.

  • Suppose your ultimate goal behind conducting a webinar is to reach an audience across the world in different time zones with less hard work.  In that case, an automated webinar is an excellent option because it provides you with higher flexibility and scalability.
  • Want to provide users an option to view the webinar content at their convenience? Then, the automated webinar is a great option. 
  • If your webinar content comprises in-depth explanations of any particular topic, an automated webinar is a good option.
  • If you have limited time and resources, an automated webinar is an excellent choice. It will keep generating interest in new audiences. 
  • In case your content works well for self-paced learning and experience, an automated webinar should be your go-to option.

Conclusion

Here, we conclude with a detailed comparison of live vs automated webinars. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks. Live webinars enforce better real-time interactions and engagement. Conversely, automated webinars offer high flexibility and scalability. 

Do you want to offer a sense of urgency & personal touch? Go live. Do you want to provide webinars that are scalable and without any geographical boundaries? Automate it. There is no one-stop solution that works for every business.

Ultimately, the decision of live vs automated webinar relies on your goals, target audience, level of engagement, and delivery experience you want to offer.

Author Bio

With years of experience in the field, Jay loves to share insights and expertise on product development, customer research, and user experience. Outside of work, you can find Jay curled up with a good book, exploring new ideas in philosophy, or discussing the latest products with friends and colleagues.

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